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Not captured on the battlefield

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Goldsmith and his two colleagues ran the plan by their client, who approved. Nothing happened then, but last week the deal went through, although Goldsmith said they were never told it was a direct deal for Bergdahl. government sent agents to Guantanamo Bay dressed as lawyers in the early days of the prisoner camp.

receive adequate legal representation.

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Goldsmith understands that many Americans find the prisoner swap deal repugnant, partly because they believe our government should not negotiate with the Taliban or other terrorists.

Afghanistan's president Puma Fenty Rihanna Pink Hamid Karzai had mentioned their client by name in a press conference as a possible liaison between the government and Taliban in peace negotiations, and the High Peace Council of Afghanistan also endorsed that idea.

Bowe Bergdahl Taliban prisoner swap with intense concern, if not outrage, Marion attorney Frank Goldsmith observed the deal from a much more personal vantage point.

"None of us got any word from the government that this was going to occur," Goldsmith said. "We did have some contact from high level people in the Department of Defense about three years ago. Puma Heart Basket White

As far as prisoner exchanges, Goldsmith noted that they are not uncommon, and he considers much of the outrage now simply political grandstanding. The Israeli government has swapped up to 1,000 Palestinian militants to retrieve one Israeli soldier, he said.

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"What we're hearing is these labels that call them terrorists with the blood of Americans on their hands," Goldsmith said, referring to the five prisoners released. "That is absolutely not true of my client, at least. There is no allegation that he spilled any American blood or ever tried to, or that he ever fought against the Americans. There's no evidence he was what anybody would call a terrorist."

The client Goldsmith and two attorneys from Winston Salem represented, Khairullah Khairkhwa, was part of the Taliban government when they ruled Afghanistan before 2001, serving as acting minister of the interior and a provincial governor.

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Goldsmith defended his work this week with an essay in Time magazine and an interview with the Citizen Times. Although he said he deplored the Taliban regime, Goldsmith said he believes the Guantanamo prisoners deserve legal representation and due process of law, and that many of them have been mischaracterized as bloodthirsty terrorists.

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Goldsmith, 68, and the other two attorneys he worked with on the case weren't exactly in the loop, though, when the exchange went down. President Barack Obama approved the exchange of five Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl, who left his base in Afghanistan five years ago and became a Taliban prisoner of war.

would be a transfer to Qatar as an intermediate stage to repatriating these Afghan men."

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"He had been confined for well over 12 years, almost 12 and a half years, with never being charged with any crime, or any offense, so we're glad that he got released," Goldsmith said. "The Afghan government wanted him back, specifically for his potential utility as peacemaker there."

For years, he represented one of the just freed Taliban prisoners.

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´╗┐Marion attorney defends representing Taliban prisoner

Not in the exchange loop

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Goldsmith said he and the other two attorneys took the case pro bono.

A longtime advocate for civil rights, free speech and due process of law, Goldsmith said the American justice system is based on the tenet that everyone, even those perceived as despicable, Puma Men's Basket Rls Low Sneaker

"That's a total misrepresentation by our government very, very few of these men were ever captured on the battlefield," Goldsmith said. "Our guy was never on a battlefield to my knowledge."

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But he's adamant that Khairkhwa is not a terrorist. He was not captured on the battlefield, but rather in the house of a Pakistani man in Pakistan.

He also noted that 779 men have passed through the Guantanamo military prison since the 9/11 attacks, and former President George W. Bush released more than 500 of them.

"I think the Taliban was a despicable regime, and I have no love lost for the Taliban," Goldsmith said. "But that was the government of the country. They weren't all terrorists going out and blowing things up."

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