Currently much discussion has been focused on the US release of five high-level Taliban prisoners in Guantánamo in exchange of Bowe Bergdahl .
When President Barack Obama announced that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had been freed after five years of being held by the Taliban, it didn’t take long for commentators to question whether the price of Bergdahl’s freedom was too steep.
In exchange for Bergdahl’s freedom, the Obama administration agreed to release five members of the Taliban from the United States’ detention facility in Guantanamo, Cuba.
The first information about discussions regarding the release of prisoners emerged in a Reuters article on December 19 last year, which explained how secret negotiations between the US government and the Taliban had begun ten months earlier. As part of “the accelerating, high-stakes diplomacy,” Reuters explained, the US was “considering the transfer of an unspecified number of Taliban prisoners from the Guantánamo Bay military prison into Afghan government custody.”
Saxby Chambliss, the senior Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, began stirring up problems, stating, as Reuters described it, “Any discussion of prisoner transfers should only be done after an agreement to cease hostilities has been reached, and should be done in the open, with thorough oversight from Congress and visibility for the American people about exactly who these detainees are and what terrorist acts they committed.”
Two days later, on January 5, it was revealed that another key element of the negotiations was not to secure peace, but was a prisoner swap involving the five men being released in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, a 25-year-old US Army sergeant from Hailey, Idaho, who was taken prisoner on June 30, 2009 in Afghanistan. However, after an initial flurry of interest, this aspect of the story inexplicably retreated from view, so that, on February 11, when the Wall Street Journal published profiles of the five men said to be the object...