Patterico's Pontifications


Released Detainee: The White House Was Against Him Before They Were For Him

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:01 am

[guest post by Dana]

Recently the Los Angeles Times set out to reassure us that most of the five released detainees from Guantanamo have less than hard-core pasts, so there’s no real reason for concern.

And, of the five, Khairulla Khairkhwa was just another friendly open-minded guy. From the article, according to journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai, who was in western Afghanistan in the late 1990’s:

At the provincial government offices, he saw a parade of local clerics come to meet the governor, founding Taliban member Khairullah Khairkhwa, who greeted them in the local Persian, a language most of his comrades didn’t speak.

“He knew these people didn’t really support the Taliban, so he made an extra effort,” said Yusufzai, who has covered Afghanistan for three decades. “He was a friendly man and did not try to force his views on you.”

Khairkhwa was arrested by the Pakistanis and transferred in 2002 to Guantanamo. Just another friendly guy.

To support this view, the LAT cites Alex Strick van Linschoten, who has co-written three books on the Taliban. He believes that because the five released detainees are getting on in years there’s not much reason to be concerned.

It’s [their release] a boost in terms of morale, but I doubt whether this would make any kind of practical impact, at least in the short term, to the conflict inside Afghanistan. All these guys are pretty old now.

(Note: The detainees range in age from 43 to 47 years)

The article also cites State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf (we’ve heard from her before…) who has publicly accused critics of political maneuvering. She doesn’t defend the five, but manages some shameful rationalizations.

These were not good guys. I am in no way defending these men. But being, you know, mid-to-high-level officials in a regime that’s grotesque and horrific also doesn’t mean they themselves directly pose a threat to the United States.

However, what the LAT article fails to mention is that not long ago, the Obama administration went to court to prevent the release of founding Taliban member Khairulla Khairkhwa.

In a decision on May 31, 2011, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, ruled in favor of the government–and “Respondent Barack Obama”–in its effort to keep Khairulla Khairkhwa in detention. That decision, once classified “Secret,” has since been declassified and released.

While the administration attempts to reassure us that our nation remains safe and any threats have been “sufficiently mitigated”, one is naturally compelled to wonder, if not that long ago the Obama administration went to court to prevent a particular detainee from being released, what has transpired to make them think he is no longer a threat?? Because surely, something rather significant had to have occurred to reassure them, thus reassure us, right??

Three years ago, the administration argued in court against Khairkhwa’s writ of habeas corpus because of his senior position with the Taliban, his close relationship with Taliban leader Mullah Omar, and his support for Taliban forces fighting against the United States.

The case provides a window on the Obama administration’s concerns–concerns that many top intelligence and military officials continue to have. The court summarized the government’s case this way. “The government contends that the petitioner, a former senior Taliban official, is lawfully detained because he was part of Taliban forces and purposefully and materially supported such forces in hostilities against the United States,” the court wrote in the introduction to its opinion.

The decision affirmed the arguments put forth by the Obama administration, noting that Khairkhwa “was, without question, a senior member of the Taliban both before and after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001.” It continued: Khairkhwa was “a member of the Taliban’s highest governing body, the Supreme Shura” and “was a close associate of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, who appointed him Governor of the province of Herat in 1999.”

Khairkhwa’s legal team argued that he had no military responsibilities with the Taliban, but the court found that “the record belies that contention.”

And why did the court find that so? Because of what Khairkhwa himself claimed:

“The petitioner admitted that after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, he served as a member of a Taliban envoy that met clandestinely with senior Iranian officials to discuss Iran’s offer to provide the Taliban with weapons and other military support in anticipation of imminent hostilities with US coalition forces,” read the opinion. “The petitioner has also exhibited detailed knowledge about sensitive military-related matters, such as the locations, personnel and resources of Taliban military installations, the relative capabilities of different weapons systems and the locations of weapons caches.”

This knowledge, the court found, was not for theoretical purposes. “The petitioner operated within the Taliban’s formal command structure, providing material support to Taliban fighters both before and after the outset of hostilities with US coalition forces.”

Khairkhwa was close to Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader who welcomed al Qaeda to Afghanistan and was instrumental in the facilitation of their activities, both before and after the 9/11 attacks. “Even after the US led invasion of Afghanistan,” the court found, Khairkhwa “remained within Mullah Omar’s inner circle, despite the fact that Mullah Omar had limited his contact to only his most trusted commanders.”

