Yesterday, on The Lisa Benson Show, that I hosted, we heard from two guests, about the extraordinary influence that tiny energy rich Gulf Emirate of Qatar has in the Obama Administration . That was reflected in their role facilitating the transfer of the five top Taliban Commanders to Qatar from Guantanamo in a swap for freeing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. A swap fraught with real dangers to American forces still in Afghanistan according to comments from Maj. Gen Paul Vallely, renowned Fox News senior military analyst and Dr. David Weinberg, senior fellow in the Washington, DC-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
President Obama’s hoped for euphoria with the announcement of Bergdahl’s release with his parents in the White House Rose Garden on Saturday, May 31, 2014 were dashed in the firestorm of adverse Congressional and public criticism. That according to Gen. Vallely has brought into question the legality and wisdom of the President’s decision to exchange high risk Taliban commanders for Bergdahl. As we noted in recent Iconoclast posts many of Bergdahl’s platoon comrades considered him a deserter from their forward operating base in Eastern Afghanistan in late June 2009. On the Lisa Benson Radio Show Gen. Vallely gave the stunning news that two Afghan police has left the 25th Infantry brigade operating base at virtually the same time as Bergdahl.
Yesterday, veteran investigative journalist and author Kenneth Timmerman brought into serious question the duplicity of the Qataris in excerpt published in the New York Post of a forthcoming new book by him, Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi” (Broadside Books), How the Taliban got their hands on modern US missiles. This adds one more clear demonstration of the myopia by the Obama West Wing demonstrating the blow-back from Qatar where we have invested over a half billion to build the Al Uedid Combat Air Command and Central Command logistical supply complex to support our troops in Afghanistan. It is no wonder that Dr. Weinberg’s colleague at FDD, Dr. Jonathan Schanzer has called in the Qatari, in a Politco article both a “Frenemy” and an “ATM for the Muslim Brotherhood” in the Middle East and North Africa. With the Timmerman excerpt on how US stingers supplied the Qataris found their way to Afghanistan for the Taliban to shoot down a Chinook CH-47 helicopter in 2012, we have further evidence of why the release of those five top Taliban commanders and war criminals, by President Obama may further embolden Congressional investigative oversight of these dangerous Administration national security policies.
New York Post, June 8, 2014
In his new book, “Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi” (Broadside Books), writer Kenneth R. Timmerman explains how the US government’s efforts to arm the Libyan rebels backfired, flooding weapons into Syria, and as he reveals here, Afghanistan:
The Obama administration isn’t only giving the Taliban back its commanders — it’s giving them weapons.
Military records and sources reveal that on July 25, 2012, Taliban fighters in Kunar province successfully targeted a US Army CH-47 helicopter with a new generation Stinger missile.
They thought they had a surefire kill. But instead of bursting into flames, the Chinook just disappeared into the darkness as the American pilot recovered control of the aircraft and brought it to the ground in a hard landing.
The assault team jumped out the open doors and ran clear in case it exploded. Less than 30 seconds later, the Taliban gunner and his comrade erupted into flames as an American gunship overhead locked onto their position and opened fire.
The next day, an explosive ordnance disposal team arrived to pick through the wreckage and found unexploded pieces of a missile casing that could only belong to a Stinger missile.
Lodged in the right nacelle, they found one fragment that contained an entire serial number.
The investigation took time. Arms were twisted, noses put out of joint. But when the results came back, they were stunning: The Stinger tracked back to a lot that had been signed out by the CIA recently, not during the anti-Soviet jihad.
Reports of the Stinger reached the highest echelons of the US command in Afghanistan and became a source of intense speculation, but no action.
Everyone knew the war was winding down. Revealing that the Taliban had US-made Stingers risked demoralizing coalition troops. Because there were no coalition casualties, government officials made no public announcement of the attack.
My sources in the US Special Operations community believe the Stinger fired against the Chinook was part of the same lot the CIA turned over to the Qataris in early 2011, weapons Hillary Rodham Clinton’s State Department intended for anti-Khadafy forces in Libya.
They believe the Qataris delivered between 50 and 60 of those same Stingers to the Taliban in early 2012, and an additional 200 SA-24 Igla-S surface-to-air missiles.
Qatar now is expected to hold five Taliban commanders released from Guantanamo for a year before allowing them to go to Afghanistan.
But if we can’t trust the Qataris not to give our weapons to the Taliban, how can we trust them with this?
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.