Trading with the Taliban – as fellow Muslims? 2

On Saturday May 31, Obama triumphantly announced that he had procured the release by the Taliban of a captured American soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, “the only known American prisoner of war in Afghanistan”.

When terrorists hold hostages, the worst thing a government can do is bargain with them. If a ransom of any sort – money or release of prisoners – is paid to hostage holders, an industry begins. If the US government starts giving terrorists what they want in exchange for one American life, more Americans will be taken hostage. Can a government give ransom for one hostage and refuse to give it for others? On what grounds would such discrimination be made? One immorality will be compounded by another, either by the government’s continuing to bargain or refusing to continue to bargain.

It was and should be a firm policy not to deal with terrorists. Obama broke that rule when he started negotiating with the Taliban years ago. Negotiating with terrorist organizations legitimizes them.

Not only has Obama let the Taliban win the war in Afghanistan, but he has also made himself their creature. All the  American lives lost in that ghastly country have been spent for Obama to preen himself as a hero for “ending” the war – ie surrendering – and for getting back one hostage in exchange for five Taliban leaders* freed from Guantano military prison. They should have been shot long ago. Keeping them alive was always a bait for their terrorist comrades to capture Americans and hold them as bargaining chips.

Obama broke the law again when  he traded five jihadis held in Guantanamo for Sergeant Bergdahl. Federal law requires Congress to be notified before prisoners are transferred. (He breaks the law so often it is becoming habitual. How weak is the Republican House of Representatives that they let him get away with it over and over again?)

And of course, the five released Afghan prisoners will rejoin the Taliban.

What Obama has done, on all these counts, is bad. Very bad.

But the story gets even worse.

It looks highly probable that Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was not being held as a hostage. He may well have been a deserter and collaborator. He may have been released because he converted to Islam – and gave positive help to the terrorists.

From the Washington Post:

Bergdahl, 28, is believed to have slipped away from his platoon’s small outpost in Af­ghanistan’s Paktika province on June 30, 2009, after growing disillusioned with the US military’s war effort. He was captured shortly afterward by enemy ­forces and held captive in Pakistan by insurgents affiliated with the Taliban. At the time, an entire US military division and thousands of Afghan soldiers and police officers devoted weeks to searching for him, and some soldiers resented risking their lives for someone they considered a deserter.

Bergdahl was recovered Saturday by a US Special Operations team in Afghanistan after weeks of intense negotiations in which U.S. officials, working through the government of Qatar, negotiated a prisoner swap with the Taliban. In exchange for his release, the United States agreed to free five Taliban commanders from the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Disappearing from a military post in a war zone without authorization commonly results in one of two criminal charges in the Army: desertion or going absent without leave … Desertion is the more serious one, and usually arises in cases where an individual intends to remain away from the military or to “shirk important duty,” including a combat deployment such as Bergdahl’s.

One Afghan special operations commander in eastern Afghanistan remembers being dispatched.

“Along with the American Special Forces, we set up checkpoints everywhere. For 14 days we were outside of our base trying to find him,” he told The Washington Post …

But U.S. troops said they were aware of the circumstances of Bergdahl’s disappearance — that he left the base of his own volition — and with that awareness, many grew angry.

“The unit completely changed its operational posture because of something that was selfish, not because a soldier was captured in combat,” said one U.S. soldier formerly based in eastern Afghanistan … “The problem came of his own accord.”

The search in Paktika was eventually called off, after US officials acknowledged that Bergdahl had been taken to Pakistan.

The “deaths and woundings of several US soldiers” happened in the search for Bergdahl. And “the frequency of enemy ambushes and improvised explosive devices increased after he was gone”.

“The Taliban knew that we were looking for him in high numbers and our movements were predictable,” [a soldier who was there commented]. “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.”

Those sentiments were underscored in a long series of tweets that were posted Saturday night and went viral online. … The writer said he was on base at the time and believes that Bergdahl planned his escape for days, leaving between 3 and 4:30 a.m., when there was the least amount of light. The following day, the troops there questioned Afghan children nearby, who said they had seen an American crawling through weeds.

“While searching for him, ambushes and IEDs picked up tremendously,” one of the tweets said. “Enemy knew we would be coming.” …

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, speaking to reporters Sunday in Bagram, Afghanistan, declined to talk about any possible action by the military against Bergdahl. A senior defense official indicated that punitive action was unlikely, no matter what the circumstances were. “Five years is enough,” he said.

Justice is of no interest or concern to the Obama regime, and prosecuting Sergeant Bergdahl for desertion and endangering his fellow American soldiers would spoil the aura of kudos with which Obama has surrounded himself over this “rescue”.

Current and former service members also questioned whether the United States should have released five members of the Taliban in exchange for Bergdahl. Former Sgt. Aaron King, who deployed to Iraq twice as part of the 101st Airborne Division, said that … US troops join the military knowing that they could be kidnapped. He also said that troops accept that although their fellow service members will search for them, they are not to be used in negotiations.

“We’re giving up too much for this individual,” said King … “Five guys are getting back out into the world to probably conduct terror operations and harm others.”

And we have no idea what Obama did to get this evil bargain agreed and implemented. We are told that “Qatar” was the go-between. Who in Qatar? Why? What did the negotiator say, and to whom? Was much made of Bowe Bergdahl’s conversion to Islam?

