State official: Qatar keeping close eye on five from Gitmo

The Qatari government is keeping a close eye on the five Taliban commanders freed in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, according to a senior State Department official.


“Our experience to date — and obviously it’s only been a few weeks — has been that Qataris are very assiduous in meeting all of those obligations,” Ambassador James Dobbins, the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday.

The White House has come under withering criticism from lawmakers from both parties since it made the swap earlier this month.

The House Armed Services Committees received closed-door briefing about the trade on Wednesday from administration officials in the latest effort to soothe relations with Capitol Hill.
Subpanels of the House Foreign Affairs Committee are also convening a Wednesday hearing on the controversial exchange.

The five detainees are being held in Qatar for one year. Several Republican senators, including panel member Marco Rubio (Fla.), have expressed skepticism that the country will be able to monitor them adequately.