Five Reasons Leading to Despair over the Prisoner Release Deal with The Taliban
–Richard E. Vatz
1. The deal to secure the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl by releasing 5, in Sen. John McCain’s words, “hardest of the hard core” Taliban prisoners in Guantanamo Bay provides a template for the Taliban and other terrorist groups to kidnap other Americans and go through the ritual time and again. Simply put, the deal, as described by The Wall Street Journal, “puts a price on the head of U.S. military personnel.”
2. The deal to secure the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (who had on June 30, 2009 inexplicably left his base) and the violation of his regulations have not been publicly explained by the military or the Administration.
3. The Taliban prisoners let go include, according to The Wall Street Journal, ” the most senior Taliban Commanders remaining in U.S. custody, ” terrorists approved by the Obama Administration for indefinite detention. This includes those who were in close association with Osama bin Laden and Mullah Mohammed Omar and those who have effected the murders of thousands of Shiite Muslims.
From The Washington Post:
“The last time a senior Taliban official was released from Guantanamo Bay, in 2007, the detainee, Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir, returned to Afghanistan and became director of military operations.”
4. 149 prisoners remain in Guantanamo Bay prison, which incarceration has mightily offended President Barack Obama’s sensibilities. With about 120 or so of those still imprisoned approved for transfer to other countries, the president could with more catastrophic deals such as the current one argue that there is no need for Guantanamo since there is no one to secure there.
5. The deal violates U.S. pledges against negotiating with terrorists and violates legal requirements that Congress be informed 30 days before such release of Guantanamo prisoner releases.
Americans do understand that Sgt. Bergdahl is very relieved and would never walk off his base again.
Professor Vatz teaches political rhetoric at Towson University