Senator John McCain, who spent years as a POW in Vietnam's infamous "Hanoi Hilton," referred to the terrorists released from GITMOthis week as "the hardest of the hard core. These are the highest high-risk people."
This is not the first time the Obama Administration has negotiated for the release of the Taliban 5, as they are known. But when news of previous talks leaked, administration officials were summoned to Capitol Hill to explain themselves. CNN reports that "Two years ago, then Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress all five had been assessed as both too dangerous to release and too difficult to put on trial."
So, who are the Taliban 5 that Obama just released? They are: Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Noori, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Khairullah Khairkhwa and Mohammed Nabi Omari.
Fazl was a top Taliban general and is considered a war criminal by the United Nations, wanted for the murder of thousands of Afghan Shiites. One Taliban leader called Fazl's release "the best news I have heard in at least 12 years. His return is like pouring 10,000 Taliban fighters into the battle on the side of jihad. … His freedom will definitely inspire the whole Taliban movement."
Noori, also a Taliban general, was personally recruited by Osama bin Laden. He is also wanted by the U.N. for war crimes.
Wasiq was a former intelligence minister for the Taliban and directed much of Al Qaeda's pre-9/11 intelligence training. After the 9/11 attacks, he was instrumental in organizing tribal opposition against the U.S. invasion.
Khairkhwa was the former Taliban governor of Herat and heavily involved in heroin trafficking for Al Qaeda. He was also instrumental in convincing the Iranians, despite their Shiite/Sunni differences, to aid the Taliban's terrorist attacks against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Omari was a top Taliban commander who coordinated Al Qaeda attacks against U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Under the terms of the deal, they will supposedly spend one year in custody in Qatar. But at least a quarter of all GITMO detainees, including those deemed "low-risk," have gone back to the battlefield. These thugs are top leaders. The odds are overwhelming that we will see their handiwork once again.