RANGER AGAINST WAR: Smiley's People <

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Smiley's People

 Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave the West behind
And Moscow girls make me sing and shout
That Georgia's always on m-m-my mind 
--Back in the USSR,
The Beatles 

 There will be no war, but in the pursuit
of principle no stone will be left standing 
--Absolute Friends, John le Carre

Subtitle: Designated Hitters

It is said that President Obama doesn't smile much, that he has the sang froid of an attorney-academic. But we will see him as "Smiley" for just this post.

The press has been having their day with the recently-released Prisoner of War U.S. Army SGT Bowe Bergdahl. Some call him a traitor; other say he nuts. The more charitably-minded say it is right that the five supposed Taliban prisoner at Guantanamo Bay be traded for his release, while others claim those released will go right back to being carbuncles on the back of Democracy.

Funny we call Bergdahl a former P.O.W., yet the five men traded for his release were not designated P.O.W.'s; at best, they were called "detainees". When the U.S. was gunning for war, the Taliban leaders (once and current leaders in Afghan's government) were "terrorists". Assuredly, al Qaeda types may be terrorists, but Taliban membership requires meeting a far different bar than does al Qaeda.

But our topic today is not the terminology applied to the incarcerated, or the legitimate leadership of Afghanistan. The topic concerns the intention behind the choice of these five Gitmo detainees.

Rather than seeing the released prisoners all through the narrow glass of radical ideological caricature, what if one or more of them is now something different after 12 years in captivity? What if, after 12 years of mind-breaking incarceration, one or more of these Taliban have been turned?

What if, possibly -- and just that -- one or more is now an agent for the Central Intelligence Agency, and enjoys the best of legend and cover? These men are the real deal, and if they've been turned, that could be one reason for the trade (after Bergdahl's five years in captivity.)

You can tell Ranger if you think he has read one too many le Carre novels.

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Anonymous mike said...

A possibility. But only in the sense of being de-sensitized against their hostility to Americans. I don't believe that the CIA or anyone else has turned them completely to be deep moles inside the Taliban. But then if they have been turned, they will have a hard time influencing events. The Taliban is not monolithic, they are more of a coalition of different factions, and dissident groups, and dysfunctional tribal clans. If found out they would either be spun around again or liquidated by their co-Talibs or by their Saudi paymasters.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 8:17:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...

At least two of these released had previous CIA training during the Soviet Invasion. Take it for what it's worth...

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 1:26:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Ael said...

I expect they will have a hard time in Qatar. They are not the same people and I don't think that their 12 years in captivity have prepared them for life on the outside.

Do they even speak Arabic?

Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 12:13:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

All that you say is true and correct.
So......why are taliban a threat to America?

Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 10:32:00 AM GMT-5  

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