Taliban Leader: Bergdahl Deal Encourages Capture of US Soldiers

Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 11:38 AM

By Joe Battaglia

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President Obama's deal to exchange five Taliban commanders from Guantanamo Bay for the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has made capturing American soldiers a more alluring goal, according to one Taliban commander.

In an anonymous telephone interview with Time,  a Taliban commander who has supplied the magazine with reliable information in the past, said, "It’s better to kidnap one person like Bergdahl than kidnapping hundreds of useless people. It has encouraged our people. Now everybody will work hard to capture such an important bird."

Since the May 31 exchange, lawmakers have been outspoken in their criticism of the deal, citing the very sentiment expressed by the Taliban commander as why this precedent is so potentially dangerous to national security.

"What does this tell terrorists?" Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said on ABC’s "This Week."  "That if you capture a U.S. soldier, you can trade that soldier for five terrorist prisoners?"

Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss told Fox News's Megyn Kelly on Tuesday that this is a "bad deal" for America.

"It's totally irrational to me as to what the president could have been thinking when he made the decision to release these five individuals," Chambliss said. "And albeit, you know, you're a parent, I'm a parent, I'm happy this young man [Bergdahl] is going to be reunited with his parents in Idaho, but this was a bad deal, and it's a deal that, unfortunately, impacts the national security interests of every single American, and it's truly a bad idea."

Al-Qaida expert Thomas Joscelyn told Breitbart News,  "These are guys who will definitely rejoin their comrades ... I don't think there's any doubt that they will resume their operational leadership roles."

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