Almost exactly one year ago, the Afghan Taliban beheaded two boys aged 10 and 16 while simultaneously negotiating with the United States for for a release of five high-ranking officials in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdhal’s release.

Via the BBC (June 10, 2013):

Afghan Taliban ‘behead two boys in Kandahar’

The Taliban have beheaded two boys for spying in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, officials say.

The boys, 10 and 16, had been scavenging for food in bins near police headquarters when they were abducted.

They are thought to have regularly accepted food handouts from police. Analysts say the Taliban are known to target those suspected of colluding with police.

Despite the charges of “spying” the two boys were ultimately caught and beheaded for stealing food scraps.

Hank Richard of the Examiner made the link between the timing of the beheadings and the ongoing negotiations with the Taliban.

“The Taliban beheaded two boys while President Obama’s negotiators carried on a dialogue with the terrorist group,” a Middle East event received by the Huntsville Examiner for publication from a BBC correspondent .

Until President Obama came on the scene, the U.S. almost always maintained a policy for top level administrators to ‘never negotiate with terrorists.’

Obama’s push for talks with the Taliban is described as ‘personal political cover’ for his failed personal policy in Afghanistan as violence continues to escalate and talks continue in Qatar.

A carrot has even been dangled to entice talks. Taliban militants in Afghanistan have offered a trade to the United States and will give up an American soldier held captive since 2009 in exchange for five senior operatives jailed in Guantanamo Bay.

That carrot was Bowe Bergdhal’s release.

In 2012, the Taliban was also accused of beheading a 12-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl in south and east Afghanistan.

According to the Wall Street Journal, negotiations for Bergdhal’s release had been secretly ongoing for three years.  Meaning the U.S. government had negotiated the agreement with a group that was not only targeting and killing Americans in Afghanistan, but were openly beheading children for false crimes.