McCain: 'Mullah Omar Just Got His Cabinet Back'

Sunday, 08 Jun 2014 10:54 AM

By Greg Richter

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A week ago, Taliban leader Mullah Omar proclaimed the handover of five Taliban leaders for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl a "big victory," and Sen. John McCain said Sunday that Omar has reason to be happy.

"Mullah Omar just got his cabinet back," McCain told CNN's "State of the Union."

"What we're doing here is reconstitution of the Taliban government," McCain said. "These are the people who used to take women into the soccer stadium in Kabul and hang them from the goalpost."

Urgent: Approve of Obama’s Taliban Swap? Vote Here

Secretary of State John Kerry said earlier in the program that it is "baloney" to think the five former detainees will return to the field of battle. And even if they do, he said, they United States would kill them.

McCain noted that 30 percent of those who have been released from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay already have returned to the fight, "and we certainly haven't been able to kill all of them."

McCain was critical of President Barack Obama's decision to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, then allow five top Taliban leaders back in.

They are required to stay in Qatar for only one year after their release, and McCain said that could cause a "replay of Iraq" where al-Qaida is now in resurgence.

Responding to a question from host Candy Crowley that indicated all the prisoners at Guantanamo will eventually be released, McCain said that even if the military prison is closed, the detainees, many of them "hard-core jihadists," will be moved to prisons in the United States and not set free.

"If you think that we were going to just release everybody like Khalid [9/11 mastermind] Sheikh Mohammed and others, I'm afraid that you've been misinformed," he said.

Urgent: Approve of Obama’s Taliban Swap? Vote Here

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