It is almost comical the way the press secretaries and other spokespeople at the White House are trotted out to try and explain why the Taliban are not terrorists. Between Josh Earnest, Rear Adm. John Kirby, Jen Psaki and Marie Harf, I don’t think I’ve ever heard more parsing and doublespeak in my life. The press corps probably feels like they are listening to Durwood Fincher!
In a followup to last week’s WND column by Matt Barber, I would like to point out that there has to be an orchestrated effort to make certain that the five prisoners swapped for army deserter Bowe Bergdahl are not called terrorists. Why? In the immortal words of Hillary Clinton, “What difference does it make” if we call them terrorists or armed insurgents? The difference is that we don’t negotiate with terrorists, but I suppose we can negotiate with armed insurgents, even though the Taliban is registered on two government lists as terrorists. It seems pretty clear to me that you need to call it as you see it.
So why is this administration turning itself inside out over something so transparent? Why are they so hesitant to use the word? Could it be that, as Matt Barber brought up in his piece, they are afraid of being accused of treason?
“Article III, Section 3, Clause 1, of the U.S. Constitution, defines the crime of treason – dare I say the ‘high crime’ of treason – as levying war against [the United States], or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”
When you analyze this prisoner swap it makes no sense. Five of the most dangerous Taliban terrorists for one deserter? Why five? And why these five? Their flimsy excuse as to why the swap took place never even addressed that fact. Why Bergdahl? When American journalist James Foley was captured and held by ISIS, was anything done about getting him released? No, he was beheaded. ISIS and the Taliban are cut from the same cloth; they murder in the name of Allah, and they wage jihad against their enemies. This is not apples and oranges; they are one and the same. Terrorists.
This past week we have found out that at least one of the “Taliban Five” has been in contact with Taliban leaders and will more than likely be returning to militant activity. These five are being held and monitored in Qatar for one year. By the end of May are set to be released and will more than likely disappear back into the arms of their terrorist brothers. Over and over again we have been assured that Qatar knows where and what they are doing. Sort of like the fox watching the henhouse.
So, what happens when Qatar releases them? What happens when monitoring becomes virtually impossible and they return to planning attacks against us or our allies? What happens when Americans die at the hands of one of these thugs Obama set free? It isn’t as though these are low-level criminals that are a minor threat to this country; these are high-profile Taliban leaders. According to John McCain, these are “the hardest of the hard core.” They are deemed to be “high risk” to the United States and recommended for “continued detention.” President Bush released detainees from Gitmo, but they were mostly low-level couriers or messenger types that did not pose a serious threat. Even then, a significant percentage of them returned to the battlefield.
It looks like this decision to illegally release the Taliban Five, behind the backs of Congress and against the better judgment of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and others within the military, is starting to boil over. Hagel has come out saying that he was pressured to release more detainees from Guantanamo by the White House. Is that one of the reasons he lost his job? Others are trying to distance themselves from this decision as well. Could they possibly see that this looks like a treasonous act that could put all Americans in danger? I don’t think they want their fingerprints on it.
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As long as this administration calls the Taliban “armed insurgents” they can dance around the fact that they never actually “negotiated with terrorists.” They can twist it, turn it, manipulate it any way they want, but the fact is becoming clear to everyone that this was a bad, bad mistake, and it could end up being devastating for our country. Once the delayed decision comes down about Bergdahl’s fate, everyone will see how reckless and irresponsible this whole mess was. Why else would this drag on and on?
Here is who we traded deserter Bergdahl for, according to Wikipedia:
Mohammad Fazl – Fazl served as chief of staff of the Taliban Army. He was associated with terrorist groups opposing U.S. and Coalition forces. According to documents from the Joint Task Force Guantánamo, Fazl is “wanted by the U.N. for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiites.” The document stated Fazl has become a recruiting symbol for the Taliban.
Khairullah Khairkhwa – Khairkhwa helped found the Taliban in 1994. He was directly associated with Osama bin Laden and Taliban Supreme Commander Mullah Muhammad Omar. Likely involved with militant training, he was also “a narcotics trafficker and probably used his position and influences to become one of the major opium drug lords in Western Afghanistan,” and probably used profits from drugs to promote Taliban interests.
Norullah Noori – Nori was a senior Taliban military commander in Mazar-e-Sharif. Nori is “wanted by the United Nations for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiite Muslims” along with Fazl. According to Barnett Rubin, they were “responsible for ethno-sectarian massacres in northern Afghanistan” along with their enemies.
Mohammed Nabi Omari – Nabi was the Taliban’s chief of communications. Nabi had “operational ties to Anti-Coalition Militia (ACM) groups including al-Qaida, the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, and the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin.” He also “maintained weapons caches and facilitated the smuggling of fighters and weapons.”
Abdul Haq Wasiq – Wasiq was deputy chief of the Taliban regime’s intelligence service, and was “central to the Taliban’s efforts to form alliances with other Islamic fundamentalist groups to fight alongside the Taliban against US and Coalition forces after the 11 September 2001 attacks.
If these guys are not terrorists, then I don’t know what the definition is. The decision to release them and send them back to regroup and come after us again is either the worst, most incompetent decision ever made by an American president, or it was aiding and abetting our enemies. Either way, we lose.
What’s your call?