Freed Taliban Commander Tells Relative He’ll Fight Americans Again
By Mushtaq Yusufzai
Peshawar, Pakistan – One of the five Taliban leaders freed from Guantanamo Bay in return for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release has pledged to return to fight Americans in Afghanistan, according to a fellow militant and a relative.
“After arriving in Qatar, Noorullah Noori kept insisting he would go to Afghanistan and fight American forces there,” a Taliban commander told NBC News via telephone from Afghanistan.
Noori pushed to return to Afghanistan after learning that the U.S. had provided written assurances that no country would arrest any of the five freed for a year as long as they lived peacefully, one of his relatives told NBC News by telephone from Afghanistan.
Under the terms of the deal, the former commanders would remain under the control of the government of Qatar for one year and be subject to “restrictions on their movement and activities,” a senior U.S. official has told NBC News –- including a one-year travel ban. A diplomatic source later told NBC News that their movements within the Arab emirate are not restricted.
More at the link. The much better looking Dana, writing on Patterico’s Pontifications, pointed out:
while President Obama and his national security Cabinet may have publicly expressed confidence in the agreement with Qatar and their charge to monitor the five, not everyone is on board. Some U.S. military and intelligence officials are questioning the wisdom of the decision.
U.S. officials have had long-standing concerns that Qatar has often turned a blind eye to terrorist financing inside its borders and failed to keep track of a former Guantanamo inmate who was transferred to the emirate at the end of the Bush administration. “We know that many wealthy individuals in Qatar are raising money for jihadists in Syria every day,” a senior U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast. “We also know that we have sent detainees to them before, and their security services have magically lost track of them.”
In other words, Qatar is simply not reliable.
In 2008, when the Bush administration transferred Jaralla al-Marri, a Qatari citizen who spent six years in U.S. captivity, from Guantanamo to Qatar, Doha provided similar assurances to the ones it has provided about the Gitmo 5.
But less than six months after the July 2008 transfer, al-Marri traveled to the United Kingdom ostensibly to go on a speaking tour with other former Guantanamo detainees. In a February 26, 2009, cable from the U.S. Embassy in Doha, the State Department complained that Qatar was not living up to its promises.
“Al-Marri was returned to Qatar from Guantanamo Bay in July 2008, with the explicit understanding (made via exchange of diplomatic notes) that he would be subject to a travel ban, and that the GOQ would notify the USG if al-Marri sought to travel,” said the cable, first disclosed by WikiLeaks. “Reftel gave post’s assessment, now clearly wrong, that the GOQ would honor these assurances.” GOQ refers to Government of Qatar.
Simply put, we fouled up previously on the release of men who ought to have been considered prisoners of war, while the war was still being fought, and, surprise, surprise, some of them went right back to the fight!
ALa of Blonde Sagacity asked what the reaction would be if the released American soldier had been someone other than Bowe Bergdahl, a soldier captured on the battlefield, doing his duty, rather than one who apparently deserted. The White House seems to think that’s an important question as Deanna Fisher of the Victory Girls noted in documenting the Administration’s attempts to suggest that the other soldiers of SGT Bergdahl’s unit were psychopaths, and that he had to leave out of desperation. And Donald Douglas caught the attempt by Think Progress to say that it was the Army’s fault that then-PFC Bergdahl deserted.
But The First Street Journal appreciates the Think Progress article: when even the left are giving us explanations as to why then-PFC Bergdahl deserted, they undermine the Administration’s continuing attempts to paint his service as good and honorable.
Sister Toldjah wrote about Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and the possibility that he will run for both re-election to the Senate and the presidency in 2016. State law prohibits the same person from being on the ballot for two (or more) offices at the same time, but Senator Paul believes tha law could be challenged in court. Well, yes it could, but while the Bluegrass State is pretty reliably Republican in presidential races, the Democrats are very competitive in other races. Right now, the state House of Representatives is controlled by Democrats, and the Governor is a Democrat. Kentucky Democrats aren’t the wild-eyed leftists that people on the coasts picture when thinking of Democrats, but are mostly moderates, and if Senator Paul tries this, there’s a decent possibility that he’d be defeated for re-election to the Senate.
On The Pirate’s Cove, William Teach noted> a story from The Wall Street Journal, which tells us that, shockingly enough, the whistleblowers in the Veterans’ Administration appear to be facing retaliation.
Karen, the Lonely Conservative, pointed out a story that she hopes doesn’t give President Obama any ideas: Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner has created a new post: secretary for strategic co-ordination of national thought:
Ricardo Forster, who was named to the post, said the idea was to “build networks among academics and intellectuals who are thinking about joint projects in Latin America”. He said it had nothing to do with trying to inculcate “uniformity of thought”.
Yeah, uh huh, right.
L D Jackson of Political Realities is getting burned out.
At the Colossus of Rhodey, Hube is (once again) disgusted with our President. Hube noted the President’s words, in defending his decision to trade five top Taliban commanders for SGT Bowe Bergdahl:
You have a couple of partners whose kid volunteered to fight in a distant land… As commander in chief of the United States armed forces, I am responsible for those kids.
Hube points out how the President sure didn’t take that responsibility seriously during the Benghazi attacks, but I look at it a bit differently: in making that trade, the President has just released five very dangerous Islamist terrorists who will almost certainly return to shoot at other American soldiers. Where is his responsibility to those other soldiers?
Robert Stacey Stacy McCain lets us know about Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof , who was recently bamboozled by his own left-wing zeal:
Now Margaret Sullivan, the public editor of The New York Times, is calling on Kristof to “give readers a full explanation” of his reporting on Somaly Mam, the celebrated Cambodian anti-sex-trafficking activist who, according to a recent Newsweek expose, fabricated parts of her story and those of some of the alleged victims she advocated for. The revelations have disillusioned many of Mam’s loyal supporters and left the press looking gullible. Just as importantly, they’ve highlighted the public’s seemingly insatiable desire for heroic narratives — and the willingness of many in the media to provide them.
What, a “reporter” falls in love with a story, and never bothers to verify its accuracy before having it printed in the national newspaper of record? I can’t begin to tell you how shocked I am.
Jeff Goldstein thinks that President Obama’s deal to trade five high-risk terrorists for SGT Bergdahl was really part of his plan to close the Guantanamo prison entirely, saying “Having released the worst terrorists, there’s hardly a reason to keep the lesser terrorists.” Of course, since the President plans to withdraw all of our fighting forces from Afghanistan by the end of the year, and the released Taliban will be staying in Qatar well into next year, they won’t get back to the fighting until we’ve already left, right?
And last, but not least, John Hitchcock writes about the Long Road Home on Truth Before Dishonor.
Well, I have to lawn the mow and other home maintenance type things today, before I get to the weekend Rule 5 post! Se you later!