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Old 06-01-2014, 10:02 AM  
banyon banyon is offline
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USA now negotiates with terrorists

Here are the Taliban Terrorists Obama Released to Free POW Bowe Bergdahl

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...ghanistan.html

In exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Berghdahl, the U.S. has released five senior Taliban commanders from the Guantanamo Bay prison. They are considered some of the worst of the worst.
The five Guantanamo detainees released by the Obama administration in exchange for America’s last prisoner of war in Afghanistan, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, are bad guys. They are top Taliban commanders the group has tried to free for more than a decade.



According to a 2008 Pentagon dossier on Guantanamo Bay inmates, all five men released were considered to be a high risk to launch attacks against the United States and its allies if they were liberated. The exchange shows that the Obama administration was willing to pay a steep price, indeed, for Bergdahl’s freedom. The administration says they will be transferred to Qatar, which played a key role in the negotiations.

In the initial statements released about the deal, the White House declined to name the detainees who would be leaving the Cuba based prison Obama has been trying to close since his first day in office.

A senior U.S. defense official confirmed Saturday that the prisoners to be released include Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Noori, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Khairullah Khairkhwa and Mohammed Nabi Omari.

While not as well known as Guantanamo inmates like 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Taliban 5 were some of the worst outlaws in the U.S. war on terror. And their release will end up replenishing the diminished leadership ranks of the Afghan Taliban at a moment when the United States is winding down the war there.

“They are undoubtedly among the most dangerous Taliban commanders held at Guantanamo,” said Thomas Joscelyn, a senior editor at the Long War Journal who keeps a close watch on developments concerning the detainees left at the Guantanamo Bay prison.

Fazl, for example, was the Taliban’s former deputy defense minister and is wanted by the United Nations for his role in massacres targeting Afghan’s Shi’ite Muslim population.

According to the 2008 Pentagon’s dossier on Fazl disclosed by Wikileaks (PDF), Noori also was a senior Taliban military figure and, according to his Pentagon dossier, was asked personally in 1995 by Osama bin Laden (PDF) to participate in an offensive against northern alliance warlord Rashid Dostum.

Wasiq, a former deputy minister of intelligence, at one point tried to cooperate with U.S. forces in Afghanistan and asked for a GPS system as well as a special radio to communicate with the U.S. military after the U.S. invasion in 2001. His dossier (PDF) says that he was a crucial liaison between the Taliban and other Islamic fundamentalist groups while he was deputy intelligence minister. But the 2008 report also said he was holding out information he had on other top al Qaeda and Taliban leaders during interrogations.

Khairkhwa, a former Taliban governor of Herat, was considered by the Pentagon’s 2008 dossier to be a likely heroin trafficker (PDF). That dossier also says he likely participated in meetings with Iranian officials after 9-11 to help plot attacks on U.S. forces following the invasion.

Iran has worked in some cases with the government that has replaced the Taliban in Afghanistan, but also has been accused by the U.S. military of supplying the Taliban and other insurgent groups with roadside bombs known as improvised explosive devices of IEDs.

Nabi held several military leadership posts for the Taliban and helped organize the al Qaeda/Taliban militias that fought against U.S. and coalition troops in the first year of the war, according to his Pentagon dossier (PDF).

This week’s secret diplomacy was not the first time the U.S. government had engaged the Taliban in an effort to negotiate a prisoner swap for the release of Bergdahl. In 2011, State Department officials held a series of meetings with Taliban leaders in Doha.

In Congress, there was bipartisan opposition to any release of Guantanamo prisoners. After the negotiations were made public in early 2012 by Sen. Dianne Feinstein the Taliban announced they were pulling out of the talks.

In the summer of 2013, the U.S. attempted a Taliban confidence building measure, the opening of a Taliban representative office in the diplomatic enclave inside Doha, Qatar. Karzai was also mistrustful of that effort and his skepticism was validated when the Taliban violated their agreement with the U.S. and raised their flag at the office’s opening, causing Karzai to have a fit and forcing the U.S. to abandon the deal to keep the Taliban office open.

