Wikileaks docs show there was an alternative to releasing 5 terrorists in exchange for Bergdahl
Since the swap occurred, the White House has been insisting that the exchange of 5 Taliban terrorists for Bergdahl was the only deal possible - that this is what the Taliban wanted and that they wouldn't discuss any other terms.
But the Wikileaks docs reveal that within a very short time of Bergdahl's desertion, the Taliban was willing to trade him for a lot less:
The Washington Examiner has some excerpts from the Wikileaks documents:
THE ELDERS WERE ASKED BY THE TALIBAN TO A TRADE BETWEEN THE U.S. AND TALIBAN. THE TALIBAN TREMS [terms] ARE 15 OF THEIR TALIBAN BROTHERS IN U.S. JAIL AND SOME MONEY IN EXCHANGE FOR PVT BERGDAHL. THE ELDERS ASSURED ME THAT PVT BERGDAHL IS ALIVE AND THAT HE IN NOT BEING HARMED.
THE ELDERS ARE GOING TO TO HAVE ANOTHER MEETING WITH THEMSELVES TO DISCUSS HELPING US THIS AFTERNOON. THEY REQUESTED TO HAVE ANOTHER MEETING WITH ME THE SAME TIME TOMORROW. THE MEST ANP COMMANDER IS ALSO WILLING TO HELP IN EVERY WAY HE CAN; EVEN TO THE EXTENT OF REQUESTING ASSESTS/MONEY FROM DAWLAT KHAN TO AID THE MEST ELDERS TO HAVE RESOURCES (CAR, FUEL, ARM TO DEFEND THEMSELVES) FACILITATING MEETING WITH THE TALIBAN. THE ELDERS ALSO ASSURE THAT THEY WILL DO EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO TAKE POSSESSION OF PVT BERGDAHL. THEY SAID THAT THEY WILL APPEAL TO THE TALIBAN BY SAYING THAT THEY ARE WHITE BEARDED MEN AS ELDERS. DURING OUR MEETING, THEY WANTED FOR ME TO TALK TO PVT BERGDAHL VIA ICOM TO ENSURE THAT HE IS DOING OKAY. TRIED TO GET COMMS WITH NO LUCK.
How high up the chain of command did this offer go? Was it ever explored seriously? Elders in Afghanistan village culture carry a lot of weight and if they were willing to help us get Pvt. Bergdahl back, why not take them up on this offier?
The point is simple: there were other options - at least in 2009 right after Bergdahl was captured - to deal with the Taliban on a prisoner exchange that may not have involved releasing potentially dangerous Taliban terrorists.