Mark Thiessen remembers what happened when the Bush Administration let go “medium risk” Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir in 2007:
When he returned to Afghanistan, he quickly became one of America’s fiercest enemies, directly responsible for the deaths of U.S., coalition and Afghan forces. In 2009, Zakir was appointed as the Taliban’s “surge commander” in charge of countering Obama’s new strategy to deny the Taliban safe haven in southern Afghanistan. According to the Times of London, Zakir instituted a campaign of “increasingly sophisticated [roadside] explosives attacks” that killed British and U.S. forces as well as many Afghan civilians. He waged relentless war on the United States and presided over unspeakable atrocities before stepping down from military command in April. To this day, he remains a top member of the Taliban leadership council.
The five Taliban leaders Obama released will now take up where Zakir left off. According to our own military, they are all “high risk” to return to the fight.
But the “high risk” is to American troops, from whom the President holds no real affection — and vice versa.