Talks resumed in late 2013 and the Taliban provided a video proof of life to the U.S. military in December 2013, which had been a condition for the U.S. to continue with the negotiations.

Many in Congress will still be opposed to the swap, but lawmakers gave up their right to stop it. A small change in the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed last December, now makes it only a requirement that the Defense Secretary notify Congress when releasing Guantanamo prisoners. Before the change, Congressional sign off on any Guantanamo releases would have been needed.

At about 10:30 am eastern standard time, Bergdahl was released from his captors. The handover was peaceful and happened in eastern Afghanistan along the border, according to a senior U.S. Defense official. U.S. special operations forces conducted the rescue.

The official said that once he was on the helicopter, Bergdahl wrote on a paper plate (writing instead of talking because it was so loud) “SF?” The operators sitting with Bergdahl responded loudly, saying, yes, we’ve been looking for you for a long time. Bergdahl broke down crying, the official relayed.

In exchange for Bergdahl’s release, five detainees at Guantanamo Bay will be released to Qatar. The US has “appropriate assurances” that Qatar will be able to secure the detainees there, a U.S. official said. The detainees are under a travel ban for a year.

The transfer took place quickly without incident, peacefully and without violence. There were approximately 18 Taliban on site.

U.S. officials believe Bergdahl had been held for the bulk of his captivity in Pakistan. They’re not sure when he was moved to Afghanistan.

The transfer was not negotiated with the Haqqani network, a network of former Pakistani defense officials and other designated terrorists. Instead it was brokered through the Qatari government.

Bergdahl’s parents happened to be in Washington when the news broke. They had come from their home in Idaho for Memorial Day.

Bergdahl is currently being held at a forward operating base in Afghanistan. He will be there until doctors are ready to let him go, and his next move will be to Bagram only when he’s ready.

The U.S. official praised this operation as a show of interagency cooperation—it was a whole-government effort that he said had been in the works for five years. “We really got traction in the last week but we never lost sight of Bergdahl,” he said.
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:52 PM   #31
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I guess Hagel just said in Afghanistan " we had to take action Bergdahls life was in danger."

I guess those 4 Embassy heros that died were not in enough danger. Maybe if they had gone AWOl and badmouthed there Country they would be alive today.
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:54 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by srvy View Post
I guess Hagel just said in Afghanistan " we had to take action Bergdahls life was in danger."

I guess those 4 Embassy heros that died were not in enough danger. Maybe if they had gone AWOl and badmouthed there Country they would be alive today.
Holy shit you're a moron.
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:01 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
Holy shit you're a moron.
Shouldn't you be wiping Obama's ass now? I herd he just took a huge smelly Pelosi and you have cleanup detail tonight.
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:05 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by srvy View Post
Shouldn't you be wiping Obama's ass now? I herd he just took a huge smelly Pelosi and you have cleanup detail tonight.
Gee, clever.
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Old 06-02-2014, 06:08 AM   #35
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Bowe Bergdahl No Hero To Fellow Soldiers


Not everyone is elated over the release of POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in a prisoner swap deal with the Taliban: Some veterans and soldiers are calling him a deserter.

Former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl's platoon, told CNN Bergdahl should face military trial for desertion.

Bergdahl disappeared from his platoon in Afghanistan June 30, 2009, and had been in Taliban custody for five years before his release Saturday. He has been taken to a U.S. military base in Germany for treatment.

"I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on," Vierkant said. "Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him."

CNN said at least six soldiers died searching for Bergdahl in Paktika province.

"He walked off," former Pfc. Jose Baggett, 27, of Chicago told CNN. "He left his guard post. Nobody knows if he defected or he's a traitor or he was kidnapped. What I do know is he was there to protect us and instead he decided to defer from America and go and do his own thing. I don't know why he decided to do that, but we spend so much of our resources and some of those resources were soldiers' lives."



Some fellow soldiers have taken to social media to express their anger at Bergdahl on such pages as "Bowe Bergdahl is NOT a hero." Comments, however, have been so vicious, a moderator posted:

"I challenge any one of you who label him a traitor to spend 5 years in captivity with the Taliban or Haqqani, then come back and accuse him again. Whatever his intent when he walked away or was captured, he has more than paid for it."

