The Blog

Obama Flips on Taliban Commander

Three years ago, Obama went to court to keep a Taliban leader at Gitmo. Now he's out.

11:00 AM, Jun 7, 2014 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Before he was released, the Obama administration argued that Khairkhwa's long experience as a jihadist leader required his continued detention by the U.S. government. Now that Obama has chosen to transfer him to Qatar the administration would have the public believe that he and the other freed Taliban leaders do not constitute a threat to the United States.

As THE WEEKLY STANDARD has reported earlier, many senior military and intelligence officials agree with the arguments the Obama administration made three years ago. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified last week that all five of these Taliban leaders are likely to return the fight. Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center under Obama, concluded that it is "very, very likely" that they'll seek to rejoin the Taliban and its anti-American jihad. Other intelligence officials provided similar testimony in classified briefings before Congress this week.  

So, what changed for Obama over the last few years?

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 20 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers