While critics bash Obama for negotiating with the Taliban, Americans are celebrating Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s return from captivity. No one feels good about freeing prisoners from Guantanamo, but we don’t know the details about the conditions and how Qatar will manage the outcome. Negotiating with terrorists is not without precedence. For instance, Israel traded over 1,000 captives for their kidnapped soldier, Gilad Shalit. It isn’t standard practice or policy, but sometimes it makes sense.
Bowe Bergdahl is the only American captured in the Afghanistan conflict. As the war draws to a close for Americans, the timing is right to get the American home.
“Obama: While freed soldier was gone, 'he was never forgotten'
By Kevin Cirilli - 05/31/14 06:45 PM EDT
President Obama said Qatar officials will protect America's national security interests while holding five Taliban prisoners from Guantanmo Bay in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release.
"The Qatari government has given us assurances it will put in place measures to protect our national security," Obama said in a brief address Saturday in the Rose Garden, alongside Bergdahl's parents.
“The Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange (Hebrew: עסקת שליט; Arabic: صفقة شاليط) followed an agreement between Israel and Hamas to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,027 prisoners – mainly Palestinians and Arab-Israelis, though among the prisoners released there was also a Ukrainian prisoner, a Jordanian prisoner, and a Syrian prisoner. Two hundred and eighty of these were sentenced to life in prison for planning and perpetrating various terror attacks against Israeli targets. Hamas military leaderAhmed Jabari was quoted in the Saudi Arabian newspaper Al-Hayat as confirming that the prisoners released as part of the deal were collectively responsible for the killing of 569 Israelis. The agreement came five years and four months after Palestinian militants captured Shalit in southern Israel along the Gaza border.”