Guantanamo After Bergdahl

Monday, June 09, 2014

A U.S. soldier walking next to the razor wire-topped fence at the abandoned 'Camp X-Ray' detention facility at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, April 9, 2014. (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty)

In exchange for the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, five prisoners were returned to the Taliban from Guantanamo Bay. Karen Greenberg, head of Fordham University's Center on National Security and author of The Least Worst Place: Guantanamo's First 100 Days, looks at whether this indicates a change in prisoner detention policy, and what it says about just who is being held at Guantanamo.


Karen Greenberg

Comments [14]

One of the 5 Taliban released in the Bergdahl swap is so harmless that Obama fought in 2011 to keep him imprisoned.

Jun. 09 2014 11:37 AM


956 days and 41 minutes

Jun. 09 2014 11:19 AM

" . . . Indeed, the Bergdahl story is going to reverberate for a long time, for lots of reasons. I can count a total of 13 reasons. In popular usage, a “baker’s dozen” refers to 13 of something. So let’s call the whole thing Bergdahl’s Dozen.

"First, the White House has hoisted itself on its own photo op. Pictures are worth a lot of words—especially when they come from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The enduring image of the President, arm in arm with Bowe Bergdahl’s parents in the Rose Garden, reminds us that Team Obama wanted this story to play big. They thought they had a feel-good patriotic pageant on their hands, and by all accounts, they were stunned when the story blew up in their faces. . . . "

Jun. 09 2014 10:55 AM
carl from queens

after 5 years of captivity, Bergdahl forgot how to speak English, don't recognize is own family, yet many of us American fear that these 5 guys who were held for 12 years ,are sharp enough to immediately start planning to blow us up to smithereens, when in reality they are probably 5 basket cases.

Jun. 09 2014 10:30 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

If any one of these released guys manages to train a group to infiltrate and kill a whole bunch of Americans, either abroad or here at home, then what will be said then?

Jun. 09 2014 10:25 AM
roseellen from jackson hts.

Obama showed leadership in releasing these prisoners. Doesn't matter what labels the US congress puts on people-the reality on the ground trumps their labels and their policies. The commander in chief can release POW's and exchange them and that he valued the life and freedom of our captured soldier over and above the demands of the Congress, is admirable. The Congress over stepped its authority in telling the commander in chief he can't exchange or release POW's without their consent. We have an obligation to get a captured soldier back; whatever the cost. What is this Congress going to do-impeach him? Good luck with that one1

Jun. 09 2014 10:21 AM

John Kerry is a blowhard. duh

Jun. 09 2014 10:21 AM

Local newspapers in Illinois published story of local citizen who was killed on during a mission to find U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The story is that U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was an army deserter, which is supposed to be a crime, and that he was not capture or anything, that he actually left his post. Can someone please talk about whether this is true or false?

Jun. 09 2014 10:16 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

These people may or may not be a direct danger to you or I living relatively safety here in the US, but can definitely pose a danger not only to our troops still remaining in Afghanistan, but to the Afghan forces of the government there whom the Taliban are trying to take power away from again. We may have had no choice but to trade them if we wanted to get our soldier back, but to say they no longer pose a danger is probably not correct. They are dedicated jihadists who will probably try to go back and lead the fight against our interests again.

Jun. 09 2014 10:15 AM
C.G. from Manhattan

Isn't it incorrect to link the attack on the Pakistani airport, committed by the Pakistani Taliban, to the war in Afghanistan, against Afghan Taliban?

Jun. 09 2014 10:10 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

During WWII we executed captured German saboteurs who had landed on US shores from U-boats. We did not hold them as prisoners till the end of the war. They were in civilian clothes and hence had no POW rights under the previous Geneva Conventions.
They were illegal combatants. They can be summarily tried and shot.

Today's enemy combatant terrorists are not that different, except that they do not do so formally on behalf of any particular state. They do it in the name of Jihad, a general Islamic injunction to fight infidels who have invaded Islamic lands, and if killed doing so go immediately to Paradise and get 70 "houris." This is an inherent part of the Muslim religion and is undeniable. The original justification by Al Qaeda was that US troops were stationed on and occupying Muslim lands, particularly when US troops were in Saudi Arabia, the holy land of Islam.

Jun. 09 2014 10:09 AM

Did Glenn Greenwald finish reporting on this subject: ?

Or did the Snowden story present an attractive distraction?

Jun. 09 2014 10:07 AM

Killing of innocents, hazy motivations, complicated mistakes -- Apparently, those protestors Bloomberg had arrested at the GOP convention could see into the future!

Jun. 09 2014 10:03 AM
john from office

Brian has rounded up the usual suspects for this segment.

Jun. 09 2014 10:03 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.