The Taliban swap: Making America less safeEDITORIAL
June 02. 2014 11:21PM
President Obama’s prisoner exchange with the Taliban is both illegal and dangerous. In trading five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay for American Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was a Taliban prisoner for five years, Obama weakened our nation and made a target of any American abroad.
The swap violated last year’s Defense Authorization Act, which required several committees of Congress to be notified of such swaps in advance. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, who applauded the prisoner swap, both voted for the law it violated. But America is used to this President ignoring the laws he is sworn to uphold. More alarming are the long-term ramifications.
First, the United States now officially negotiates with terrorists, a horrible development that will encourage more kidnappings of Americans abroad. Second, the deal frees five dangerous Taliban officials, including two considered high risk by the Pentagon, to resume killing Americans and our allies.
The President increased the risk to American civilians and service members to obtain the release of a soldier who was captured after deserting his post, according to members of his unit. The government should have worked to secure Sgt. Bergdahl’s safe return. But this deal was a terrible way to do it. Americans are less safe because of it.