The Obama administration – at least three years ago – was very concerned. They argued:

Khairkhwa had fought with the mujahideen in the 1980s “and remained deeply involved in the Taliban’s military operations until his capture in early 2002.” Khairkhwa, according to the government’s case, has vast experience on the ground as a military leader, having commanded the Taliban forces during their offensive on Mazar-e-Sharif in 1998, among other efforts. Eyewitnesses to those attacks described a “systematic massacre” of local Shiites as part of the Khairkhwa-led offensive.

The Obama administration further argued that because Khairkhwa had been a jihadist leader for such a long period of time, it required him to remain in detention by the U.S. government.

Unfortunately, the LAT chose not to give us all of the necessary information to make a more informed assessment of any possible threat posed by this particular detainee’s release. A cynic critical thinker who can string two thoughts together might suspect there was a particular bias or motive at work…not unlike this White House.


41 Responses to “Released Detainee: The White House Was Against Him Before They Were For Him”

  1. I hope the everyone know understands that Barrack Hussein Obama, the first African American President of the United States of America, has a different idea of what is terrorism and what the rest of the non-Islamic world thinks it is.

    highpockets (81f1e3)

  2. One of the people released was the Taliban liason with al Qaeda, and therefore, most probably had advance knowledge of the September 11th attacks.

    Of course it would be the fault of the Bush Administration for never classifying him this way. There may not have been any kind of evidence.

    Sammy Finkelman (8ab807)

  3. This is only the opening move. Obama will empty Guantanamo and use the argument that the others there are less dangerous than these five so why worry ? Then he will give Guantanamo to Castro so no succeeding president can use it. Then he will dare us to impeach him.

    Mike K (cd7278)

  4. I did bring the story to your attention, this is the manner he will use to further thin out the ranks;

    narciso (3fec35)

  5. obviously, Barry the Dimwitted has evolved on this issue…so why can’t you racist H8rs do the same?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  6. You can’t beat my fishwrap, for a singularity from which no understanding can escape;

    narciso (3fec35)

  7. *yawn*

    Liberal Media (be0117)

  8. The Empty Chair squeaks, and having squeaked, rolls on.

    htom (412a17)

  9. Psaki and Harf at State are no better that the Vietor’s and Plouffe’s at the WH –
    Hacks of the First Order!

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  10. Did you ever get the notion that Obama is playing the game by a different set of rules than the rest of us – or – that he is playing an entirely different game? I am firmly convinced that he is beyond caring about pubic opinion or the opinion and votes of Congress on any issue.

    He is our own version of Solzhenitsyn’s character Ivan Denisovich who announced to his gulag guards that he was at last free because the state had taken everything away from him. The state could take nothing more from him and thus had lost its leverage on him.

    Obama will now push the envelope on every issue:
    – immigration: he will effectively cease all immigration law enforcement, and through these actions encourage ever increasing flows of illegal aliens. By this he will force Republicans to pass new immigration legislation that gives Obama what he wants.

    – Gitmo: by releasing the worst of the worst, he has thrown open the door to releasing all the lesser threats to America.
    – Carbon limits: he will use the EPA to enforce HIS rules regardless of what the science and economy support.

    – etc.

    The next two years will be beyond belief watching him execute his scorched earth campaign.

    in_awe (7c859a)

  11. Great post.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  12. obama just does what he’s told in_awe person so he can get straight to golfings and having dinners with sleazy whores like Will Smith and Bono

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  13. And the American Sheeple fall into place.
    Gee Oh Dee, Help.

    mg (31009b)

  14. I can only give
    my ironclad commitment
    to beat DemocRATs

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  15. Yep, Mike K, empty Guantanamo, open the southern border, disregard immigration laws, continue to weaken the military … Obama has pulled all stops and will enforce his vision and his fundamental transformation of America.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  16. Somehow I don’t think any of the MFM/administration’s spin about how it’s just cool to release these guys is going to fly. For a few reasons.

    As Bergdahl’s platoon mates have demonstrated, the Obama administration can’t put out its lies and expect the troops who know better to shut up. So, what do they expect all those guards down at GITMO to do when they go on about how these guys are no longer radical Islamists?

    Another reason is that commentators in the MFM won’t get away with calling Obama relatively young when he leaves office at 55, as they will, and claim Hillary! isn’t too old to run for President when she hits the campaign trail in 2016 at 68, as they will, and insist these senior Taliban commanders are too old to pose a threat when they’re all in their mid-40s.

