Author Topic: BREAKING>>>>Taliban Prisoner Swap Frees U.S. Soldier Held Nearly 5 Years  (Read 475 times)

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Offline flowers

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http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/01/us/only-american-pow-from-afghan-war-is-freed.html?_r=0

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WASHINGTON — The lone American prisoner of war from the Afghan conflict, captured by insurgents nearly five years ago, has been released to American forces in exchange for five Taliban prisoners held at the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility, Obama administration officials said Saturday.

The soldier, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, was handed over to American Special Operations forces inside Afghanistan about 10:30 a.m. Saturday by a group of 19 Taliban, officials said.

American officials said that Sergeant Bergdahl was in good condition and able to walk.

The five Taliban prisoners at Guantánamo were being transferred into the custody of officials from Qatar, who will accompany them back to that Persian Gulf state, where they will be subject to security restrictions, including a one-year travel ban.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2014, 01:10:48 PM by mystery-ak »


Online mystery-ak

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Re: Taliban Prisoner Swap Frees U.S. Soldier Held Nearly 5 Years
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2014, 01:10:26 PM »
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/bowe-bergdahl-only-american-soldier-held-prisoner-afghanistan-freed

Only American Soldier Held Prisoner In Afghanistan Freed



JULIE PACE – MAY 31, 2014, 1:07 PM EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The only American soldier held prisoner in Afghanistan has been freed and is back in U.S. custody after nearly five years of captivity, U.S. officials said Saturday.

The officials said the Taliban agreed to turn over Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for the release of five Afghan detainees from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The transfers happened after a week of intense negotiations mediated by the government of Qatar, which will take custody of the Afghans.

In a statement, President Barack Obama said Bergdahl's recovery "is a reminder of America's unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield."

Officials said the Taliban turned the 28-year-old Bergdahl over Saturday evening, local time, in Afghanistan. Several dozen U.S. special forces were involved in the exchange, which took place in eastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border.

Officials described the transfer as a nonviolent handover between the American forces and about 18 Taliban.

Bergdahl was in good condition and able to walk, according to the officials, who insisted on anonymity in order to describe the details of his release.

Bergdahl is expected to be transferred to Bagram Air Field, the main U.S. base in Afghanistan, then on to the United States.

Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, had been held by the Taliban since June 30, 2009. He is thought to have been captured by members of the Haqqani network, which operates in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region and has been one of the deadliest threats to U.S. troops in the war.

The Haqqani network, which the State Department designated as a foreign terrorist organization in 2012, claims allegiance to the Afghan Taliban, yet operates with some degree of autonomy.

The five Afghan detainees from Guantanamo were still at the base as of Saturday morning, but were being transferred into the custody of Qatari officials. Under the conditions of their release, the detainees will be banned from traveling outside of Qatar for at least one year.

Officials said Obama spoke with Bergdahl's parents Saturday, shortly after their son had been taken into U.S. custody. Bergdahl's family was in Washington on a previously scheduled visit when they received the news.


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Online mystery-ak

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Prayers for his mental health after all these years with those savages......

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Online kevindavis

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I hope to god this soldier isn't brainwashed... Like in the Homeland tv show.
GOP House members came to Paul Ryan to be Speaker. He didn't come to them. And he was everybody's conservative darling back in 2012. So unless 1 of the remaining 240 wants to step up & do a better job in budgeting & negotiations & herding the party cats, then everybody please STFU. You go to battle with the army you have, not the one you want but don't have.

Kevin Davis

Offline Atomic Cow

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There was a time that no matter what, the US did not negotiate with terrorists.

That of course was before we had one in the White House.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Online mystery-ak

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Obama: Freed soldier Bowe Bergdahl ‘was never forgotten’
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2014, 07:43:19 PM »
http://www.politico.com/story/2014/05/barack-obama-bowe-bergdahl-afghanistan-pow-107288.html?hp=t1



 Obama: Freed soldier Bowe Bergdahl ‘was never forgotten’
By: Edward-Isaac Dovere
May 31, 2014 06:33 PM EDT

President Barack Obama on Saturday formally announced the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the last remaining American prisoner in Afghanistan.

Bergdahl had been held captive by the Taliban for nearly five years. His freedom — which capped off a week marked by announcements about the end of American involvement in Afghanistan — was negotiated on the condition of the release of five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay who have been sent to Qatar.

“We’re committed to winding down the war in Afghanistan and closing Gitmo,” Obama said, in a brief statement in the Rose Garden, flanked by Bergdahl’s parents, Bob and Jani.



