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Bergdahl, what do we know now


Tigermike

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Here's a good summary of the Bergdahl scandal so far.

The bizarre tale of America’s last known POW

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the last known American POW, was freed after five years in captivity — an ordeal that began and ended in Afghanistan under a shroud of mystery.

The Taliban turned over Bergdahl Saturday morning to US special forces in exchange for five notorious Islamic militants who had been held at Guantanamo Bay and will be sent to Qatar, where they will stay for a year under the terms of the trade.

At least one of the prisoners, ranking Taliban leader Khairullah Khairkhwa, had direct ties to Osama bin Laden.

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Obama’s Dishonorable Deal

Peter Wehner

06.03.2014 - 3:25 PM

Even I, a consistent and at times quite a harsh critic of President Obama, have been taken aback by the latest turn of events.

To recapitulate: Mr. Obama released five high-value, high-risk terrorists from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who it appears was a deserter–and has been known to be a deserter for a couple of years. People who served with him are calling on the military to court martial Bergdahl. Media reports indicate that at least six Americans died in their efforts to rescue him.

In de facto negotiating with the Taliban and acceding to their demands, the president violated a law he signed, requiring him to inform Congress 30 days in advance of any prisoner release from Guantanamo Bay. And the effect of this deal will be to incentivize the capture of more Americans, since it obviously pays dividends.

Yet the Obama administration took this humiliating accommodation and portrayed it as a victory of American values and purpose. The president held a Rose Garden event on Saturday extolling the deal. National Security Adviser Susan Rice referred to it as an “extraordinary day for America” that deserves to be “celebrated.” And Ms. Rice said of Sgt. Bergdahl, “He served the United States with honor and distinction.”

Really, now? A deserter who, according to the New York Times, “left a note in his tent saying he had become disillusioned with the Army, did not support the American mission in Afghanistan and was leaving to start a new life,” is a person who served with “honor and distinction”? By what ethical calculus does she claim this to be so?

This illustrates quite well the fundamental differences the president and his aides and I have. My response to what has occurred is not just intellectual but visceral. I consider what occurred, when everything is taken into account, to be substantively indefensible and morally dishonorable. The president, in my estimation, has rendered a great service to our enemies, and they know it. (Mullah Omar, the head of the Taliban, hailed the release of the top five Taliban commanders from Guantanamo as a “great victory” for the mujahideen of Afghanistan.) The president’s decision may well endanger American lives down the road. And his administration has elevated an apparent deserter–one whose actions were reported on in the past (see this 2012 Rolling Stone article by Michael Hastings) and who is responsible for the death of fellow soldiers who tried to rescue him–into a hero.

This strikes me as morally grotesque. Yet for Mr. Obama and some of those in the progressive movement, the events of the last few days count as a fantastic achievement, one worth venerating and exalting.

Years ago John Gray wrote a book called Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. In this case, it’s the president and I who occupy different worlds, including different moral worlds. Mr. Obama is proud of a series of acts that I would think he would, after careful reflection, feel regret for and even (when it comes to his administration lionizing Sgt. Bergdahl) some shame.

At times individuals interpret the same events at such different angles of vision that their actions are nearly incomprehensible one to another. I will confess that more than I ever imagined, I have that feeling with my president.

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The mainstream media have covered the increased risk of hostage-taking as the direct and foreseeable result of the hostage exchange. This was not a prisoner of war exchange.

Two points not mentioned in most mainstream commentary are noteworthy. This exchange invests Omar and his Islamic Emirate with stature that neither had when the Taliban ruled in Afghanistan. It negotiated as an equal with the US and got the better deal. That sets a precedent for potential deals with other NATO members. It is a powerful disincentive for Pakistan to rein in Omar and his cohorts.

The second point is the release of the five Taliban leaders will boost Taliban morale; help improve their organizational and fighting skills and enhance their operations. It might have a ripple effect on the now divided Pakistani Taliban.

The timing could hardly be worse for Allied forces. As NATO draws down its forces, the Taliban get an influx of experienced leaders, undermining years of effort to degrade the leadership. These were men Mullah Omar trusted in the early days of Taliban rule. He now has a seasoned core around which to build a reinvigorated administration and movement.

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Afghanistan just got more dangerous for our soldiers. Added to that, troop levels will be drawn down to all time lows. Whatever could go wrong with that.

