Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Exchanged for Five Most Dangerous Taliban Commanders in U.S. Custody
By Marion Algier- AskMarion
I am the first one to believe that we owe our troops, our veterans, our prisoners of war all the support and help we can give them, and the Obama administration announced today that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been held by the Taliban for several years, has been freed from his captors; a negotiated exchange for five of the most dangerous Taliban Commanders in U.S. custody.
While reading the stories of his newfound freedom it is impossible not to feel joy for Bergdahl and his family.
NBC News reports that Bergdahl held up a sign once he was on board an American helicopter that read, “SF?” The operators quickly confirmed that they were in fact U.S. Special Forces: “Yes, we’ve been looking for you for a long time.”
“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,” President Obama said in a statement. The president rightly noted: “Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield.”
America, however, is not the only party in this war that is committed to leaving no man behind. So are the Taliban and other al Qaeda-linked groups but probably not for any ultraistic reasons. And what the president did not say was who America exchanged for Bergdahl.
The exchange was for five of the most dangerous Taliban Commanders in U.S. custody.
The Obama administration says that security measures have been put into place to make sure that the Gitmo 5 do not pose a threat to American national security. We can only hope that is true; it certainly has not been the case with many ex-Gitmo detainees in the past.
But Lt. Col Cowan says, “Americans Are Going To Pay A Price” For Taliban Prisoner Swap… Unfortunately the video of Lt. Col Cowan has already been scrubbed… or at least has problems.
And now it seems that there is a little more to this story…
Saturday morning, the president announced the release of U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held captive in Afghanistan for nearly five years. Bergdahl was released in exchange for five Guantanamo prisoners.”
Bergdahl, 28, of Hailey, Idaho, was serving in a parachute infantry regiment of the the Army’s 25th Infantry Division, when he was captured in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009.
Bergdahl is now under the care of the U.S. military after being handed over by his captors.
“We will give him all the support he needs to help him recover from this ordeal, and we are grateful that he will soon be reunited with his family,” Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said in a statement.
Hagel also said he informed Congress today that the USA is transferring five detainees from Guantánamo Bay to Qatar, which has agreed to ensure that security measures are in place and that the national security of the United States will not be compromised, he said.
CNN reports that U.S. special operations forces recovered Bergdahl from his captors about 10:30 a.m. ET in “a peaceful handover in eastern Afghanistan.”
An official said that once on the U.S. helicopter, Bergdahl wrote on a paper plate, “SF?” meaning, “Special Forces?”
He wrote because of the noise. The operators sitting with Bergdahl responded loudly: “Yes, we’ve been looking for you for a long time.”
Bergdahl broke down crying, the official recounted.
The United States has a long standing policy of not negotiating with terrorists in order to free US prisoners.
On Fox News, Lt Col Bill Cowan said there are a couple of aspects of this story that remain to be seen — one is what this soldier was up to when he left the base in the middle of the night, which is when he was abducted. And two – who are the five terrorists who were set free in exchange for his release.
“These guys after their time at Guantanamo are going to have a real axe to grind with America”, Cowan said. “They wouldn’t have been at gitmo if they weren’t serious actors on the bad guy side. They’re going to get back – get a heroes welcome back in Afghanistan, get settled in and then they’re going to try to decide how they can come back and attack American interests,” he explained. “I believe, unfortunately, Americans are going to pay a price somewhere, somehow, sometime out of some of these if not all of these five guys who were released….”
THE WEEKLY STANDARD has profiled these jihadists previously on multiple occasions, and what follows below is culled from these accounts.There are good reasons why the Taliban has long wanted the five freed from Gitmo. All five are among the Taliban’s top commanders in U.S. custody and are still revered in jihadist circles.
Two of the five have been wanted by the UN for war crimes. And because of their prowess, Joint Task Force-Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) deemed all five of them “high” risks to the U.S. and its allies.
The Obama administration wants to convince the Taliban to abandon its longstanding alliance with al Qaeda. But these men contributed to the formation of that relationship in the first place. All five had close ties to al Qaeda well before the 9/11 attacks. Therefore, it is difficult to see how their freedom would help the Obama administration achieve one of its principal goals for the hoped-for talks.
Here are short bios for each of the five Taliban commanders. All quotes are drawn from declassified and leaked documents prepared at Guantanamo.
Continue reading here.
The discussion about trading for Bowe Bergdahl has been ongoing for some time. This of course is questionable, since the U.S. has always held the position that it will not negotiate with terrorists or trade terrorists for hostages. This the Obama regime has clearly broken today, the impact of which will yet be felt, as he has now painted a target on the back of every American.
Yet in any discussion of the question, the Obama regime has assured Congress that it would be advised.
And Via This Ain’t Hell – in the comment section:
I found this post a few months ago and did some research…it all seems to pan out:
I WAS THERE. I’m sick of all the lies. Here is the TRUTH, from someone on the ground. We were at OP Mest, Paktika Province, Afghanistan. It was a small outpost where B Co 1-501st INF (Airbone) ran operations out of, just an Infantry platoon and ANA counterparts there. The place was an Afghan graveyard. Bergdahl had been acting a little strange, telling people he wanted to “walk the earth” and kept a little journal talking about how he was meant for better things. No one thought anything about it. He was a little “out there”. Next morning he’s gone. We search everywhere, and can’t find him. He left his weapon, his kit, and other sensitive items. He only took some water, a compass and a knife. We find some afghan kids shortly after who saw an American walking north asking about where the taliban are. We get hits on our voice intercepter that Taliban has him, and we were close. We come to realize that the kid deserted his post, snuck out of camp and sought out Taliban… to join them. We were in a defensive position at OP Mest, where your focus is to keep people out. He knew where the blind spots were to slip out and that’s what he did. It was supposed to be a 4-day mission but turned into several months of active searching. Everyone was spun up to find this guy. News outlets all over the country were putting out false information. It was hard to see, especially when we knew the truth about what happened and we lost good men trying to find him. PFC Matthew Michael Martinek, Staff Sgt. Kurt Robert Curtiss, SSG Clayton Bowen, PFC Morris Walker, SSG Michael Murphrey, 2LT Darryn Andrews, were all KIA from our unit who died looking for Bergdahl. Many others from various units were wounded or killed while actively looking for Bergdahl. Fighting Increased. IEDs and enemy ambushes increased. The Taliban knew that we were looking for him in high numbers and our movements were predictable. Because of Bergdahl, more men were out in danger, and more attacks on friendly camps and positions were conducted while we were out looking for him. His actions impacted the region more than anyone wants to admit. There is also no way to know what he told the Taliban: Our movements, locations, tactics, weak points on vehicles and other things for the enemy to exploit are just a few possibilities. The Government knows full well that he deserted. It looks bad and is a good propaganda piece for the Taliban. They refuse to acknowledge it. Hell they even promoted him to Sergeant which makes me sick. I feel for his family who only want their son/brother back. They don’t know the truth, or refuse to acknowledge it as well. What he did affected his family and his whole town back home, who don’t know the truth. Either way what matters is that good men died because of him. He has been lying on all those Taliban videos about everything since his “capture”. If he ever returns, he should be tried under the UCMJ for being a deserter and judged for what he did. Bergdahl is not a hero, he is not a soldier or an Infantryman. He failed his brothers. Now, sons and daughters are growing up without their fathers who died for him and he will have to face that truth someday.