The policy of the United States government has always been we do not negotiate with terrorists. So why did the Obama administration release five of the worst GITMO jihadists – Taliban leadership – in exchange for an AWOL soldier – a traitor – who willingly walked away from his unit, raising the question of whether he could be charged with being absent without leave or desertion.
USA Today: Many called Bergdahl a traitor or a deserter. Stephen Kirouac, calling Bergdahl a “dirtbag” and “sympathizer,” was among many who seized on that speculation to criticize the rescued soldier.
“He is a dirtbag that now should spend the next 20yrs+ in Leavenworth … his fellow soldiers were affected by his actions, he is a sympathizer and deserves to be tried for desertion,” said Kirouac, whose Facebook profile identifies him as a company commander at Fort Bragg, N.C.
And it’s not just that, the soldier, who has converted to Islam, is alleged to have been teaching its fighters bomb-making skills.
A Taliban deputy district commander in Paktika, who called himself Haji Nadeem, told the newspaper that Bergdahl taught him how to dismantle a mobile phone and turn it into a remote control for a roadside bomb.
Nadeem claimed he also received basic ambush training from the U.S. soldier.
‘Most of the skills he taught us we already knew,’ he said. ‘Some of my comrades think he’s pretending to be a Muslim to save himself so they wouldn’t behead him.’
Perhaps. Perhaps not. The AWOL soldier’s father spoke in Arabic to his son:
Obama did not detail exactly what security guarantees had been put in place by Qatar.
Bergdahl said that his son was having trouble speaking English after spending so much time in Taliban captivity.
Addressing his son, Bergdahl said a common Arabic phrase uttered by Muslims before giving a speech, and a few words that appeared to be in Pashto.
“In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful,” Bob Bergdahl said in Arabic.
“I’m your father, Bowe,” he added in English after speaking the same words in Pashto from the president’s podium in the Rose Garden of the White House.
And who was released? Taliban leadership.
Two senior administration officials confirmed the names of the five released detainees as Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Nori, Abdul Haq Wasiq and Mohammad Nabi Omari.
Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa
Khairkhwa was an early member of the Taliban in 1994 and was interior minister during the Taliban’s rule. He hails from the same tribe as Afghan President Hamid Karzai and was captured in January 2002. Khairkhwa’s most prominent position was as governor of Herat province from 1999 to 2001, and he was alleged to have been “directly associated” with Osama bin Laden. According to a detainee assessment, Khairkhwa also was probably associated with al Qaeda’s now-deceased leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al Zarqawi. He is described as one of the “major opium drug lords in western Afghanistan” and a “friend” of Karzai. He was arrested in Pakistan and was transferred to Guantanamo in May 2002. During questioning, Khairkhwa denied all knowledge of extremist activities.
Mullah Mohammad Fazl
Fazl commanded the main force fighting the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance in 2001, and served as chief of army staff under the Taliban regime. He has been accused of war crimes during Afghanistan’s civil war in the 1990s. Fazl was detained after surrendering to Abdul Rashid Dostam, the leader of Afghanistan’s Uzbek community, in November 2001. He was wanted by the United Nations in connection with the massacre of thousands of Afghan Shiites during the Taliban’s rule. “When asked about the murders, he did not express any regret,” according to the detainee assessment. He was alleged to have been associated with several militant Islamist groups, including al Qaeda. He was transferred into U.S. custody in December 2001 and was one of the first arrivals at Guantanamo, where he was assessed as having high intelligence value.
Mullah Norullah Noori
Noori served as governor of Balkh province in the Taliban regime and played some role in coordinating the fight against the Northern Alliance. Like Fazl, Noori was detained after surrendering to Dostam, the Uzbek leader, in 2001. Noori claimed during interrogation that “he never received any weapons or military training.” According to 2008 detainee assessment, Noori “continues to deny his role, importance and level of access to Taliban officials.” That same assessment characterized him as high risk and of high intelligence value.
Abdul Haq Wasiq
Wasiq was the deputy chief of the Taliban regime’s intelligence service. His cousin was head of the service. An administrative review in 2007 cited a source as saying that Wasiq was also “an al Qaeda intelligence member” and had links with members of another militant Islamist group, Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin. Wasiq claimed, according to the review, that he was arrested while trying to help the United States locate senior Taliban figures. He denied any links to militant groups.
Mohammad Nabi Omari
Omari was a minor Taliban official in Khost Province. According to the first administrative review in 2004, he was a member of the Taliban and associated with both al Qaeda and another militant group Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin. He was the Taliban’s chief of communications and helped al Qaeda members escape from Afghanistan to Pakistan. Omari acknowledged during hearings that he had worked for the Taliban but denied connections with militant groups. He also said that he had worked with a U.S. operative named Mark to try to track down Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
UPDATE: Speaking of the father:(thanks to Indigo Red) Here’s what the father tweeted and deleted just after his son, “Abdullah” was released
‘Working to free all Guantanamo prisoners’ tweet from account of released soldier’s father deleted