Thursday, December 31, 2009

US Trades Terrorists in Hostage Swap

According Long War Journal
Qais Qazali, the leader of the Asaib al Haq or the League of the Righteous, was set free by the US military and transferred to Iraqi custody in exchange for the release of British hostage Peter Moore, US military officers and intelligence officials told The Long War Journal. The US military directly implicated Qais in the kidnapping and murder of five US soldiers in Karbala in January 2007...

The League of the Righteous was directly implicated by General David Petraeus as being behind the January 2007 attack on the Provincial Joint Coordination Center in Karbala as well as other high-profile terror attacks in Iraq. Five US soldiers were killed during the Karbala attack and subsequent kidnapping attempt. The US soldiers were executed after US and Iraqi security forces closed in on the assault team.

If this is true, it is disgusting. It is shameful.

I know this administration wants to wash their hands of Iraq. But if this is true, they have washed them in American blood. Throughout our history, we have sought reconciliation after a conflict was over. Last I checked, people were still dying in Iraq. These guys cohorts are doing the killing.

Just like the court martial of the Navy SEALS for allegedly slapping a captured HVT and the perception that terrorists captured in Afghanistan have the rights of a criminal suspect, this another decision that will surely mitigate against live capture. After considering intelligence value and risk to our own forces... will the equation now include "will we want to let him go after a while?"

People will be put in the difficult position of choosing between upholding their honor and duty to uphold the law and upolding their honor and duty to their fallen comrades. This is not a good place to be and will take some serious leadership to get it right. This is a quandary more suited to police work than military operations.

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