    OBL was 54 when the SEAls were sent in to kill him. Why did the US have to do that, if such geezers are so clearly harmless?

    But one of the reasons is that one of the guys Prom Queen just released, Mohammad Fazl, is wanted by the UN for the war crime of mass murdering thousands of Afghan Shiites.

    John Demjanjuk was deported and stood trial in Germany for war crimes when he was 88 or 89. We’ve never let age be an excuse for not holding war criminals accountable. And this guy is thought to be only 46 or 47.

    So by releasing that guy Obama can expect some international outcry. NDTV has the Agence France press report.

    No amount of spin is going to get the stink off this deal.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  17. An offshoot of the group, founded by this fellow, just shot up the airport in Karachi

    narciso (3fec35)

  18. I figure prezzy lackluster will pardon everyone in gitmo.

    mg (31009b)

  19. You might wonder why they didn’t enlist the opinion of the leading expert on the Taliban, Ahmed Rashid, has written at least four books on the subject, ‘now you might ask yourself’ to quote
    David Byrne what books has written

    sounds like that other expert, Keenan, who blamed global warming, intelligence agencies, and everything else, rather than radical Islam

    narciso (3fec35)

  20. Steve57 (61329d) — 6/8/2014 @ 3:54 pm

    Steve, Fazl is a very old 46, have some compassion (…OK, that’s enough…).

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  21. We totally have a Gangster in the White House.

    Elephant Stone (8a93a2)

  22. Dear Barack,

    You’re making the rest of us look bad.


    Vito Corleone

    Elephant Stone (8a93a2)

  23. Barack is older than 46.
    I say we release him from the confines of the White House, and let him spend a year playing golf in Qatar.
    Or something.

    Elephant Stone (8a93a2)

  24. yes they’ve banned music and even kite flying, but check out their metric verse

    narciso (3fec35)

  25. i’m all for releasing the Gitmo detainees…

    load them on a ship, take them out into the main part of the Gulf Stream Current and drop them overboard.

    if they make it to the UK alive, it is clearly allah’s will that they live in that country where mooseslimes are so popular.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  26. Maybe if Obama goes off to a golf tour of Qatar the Delta Force (why let the SEAL’s have all the fun) can shoot the 5 bearded “assholes for Allah” in a preemptive security sweep

    steveg (794291)

  27. alternatively, we can fly them back to the land of their birth and release them there…

    from say 10K’ AGL. 😎

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  28. By the way, I have never seen such highly nuanced and smart power. I’ll bet all of this played out really well in the classrooms at Harvard when all the Freshmen tried it out.

    steveg (794291)

  29. And the American Sheeple fall into place.

    The disgrace in the White House will be even more arrogant and irresponsible if opinion polls remain at current levels, or still above where George W Bush’s numbers ended up before he left office.

    A fairly large percentage of the American populace deserves plenty of blame for this mess, not even so much for determining the election in 2008 or even in 2012, but continuing to give Mr. “Goddamn America” more cushion than he deserves in 2014.

    The lunacy of Hugo Chavez-ism among Venezuelans (or Evita Peron-ism among Argentinians) does have a counterpart in the US, and it’s exemplified by the ongoing “what difference does it make?!” reaction of the pathetic American media towards all the scandals — and which continues to coddle Barry and then also tout Hillary on the cover of magazines — liberal talking heads in the Democrat Party, and all those “sheeple” who — as one example — were reported as lining up along the streets in LA quite recently to watch Obama’s motorcade (and presumably not to jeer and sneer) pass them by.

    Mark (99b8fd)

  30. the Unit, that series about the Delta Force, had an arc about that very type of plot, which the unit was trying to prevent,

    narciso (3fec35)

  31. #22, ES, give the devil his due, Obama’s no mere gangnster, he’s the most successful jihadi since Muhammad.

    ropelight (1f1b9d)

  32. State Dept spokesperson Marie Harf has totally not seen any evidence that shows Bergdahl’s AWOL activities

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  33. she was so hawt on Entertainment Tonight with those foxy gams

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  34. they all lie Mr. narciso

    it’s not just Susan “lying whore” Rice it’s all of them

    good thing is even in this crap economy grains of salt remain cheap and plentiful

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  35. The next two years will be beyond belief watching him execute his scorched earth

    I just hope and pray we make it to 2016 without him touching off WW III.

    Patricia (be0117)

  36. they do vouch for each other;

    you could imagine them making excuses for Pol Pot, like Chomsky, Herman did in the mid 70s,

    narciso (3fec35)

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