Now that Obama’s lousy negotiation skills are widely known, there’s nothing to keep the Taliban, and other terrorist organizations from targeting more Americans and cashing in.
from the Times:
Asked whether the Taliban would be inspired by the exchange to kidnap others, a commander laughed. “Definitely.”
The commander, who is close to the senior Taliban leadership based in Kandahar, Afghanistan and Quetta, Pakistan, and is close to the negotiations, describes scenes of intense jubilation among the Taliban leadership and their supporters. Candies and sweet pastries are being passed around, he says, speaking to TIME via telephone from the Kandahar area.
Those close to the leadership and the detainees are feasting on “whole goats cooked in rice”—a special meal usually reserved for celebrations. “I cannot explain how our people are happy and excited over this unbelievable achievement.” (He too has been known to TIME for several years). “This is a historic moment for us. Today our enemy for the first time officially recognized our status.”
The news of the detainees’ release, says the commander from Kandahar, spread like a wildfire. “Besides our field commanders and fighters, our leader Mullah Mohammad Omar is so happy and is anxiously waiting to see his heroes,” he says.
There was some disgruntlement among Taliban ranks over the terms, admits the Kandahar commander. Some members wanted a ransom payment for Bergdahl, in addition to the release of the Guantanamo detainees. But the leadership prevailed. “We told them that these five men are more important than millions of dollars to us,” he says. He was more tolerant of complaints from Taliban foot soldiers that pointed out that for all the celebrations surrounding the officials’ release, there was no reward or recognition for the Taliban fighters who captured Bergdahl in 2009. But that’s not likely to get in the way of future attempts to kidnap American soldiers, across all ranks.
Asked whether the Taliban would be inspired by the exchange to kidnap others, he laughed. “Definitely,” he says. “It’s better to kidnap one person like Bergdahl than kidnapping hundreds of useless people. It has encouraged our people. Now everybody will work hard to capture such an important bird.”
In the meantime . . . according to CBS:
President Obama on Thursday said he makes no apologies for negotiating with the Taliban to secure the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, in spite of the political firestorm that has erupted.
Members of Congress in Washington have questioned the motives for and the wisdom of securing Bergdahl’s release in exchange for releasing five high-level Taliban detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay. They’ve complained that Bergdahl, who was a prisoner of war for five years, was only held captive after walking away from his post in 2009.
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