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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Release the Taliban!

The administration released five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO) in exchange for a soldier who was captured five years ago.  The five beards reportedly have been in GTMO for twelve years.  Qatar has agreed to keep them for a year, probably in a work release program as interns for Al Jazeera.  The Taliban appears pretty jacked about it: http://www.nbcnews.com/#/storyline/bowe-bergdahl-released/taliban-celebrates-release-top-commanders-bowe-bergdahl-swap-n120561

The Mighty Whig himself spent a month in GTMO in 1987.  It almost makes one sympathetic.

The Obama team is treating this like a big win for us.  After all, closing down the GTMO detention facility has been one of the first things on Obama's "to do" list since 2008.  But they must have realized the optic is bad: We release five hardcore terrorists in exchange for a Sgt who, at least some believe, deserted.  Who could possibly find fault in that?

Admittedly, the circumstances of his capture seemed odd.  He might have deserted, and then had second thoughts about it.  It happens.  American soldiers have even deserted to North Korea.  Seemed like a good idea at the time.  http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/09/the-defector/309436/  But a lot of folks have been working for his release, and his parents obviously have suffered.  I'm glad he's rejoined them.

(We just haven't heard that much about desertions in the Iraq and Afghanistan war.  I wonder how many troops have gone "over the hill" and have never come back?)

Nearly 150 prisoners are still in GTMO.  One thing for sure: they will all be released eventually, and probably some of them will go back to their terrorist ways.   But we'll be out of Afghanistan by then. 

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