Diana West

I'm not even referring to the thousands of "lower-level" detainees released over the past year or more from U.S.-run prisons in Iraq. (A senior Iraq interior ministry official told AFP that the two suicide bombers and a majority of suspects in the Aug. 19 Baghdad bombings had recently been released from U.S.-run Camp Bucca.) I'm talking about high-level, known killers of Americans in Iraq, such as Laith al-Khazali, who, along with four fellow Iranian-backed operatives, was released in July.

As Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen noted, al-Khazali is a leader of Asaib al-Haq, an Iranian-backed "special group" that in 2007 kidnapped and killed five American soldiers. Later, the group kidnapped five British contractors, three of whom are known dead. Ghazali's release, a U.S. military spokesman told the New York Times, came as "part of a reconciliation effort between the government of Iraq and Asaib al-Haq." How sweet. But, Cullen wondered, if the United States can forgive al-Khazali, why can't the U.S. forgive Larry Hutchins? "So Larry Hutchins, killer of a single Iraqi, sits in prison while Laith al-Khazli, killer of many Americans, enjoys his freedom and his family."

I'm not sure how much "family" such a jihadist "enjoys," but however much it's a courtesy of the U.S. government most merciful -- at least toward Shiite terrorists with American blood on their hands. In September, more than 100 more Iraqi Shiites belonging to al-Ghazali's group were released. Also released this year was Mahmud Farhadi, whom Bill Roggio of the Long War Journal describes as a key Iranian leader in the Ramazan Corps, which, Roggio writes, "is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. soldiers in Iraq."

I don't mean to equate Iraqi and Iranian terrorists with U.S. soldiers. But I do mean to question a government that frees its enemies in a sham of "reconciliation" and leaves its soldiers to rot in a sham of "justice."

And I challenge readers to do the same.


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).