Has his father, Bob Bergdahl, converted to Islam? If so, was it a cause or effect of his son’s conversion and betrayal? And was it a help in getting his release?

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Bob Bergdahl triumphant: if he looks like a Muslim, and talks like a Muslim, and prays like a Muslim ….

Former  Army Lieutenant Col. Allen West caught a tweet by Sergeant Bergdahl’s father, Bob Bergdahl, before it was deleted:

I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, ameen!

Which happened first – Bob Bergdahl becoming a Muslim and learning to speak Pashto, or Bowe Bergdahl joining the Taliban? Who affected whose decisions?

The plain fact is that we are at war with Islam, because Islam is actively at war with us. And out of this dark event, yet again the question arises: On whose side is the president of the United States, Barack Obama?

 

* The five Taliban prisoners released in the illegal, immoral, and dangerous exchange: Mohammed Fazl – head of the Taliban army. He commanded the main force fighting the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance in 2001. Mullah Norullah Noori – governor of Balkh province in the Taliban regime,  helped coordinate the fight against the Northern Alliance. Mohammed Nabi Omari – the Taliban’s chief of communications, helped al Qaeda members escape from Afghanistan to Pakistan. Khairullah Khairkhwa – governor of Herat province from 1999 to 2001, said to have been “directly associated” with Osama bin Laden. Abdul Haq Wasiq – deputy chief of the Taliban regime’s intelligence service. His cousin was head of the service.

*

More pieces of apposite information come from the Daily Mail:

Bowe Bergdahl joined the military so he could help Afghans. He told   his parents he was ‘ashamed to even be American’. He mailed home boxes containing his uniform and books. His father, Bob, has grown a long, thick beard and learned to speak the Afghanistan tribal language Pashto. His parents said their son had joined the military so that he could help the Afghan people.

“The 24-year-old has converted to Islam and now has the Muslim name Abdullah,” according to one of his captors, a Taliban deputy district commander in Paktika, who called himself Haji Nadeem. He said that Bergdahl taught him how to dismantle a mobile phone and turn it into a remote control for a roadside bomb. Nadeem also claimed he received basic ambush training from the US soldier.

Desertion in a time of war can carry the death penalty. But as Congress never passed a declaration of war in respect to Afghanistan, the maximum penalty Bergdahl would face is five years in prison and a dishonorable discharge, if it’s proved that he deserted with the intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service. If a charge of absence without leave –  ended by the US apprehending him – is brought against him, there would be no requirement of proof that he intended to remain away permanently. The maximum punishment for that would be a dishonorable discharge and 18 months’ confinement.

*

And yet more fascinating information and speculation on The Bergdahl Mysteries come from Michael Ledeen at PJ Media:

I will confess to a dark suspicion that when Robert Bergdahl, standing next to President Obama, said in Pashto to Bowe Bergdahl, “I am your father,” it was some sort of coded message.  I mean, what in the world was that all about?  Does any father have to say such a thing to a son?  Did he think Bowe didn’t know who his father was?

But then I started to ask questions of people who had followed the Bergdahl saga, and they calmed me down a bit.  The elder Bergdahl seems a bit odd.  Look at the pictures.  “A hippy,” one of my best sources said.  A guy who’d gone to Idaho to pursue a lifestyle reminiscent of the romantic sixties:  love, peace, and the expansion of the mind.  …  And it connects well with the story of Bowe, leaving his base in an “intoxicated state,” which, if true, can’t mean alcohol, which is forbidden in such places.  It might mean pot, or hashish, however.  Berkeley, California, on the plains of Afghanistan. …

Forget about the Taliban, they weren’t holding BoweHe was a captive of the Haqqanis  What did the Haqqanis get for Bergdahl?  … Four of the Guantanamo terrorists were indeed Taliban, and hence low priority for the Haqqanis.  …

So we need to ask how much money the Haqqanis got, or how many weapons …  something of value had to be given to the Haqqanis.  I don’t believe they turned over Bowe as a favor to the Taliban.

It is also possible that the Iranians were involved …. They have trained both the Haqqanis and the Taliban, and they are eager to extend their control over Afghanistan as we retreat. … One of the released Taliban was in cahoots with them, planning anti-American operations as we prepared to invade in 2001. …

As we sort out the real facts from the abundant background noise, we will discover several disconcerting things: first, that control over the efforts to recover Bowe often shifted between US government agencies. Second, that it is misleading to say that the negotiations were underway for five years; the final push came in the last six weeks, when the Qataris told the U.S. that a deal was now possible. Third, that the list of Guantanamo terrorists to be “paid” shifted continuously.  And fourth, who were the key intermediaries?  I suspect we will find some relatively unknown academics involved in the talks.  It wasn’t entirely the work of Qatari diplomats and U.S. officials by any means.

Finally …  why the sudden urgency at the end, when talks had often collapsed in the past? … We’re missing a key element, something separate from the Bergdahl saga.

For once, I think we have a good chance to find out.  There are lots of angry people out there, from military guys who despise Bowe and think he’s worthless, to members of the various agencies who fought one another to get control and glory and will now tell very different versions of what actually took place.

The people I wouldn’t trust on this one – aside from top decision makers who likely have a lot to hide – are the Bergdahls.  They’re very odd people, to put it mildly.