Just as many critics predicted, a member of the Taliban said the deal cut by President Obama to release five senior members of the Taliban in exchange for U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has made capturing high-value targets more appealing.
Speaking anonymously by phone, the Taliban commander told Time Magazine Obama’s deal has “encouraged our people” — Time noted that this person has provided them with reliable information for several years.
“It’s better to kidnap one person like Bergdahl than kidnapping hundreds of useless people,” he told Time. “It has encouraged our people. Now everybody will work hard to capture such an important bird.”
The very sentiment U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, warned about Sunday:
The question going forward is, have we just put a price on other U.S. soldiers? What does this tell terrorists, that if you capture a U.S. soldier, you can trade that soldier for five terrorists we’ve gone after.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., also expressed a similar concern, saying “the president has now set a precedent that will encourage enemies of the United States to target American men and women in uniform.”
Time reported that the commander described “scenes of intense jubilation,” and spoke of how important the deal made with the Obama administration is.
“I cannot explain how our people are happy and excited over this unbelievable achievement,” he said. “This is a historic moment for us. Today our enemy for the first time officially recognized our status.”
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