The idea that this was a prisoner swap was confirmed by multiple sources.
So mind-bendingly insane is this that I thought Roggio might have been duped by his sources. Not so: Both the Guardian and now Jake Tapper have independently confirmed that it's true. Remember Qais Khazali? We wrote about him a bunch in early 2007. He used to be an al-Sadr deputy, then broke away and hooked up with Iran to start his own little mini-Hezbollah. That group, the "League of the Righteous," ended up pulling off one of the most notorious, sophisticated anti-American operations of the Iraq war in Karbala. The toll: Five Americans murdered, four of them after they were kidnapped, bound, and shot in the head like animals. U.S. troops caught up to Khazali two months later and captured him and his brother; the ID cards of several dead American soldiers were recovered at the scene. No less a figure than David Petraeus went on to blame the Karbala raid squarely on Khazali's outfit and accused Iran's Quds Force — the creme de la creme of the Revolutionary Guard, responsible for assisting Iranian proxy jihadis like Hezbollah in other countries — of bankrolling the whole thing.
And now, after three years in U.S. custody, he's free.
"We let a very dangerous man go, a man whose hands are stained with US and Iraqi blood," a military officer said. "We are going to pay for this in the future."
The US military has maintained that the release of members and leaders of the League of the Righteous is related to a reconciliation agreement between the terror group and the Iraqi government, but some US military officers disagree.
"The official line is the release of Qazali is about reconciliation, but in reality this was a prisoner swap," a military intelligence official said…
"This was a deal signed and sealed in British and American blood," a US military officer told The Long War Journal. "We freed all of their leaders and operatives; they [the League of the Righteous] executed their hostages and sent them back in body bags. And we're supposed to be happy about it."
Hot Air raises the mind-bogglingly obvious question:
Security agreement or no security agreement, why is The One agreeing to spring a guy whom we know is guilty of murdering American soldiers? He's a clear threat to troops in the field, and not just in Karbala: Tapper cites documents recovered during his capture that point to his responsibility for upwards of 20 attacks in various cities. Surely the Iraqis aren't about to kick us out of the country if we politely decline their request to parole a terrorist mastermind. How many jihadis do we have to release before someone figures out that releasing jihadis is an exceedingly bad idea?
Another question on my mind: is this an example of deliberate and foolish capitulation, or is this phenomenal naivete?
Does it matter?
As long as Barack Obama remains in charge of U.S. foreign policy, the world is more dangerous to Americans because of his actions.
There's my two cents.
The Left's permanent war on the War on Terrorism