Rolling Stone reported in 2012 Bergdahl had become disillusioned with the U.S. war effort and told his parents: "The future is too good to waste on lies. And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their ideas and I am ashamed to even be American. The horror of the self-righteous arrogance that they thrive in. It is all revolting."

“The US army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at,” he wrote from Afghanistan. “It is the army of liars, backstabbers, fools, and bullies. The few good SGTs are getting out as soon as they can, and they are telling us privates to do the same."

"I am sorry for everything here," Bergdahl wrote at another point "These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid, that they have no idea how to live."

In his final message, Bergdahl refers to having mailed home boxes with his uniforms and books.

“Feel free to open them, and use them,” he wrote.

Later that night, Bowe Bergdahl’s father Bob Bergdahl, a UPS truck driver, sent his son an email from their home in Hailey, Idaho, with the subject line: OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!

"Dear Bowe," he wrote. "In matters of life and death, and especially at war, it is never safe to ignore ones' conscience. Ethics demands obedience to our conscience. It is best to also have a systematic oral defense of what our conscience demands. Stand with like minded men when possible. dad."

“Ordinary soldiers, especially raw recruits facing combat for the first time, respond to the horror of war in all sorts of ways,” Rolling Stone observed. Bowe Bergdahl “decided to walk away.”

“In the early-morning hours of June 30th, according to soldiers in the unit, Bowe approached his team leader not long after he got off guard duty and asked his superior a simple question: If I were to leave the base, would it cause problems if I took my sensitive equipment?

“Yes, his team leader responded – if you took your rifle and night-vision goggles, that would cause problems.

“Bowe returned to his barracks, a roughly built bunker of plywood and sandbags. He gathered up water, a knife, his digital camera and his diary. Then he slipped off the outpost.”

When his absence was discovered, Bergdahl was listed as “DUSTWUN” – Duty Status: Whereabouts Unknown.

Search parties were sent out. The search included drone aircraft as well as F-18 and F-15 fighter jets.
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Old 06-02-2014, 06:33 AM   #36
HonestChieffan HonestChieffan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForeverChiefs58 View Post
Bowe Bergdahl No Hero To Fellow Soldiers


Not everyone is elated over the release of POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in a prisoner swap deal with the Taliban: Some veterans and soldiers are calling him a deserter.

Former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl's platoon, told CNN Bergdahl should face military trial for desertion.

Bergdahl disappeared from his platoon in Afghanistan June 30, 2009, and had been in Taliban custody for five years before his release Saturday. He has been taken to a U.S. military base in Germany for treatment.

"I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on," Vierkant said. "Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him."

CNN said at least six soldiers died searching for Bergdahl in Paktika province.

"He walked off," former Pfc. Jose Baggett, 27, of Chicago told CNN. "He left his guard post. Nobody knows if he defected or he's a traitor or he was kidnapped. What I do know is he was there to protect us and instead he decided to defer from America and go and do his own thing. I don't know why he decided to do that, but we spend so much of our resources and some of those resources were soldiers' lives."



Some fellow soldiers have taken to social media to express their anger at Bergdahl on such pages as "Bowe Bergdahl is NOT a hero." Comments, however, have been so vicious, a moderator posted:

"I challenge any one of you who label him a traitor to spend 5 years in captivity with the Taliban or Haqqani, then come back and accuse him again. Whatever his intent when he walked away or was captured, he has more than paid for it."

Rolling Stone reported in 2012 Bergdahl had become disillusioned with the U.S. war effort and told his parents: "The future is too good to waste on lies. And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their ideas and I am ashamed to even be American. The horror of the self-righteous arrogance that they thrive in. It is all revolting."

“The US army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at,” he wrote from Afghanistan. “It is the army of liars, backstabbers, fools, and bullies. The few good SGTs are getting out as soon as they can, and they are telling us privates to do the same."

"I am sorry for everything here," Bergdahl wrote at another point "These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid, that they have no idea how to live."

In his final message, Bergdahl refers to having mailed home boxes with his uniforms and books.

