In response to Hagel and Administration Claim Clean Prisoner of War Swap :
The MSM are not the only ones missing the distinction between the Taliban and Haqqani networks. There’s Jay Carney, in the clip John Hayward posted, claiming Bergdahl was being held by the Taliban.
And National Security Advisor Susan Rice – who like Hagel and Carney, also refused to admit that the Obama administration negotiated with terrorists in her interview with Candy Crowley on Face the Nation, Sunday. Rice repeatedly asserted that Bergdahl had been held captive by the Taliban (who have not been designated a terrorist organization even though they routinely engage in terror-like activities.)
Andrew McCarthy noted at NRO, “the Bush State Department similarly failed to designate the Taliban, although President Bush did designate the group as a terrorist organization in an executive order that, pursuant to a congressional statute, criminalized the conducting of various financial transactions with it.”
In 2012, the Obama White House made much of the fact that it had finally designated a close Taliban confederate, the Haqqani Network, as a terrorist organization. But as Eli Lake reported earlier this year, the administration refrained from using the designation to seize assets — which is the whole point.
The Regime’s talking points are confusing – they didn’t negotiate with terrorists – because the POW was being held by a non-terrorist organization. Besides, the actual negotiations were done with the government of Qatar. But when terrorists take an American prisoner, “that prisoner still is a U.S. service man or woman” and we still have “a sacred obligation” to bring that person back.
And the Regime is trying to hide behind the popular warrior ethos – you never leave a soldier behind – (which took five years to become operative in this situation.)
From CNN’s transcript of the interview:
CROWLEY: Point-blank, did the U.S. negotiate with terrorists in his release?RICE: Candy, what we did was ensure that, as always, the United States doesn’t leave a man or a woman on the battlefield.
RICE: And in order to do this, it’s very important for folks to understand, if we got into a situation where we said, because of who has captured an American soldier on the battlefield, we will leave that person behind, we would be in a whole new era for the safety of our personnel and for the nature of our commitment to our men and women in uniform.
RICE: So, because it was the Taliban that had him did not mean that we had any less of an obligation to bring him back.
CROWLEY: Right. In fact, it was the Haqqani Network, which is really listed as a terrorist. And this is not a judgment question. It’s just a question. You had to negotiate with terrorists to secure the release of the sergeant.
RICE: We actually negotiated with the government of Qatar, to whom we owe a great debt.CROWLEY: Well, right.
RICE: But the point is, he was being held by the Taliban. We had the opportunity to bring him back. He’s back safely in the hands of the United States. And that’s a great thing.
CROWLEY: Yes, and I don’t think anyone argues.I think the question now is — and you point to the kinds of warfare we’re having now — that no longer can it be said that the U.S. doesn’t negotiate with terrorists?
RICE: I wouldn’t put it that way, Candy. I wouldn’t say that at all.CROWLEY: How would you put it?
RICE: Well, when we are in battles with terrorists and terrorists take an American prisoner, that prisoner still is a U.S. service man or woman. We still have a sacred obligation to bring that person back. We did so, and that’s what’s to be celebrated.
But celebrations were short-lived and a backlash ensued because when the details came out, most people were skeptical of this lop-sided swap: five dangerous Taliban commanders to one deserter and apparent Taliban sympathizer?
Even the MSM is hard pressed to portray this deal as an Obama foreign-affairs triumph.