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These guys make Jimmy Carter look like George Washington. How could you negotiate a worse deal than this? What's left?

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The DoD secretary now wants an investigation into what exactly did bergdahl do over there? Desert to the enemy or just wander off and get captured? They have known for 5 years what really happened. The original cover story that he got lost on patrol and was picked up indicates this is a coverup.

I'm really glad to see all these guys in his platoon come forward and get the truth out.

When the Vietnam war POWs got released, the US picked them up in Hanoi and flew them to Clark air base in the Philippines. After they got checked out medically and got new uniforms, they were sent to the US in a few days. Some of those guys had been held for 6 to 8 years and all had been tortured.

Bergdahl is being hidden in a military hospital in Germany for over 4 days now. They don't know what to do with guy and they sure do not want him to talk to the press. And this story about him not being able to speak English now?

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Nothing makes sense about Obama's actions. First Obama said bergdhal was in bad health, but that's obviously not true. Why doesn't Obama take his coat off and reveal his Muslim brotherhood undershirt. This is a terrible precedent he set.

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Nothing makes sense about Obama's actions. First Obama said bergdhal was in bad health, but that's obviously not true. Why doesn't Obama take his coat off and reveal his Muslim brotherhood undershirt. This is a terrible precedent he set.

I'm just SO glad we can ALWAYS trust Obama and his minions like Susan Rice to give us nothing but the truth no matter what. :-\

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Over/under on number of days before the administration allows Bergdahl to speak to the press?

Clearly, this thing has been so badly bungled the administration probably doesn't want the guy to ever speak with the press.

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The only way berhdahl stayed alive is by speaking against America.

What's your point?

Most people have accepted the reality that, at best, Bergdahl is a deserter and, at worst, he is a Taliban collaborator. I'm betting the guy will never speak with the press directly.

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My point is evidence supports that he and his father were weird dudes sympathetic to the Taliban.

Which is weird as cluck , as they claim to be all committed to helping the Afghan PEOPLE, but they really seem to cozy up to the Taliban, who are the absolute worst.

Religious nutjobs.

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im more focused on Obama and his illegal actions as well as his sympathetic views towards the Taliban. Obama released 5 Taliban leaders. Please.spin that somehow... Dang</p>

Tastes...you must read the talking points.. 1) this is what you do at the end of a war...2) these people are not a threat...3) Qatar said they would keep a wrap on them while they travel freely across the middle east 4) It's not really illegal ... we were just in a hurry 5) it's what you do for those that server with "honor and distinction"...how could you argue with iron-clad logic like this?

Let's see,

1) So the War is over...I guess I just missed the Taliban surrender ceremony...they haven't surrendered?...and according to their websites they're still pretty pissed....so that would be wrong...but I'm sure all that other stuff is true

2) How could released war criminals be a threat? I mean; the war was over right? And that's why we released all the Nazi War Criminals at the end of WW2 right? Oh wait, you mean we didn't release them? You mean we executed most of them? And held others until they died in prison over 40 years later...hmmm...that's inconvenient...

3) OK, how about Qatar keeping them out of action...so they can travel freely after one year? Well surely they can't go back to Afghanistan or Pakistan...oh, wait, they can go to Afghanistan and Pakistan after one year...hmmm

4) It's not illegal...oh, wait, the administration apologized to the Democrat Senate Intel Chief for acting illegally...but hey, they still didn't have time, right...oh, they'd been negotiating this specific deal since December? hhmmmm

5) But Bergdahl served with ho.....oh, he'd left his post previously too...not just this one time...and he'd written extensively about wanting out?...but this is all right wing propaganda right? ...oh, Rolling Stone first reported all this in 2010?

But don't worry, I'm sure this will all work out OK...there's just something we don't understand about all this that Obama does...he's got such a great foreign policy track record and vast past experience in negotiating large agreements...I mean, look at how he handled Putin.................

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im more focused on Obama and his illegal actions as well as his sympathetic views towards the Taliban. Obama released 5 Taliban leaders. Please.spin that somehow... Dang</p>

Tastes...you must read the talking points.. 1) this is what you do at the end of a war...2) these people are not a threat...3) Qatar said they would keep a wrap on them while they travel freely across the middle east 4) It's not really illegal ... we were just in a hurry 5) it's what you do for those that server with "honor and distinction"...how could you argue with iron-clad logic like this?