“Feel free to open them, and use them,” he wrote.

Later that night, Bowe Bergdahl’s father Bob Bergdahl, a UPS truck driver, sent his son an email from their home in Hailey, Idaho, with the subject line: OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!

"Dear Bowe," he wrote. "In matters of life and death, and especially at war, it is never safe to ignore ones' conscience. Ethics demands obedience to our conscience. It is best to also have a systematic oral defense of what our conscience demands. Stand with like minded men when possible. dad."

“Ordinary soldiers, especially raw recruits facing combat for the first time, respond to the horror of war in all sorts of ways,” Rolling Stone observed. Bowe Bergdahl “decided to walk away.”

“In the early-morning hours of June 30th, according to soldiers in the unit, Bowe approached his team leader not long after he got off guard duty and asked his superior a simple question: If I were to leave the base, would it cause problems if I took my sensitive equipment?

“Yes, his team leader responded – if you took your rifle and night-vision goggles, that would cause problems.

“Bowe returned to his barracks, a roughly built bunker of plywood and sandbags. He gathered up water, a knife, his digital camera and his diary. Then he slipped off the outpost.”

When his absence was discovered, Bergdahl was listed as “DUSTWUN” – Duty Status: Whereabouts Unknown.

Search parties were sent out. The search included drone aircraft as well as F-18 and F-15 fighter jets.


Certainly more questions than answers about this entire thing.
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Old 06-02-2014, 07:36 AM   #37
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1) I'm pretty sure "we" have always negotiated with terrorists.
2) this guy seems like an idiot. Seems like he put himself in danger, and inadvertently got other people killed. He should be tried for that.
3) I think it's distasteful to, now, start deciding which Americans are ok to save, and which aren't. If you subscribe to an "Americans above all!" mindset, then I think you should stick to that. I understand the disdain for the guy, but let's put him through OUR legal system.
4) Are the five we traded actually being released? Or just imprisoned elsewhere?
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Old 06-02-2014, 07:45 AM   #38
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Gonna have to say this was all an effort to get the VA out of the headlines.
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Old 06-02-2014, 07:48 AM   #39
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They were not terrorists. Given how we have dealt with them over this decade, they are now pretty much POW's, and as such the commander in chief can pretty much do almost whatever he wants with them, including negotiate a POW exchange. POW exchanges with the army you are fighting or used to fight is as old as time.

If they were terrorists, we should have treated them like terrorists, but we didn't. Some cases are clear, like if you capture a member of the armed forced of an enemy state, that is a POW, or if you capture someone in your own country right after they set off a bomb in your homeland, thats probably a terrorist.

These guys were in a gray area, they weren't military members of an opposing state, but they were an armed force that our army was fighting on the ground in a foreign country after invading that country. After capturing them, we probably could have gone either way. If we had brought them over into our country and tried them for crimes in our courts under our US legal system, then they could be considered terrorists.

We didn't do that. Instead, our army held them captive in another foreign country, occasionally trying them in weird military tribunals. We have been treating them like they were POW's, and now after all these years, whatever you want to call them detained enemy combatants or whatever, they are now POW's of a stateless enemy force rather than terrorists of a terrorist organization.

Since they are POW's, this is a purely military matter, and whether he should or not or whether its a good idea or not, the president can authorize a POW exchange if he wants.
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Last edited by alnorth; 06-02-2014 at 07:57 AM..
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Old 06-02-2014, 07:59 AM   #40
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So if they were to kidnap 50 or so coalition troops they could spring everyone from Gitmo, right?
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:06 AM   #41
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I think it's worth noting that Obama's position on the Congressional notification law (i.e. that he has no obligation to follow it because it's unconstitutional) is based on the same type of legal theory that the much criticized GWBush signing statements were, except that Bush was up front and let you know his position immediately and Obama just does it without really even making an explicit statement.

