Obama ignored advice of military & CIA against Bergdahl prisoner swap

The Obama administration’s release of five senior Taliban terrorists from Guantanoma Bay in exchange for the Taliban’s freeing of U.S. Army deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl not only is in violation of a federal law (Sec. 1035 of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act), the prisoner swap also went against explicit advice of senior U.S. military and intelligence leaders.

Bergdahl prisoner swap

FOX News reports, June 6, 2014:

Senior military officials had advised President Obama not to make the Taliban-for-Bergdahl trade, a senior Defense official told Fox News, likening it to “handing over five four-star generals of the Taliban.”

The claim adds to the picture that is emerging about the tense internal debate over whether to proceed with freeing five hardened Taliban leaders from Guantanamo in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release.

Sources told Fox News earlier this week that the Obama administration largely bypassed the intelligence community to green-light the swap, after such an exchange was first floated several years ago.

The Defense official, in explaining internal military opposition to the exchange, said many in the military considered Bergdahl to be a traitor — a reference to allegations that he deliberately abandoned his post in 2009.

Yet on the other end of the trade were five high-value, sought-after Taliban leaders. The U.S. government’s own records show some of them had ties to top terror figures including Mullah Omar and Usama bin Laden. […]

According to secret documents prepared on the basis of a purported eyewitness account and obtained by Fox News, Bergdahl at one point during his captivity converted to Islam, fraternized openly with his captors and declared himself a “mujahid,” or warrior for Islam. […]

The reports indicate that Bergdahl’s relations with his Haqqani captors morphed over time, from periods of hostility, where he was treated very much like a hostage, to periods where, as one source told Fox News, “he became much more of an accepted fellow” than is popularly understood. He even reportedly was allowed to carry a gun at times. […]

Amid concerns that the Bergdahl trade has created huge security risks, President Obama said earlier this week that the U.S. would be “keeping eyes” on the Taliban members while they spend the next year in Qatar.  At the same time, he acknowledged there’s “absolutely” a risk that the former Guantanamo inmates will try to return to the battlefield. 

Some of them reportedly already have made that vow. NBC reported Friday that Noorullah Noori, one of the freed prisoners, pledged to return and fight Americans in Afghanistan, according to a Taliban commander. 

Worse still, the Obama administration may have paid a ransom for the release of Bergdahl.

Fox News reports that the U.S. paying a cash ransom for Bergdahl was under discussion as recently as December of last year. But according to the Washington Free Beacon, a senior US intelligence official with extensive experience dealing with Bergdahl’s captors, the Haqqanis, believes that cash changed hands as part of the deal.

He said, “The Haqqanis could give a rat’s ass about prisoners. The people that are holding Bergdahl want[ed] cash and someone paid it to them.” A number of news reports on the prisoner exchange mistakenly have used “Haqqani” and “Taliban” interchangeably. The Obama administration might not have paid ransom to the Taliban, but most likely had paid cash to the Haqqanis. The intelligence official explains: Haqqani “benefits zero from the prisoner exchange. … Based on 10 years of working with those guys, the only thing that would make them move Bergdahl is money. We just funded them for the next 10 years is my guess.”

H/t Gateway Pundit and Townhall.

~StMA

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8 responses to “Obama ignored advice of military & CIA against Bergdahl prisoner swap

  1. Reblogged this on Fellowship of the Minds and commented:
    In view of this, the White House’s “accidental” outing of the top CIA officer in Afghanistan 5 days before the Bergdahl prisoner-swap becomes ever more suspicious.

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  2. There is no evidence so far that Bergdahl was/is a jihadist. There is a distinction to remember between a deserter and a defector. People desert for many different reasons. Note that Bergdahl did not take his weapon, night-vision goggles or other military equipment when he left. A defector would have; these items would be valuable to the Taliban/Al Qaeda. He talked to his fellow troops about walking to China or India, neither of which is hospitable to Muslim jihadists. people in his home town say that he used to take long walks in the mountains around his Idaho home, sometimes staying out for days. He sounds to me like a mentally disturbed person who was trying to get away from the restrictions of Army life. I have known people like that who walk away under mental stress, even from Stateside bases in peacetime. Lets at least give him a trial before we shoot him.

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    • “Lets at least give him a trial before we shoot him.”

      Agree!

      Reuters reports, June 3, 2014: “The Army has no immediate plans to punish Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for leaving his post in Afghanistan, Secretary of the Army John McHugh said in a statement on Tuesday, putting Bergdahl’s medical and psychological needs first. … Already, the 28-year-old soldier has been called a traitor by members of his platoon in the pages of the New York Daily News and on CNN. Members of his unit have blamed him in the New York Times for the deaths of other troopers sent out to rescue him, although the newspaper heavily discounts those claims. James Rosen has even published on FoxNews.com a piece sourced anonymously to the Defense Department speculating that Bergdahl was an “active collaborator with the enemy.”

      So instead of facing an Army court-martial for allegedly deserting his post on June 30, 2009, Bergdahl finds himself facing a brisk public court-martial in the press. This trial-by-sourcing will only accelerate as the press explores military records and interviews Bergdahl’s troop-mates looking for the evidence.”

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  3. Pingback: Obama ignored advice of military & CIA against Bergdahl prisoner swap

  4. Thank you StMA for this important post. The main point here is that the king of our nation failed to listen to intelligence and military advisors, releasing Bergdahl in spite of the jeopardy this situation brings to our country; the point of this post is not whether or not Bergdahl is a traitor. In any event, the swap of the elitist terrorists was made in spite of logic, reason, good judgment and prudence.

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  5. Reblogged this on Centinel2012 and commented:
    Almost anyone that served knows how aggrieves this trade was! It was an insult to all of us that served honorably!

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  6. Pingback: U.S. Marine’s stunning sign reminds us of the costs of Obama’s Bergdahl swap | Fellowship of the Minds

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