Rep. Jason Chaffetz, one of the men responsible for outing the CIA in Libya during one of their Benghazi hearings is now aghast at the deal that released our only Afghanistan POW. He's really worried about the "Big Picture" when it comes to dealing with terrorists. He must be a basketball fan because he used NBA references when describing the five Taliban prisoners we released. I didn't know the Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kareem Jabbar and Lebron James of the Taliban had been captured, did you? Oh, maybe he meant Michigan's Fab Five?
Chaffetz: But of course we want to bring our American home, but at what price?
Rep. Chaffetz really wants to bring our soldier home, but only if the Taliban will accept our Groupons.
Chaffetz: I think it actually weakens us. I think it puts people in harm's danger in the long term. (The phrase is actually 'in harm's way.') That's the big concern. The big picture. You gotta look at this in the sober light of the day and make these decisions. (he's a poet now) Not the emotions, of course we want to bring the American home, but in the sober light of day (He really likes that description) we need to have these public policy discussions. negotiating with terrorists I think is not something we should be doing.
Mitchell: Would you leave Bergdahl there if that's the only choice? Would you leave an American Sgt. in captivity at he price of dealing through a third party to bring him home?
Chaffetz: The price is not just dealing with a third party. We've actually got some decent relationships there with the Qatar government and whatnot, but you took the starting five, the big five. These are not Q
club members gone awry. These are some of the worst most nefarious characters on the face of the planet that have been responsible for allegedly for killing thousands of people. That's why we had them in Guantanamo Bay and I worry that we're going to ultimately put on the battle field. They've be able to direct the traffic and the terrorists against the United States and in other western interests. I feel for the people that are serving over seas that I think will be coming increasingly targets of these types of terrorists moving forward because they got a victory out of this.
But of course we want to bring our America home, but at what price?
How dare the Taliban get a win? For the last ten years we've defeated them at every turn, right? NOT. What an a-hole. Is he actually saying that Americans aren't targets now overseas from terrorists and that this deal changed everything?
And like a typical conservative politician, he's all for wanting to save our American POW, but the price was not right. Aren't they just like that? Yes, they would love to save Social Security, but at what price? Medicare could be good, but at what price?
Maybe Rep. Chaffetz will put together a bill that will privatize all military negotiations with our enemies.
After listening to this you wonder whose side he's really on.
Update: Digby remembers that he Iran-Contra fiasco was also about Ronald Reagan negotiating the release of our hostages.
Scanning the morning shows I see that the press is taking up these absurd arguments. Apparently, it's not necessary for the interviewers to point out that this is not the first time in history that the US Government has "negotiated with terrorists" for the release of prisoners.
Once more, with feeling:
The Iran–Contra affair also referred to as Irangate, Contragate or the Iran–Contra scandal, was a political scandal in the United States that was uncovered by Daniel Sheehan and the Christic Institute, and became national news in November of 1986. During the Reagan administration, senior administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, the subject of an arms embargo. Some U.S. officials also hoped that the arms sales would secure the release of several hostages and allow U.S. intelligence agencies to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the government had been prohibited by Congress.
The scandal began as an operation to free the seven American hostages being held in Lebanon by a group with Iranian ties connected to the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution. It was planned that Israel would ship weapons to Iran, and then the United States would resupply Israel and receive the Israeli payment. The Iranian recipients promised to do everything in their power to achieve the release of the U.S. hostages...read on