Feb. 2, 2015

Earnest: No Traded Taliban Fighter Is Back on Battlefield

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest sought to spin the news that one of the five Taliban fighters Barack Obama traded for Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl had sought contact with jihadis. “I can tell you that there are a couple of facts that are important that should be reflected in the reporting,” Earnest insisted. “The first is that none of these individuals has returned to the battlefield. None of them is allowed to travel outside of Qatar. And none has engaged in physical violence. In fact, each of them at this moment is still in Qatar. And each of them is subjected to monitoring and other mitigation measures that limit their activities. I can also tell you that we are regularly in touch with the Qataris about those mitigation efforts and, in light of the concerns that you have raised, I can tell you that those mitigation efforts and those monitoring efforts have been updated to reflect those concerns.” Nothing like a good mitigation update to paper over a horrible move.

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