Please tell me we are not trading terrorists for hostages. Please. Just leave it in the comment section. I don’t care if it’s not true, just tell me we’re not doing this.
According to a story in the Daily Beast, the United States in July 2014 was offered up two Americans imprisoned in Qatar, Matthew and Grace Huang, in exchange for an al Qaeda operative, Ali Saleh al-Marri. The proposed deal occurred just after the White House had traded five very bad guys for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. Which apparently gave the Qataris an idea.
U.S. officials of course deny any deal was made. It’s just that, the Huangs were released in December, and al-Marri was sprung last week. Early.
From the Beast:
Before he was released from a U.S. maximum-security prison last week, a confessed al Qaeda sleeper agent was offered up in a potential prisoner swap that would have freed two Americans held abroad.
The Daily Beast has learned that the proposal was floated in July 2014 to the then-U.S. ambassador in Qatar by an individual acting on behalf of that country’s attorney general. According to two individuals with direct knowledge of the case, the proposition was made shortly after the Obama administration traded five Taliban fighters for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Those fighters were also sent to Qatar, where they’re to remain under government watch until later this year.
The proposed swap involving the al Qaeda agent, Ali Saleh Al-Marri, raises troubling questions about whether the Bergdahl trade opened a kind of Pandora’s box, signaling to foreign governments that they can pressure the United States to make concessions on terrorism by trading American prisoners abroad for dangerous extremists held in the United States.
“I believe we must examine the administration’s decision in the case of Al-Marri and determine if his release is connected to negotiations of any kind,” Rep. Duncan Hunter, a frequent critic of the Obama administration’s hostage negotiations, wrote Thursday in a letter to Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), the House Armed Services Committee chairman . . .
Al-Marri was given a “good conduct release” from the “supermax” facility in Florence, Colorado, on Jan. 16, after serving 87 percent of his 100-month sentence . . .
Administration officials characterized Al-Marri’s release as routine. But Al-Marri was no ordinary prisoner. At one time, he was the only so-called enemy combatant being held on U.S. soil, a status that treated him more like solider in a war than an ordinary criminal. Al-Marri’s release—timely or otherwise — has led to criticism that the Obama administration is repatriating a dangerous man who could help plan more attacks.
Of course it couldn’t happen. I mean, it’s not like we’re in a rush to release terrorists.
Wait a second.