Today, National Security Advisor Susan Rice did the impossible…made herself look as, if not more incompetent than did she during the September 16th Sunday talk show appearances where she blamed a YouTube video for the Benghazi terrorist attacks.
Today, while appearing on CNN, Candy Crowley pushed Rice on whether the Obama administration had negotiated with terrorists to obtain the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only POW remaining from the conflict with Afghanistan.
During the interview, Rice said.
We actually negotiated with the government of Qatar, to whom we owe a great debt”
In order to obtain Bergdahl’s release, the Obama administration traded five high valued terrorists held at Guantanamo, and the backlash for the trade has been fast and furious.
Many in the Republican Party and the military community are concerned the message negotiating with terrorists sends to, well, the terrorists.
Will Americans be more or less safe because of this trade? Will Americans be more or less likely to be kidnapped if America is seen as willing to negotiate for a hostage’s return with terrorist organizations regardless of who acts as the ‘middleman’?
Who are the five terrorists traded for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl? According to NBC news, they are:
Mohammad Fazl: Transferred to Guantanamo in 2002, he was the Taliban deputy minister of defense and served as the Taliban Army chief. According to Human Rights Watch, he could be prosecuted for possible war crimes, including mass killings.
Mullah Norullah Noori: A senior commander, he was the Taliban governor of Balkh and Laghman provinces. He was a high-ranking Taliban official in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif when the Taliban fought U.S. forces in late 2001. He was transferred to Guantanamo in 2002.
Mohammed Nabi: A senior Taliban official, he had ties to the Haqqani network and served as chief of security for the Taliban in Qalat, Afghanistan. He has been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002.
Khairullah Khairkhwa: He had direct ties to Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden and served as a Taliban official in various roles, including as governor of Herat province and military commander. He was transferred to Guantanamo in 2002.
Abdul Haq Wasiq: He served as the Taliban’s deputy intelligence chief and was transferred to Guantanamo in 2002. He was also in direct communication with Mullah Omar.
As is typical with the Obama administration, politics and emotions trump national security and the Constitution.
With falling poll numbers and a foreign policy in shambles, President Obama disregards the legal requirement to notify congress 30 days prior to making such a trade and compromises national security for a short-term bump in his popularity.
While I am happy for the Bergdahl family, and the release of their son after five year’s of captivity, the questions being raised are ones that must be addressed and result from electing the most inexperienced man ever to hold the office of POTUS.