The Obama administration announced over the weekend that our military had recovered the last remaining POW from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who was being held by Taliban militants in Pakistan. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had been missing since June 2009 after wandering off from his platoon stationed in Afghanistan. But the nature of Bergdahl’s capture has many Americans upset, because multiple reasons suggest that Bergdahl deserted his post purposefully, which would be an act of treason.
In addition to the questionable nature of Bergdahl’s capture, the administration traded his freedom for the release of five detainees held in Guantanamo Bay. These five detainees are considered the most dangerous of detainees, all having senior positions or affiliations with the Taliban. They were sent to Qatar where they are banned from traveling for one year. Such an exchange – one American soldier for five of the most dangerous prisoners on Earth – calls into question many of the priorities of this administration. Many military service members say this makes those serving more vulnerable and at risk on the battlefield because it signals that there is a price for Americans who are captured.
Other alarming details surrounding the exchange of Sgt. Bergdahl for five Taliban Gitmo detainees include the fact that the administration insists that it did not negotiate with terrorists, instead using the Qatarian government to circumvent technicalities. Also, the Obama administration broke the law by failing to inform Congress 30 days before the transfer of Gitmo detainees took place. The administration claimed it had to act for the sake of Bergdahl’s quickly declining health, though many have questioned this assessment. Nonetheless, President Obama broke the law. He also brokered a bad deal by releasing these five Taliban militants in exchange for Sgt. Bergdahl, regardless of his reasons for deserting his platoon.
Trading With the Taliban
Here are the Taliban Terrorists Obama Released to Free POW Bowe Bergdahl
Fellow soldiers call Bowe Bergdahl a deserter, not a hero
Guantanamo Bay detention camp (Wikipedia)
Guantánamo by the Numbers (ACLU)
Obama Executive Order: Closure Of Guantanamo Detention Facilities
What Excuse Remains for Obama’s Failure to Close GITMO? (Glenn Greewald)