Alison Spann was just 9 when she learned her father, a U.S. Marine turned CIA operative, had become the first American killed in the war in Afghanistan. Thirteen years later, she found out her country had freed the Taliban leader behind his death.
In the time between, Spann has cherished the memory of her father, Johnny Micheal “Mike” Spann, who was killed during a Nov. 25, 2001 prisoner uprising at a northern Afghanistan compound where he was interrogating Taliban fighters. The 32-year-old was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in a ceremony in which he was lauded by then-CIA Director George Tenet for trying to build a “better, safer world.” His daughter has since grown up and recently graduated from Pepperdine University, even as more than 2,300 Americans have died fighting in Afghanistan.
But nothing prepared Alison Spann for news that Mullah Mohammad Fazi, the unquestioned leader of the prisoners at the compound where her father was killed, had been traded along with four cohorts held at Guantanamo Bay for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held by the Taliban for nearly five years..
“My initial reaction was shock. I was shocked that our president would release five of the most high-risk prisoners being held in Guantanamo in exchange for one American,” she told FoxNews.com. “As a whole, my family was extremely upset and saddened that our government would do something like this, especially in light of the fact that it seems that people in the intelligence community are fairly united in their belief that these terrorists are likely to seek to further harm Americans in the future.”