Questions Swirl Around Prisoner Exchange

question marks photoThere are many questions on the prisoner exchange of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and 5 Gitmo terrorist.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was captured in 2009 in Afghanistan.  At the time of his capture he was a private.  BreitBart reports that Bergdahl was promoted twice in captivity and is scheduled for another promotion in June to staff sergeant. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was held captive by the Taliban and was just released in a prisoner exchange that was arranged by the White House through negotiations with the Taliban.

Brad Knickerbocker at the  Christian Science Monitor reports that Bergdahl’s story is one of recovery, reunion with his family, and military debriefings.  “Those debriefings also will include difficult questions about how and why he happened to be in a position where he fell into the hands of Taliban fighters.”

At this point in the developing narrative, Sgt. Bergdahl seems to have grown disillusioned with the mission, bitter about the Army and especially higher ranking enlisted men and officers, and simply walked off – gone “outside the wire” or protective base limits – and disappeared.

There are questions surrounding the circumstances of Bergdahl’s capture with mixed reactions from the military community.

“Within an hour of the announcement that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was handed over to U.S. special forces by the Taliban Saturday evening, Army Times’ Facebook page lit up with hundreds of comments reacting to the news,” the publication reported. “Most centered on the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl’s capture, which remain something of a mystery. There has been some speculation that he willingly walked away from his unit, raising the question of whether he could be charged with being absent without leave (AWOL) or desertion.”

There are questions of Bergdahl’s conduct and emails reported in the 2012 Rolling Stone article.

 I am ashamed to be an american. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools.

There are questions about six U.S. soldiers killed searching for the captive Sgt. Bergdahl.  The Pentagon said Monday it is reviewing claims that U.S. soldiers were killed in the course of the years-long search for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

There is the question of negotiating with terrorist groups.  A long-held principle is that the United States does not negotiate with terrorists. In USA Today:

But security experts like Bruce Hoffman, director of Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies, said that however common the refrain “we do not negotiate with terrorists” has become, it is “repeated as mantra more than fact.”

“We have long negotiated with terrorists. Virtually every other country in the world has negotiated with terrorists despite pledges never to,” Hoffman said. “We should be tough on terrorists, but not on our fellow countrymen who are their captives, which means having to make a deal with the devil when there is no alternative.”

The troubling aspect of the prisoner exchange is the release of 5 extremely dangerous Taliban leaders. Is negotiating with the Taliban and trading 5 of the worst of the worst Taliban terrorist for 1 captive American right or wrong?   If it leads to more Americans  taken captive to exchange for terrorist prisoners it will have been a bad deal.

Rick Morin at the American Thinker raises the question did the White Homes break the law in releasing Gitmo prisoners without notifying Congress.  Under the law, Congress must be given 30 days notice before any prisoners are released. Also the dangerous signal this exchange is sending to the Taliban and other terrorist groups.

There are more questions than answers.

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