Anyone hear any democrat outrage about an imperial presidency now?
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:13 AM   #42
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So if they were to kidnap 50 or so coalition troops they could spring everyone from Gitmo, right?
Well, thats a bit of a trick though. How are they going to kidnap 50 non-crazy troops? In the entire course of these wars, despite several attempts, they only grabbed and held onto one.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:18 AM   #43
Donger Donger is offline
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If Bowe Bergdahl, of his own volition, wondered off base because he didn't want to be there, should he even be considered a POW?
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:20 AM   #44
lawrenceRaider lawrenceRaider is offline
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Originally Posted by ForeverChiefs58 View Post
Bowe Bergdahl No Hero To Fellow Soldiers


Not everyone is elated over the release of POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in a prisoner swap deal with the Taliban: Some veterans and soldiers are calling him a deserter.

Former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl's platoon, told CNN Bergdahl should face military trial for desertion.

Bergdahl disappeared from his platoon in Afghanistan June 30, 2009, and had been in Taliban custody for five years before his release Saturday. He has been taken to a U.S. military base in Germany for treatment.

"I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on," Vierkant said. "Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him."

CNN said at least six soldiers died searching for Bergdahl in Paktika province.

"He walked off," former Pfc. Jose Baggett, 27, of Chicago told CNN. "He left his guard post. Nobody knows if he defected or he's a traitor or he was kidnapped. What I do know is he was there to protect us and instead he decided to defer from America and go and do his own thing. I don't know why he decided to do that, but we spend so much of our resources and some of those resources were soldiers' lives."



Some fellow soldiers have taken to social media to express their anger at Bergdahl on such pages as "Bowe Bergdahl is NOT a hero." Comments, however, have been so vicious, a moderator posted:

"I challenge any one of you who label him a traitor to spend 5 years in captivity with the Taliban or Haqqani, then come back and accuse him again. Whatever his intent when he walked away or was captured, he has more than paid for it."

Rolling Stone reported in 2012 Bergdahl had become disillusioned with the U.S. war effort and told his parents: "The future is too good to waste on lies. And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their ideas and I am ashamed to even be American. The horror of the self-righteous arrogance that they thrive in. It is all revolting."

“The US army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at,” he wrote from Afghanistan. “It is the army of liars, backstabbers, fools, and bullies. The few good SGTs are getting out as soon as they can, and they are telling us privates to do the same."

"I am sorry for everything here," Bergdahl wrote at another point "These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid, that they have no idea how to live."

In his final message, Bergdahl refers to having mailed home boxes with his uniforms and books.

“Feel free to open them, and use them,” he wrote.

Later that night, Bowe Bergdahl’s father Bob Bergdahl, a UPS truck driver, sent his son an email from their home in Hailey, Idaho, with the subject line: OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!

"Dear Bowe," he wrote. "In matters of life and death, and especially at war, it is never safe to ignore ones' conscience. Ethics demands obedience to our conscience. It is best to also have a systematic oral defense of what our conscience demands. Stand with like minded men when possible. dad."

“Ordinary soldiers, especially raw recruits facing combat for the first time, respond to the horror of war in all sorts of ways,” Rolling Stone observed. Bowe Bergdahl “decided to walk away.”

“In the early-morning hours of June 30th, according to soldiers in the unit, Bowe approached his team leader not long after he got off guard duty and asked his superior a simple question: If I were to leave the base, would it cause problems if I took my sensitive equipment?

“Yes, his team leader responded – if you took your rifle and night-vision goggles, that would cause problems.

“Bowe returned to his barracks, a roughly built bunker of plywood and sandbags. He gathered up water, a knife, his digital camera and his diary. Then he slipped off the outpost.”

When his absence was discovered, Bergdahl was listed as “DUSTWUN” – Duty Status: Whereabouts Unknown.

Search parties were sent out. The search included drone aircraft as well as F-18 and F-15 fighter jets.
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Originally Posted by HonestChieffan View Post
Certainly more questions than answers about this entire thing.
Really sounds like we just traded terrorists for a deserter. Fantastic.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:43 AM   #45
Cochise Cochise is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donger View Post
If Bowe Bergdahl, of his own volition, wondered off base because he didn't want to be there, should he even be considered a POW?
According to Geneva he would be just because he's still a member of the military of a nation involved in the conflict.

I also believe that prisoners are presumed to be POW under Geneva even if their status at the time is in question.
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