Written by: Sasha Reva
On Tuesday, the Taliban introduced the “caretaker government,” which includes some familiar names to the American government. The positions named are: Director of Intelligence Abdul Haq Wasiq, Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs Norullah Noori, Minister of Information and Culture Khairullah Khairkhah, and Deputy Defense Minister Mohammad Fazl. If these names sound familiar its because these four people were a part of the “Taliban 5,” where former President Barack Obama released them from prison in exchange for U.S. Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl in 2014. The fifth member of the Taliban 5 is Mohammad Nabi Omari, who is currently governor for Khost province in Afghanistan.
Obama ignored recommendations in 2014 regarding the swap and release of the “high-risk” Taliban commanders. Obama was sure the Taliban Five would not return to the battlefield against U.S. forces in Afghanistan. He would later regret these words. In 2018, all prisoners took high-level positions with the Taliban’s “regime-in-exile” in Qatar.
“I started jihad to remove foreign forces from my country and establish an Islamic government, and jihad will continue until we reach that goal through a political agreement,” Khairkhah said at that March meeting with the Biden administration. In the end, the Taliban conquered Afghanistan in about two weeks without making any “political agreement” at all.
When Biden was asked how he feels about negotiating with a member of Obama’s Taliban Five, press secretary Jen Psaki pretended the reports were questionable. “I’d point to the intelligence community to assess the identity of the individual. I know there’s been reporting on it, but that’s not my position to do from here. I would also note that in prior negotiations and commitments made during the Trump administration, there were thousands of individuals who were released, so our focus right now is on, again, not taking the Taliban’s word for it,” Psaki said in mid-August. The White House will continue to deflect any responsibility. Biden’s time of trying to fool the American public is over, as more reports like this continue to surface.
Photo from: U.S. Department of Defense