Bolton: US Made Big Mistake in Taliban Release

June 4, 2014  

Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton sharply criticized US President Barack H. Obama’s decision to release five Taliban terrorists in return for US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. Speaking to Arutz Sheva this week, Bolton said that “I believe that under no circumstances should we be conducting negotiations with terrorists. The release of these Taliban terrorists in return for Sgt. Bergdahl was a mistake.”

Bergdahl, 28, had been held by the Taliban in Afghanistan for nearly five years, The US agreed to release five Afghan detainees from the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in return for Bergdahl. A Stated Department official said that the five were not necessarily in prison for terrorists acts, but were rather mid- to high-ranking members of the Taliban government. The five include Khairullah Khairkhwa, a governor of Afghanistan’s Herat province, Noorullah Noor, government of Balkh province, and Abdul Haq Wasiq, deputy chief of the Taliban’s intelligence service.

Politicians and members of the military, mostly on the right, have been questioning the wisdom of trading the prisoners for Bergdahl. Among the political leaders e3xpressing reservations over the deal was former presidential candidate Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) The Taliban being released, he said, “are hardened terrorists who have the blood of Americans and countless Afghans on their hands. am eager to learn what precise steps are being taken to ensure that these vicious and violent Taliban extremists never return to the fight against the United States and our partners.

In the interview, Bolton said that it was “shameful to release an American soldier for the likes of the Taliban leaders, who are likely to end up killing Americans.”

In the interview, Bolton also said that the decision by Fatah to join forces with Hamas and set up a new joint government was a clear indication of the illegitimacy of the Palestinian Authority, the PLO, and Fatah. He added that he was not at all sure that the deal would survive for any length of time.


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