The five Taliban commanders that former President Barack Obama freed in exchange for United States Army deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is now back in action as Islamic terrorists.
Despite warnings that swapping terrorists for Bergdahl would end up in the Taliban leaders waging jihad against American once again, the Obama administration continued its controversial deal to release the “Gitmo 5” from the high-security U.S. military prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – which Obama attempted to completely evacuate by the end of his last term in office, according to One News Now.
Bergdahl was originally freed in 2014 after former President Barack Obama transferred five Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo bay to Qatar in exchange for his release by the militant group. All five Taliban militants were senior figures in the insurgent force and assessed as major threats to U.S. interests during their detention at the military prison.
The terrorists include Mohammad Fazl, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Mullah Norullah Nori, Khairullah Khairkhwa, and Mohammed Nabi Omari. Sen. John McCain of Arizona described the men as the “hardest of the hard core” at the time, criticizing Obama’s decision to release them without consulting Congress.
Others fear the five, all of whom were close to the insurgent group’s founder and hard-line leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, bring with them the same ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam that characterized the group’s five-year rule that ended in 2001 with the U.S.-led invasion.
A Taliban official familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press that talks ended with an agreement to meet again. Key among the Taliban’s requests was recognition of their Qatar office, said the official, who spoke on condition he not be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
In an unexpected development, Pakistan also bowed to a long-standing Afghan Taliban demand that it release its senior leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who had been in jail in Pakistan since 2010. At the time, Baradar was reportedly jailed after bypassing Pakistan to open independent peace talks with Hamid Karzai, who was then Afghanistan’s president.
Baradar’s release followed Khalilzad’s first visit to Pakistan since being appointed Washington’s peace envoy.
Baradar issued an audio message after his release to the Taliban. The Pashto-language message, heard by an Associated Press reporter, seemed to indicate he was preparing for a role in the insurgent movement moving forward.
Hakim Mujahed, a former Taliban member who is now also a member of the Afghan government peace council, said the presence of the five former Guantanamo prisoners in the Taliban’s Qatar office is indicative of the Taliban’s resolve to find a peace deal. He said the stature of the five within the insurgent movement will make a peace deal palatable to the rank and file, many of whom have resisted talks believing a military victory was within their grasp.
Obama truly is the ‘gift that keeps on giving’. Now, nearly two years after the end of his reign and the world is still paying for it.