If you are one of the last Americans shocked by the news of another bonehead move by President Barack Obama — the release of five Taliban leaders from Guantanamo in return for a U.S. soldier who probably deserted his post — then you’ll find this headline astounding, too:
BREAKING NEWS: Pro wrestling fake!
Most thinking Americans, however, are done being surprised. They are tired of the daily disappointment. This latest Obama buffoonery falls in line with a long track record of sketchy judgment accompanied by a lack of transparency and followed by nutty public statements that look like lies.
When first announced, the deal looked dangerous for American interests. And with each passing day, it gets worse.
Here’s the scorecard for this transaction.
Obama frees the Taliban “kitchen cabinet”:
— Mohammad Nabi Omari, “one of the most significant former Taliban leaders” held at Guantanamo Bay. He maintains strong ties to al-Qaida and the Haqqani network, The New York Times reports.
— Mullah Norullah Noori, one of the highest-ranking Taliban officials at Guantanamo.
— Mullah Mohammad Fazl, a former Taliban deputy defense minister said to have killed thousands of minority Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan.
— Abdul Haq Wasiq, a top Taliban intelligence official.
— Khairullah Said Wali Khairkhwa, a former Afghan provincial governor and Taliban leader.
The terrorists, meanwhile, return Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only soldier captured in Afghanistan.
Susan Rice — she of Benghazi disinformation infamy — told ABC News that “Sgt. Bergdahl served the United States with honor and distinction” and that “Sgt. Bergdahl wasn’t simply a hostage; he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield.”
Members of Bergdahl’s platoon, however, say he deserted.
Nathan Bradley Bethea, who served with Bergdahl, wrote in The Daily Beast that Bergdahl was a “deserter, and soldiers from his own unit died trying to track him down.”
As for the Obama administration line that Bergdahl was captured on patrol, Bethea writes: “Make no mistake. … There was no patrol that night. Bergdahl was relieved from guard duty, and instead of going to sleep, he fled the outpost on foot. He deserted.”
Other soldiers in Bergdahl’s platoon back up Bethea’s account. And some military people said that in the weeks after Bergdahl’s “capture,” the enemy, possibly helped by Bergdahl, inflicted attacks on U.S. soldiers.
This is beginning to smell like a Pat Tillman kind of cover-up. Further, why would anyone believe Rice — a shameless administration shill — over soldiers on the ground?
This is a no-win for Obama fans. If the soldiers in his platoon turn out to be proved right, this event will solidify Obama’s position as America’s worst chief executive in the modern era and take its place of dishonor with a long line of other Obama scandals.
But straight-up, the deal of five Taliban leaders for one soldier sets a horrible precedent.
First, it tells our enemies that the Obama administration will negotiate, and negotiate generously. This targets Americans everywhere for kidnapping.
Second, the degree of freedom these five terrorists will have remains sketchy at best.
You’d think that our government would give us some ironclad details, if for no other reason than for our own peace of mind. But all we get is that the former prisoners will be under some kind of nebulous house arrest in Qatar, with a one-year travel ban.
Rice says President Obama has personally spoken with the Emir of Qatar, who has assured the president that the Taliban leaders will be “carefully watched.”
Wow, Susan. What could go wrong?
You can bet these five Islamic terrorists will go on to kill other Americans as soon as they are able. For all we know, that might be today.
That’s how the war on terror works. The Taliban believe they got the best of Obama and the United States. And, frankly, it’s hard to argue otherwise. Unless we have a drone strike planned for Qatar, this deal has sadness written all over it.
Oh, and for those still clinging to the Obama bandwagon, let me reveal one more thing: Pro wrestling is fake.
Get used to it.
Sherman Frederick, former publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and member of the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame, writes a column for Stephens Media. Read his blog at www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/sherman-frederick.