THE OBAMA Administration is coming under fire for its decision to swap prisoners with the Taliban.
It is well-deserved heat, likely to stoke even hotter,
President Obama this week gave up five top Taliban officials in return for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The move is disturbing on several fronts.
First, the freshly released quintet were tagged as “the hardest of the hard-core.”
They include former ministers in the Taliban government, commanders and one man who had direct ties to the late al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden.
Secondly, the deal was executed in violation of a law that requires Congress to be given 30 days notice before a prisoner is released from Guantanamo, where the five were being held.
Thirdly, the loyalty and patriotism of Sgt. Bergdahl is definitely being called in question. The Pentagon concluded in 2010 that he walked away from his unit. After an initial foray of searching the military curbed any rescue plans.
The administration gave up a great deal in return for someone who many call a deserter. The freed five, meanwhile, will now be able to resume their deadly deeds.
The deal also raises the concern that it may have heightened the risk that other Americans being abducted and sued as bargaining chips.
Congress plans hearings into the matter. Bipartisan grilling is likely.
The U.S. government walks a slippery slope when negotiating with terrorists. While the agreement brought home one U.S. serviceman, it may yield tragedy that could have been otherwise avoided.