AP Reporter: Taliban Proposed Prisoner Swap During Phone Interview

Kathy Gannon is the Associated Press’ intrepid senior correspondent for Afghanistan and Pakistan (Gannon was shot covering the Afghan election earlier this year). Last year, during an interview with a Taliban spokesman, she was the first to hear the outlines of the deal to swap captive Bowe Bergdahl for five senior Taliban leaders held in Gitmo.

Gannon’s scoop became an AP exclusive that same day. Later, Gannon described how the proposal came about in an interview with Public Radio International. Here’s a portion of that interview:

“I spoke with a senior Taliban person at their office in Doha, a Taliban that I have known for quite some time…and he said during a conversation that we had, an exclusive conversation that we had today on the telephone, I had heard that there might be some Afghans released from Guantanamo and I asked him about this. As we were discussing it the details of what the Taliban were prepared to do, which was to swap Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for the five senior Taliban officials…that have been in Guantanamo Bay.”

Earlier today the AP reported that Senators briefed by the Obama administration this week were told the Taliban had threatened to kill Bergdahl if word of the pending deal leaked to the media before it took place. This, the administration claimed, is why it could not risk notifying Congress in advance as required by law.

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