Obama's Fascination with Taliban Baffles Even Democrats

Bob Beauprez
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Posted: Feb 04, 2012 12:01 AM

The Obama Administration is reportedly working on a deal to release five Taliban terrorists held at Gitmo as an “incentive” to talk peace in Afghanistan.  Taliban leader Mullah Omar reportedly has “demanded” the Gitmo prisoners release as a pre-condition to any talks.  The prisoners are among the most dangerous captured since the 9/11/01 attacks.  As recently as last May, the White House announced that the 172 detainees still at Gitmo were too dangerous to move.  

The release of the prisoners from Gitmo is intended as a “goodwill gesture” by Obama merely for the Taliban’s willingness to establish a political office in Qatar to open “peace talks.”

According to the Israeli News Organization Arutz Sheva, Afghan Taliban Leader Mullah Omar confirmed “peace talks with the United States are on the horizon.” But, in exchange for an implied willingness to talk, “Omar has demanded the release of Afghan prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and complete withdrawal of U.S. led forces from Afghanistan.” Included in Mullah Omar’s “demand” to Barack Obama is the release of Mullah Fazl Akhund, the former leader of the army in a war that has claimed the life of 1879 American troops and wounded 15,300 more.

Democrat and Republican Presidents have historically maintained a rigid policy of not negotiating with terrorists.  Obama seems to have thrown that policy in the trash.

The British newspaper, the Guardian, confirms the same “demands” by Mullah Omar and further reports that “the U.S. has agreed in principle to release high-ranking Taliban officials” from Gitmo.   

Three days ago, the Associated Press reported that “U.S. intelligence officials acknowledged Tuesday that the United States may release several Afghan Taliban prisoners from the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, as an incentive to bring the Taliban to peace talks.” 

Did you catch that?  Just as an “incentive” to talk. 

In December 2011, Vice-President Joe Biden shocked the nation with one of his notorious gaffes claiming “the Taliban is not our enemy.”  Instead of clarifying, the White House stood by Biden’s ridiculous assertion.  But, on December 28 the Taliban proved Biden wrong.  Three NATO troops were killed by a roadside bomb blast.  The next day ten Afghan troops were killed in an ambush of a convoy delivering supplies to US-led NATO troops.

The Obama Administration’s strange fascination with the Taliban baffles even leading Democrats.  Last June, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand of New York along with Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey urged the State Department to formally designate the Taliban a Terrorist organization, but the Administration continued to resist the obvious.

The only three criteria necessary to qualify as a terrorist organization are:

  1. it must be foreign,
  2. it must engage in terrorist activity,
  3. its activity must threaten the security of the U.S. or its citizens.

“It is hard to imagine this agency (the State Department) can see fit to issue a report that doesn’t include the Taliban groups,” Fred Gedrich, a foreign policy analyst and former State Department official said at the time.  “They have killed more Americans and conducted more terror attacks on innocent civilians during the past 12 months than any other terror group.”

Nine days after the 9/11 attacks George W. Bush issued the warning “either you’re with us or with the terrorists.”  The Taliban harbored and supported Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda base from which the attacks had been hatched.  Within weeks U.S. troops invaded Afghanistan in what was dubbed Operation Enduring Freedom. 

During the prosecution of the war nearly two thousand Americans have been killed along with a thousand more of our allies.  Our forces captured many of the most dangerous Taliban operatives removing them from the battlefield and positions of command.  It now appears some of the very worst may be given absolution by Barack Obama – who likes to talk.