Bergdahl, Taliban Prisoner Release Aids Syrian Rebels

By Ben Barrack

As Americans are rightly outraged at the Taliban prisoner swap for deserter Bowe Bergdahl, perhaps it’s time to ask about why such high level Taliban terrorists were released to a place like Qatar. At minimum, it’s a moral victory for Syria’s rebels. These prisoners are not just terrorists; they are terrorist commanders who hold tremendous value on the battlefield. As reported, assurances from Press Secretary Jay Carney that the administration is confident these terrorists will be detained in Qatar ring quite hollow. In fact, it looks like they may already be freed:

It remains to be seen what will happen with these terrorists, who are slated to remain in Qatar for one year but Syria is a hotspot that Qatar is extremely invested in right now. The issue of Taliban fighters serving in the ranks of Syria’s rebels is not new. In fact, their presence is quite prolific. A CNN news report published about one month prior to last year’s chemical attack in Syria was headlined, ‘Pakistan Taliban arrive in Syria, and more are to come’.

If these Taliban leaders are free in Qatar already, it’s not much of a leap to see them as strategic commanders or terror consultants for Syria’s rebels from that location. It may be slightly more of a leap to see them actually shipped to Syria but either way, they would be considered assets to the rebel cause there.

Along with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the Obama administration, Qatar is desperate to see Bashar al-Assad removed from power. As has reported, Turkey’s Erdogan has been putting tremendous pressure on the Obama administration to help make that happen, especially after the Benghazi attack served to dry up an alleged covert weapons trafficking operation run by then CIA Director David Petraeus that was being funded by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and… Qatar.

The chemical attack in Syria last August was intended to serve as the impetus for an attack on Assad but that didn’t happen. According to credible reports, that inaction on the part of Obama further angered Erdogan and the Saudis. Last month, reported on attempts by the Obama administration to strengthen relations with the Saudis by acknowledging Ahmad Jarba as the leader of the Syrian Opposition.

Jarba: Saudi Arabia's guy in Syria.

Jarba: Saudi Arabia’s guy in Syria.

Jarba was welcomed into the White House to meet with Susan Rice; Obama joined the meeting as well. Whether the deal that would later become trading five senior Taliban terrorists for an American deserter was discussed with Jarba or not is rather inconsequential in this context. Their presence in Qatar would definitely be welcomed.

Jarba (L) with Obama (R). Susan Rice is seen seated next to Obama.

Jarba (L) with Obama (R). Susan Rice is seen seated next to Obama.

Heavy American-made weaponry, like anti-tank missiles have recently begun making their way into the hands of Syrian rebels courtesy of the Friends of Syria, a group Obama admitted to forming. Reports have surfaced that Turkey is damming up the Euphrates to prevent water from entering Syria, as reported.

Forces are clearly at work to gear up the Syrian rebels for another major offensive against Assad. It was a major setback for the anti-Assad alliance when the Obama administration blinked after the chemical attack in August last year. As has reported, the evidence implicating the rebels and Turkey as being responsible for that attack is significant and overwhelming.

As such, Turkey is extremely frustrated with the Obama administration. This case was laid out perfectly by Sy Hersh. Releasing five senior Taliban terrorist commanders – at a minimum – eases some of that pressure.

Assets are being put in place. Jarba is heading the opposition; heavy artillery is being sent to the rebels; and Turkey is tampering with Syria’s water supply. Five high level Taliban terrorist commanders are now in the hands of a country that is certainly tempted to give those terrorists assignments in Syria. As has reported, official documents show that Saudi Arabia already does this. Hardened terrorist criminals sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia have been released into Syria.

Saudi Document shows terrorists with death sentences freed to fight in Syria.

Saudi Document shows terrorists with death sentences freed to fight in Syria.

Of course, there is also the issue of how the deal to spring Bergdahl plays domestically in the U.S. Bergdahl’s release has served as its own distraction from both Benghazi and the VA scandals. In fact, it does so in Alinsky-esque fashion. By negotiating the release of an American POW, the administration can craft a narrative that is in direct opposition to the narrative used against it relative to Benghazi about leaving soldiers behind. It also is being used to show that the administration does care for its veterans.

In addition, Obama is now five terrorists closer to closing Gitmo. In exchange, he gets to promote a deserter who appears to be a Taliban sympathizer with a hero’s welcome. In so doing, he’s able to give the country he despises – America – another slap to the face.

As uncle Saul taught Obama, “Use different tactics and actions and use all events of the period for your purpose.”


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