Saturday, December 31, 2011

Trading Safety for Favor

It is said that America does not and will not negotiate with terrorists. But, it appears that our current government will negotiate for terrorists to be released without charges.

Recently the Obama Administration has been negotiating the release of a high value detainee, Mohammed Fazl, and four other detainees. All of them happen to be Taliban members. Fazl is a senior commander of the Taliban's army and has led operations that resulted in the death of one CIA member. This detainee has clearly been involved in nefarious Taliban operations that have targeted America. He has also been suspected of killing Shiite Muslims indiscriminately, in violation of human rights regulations.

The Obama Administration is pushing for the transfer of this detainee and four others to Afghanistan in what is being called a "peace deal." If by "peace" one means turning threats back over to the people who can fund, re-equip, and protect these dangerous men, I don't understand the definition of peace. Let's re-cap: US and Allied Forces capture these five men to decrease the likelihood that they will interfere with or actually oppose our operations to stop terrorism. One of these detainees has been so integral to perpetuating terrorism, that we hold him at GTMO beside KSM, the master-mind behind 9/11, and a handful or so of other high-value detainees. Then when our relationship with Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, and his government begins to unravel, we decide to try winning their favor by giving Fazl and a few other detainees back to Afghanistan. Not only does that sacrifice our safety for the sake of regaining Karzai's good graces, but it endangers us by reintroducing the threats that we mitigated in 2002 when we captured this man. So by "peace" we really mean "shooting ourselves in the foot."

Does anyone really believe that Afghan authorities will hold these terrorists as safely in their custody as we would? Does our government really believe that our national security should rest in the hands of our shaky relationship with Afghanistan? Or is it that the current leadership in our country cares more about repairing a relationship with Afghanistan, than it does about keeping America safe?

Can Afghanistan be trusted to neutralize the threat these terrorists pose? Hardly. That country is too unstable and splintered.

And lastly, will this really bring about peace? -- not if those we release from GTMO rejoin the fight, as many have.

Why not trust one of our allies with the care and custody of this high value detainee? Ohhh, that's right - no other Westernized or allied nation is convinced that they can effectively contain the danger posed by men like this. So, America will roll over - trading our national security for an uncertain relationship with Hamid Karzai. Note that this is a man who most certainly knew the whereabouts of UBL despite claiming to be our ally for the last several years.

Releasing men like Fazl from GTMO, especially for the purpose of repairing a relationship with Afghanistan is nonsense. There are plenty of other diplomatic avenues that do not jeopardize America's safety. We must stop handing ourselves back into the hands of our enemies, who we appear to provide more regard to than the soldiers who endanger themselves to protect us.

We cannot entrust our own safety to our enemies and luke-warm allies.

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