[Ed. – Say it ain’t so. Dog bites man! Eli Lake found some anonymous officials who fear Qatar will “magically” lose track of the Taliban Dream Team being turned over to its wardship in the Bergdahl exchange. We start, below, with the clause that interests me: the stipulation that Qatar will have to approve any U.S. monitoring of the released terrorists on Qatari soil. Um, there are ways around that. What’s the point of emphasizing the kind of restriction that we know, and Qatar knows, we can get around even if we’re jumping along in a sack blindfolded? It’s like even our unnamed leakers are making a point of being inane now.]
As the deal is publicly described, Qatar will monitor the former detainees in a loose form of house arrest for a year, after which time they will be free to leave the small Gulf kingdom.
U.S. intelligence officials, however, tell The Daily Beast that the deal also would allow the U.S. government to monitor the senior Taliban figures, but the exact terms of that monitoring would have to be approved by Qatar’s intelligence and security agency, known as Qatar State Security.
As The Daily Beast reported earlier this week, the promises of Qatar’s young emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, were a factor in swaying James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, to lift his objections to releasing the five Guantanamo inmates.
But Qatar’s track record is troubling. In 2008, when the Bush administration transferred Jaralla al-Marri, a Qatari citizen who spent six years in U.S. captivity, from Guantanamo to Qatar, Doha provided similar assurances to the ones it has provided about the Gitmo 5.
But less than six months after the July 2008 transfer, al-Marri traveled to the United Kingdom ostensibly to go on a speaking tour with other former Guantanamo detainees. In a February 26, 2009, cable from the U.S. Embassy in Doha, the State Department complained that Qatar was not living up to its promises. …
But there are other reasons U.S. intelligence officials are worried about Qatar. The emirate is a good place to raise money for terrorist organizations.