(Note: Several people said they wanted to pass on the info from this here post without the sexy stuff in the original post. Fine. Here ya go.)
When the Rude Pundit first read about the exchange of five members of the Taliban who had been detained at the prison at Guantanamo Bay for the only American soldier prisoner of war in Afghanistan and then he heard how Republicans were upset at the deal because the released detainees might attack Americans again, he wondered what the Gitmo detainees had been through. That's not to diminish the five years that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl endured as a POW (a real, actual POW, not a "detainee," whatever that BS word means in terms of being a prisoner during a war).
Ted Cruz was all concerned about how the soldiers who captured the Taliban members might feel about the exchange: "Can you imagine what [Bergdahl] would say to his fallen comrades who lost their lives to stop these people who were responsible, either directly or indirectly, for threatening or taking U.S. civilian lives." Yes, their feelings matter. Except, of course, that no Americans died capturing them. Yeah, see, Mullah Norullah Noori turned himself in. Mohammed Nabi Omari was tricked into being arrested at an airport. Khirullah Khairkwha was captured by Pakistani forces when he was trying to negotiate a surrender. He was transferred to American custody. Mullah Mohammad Fazl surrendered to U.S. forces. Abdul Haq Wasiq said he could provide the U.S. with Taliban leader Mullah Omar's location, but he was arrested by the U.S. So Cruz can go screw himself with his sympathy for our troops.
By no stretch of the imagination are these former Gitmo residents good people. They are violent jackasses. But they were violent jackasses who were part of an army of the then-government of Afghanistan, whether we liked that government or not. And they have been held, without charge, without trial, for 12-13 years. They were tortured (or interrogated in an enhanced way, if that's the lie you tell yourself). At least one, Fazl, is wanted by the United Nations for war crimes, but we haven't allowed him to be charged and tried on that allegation.
John McCain lost his mind, as usual, on Nation, Face Bob Schieffer, in what was the oldest hour of television perhaps ever. Said Sen. McCain, with all the subtlety of the end of last night's Game of Thrones, "It is disturbing that these individuals would have the ability to reenter the fight, and they are big, high level people, possibly responsible for the deaths of thousands." Those "thousands" were Shia Muslims in Afghanistan. So let's get these guys before the Hague for some war crimes proseuctions, right? And you can be sure that the North Vietnamese thought McCain was responsible for many, many deaths, too, but they let him go after five-and-a-half years as a POW.
That's why nations have the Geneva Conventions. Because this is complicated. But we just had to ignore those agreements because we faced a threat that no one had ever faced before in the history of ever and no one ever had it as bad as us. So we have cursed ourselves with Guantanamo Bay, a greater cause of terrorism and anti-Americanism than a 1000 released Taliban fighters
Do a thought experiment. Change Obama to Bush. Change Republicans criticizing the President to Democrats. Now, ask yourself: How many variations on the word "vagina" would Dick Cheney be using to condemn Democrats as hating the troops if they don't want to bring our prisoners home.