Mona Charen

Speaking to graduates at West Point (New York), President Barack Obama tooted on his toy horn, "al-Qaida's leadership on the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been decimated." Even that slender boast -- just on the border regions? -- is now vitiated. The five Taliban terrorists released from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will step nimbly into any vacant posts.

Khairullah Khairkhwa, one of the founders of the Taliban, served as governor of Herat province when the Taliban controlled Afghanistan. He is known for ethnic massacres, narcotics trafficking, close ties to Osama bin Laden, and supervising terrorist training camps within Herat.

Khairkhwa is a "moderate" compared with Mohammad Fazl, who is a "known war criminal" according to the Institute for the Study of War. Mullah Omar's "top soldier," Fazl displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians, destroyed homes and businesses, and personally planned and carried out the executions of at least 175 civilians.

Noorullah Noori had close ties to bin Laden and served as a messenger between Mullah Omar and the al-Qaida chief. The Taliban carried out several massacres in areas under his supervision, and he is wanted by the United Nations for war crimes.

Abdul Haq Wasiq was the deputy chief of the Taliban secret police. They're always such nice fellows.

Mohammad Nabi fought with an al-Qaida cell and served in lesser posts in the Taliban government (room for professional development). He may have been included on the list because he's related to Bergdahl's captors.

Perhaps these releases are just the down payment on Obama's plan to free all of the detainees at Guantanamo. As he explained to the cadets, "And that's why I will continue to push to close Gitmo -- because American values and legal traditions do not permit the indefinite detention of people beyond our borders." But that's not what the administration is claiming. They are touting the prisoner exchange as a proud example of the military ethic of "leave no man or woman behind," as the president expressed it.

When this administration requires an official to tell lies in service of a better story, they offer Susan Rice. In this case, she deadpanned, "Sgt. Bergdahl wasn't simply a hostage; he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield."


Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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