Daughter Heartbroken: Taliban Leader Killed Her Dad, Freed in Exchange for Bergdahl
The daughter of the first American soldier killed in the war in Afghanistan has shared her heartbreak at learning that his killer - a Taliban leader - was freed by the U.S in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl.
Alison Spann was just nine when her father, CIA operative Johnny Micheal Spann, was killed during a prisoner uprising at a compound where he was interrogating Taliban fighters on November 25, 2001.
Mullah Mohammad Fazl, the leader of the prisoners at the compound, ended up in Guantanamo Bay - until two weeks ago when he and four others were switched for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
'My initial reaction was shock,' Spann told Fox. 'I was shocked that our president would release five of the most high-risk prisoners being held in Guantanamo in exchange for one American.
Missed: Alison Spann, pictured [above] with her father, Johnny Michael Spann, and [below], said she was shocked when she learned that the U.S. had released the Taliban leader responsible for his 2001 death
'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.'
She said she still cannot understand why the county that her father fought for would release the man responsible for his death.
'I do not believe that it was the right move by the administration,' she added. 'You cannot release someone of such a high caliber within the Taliban community and expect him to suddenly emerge as a peaceful being.'
Her father, who had served in the Marines for eight years before he joined the CIA, was 32 when he died at the Qala-i-Jangi compound near Mazari Sharit in northern Afghanistan early in the war.
Leader: Mullah Mohammad Fazl, [top], was the leader of the prisoners during the uprising that killer Spann,[bottom]
Deal: The Taliban leader was released in exchange for U.S Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, pictured, two weeks ago
Before he left, he had told his daughter: 'You know people want to kill us and they're trying to kill us. People like me have to go do the things that I have to do.'
He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, where then-CIA Director George Tenet said he had given up his life trying to build a 'better, safer world'.
'You cannot release someone of such a high caliber within the Taliban community and expect him to suddenly emerge as a peaceful being'
'To that place of danger and terror, he sought to bring justice and freedom,' Tenet said. 'For Mike understood that it is not enough simply to dream of a better, safer world. He understood that it has to be built – with passion and dedication, in the face of obstacles, in the face of evil.'
Fazl had been deputy defense minister and commander of all Taliban troops in the northern Afghanistan region at the time of the September 11 attacks and he had also been accused of personally supervising the murders of thousands of Shiite and Tajik Sunni Muslims, Fox reported.
More than 2,300 Americans have died in Afghanistan since Spann's death.
Bergdahl returned to the U.S on Friday after his release from five years in captivity in Afghanistan in the controversial prisoner swap with the Taliban.
Daughter: Alison, a recent college graduate, said her whole family was upset by the government's decision
Loved: Alison and her siblings, Emily and Jake, visit his grave at Arlington Cemetery. Jake was just six months old when his father was killed during a prisoner uprising in a compound in Northern Afghanistan
Bergdahl, who has been recovering at an Army medical facility in Germany since his release last month, 'will continue the next phase of his reintegration process,' at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Pentagon spokesman Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
Officials have kept quiet about Bergdahl's condition to avoid rushing his back into the public spotlight after the captivity and amid a public uproar over the circumstances of his capture and release.
The Idaho native was captured in Afghanistan in June 2009 and released by the Taliban on May 31 in a deal struck by the Obama administration in which five senior Taliban officials were released from detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The Army has not formally begun a new review into the circumstances of Bergdahl's capture and whether he walked away without leave or was deserting the Army when he was found and taken by insurgents