There's a reason the five recently-released Taliban commanders were classified as "high risk" detainees by US military and intelligence officials: They're exceptionally dangerous, evil extremists. I'll once again link to these profiles, which detail their bloodthirsty exploits. Two of the five stand accused by the UN of war crimes for massacring Shiite Muslims. Villagers in Afghanistan are petrified that these monsters will be free to return to their country next year, where they will no doubt continue their reign of terror. President Obama's Director of National Intelligence drew a similar conclusion:
When Clapper was asked to rank likelihood of recidivism for freed Taliban on a scale of 1-to-10, he gave four detainees a 9 out 10.— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) June 6, 2014
You know who else agrees with the recidivism predictions? Noorullah Noori, one of the freed jihadists:
One of the five Taliban leaders freed from Guantanamo Bay in return for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release has pledged to return to fight Americans in Afghanistan, according to a fellow militant and a relative. "After arriving in Qatar, Noorullah Noori kept insisting he would go to Afghanistan and fight American forces there,” a Taliban commander told NBC News via telephone from Afghanistan. Noori pushed to return to Afghanistan after learning that the U.S. had provided written assurances that no country would arrest any of the five freed for a year as long as they lived peacefully, one of his relatives told NBC News by telephone from Afghanistan...Among the Taliban, the commanders’ release was treated as a victory. "We thought we may not see them again as once you land in the hands of Americans, it's difficult to come out alive,” Noori’s relative said. “But it was a miracle that Allah Almighty gave us Bergdahl and we got back our heroes.”
Splendid. Noori, needless to say, is an abject barbarian:
Another leaked JTF-GTMO file described Noori as a "senior Taliban military commander" who was engaged in hostilities "against US and Coalition forces in late 2001." Noori is "wanted by the United Nations (UN) for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiite Muslims." ... In addition to his ties to Mullah Omar and other senior Taliban leaders, Noori was "associated with...senior al Qaeda members and other extremist organizations."
Does vowing to once again take up arms against the US violate the terms of his release? Can we drone the guy now, no questions asked? (I've always been baffled by leftists who insist that Guantanamo Bay is a 'stain on our national conscience' or whatever, but are 100 percent behind summary executions via drone. Actually it's not that perplexing. In their minds, the former policy = Bush, while the latter is associated with Obama. It really is that simple). If you're up for more disappointment, read this Daily Beast story about how confident US officials are about Qatar's reliability as the Taliban Five's hands-off babysitters for the next year. Spoiler: They're not very confident. On the Bergdahl side of this story, the White House is tripling down on the "he wasn't a hostage" farce. Here's Jay Carney, whose departure can't come soon enough:
As I argued in my lengthy analysis this morning, the administration is currently advancing two mutually-exclusive assertions: That Bergdahl wasn't a hostage (see? we didn't negotiate with terrorists), but that they had to bypass the law and Congress because Bergdahl's captors (who were members of Haqqani, a designated terrorist group) were threatening to kill him. Those two explanations simply cannot exist side-by-side. Traditional prisoner swaps do not entail negotiating with a terrorist organization that forces the other side to comply with their every demand, under threat of executing the "prisoner." The Taliban and Haqqani network are terrorists. Period. The Obama administration negotiated with, and made every requested concession to, those terrorists. Period. Any suggestion otherwise is pitiful, insulting spin that relies on legalistic and contradictory parsing. I made that point on Fox News this afternoon. Be sure to catch the bit where Leslie Marshall claims that she didn't say precisely what she just said:
I also see Susan Rice is standing by her preposterous "honor and distinction" line, telling CNN that the act of signing up for the US military is honorable unto itself. While there's obviously some truth behind that sentiment, it's a ridiculous standard in light of Bergdahl's subsequent actions, which define his service (and Rice specifically touted his service as honorable). Shall we await her belated similar applause for the honorable service of, say, Maj. Nidal Hasan and Pfc. Lynndie England? Hey, they both volunteered to serve, too. Now that she's once again at the center of a national controversy over hugely problematic talking points, Rice's staff is in damage control mode. One aide declines to blame racism and sexism per se, before doing exactly that:
“I’m not here to suggest it’s because she’s a woman or a minority or what it is,” the official continues. “But other principals in the national-security team don’t come under this kind of attack.”
Subtle. I'll leave you with a polling data point from The Economist that may complicate the president's facile "we bring our people back no matter what, full stop" bravado:
Allahpundit adds that the split grows to 10/76 when the calculus includes a US soldier who joined the enemy, which is a serious allegation against Bergdahl. What do members of the military make of all this? Six men who served with Bergdahl made their remarkable case on Megyn Kelly's show last night, and 95 percent of active duty, guard and reserve troops believe Bergdahl should face a court martial, according to a non-scientific survey reported by Military.com. I'll leave you with some fresh left-wing flailing -- and I'm not even talking about today's odious New York Times editorial:
Shark: jumped RT @thinkprogress: Did Sergeant Bergdahl desert the Army or did the Army desert him?— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) June 6, 2014
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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