U.S. Army soldier, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl who was held captive for five years by the radical Islamic terrorist group, the Taliban in Afghanistan was freed on Saturday, in exchange for five Taliban members who were being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for the past decade, Fox News reported.
Fox News stated that U.S. officials said the deal was reached after a week of intense negotiations that were mediated by the Qatar government, which will take custody of the Taliban detainees and qouted President Obama as saying, “We made an ironclad commitment to bring our prisoners of war home. It's who we are as Americans. Today, at least in this instance, it's a promise we've been able to keep.”
Although Americans and government officials, especially Sgt. Bergdahl parents, welcomed the news, two Republicans have raised questions on the legality of President Obama and his administrations prisoner swap actions that violated U.S. law.
The Associated Press (AP) reported shortly after Bergdahl’s release, Republican U.S. Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon of California and U.S. Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma said that Obama is required by law to notify Congress 30 days before any terrorists are transferred from the U.S. facility. They said Obama also is required to explain how the threat posed by such terrorists has been substantially mitigated, in which Obama has not done.
Meanwhile, the Daily Beast released the names of the five Taliban members and are considered to be the worst of the worst when it comes to Taliban terrorists as all five were top Taliban commanders. A senior U.S. defense official told the Daily Beast on Saturday that the Taliban prisoners who were released were Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Noori, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Khairullah Khairkhwa, and Mohammed Nabi Omari.
The Daily Beast referred to Thomas Joscelyn, a senior editor at the Long War Journal as saying, “All five of the detainees were deemed “high” risks to the US and its allies by Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO). Two of the five, according to files prepared at Guantanamo, have been wanted by the UN for war crimes.”
“One of them served as a key intermediary between the Iranian regime and the Taliban after 9/11. During meetings between these two former foes, the Iranians pledged to assist the Taliban in its war against the US,” said Joscelyn.
Based on declassified and leaked documents, Joscelyn has posted the released Taliban terrorists photos and profiles at the Long War Journal.