This whole deal is bristling with red flags. Let’s start off with the title of your post: Sgt. Bergdahl was not held captive by the Taliban. He was a prisoner of the Haqqani terrorist network, as author Brad Thor explains in The Blaze.
Thor talked to his contacts in the intelligence community to put the whole story together – I highly recommend reading his post in full. He thinks the Obama Administration bungled opportunities for a rescue, painting a portrait of confusion and incompetence very familiar to any student of the Obama years:
Through all the intrigue, escape attempts, constant movement, and subterfuge, Sgt. Bergdahl was allegedly never transported outside Showal. The Haqqanis had kept him in the same general area. We could have gotten to him, and we should have gotten to him much sooner.
The habit of leaving men behind has become an alarming hallmark of the Obama Administration. We have never before done that as a nation. I can’t imagine the Special Operations community, the intelligence community, or the military in general are very happy right now. President Obama knew for too long where Sgt. Bergdahl was and did nothing to get him back. The Pakistanis, who also knew, haven’t been sanctioned for their culpability in this outrage, much less for the sanctuary they provided for Osama bin Laden.
According to the Associated Press, any effort to free Sgt. Bergdahl suffered from “disorganization and poor communication among numerous federal agencies.” Nevertheless, whether it was the “shrinking U.S. military footprint in Afghanistan” or a need for a stage-maganed win to distratct from the scandals and failed foreign policy plaguing the Obama Administration, someone decided to redouble efforts to secure Sgt. Bergdahl’s release.
It’s a little odd that the deal to secure Bergdahl’s release involved four Taliban prisoners his Haqqani captors wouldn’t care much about, plus one that would be of some interest to them, but not the top commander they really wanted. Thor notes that the gangster-like Haqqani network is usually interested in money, speculating that the prisoner releases might be a fig leaf for some kind of secret cash ransom the Obama Administration paid out – something they wouldn’t want the American public to know about, since it amounts to financially supporting a terror network. (As if letting five incredibly dangerous terrorists, captured at great cost to the U.S. military, walk back onto the battlefield wasn’t bad enough. And you know damn well that’s where they’re headed.)
There’s also the curious little detail that we wouldn’t have been able to hold those Taliban prisoners for much longer anyway – once we’re formally out of Afghanistan in 2016, we would not be able to legally hold captured Taliban. We gave away people who were going to walk in a couple of years anyway. If Brad Thor’s hunch about the prisoner swap concealing a ransom payoff doesn’t pan out, it could be the deal was made as a mutual face-lifting exercise for both parties: Team Obama will, as always, assume the somnolent Low Information Voters won’t care about the thugs set free, and will just see poll-goosing headlines about an American rescued from captivity, while the Haqqani and Taliban get to celebrate humiliating America with a lopsided trade.
Thor also remembers that one of the reasons our government doesn’t do business with terrorist hostage-takers is that successful deals would embolden them to take more hostages. “For now, one thing is clear – it is open season on American civilians and American military personnel around the world,” he writes.
Add the fact that Obama broke the law to do this, as noted at the Washington Post – which hid the bad news behind a laughably biased headline that makes it sound like partisan sour grapes from Republicans, when it’s a matter of objective fact, and Obama’s people openly admit as much:
Lawmakers were not notified of the Guantanamo detainees’ transfer until after it occurred.
The law requires the defense secretary to notify relevant congressional committees at least 30 days before making any transfers of prisoners, to explain the reason and to provide assurances that those released would not be in a position to reengage in activities that could threaten the United States or its interests.
Before the current law was enacted at the end of last year, the conditions were even more stringent. However, the administration and some Democrats had pressed for them to be loosened, in part to give them more flexibility to negotiate for Bergdahl’s release.
A senior administration official, agreeing to speak on the condition of anonymity to explain the timing of the congressional notification, acknowledged that the law was not followed. When he signed the law last year, Obama issued a signing statement contending that the notification requirement was an unconstitutional infringement on his powers as commander in chief and that he therefore could override it.
Since when does King Barack I trouble himself to obey the laws he inflicts upon his subjects? And to top it all off, none other than Susan Rice, the liar of Benghazi, was sent out to field questions about the Bergdahl swap on the Sunday shows.