Release and Retreat

As Panetta announces speedy withdrawal, Pentagon prepares to release prisoners


As Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was telling Congress that the United States hopes to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan as early as next year, administration officials were preparing to release terrorist prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in an attempt to induce the Taliban to peace talks. Fox News Channel reports:

The Obama administration has taken "operational steps" to move five Taliban leaders from Guantanamo Bay as part of a confidence-building measure to further peace talks with the Afghan Taliban – a development that comes in advance of a hearing Thursday where senior intelligence officials will testify on national security threats, a senior congressional official told Fox News.

The five detainees were said to be "hand-picked" by the Taliban preparing for the talks.