Kristol Slams Bergdahl Prisoner Exchange

Al Qaeda, Taliban 'over the moon' about the trade

BY:

Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said the U.S. should not have made the trade of five Taliban leaders to get back captive Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Monday on Morning Joe.

"We may pay a price in terms of … giving back terrorist leaders in order to get Bergdahl back," he said. "There are two sides of it. The five Taliban leaders we sent back, they may stay in Qatar for a year. They may not. Even if they are there for a year, the boost this has given them, if you look at their own propaganda … they are over the moon, the Taliban and al Qaeda and al Qaeda affiliates."

Fellow soldiers have called Bergdahl a deserter and accused him of a "selfish act" that cost other soldiers' lives looking for him. Also, NBC counterterrorism analyst Michael Leiter said Monday that this was a "big win" for the Taliban.

"He may have cooperated with the enemy after they captured him," Kristol said. "Soldiers died trying to find him. His own platoon and his own battalion seem to have come under a lot more attacks after he was taken. The degree of anger among soldiers on e-mail and on listservs is unbelievable, and that needs to be taken seriously. Those are the people who fought in the same company in some cases and who feel like they sacrificed to get this guy back who may have behaved, at best, irresponsibly, and at worse, worse."

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