Just when you thought wearing a tan suit was the height of former President Barack Obama’s scandals — aside from all that other pesky stuff like Fast and Furious, the Iran Nuclear Deal, and more — the payoffs of his decisions and policies continue to come up negative.
According to the Military Times, the five Taliban prisoners the U.S. had locked up in Gitmo that Obama freed in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl have now joined the insurgent group in Qatar as political officers:
Five members of the Afghan Taliban who were freed from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for captured American Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl have joined the insurgent group’s political office in Qatar, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Tuesday.
They will now be among Taliban representatives negotiating for peace in Afghanistan, a sign some negotiators in Kabul say indicates the Taliban’s desire for a peace pact.
Others fear the five, all of whom were close to the insurgent group’s founder and hard-line leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, bring with them the same ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam that characterized the group’s five-year rule that ended in 2001 with the U.S.-led invasion.
In other words, they may be working toward peace, but that word should come with quotation marks around it. These five were die-hard Islamic extremists, and it would be unwise to believe that they changed their ways during their stint in Gitmo.
This worry is shared by Haroun Mir, a political analyst in the Afghan capital.
“The Taliban are bringing back their old generation, which means the Taliban have not changed their thinking or their leadership,” said Mir, according to the Military Times. “What we are more worried about is if tomorrow the Taliban say ‘we are ready to negotiate,’ who will represent Kabul? That is the big challenge because the government is so divided, not just ideologically but on ethnic lines.”
These men include, according to the Military Times, Mohammed Fazl, who oversaw the deaths of thousands of minority Shiites in 2000. It also includes Abdul Haq Wasiq, who was described as “the most significant Taliban leader held at Guantanamo Bay because of his particularly close relationship with Mullah Omar.”