Warner Todd Huston has already posted about the bizarre prisoner exchange of Bowe Bergdahl, but there are so many strange circumstances surrounding this story that I think another post is justified.
First, there is a preponderance of evidence suggesting that Bergdahl was not captured, but was instead a misfit who deliberately walked away from his unit and into Taliban custody. Far from being “held hostage,” Bergdahl was known to be roaming freely within villages and among convoys operated by the Haqqani terror network. However, the Haqqani operatives did not trust him and eventually began to consider him a liability. That was what prompted their willingness to negotiate for his “release.”
Second, it seems pretty clear that Bergdahl’s rather, Robert Bergdahl, has gone to extreme ends to identify with his son’s “captors.” It appears that he has adopted the dress, personal appearance, and language of the Taliban Muslims. His Twitter account was loaded with messages about freeing the prisoners held at Guantanamo.
Looking at these facts, it’s not too far-fetched to wonder if Robert Bergdahl caught the attention of Obama Administration officials who were looking for a face-saving way to start getting rid of the prisoners being held at Guantanamo. You will recall that closing Guantanamo was one of Obama’s hottest talking points during the 2008 campaign, and his failure to accomplish this goal, along with the utter failure of his Administration’s plan to try terrorists in civil criminal courts, was one of the outstanding embarrassments of his first term.
Third, there are still over a dozen Americans held by governments around the world on various charges, including espionage. Why did the Obama Administration go to such great lengths to secure Bergdahl’s release, while doing essentially nothing for the other Americans who are truly being held captive in foreign countries? Here’s the latest example – a US Marine being held in a Mexican prison (tortured and abused by guards and other prisoners, naturally) because he made a wrong turn and inadvertently crossed the border, while in possession of legally owned firearms.
And finally, this whole deal stinks. We trade a tactically insignificant US soldier for five extremely high profile Taliban members … why? The Taliban wins – HUGE – and we get literally nothing of significance, except the return home of an oddball, misfit soldier (who will hopefully face desertion charges). Further, why were we negotiating with terrorists in the first place? And why wasn’t Congress notified about the negotiations? Federal law requires 30 days notice be given to Congress before prisoners are transferred out of Guantanamo. The Administration is also required to provide assurances that anyone released will not be able to re-engage in terrorist activities.
My gut tells me that you don’t “negotiate” terms that are so stacked against you unless there is a gun pointed at your temple or a knife in your back. What does the Taliban and its international network of loosely affiliated terrorist/rebel groups (including al Qaeda) know that the Obama Administration is so afraid of others finding out? Call me paranoid if you will, but I would not be surprised in the least if the decision to send five powerful operatives back to the Taliban was in some way related to the decision to let our Benghazi embassy burn and nix the plans to rescue the embassy personnel. There is something going on in the Middle East that the Obama Administration seems trying to protect at any cost.