When President Barack Obama released five Taliban commanders from the Guantanamo Bay prison in exchange for an American deserter in 2014, he assured a wary public that the dangerous enemy combatants would be transferred to Qatar and kept from causing any trouble in Afghanistan.
In fact, they were left free to engineer Sunday’s sacking of Kabul.
Soon after gaining their freedom, some of the notorious Taliban Five pledged to return to fight Americans in Afghanistan and made contacts with active Taliban militants there. But the Obama-Biden administration turned a blind eye to the disturbing intelligence reports, and it wasn’t long before the freed detainees used Qatar as a base to form a regime in exile.
Eventually, they were recognized by Western diplomats as official representatives of the Taliban during recent “peace” talks.
Continuing the trend, President Biden restarted Obama’s program to release Gitmo detainees as part of a renewed push to close the prison. This was also a reversal of Trump administration policy.