Over the weekend, the Obama White House announced that it had made the worst trade since Ernie Broglio for Lou Brock: five senior Taliban commanders for apparent deserter Bowe Bergdahl.
President Obama announced, “On behalf of the American people, I was honored to call his parents to express our joy that they can expect his safe return, mindful of their courage and sacrifice throughout this ordeal.” Bergdahl, however, went AWOL according to those who served with him – in emails, he stated that “the horror that is America is disgusting.”
So, what did we give up in exchange for the tarnished soldier? Five “high-risk” Taliban commanders. Two of the five are wanted by the UN and would be tried for war crimes. Mullah Mohammad Fazi, the Taliban army chief of staff, is wanted for allegedly murdering thousands of Shiites. Mullah Norullah Noori, senior Taliban military commander, is wanted for the same. Taliban deputy minister of intelligence Abdul Haq Wasiq helped the Taliban give al Qaeda’s 9/11 planners intelligence training. Taliban governor of the Heart province and former interior minister Khairullah Khairkhwa was a point man for Mullah Omar. And Mohammed Nabi held meetings with al Qaeda to determine attack plans against US targets.
This will not work out well.
How do we know? Because the United States has routinely released terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, and they frequently end up targeting America and her allies. According to the Director of National Intelligence in September 2012, just a few days before the Benghazi attacks, 28 percent of all detainees moved out of Gitmo return to terrorism. Among those released terrorists:
Mohamed Yusif Yaqub: We released him in May 2003. He promptly went back to Afghanistan, where he assumed control of all Taliban operations in the south before he was killed fighting against the Americans in May 2004.
Abdullah Mahsud: We let him go in March 2004. He went to southern Waziristan and then spearheaded a kidnapping of two Chinese workers in Pakistan.
Sufian bin Qumu: Bin Qumu was moved to Gitmo in May 2002 and then sent to Libya on September 28, 2007. He was held and then released. According to a file released by Wikileaks, bin Qumu was a “probable member of al Qaeda and a member of the North African Extremist Network.” Sources told Fox News that bin Qumu was in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, the night of the attacks that killed four Americans.
Slimane Hadj Abderrahmane: Released in February 2004 back to Denmark, Abderrahmane vowed to head over to Chechnya to fight the Russians. “The Muslims are oppressed in Chechnya,” he told the media, “and the Russians are carrying out terror against them.”
As of September 2012, 168 out of the 602 released Guantanamo Bay detainees are suspected of returning to terrorism.
So, is this a winning scenario for the United States? Of course not. And the Taliban couldn’t be more enthused about how this little routine played out. Mullah Omar, Taliban head, said the deal was a “great victory.” Meanwhile, the White House attempted to spin all criticism of the deal as “propaganda of terrorists.”
Time will tell how many Americans die as a result of this deal. But that’s not a high priority for the Obama administration, which seems more intent on misdirecting from the VA scandal than in protecting American lives.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.