Last week I wrote that President Barack Obama is entertaining the idea of releasing several high-value Taliban prisoners currently held at Guantanamo Bay as a way to negotiate peace with the terrorist group. The idea is foolish for a variety of reasons, the most important being that these men will almost certainly return to the purpose of their lives: waging war against America.
For proof, consider this recent article from Marc Thiessen, a former Bush speechwriter and now a columnist for the Washington Post. In it, Thiessen explains that two of the detainees are wanted by the UN for war crimes, another has experience facilitating terrorist networking events like joint trainings with al-Qaida, and a fourth is believed to have played a part in the deaths of two Americans. The last member of Thiessen’s terrorist round-up worked directly for Usama bin Ladin, and attended meetings with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
As Thiessen points out, this isn’t the first time a president has considered releasing a Taliban fighter with disastrous consequences:
In 2007, the Bush administration released a Taliban leader named Mullah Zakir to Afghan custody. Unlike these five, he was assessed by our military as only “medium risk” of returning to the fight. They were wrong. Today, Zakir is leading Taliban forces fighting U.S. Marines in Helmand province, and according to former intelligence officials I spoke with, he has provided the Taliban with an exponential increase in combat prowess.
We’ve been down this road before. If Obama does in fact release any of these terrorists from Gitmo, Americans will rightly place the blame for any deaths caused by them on his doorstep.