Bowe Bergdahl released by Taliban, GITMO prisoner exchange

It’s all over the news that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only US servicemember held POW by the Taliban, has been released.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was handed over to U.S. special forces by the Taliban Saturday evening, local time, in an area of eastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border. Officials said the exchange was not violent and the 28-year-old Bergdahl was in good condition and able to walk.

In a statement, President Barack Obama said Bergdahl’s recovery “is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield.”

In exchange, the US will transfer five detainees currently in GITMO to Qatar. No other details of who is being transferred were immediately available. Their future after reaching Qatar is unclear as well.

Ordinarily I’d say the return of a US serviceman to us is a good thing. And I’m not even terribly upset by the release of GITMO detainees, depending on just who they are. Negotiating with terrorists is bad policy, but on the other hand, throughout warfare there is a history of prisoner exchanges.

But Bergdahl wasn’t captured in battle. He simply walked off his post into the hills. Grunt forums are livid with Bergdahl, ready for him to be tried for desertion. Many, many lives were risked in the hunt for Bergdahl. Would you want to do for someone who betrayed and abandoned his brothers in arms?

I’m conflicted. You never leave a man behind. Not even a deserter. But if he did walk off, I’ve no problem with putting against the wall.

Charter Cargo B747 Crash At Bagram

No sign of enemy action, in spite of what the Taliban may claim. Some reports of a load shift changing the center of gravity. That fits the video, but it is hardly conclusive. Other issues could include a faulty configuration for take-off or crew error.  The B747-400F normally has an operating crew of 2, but this aircraft has 7 souls on board. All were lost.

[Update: Welcome, Ace of Spades Morons- Poke around a bit.]

[Update 2- Welcome Hot Air readers]

Here’s the Aviation Safety Network post with some background on the incident aircraft, carrier, airport and the incident itself.


Mullah Omar in the bag?

This popped up the other day, but I put it under the “48 hour rule” waiting for confirmation.

Brad Thor reported that Pakistan had captured Mullah Omar, the head of the Afghani Taliban, and one of the most wanted men in the world, after Osama bin Laden.

Now, My Pet Jawa is reporting that they have confirmation.

Via Ace

The War in Pakistan

Many of you may have noticed that the war in Afghanistan isn’t going well. And recently, the US has taken to making raids into Pakistan that have that nation somewhat upset.

We are please to claim an ethnic Pakistani as one of our internet correspondents. Muslihoon is on a somewhat more cerebral level than we are, but we hope to use him to address some of these issues in the near future.

I consider the fight in Pakistan the key to winning the war in Afghanistan. History shows that an insurgency that has a sanctuary is very tough to defeat. In effect, Pakistan has ceded sovreignity in some of its territory to the Taliban and Al Queda. The US and Afghanistan can ill afford to allow that state of affairs to continue. We hope to draw Muslihoon into the discussion in the near future, but for now, be sure to read what he has to say.