But, Obama said, the nation also “made an ironclad commitment to bring our prisoners of war home. It’s who we are as Americans,” he said. “Today, at least in this instance, it’s a promise we’ve been able to keep.”

The administration cast the Bergdahl news as having significance that go beyond Bergdahl, and well beyond Saturday.

The announcement of Berghdal’s release—the White House has carefully used the word “recovery” in public statements, not “transfer” or “swap” — came after a week of secret efforts to finalize the terms.

Indicating the kind of involvement from the Afghan government, Secretary of State John Kerry released a statement Saturday afternoon saying he’d spoken to Afghan President Hamid Karzai to inform him of Bergdahl’s release.



“As we look to the future in Afghanistan, the United States will continue to support steps that improve the climate for conversations between Afghans about how to end the bloodshed in their country through an Afghan-led reconciliation process,” Kerry said — a process that Obama indicated Saturday he saw the release as part of.

Obama said that he spoke Tuesday with the Emir of Qatar, to thank his government for serving as the interlocutor and agreeing to take custody of the prisoners released from Guantanamo.

“The Qatari government has given us assurances that it will put in place measures to protect our national security,” Obama said.



Obama made a surprise four-hour trip to Bagram Air Base Sunday to announce to a rally of troops that the war in Afghanistan would come to “a responsible end” by the end of the year. Tuesday at the White House, he detailed what that meant: a phased plan which would leave troops in Afghanistan past 2014 only for non-combat support and counterterrorism operations, and have all of them removed by 2016. Wednesday, he attempted to lay out a foreign policy that looks forward past the end of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which he took charge of at the beginning of his presidency.

After weeks of controversy about the treatment of veterans at Veterans Affairs health facilities — resulting in the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki just a day earlier — Obama and other leading national security officials echoed Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who called the news “a powerful reminder of the enduring, sacred commitment our nation makes to all those who serve in uniform.”

But Obama kept the focus Saturday on the now freed prisoner, who is recovering in Afghanistan.

“Sergeant Bergdahl has missed birthdays, and holidays and simple moments with family and friends which all of us take for granted. But while Bowe was gone, he was never forgotten”— not by his family or his hometown in Idaho, or the military. “And he wasn’t forgotten by his country, because the United States of America does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind.”

Invited to speak by Obama, Jani Bergdahl expressed her thanks to all involved, adding, “we will continue to stay strong.”

Bob Berghdal — who led the effort to keep attention on the sergeant’s captivity — started out addressing his son first with the traditional Arabic greeting of peace that Muslims use, then in Pashto, explaining that the released prisoner is having difficulty understanding English currently.

“I’m your father, Bowe,” he said.

He thanked all those who were involved in the effort.

“The complicated nature of this recovery will never really be comprehended,” he said.

While praising the release, several leading Republicans criticized the president for the circumstances under which it was arranged.

House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said he is “extremely troubled” by the negotiations and the swap they led to.

“This fundamental shift in US policy signals to terrorists around the world a greater incentive to take US hostages,” Rogers said in a statement. “Further, I have little confidence in the security assurances regarding the movement and activities of the now released Taliban leaders and I have even less confidence in this Administration’s willingness to ensure they are enforced. I believe this decision will threaten the lives of American soldiers for years to come.”

White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and leaders of the president’s national security team — National Security Adviser Susan Rice and deputy National Security Advisers Tony Blinken and Ben Rhodes — stood to the side of the Rose Garden for the announcement, exchanging hugs afterward.

So did Obama and the Bergdahls.

“It’s a good day,” Obama said, embracing Jani.

“Yes, a good day,” she said back, as they walked back up the stairs to the Oval Office.

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Offline mountaineer

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Re: Obama: Freed soldier Bowe Bergdahl ‘was never forgotten’
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2014, 08:46:42 PM »
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But, Obama said, the nation also “made an ironclad commitment to bring our prisoners of war home. It’s who we are as Americans,” he said.
Benghazi? What was your commitment to Amb. Stevens, et al., dipwad?

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Bob Berghdal — who led the effort to keep attention on the sergeant’s captivity — started out addressing his son first with the traditional Arabic greeting of peace that Muslims use, then in Pashto, explaining that the released prisoner is having difficulty understanding English currently.
:shrug:
Life is too short to leave the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket.

Online mystery-ak

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Re: Obama: Freed soldier Bowe Bergdahl ‘was never forgotten’
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2014, 08:57:42 PM »
I am sure we will hear all kinds of horror stories re this...talk about PTSD.....btw I hope he makes it on the *to see list* at the VA..

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