Arizona Republican Senator John McCain expressed his dismay over the prisoner swap between the U.S. government and the Taliban that was finalized on Saturday, claiming that at least one of the released Taliban commanders is “responsible for the death of thousands” back in Afghanistan.
McCain — himself a former POW — appeared on CBS’ “Face The Nation” on Sunday to discuss the prisoner transfer, which saw Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl returned to U.S. custody after five years as a Taliban captive in return for the release of five high-ranking Taliban commanders from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.
“These are the hardest of the hard core,” McCain alleged. “These are the highest high risk people. And others that we have released have gone back into the fight, that’s been documented. And it’s disturbing to me that the Taliban were the ones that named the people to be released.”
“It is disturbing that these individuals would have the ability to reenter the fight,” he continued, “and they are big, high level people, possibly responsible for the deaths of thousands.”
“The death of thousands?” host Bob Schieffer asked incredulously.
“Absolutely,” the senator replied. “One of them was a chief intelligence person who killed a lot of Shiite muslims. They are — these are really the toughest of the tough.”