The Daily 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. U.S. officials have said they’re at risk of plotting further attacks against the United States.
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.
Opinion: The United States now negotiates with terrorists.
On May 31, 2014, as part of a prisoner exchange for five Taliban members who were being held at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Bowe Bergdahl was released by the Taliban.
This exchange quickly became a political controversy when President Obama held a Rose Garden ceremony bringing in Bergdahl’s rather bizarre parents heralding the release of one of our own.
It quickly became known that Bowe Bergdhal left his post voluntarily to join the Taliban, as members of his unit branded Bergdahl a traitor. Since then the Bergdhal matter has been locked up tighter than a drum.
Last week, Judge Andrew Napolitano said on “Fox and Friends” that information on the Bergdahl investigation will be released if and when President Obama wants it released.
“The president’s personal – personal – involvement in the trade of Sgt. Bergdahl for five Taliban leaders at Gitmo is so toxic, such a hot potato, I think he prefers that we never know exactly what happened,” Judge Nap said.
“If the general who conducts the investigation recommends prosecution and if Sgt. Bergdahl’s commanding general agrees to the prosecution, then we will see the report.”
If there is no prosecution, then the government is under no obligation to show the report, Judge Nap explained.”
As far as the Ali Saleh Al-Marri case and his now-known al Qaeda ties are concerned, after being held in a naval brig for more than five years, he is back in Qatar where he has been reunited with his family.
Al Marri was given a hero’s welcome.