Let's see,

1) So the War is over...I guess I just missed the Taliban surrender ceremony...they haven't surrendered?...and according to their websites they're still pretty pissed....so that would be wrong...but I'm sure all that other stuff is true

2) How could released war criminals be a threat? I mean; the war was over right? And that's why we released all the Nazi War Criminals at the end of WW2 right? Oh wait, you mean we didn't release them? You mean we executed most of them? And held others until they died in prison over 40 years later...hmmm...that's inconvenient...

3) OK, how about Qatar keeping them out of action...so they can travel freely after one year? Well surely they can't go back to Afghanistan or Pakistan...oh, wait, they can go to Afghanistan and Pakistan after one year...hmmm

4) It's not illegal...oh, wait, the administration apologized to the Democrat Senate Intel Chief for acting illegally...but hey, they still didn't have time, right...oh, they'd been negotiating this specific deal since December? hhmmmm

5) But Bergdahl served with ho.....oh, he'd left his post previously too...not just this one time...and he'd written extensively about wanting out?...but this is all right wing propaganda right? ...oh, Rolling Stone first reported all this in 2010?

But don't worry, I'm sure this will all work out OK...there's just something we don't understand about all this that Obama does...he's got such a great foreign policy track record and vast past experience in negotiating large agreements...I mean, look at how he handled Putin.................

Well played JT. Well played.
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Right there with you JP. This is a complete coward decision by Obama. Did everyone forget about the '79 Iranian hostage crisis, or the '81 Marine barracks bombing, or the 1993 world trade center bombing, or the 1998 US embassy bombing in Saudi Arabia, or the September 11th attacks in 2001, or the London bombings, or the Benghazi attack in 2012???? What is that, 30 something years of terrorist attacks by Islamic Jihad?!?! When will people realize that these psychos will never stop??? They sit up in the hills, bored as hell, high on opium planning sh*t until some rich nephew shows up with money and they can organize an attack. Any inch or ground you these maniacs is just fuel for them against the next generation of Americans ak.a. Christians.

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The only way berhdahl stayed alive is by speaking against America.

What's your point?

No honor in dying, right?

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The only way berhdahl stayed alive is by speaking against America.

What's your point?

No honor in dying, right?

There can be. But he would hardly be the first. Read up on McCain.

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5 guys that were ringleadrs for the Taliban, 91/11 are no free. Fed well, climate control prison, are now free. Im waiting for my thank you card from them as a taxpayer who provided for them. Crock of sh*t. Obama is an f'ing terrorist.

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The only way berhdahl stayed alive is by speaking against America.

What's your point?

No honor in dying, right?

There can be. But he would hardly be the first. Read up on McCain.

McCain made mistakes while being tortured in prison but the difference is did he collaborate with the Viet Cong? Reports are out that Taliban attacks became much more precise after Bergdahl deserted. I have seen accounts that he taught them ambush skills and and how to turn cell phones into a detonators to explode bombs.

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5 guys that were ringleadrs for the Taliban, 91/11 are no free. Fed well, climate control prison, are now free. Im waiting for my thank you card from them as a taxpayer who provided for them. Crock of sh*t. Obama is an f'ing terrorist.

For those who think I can hear you's impressions are exaggerations, ...

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5 guys that were ringleadrs for the Taliban, 91/11 are no free. Fed well, climate control prison, are now free. Im waiting for my thank you card from them as a taxpayer who provided for them. Crock of sh*t. Obama is an f'ing terrorist.

For a second, I thought, I don't remember posting this. ;D

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It is this failure of courage by our military leaders that has allowed this dilettante president and his inexpert staff to make one unwise military decision after another, with a compounding effect of weakening and endangering America’s forces around the world. The latest example is this political stunt of releasing five high-level terrorists in exchange for one American soldier who most likely is a treasonous deserter who should be in Gitmo himself. In doing so, this lawless “Commander of the Chiefs” has ignored another federal law that was passed precisely to prevent this sort of executive overreach.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/06/a_fivesided_kennel_of_cowardice.html

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5 guys that were ringleadrs for the Taliban, 91/11 are no free. Fed well, climate control prison, are now free. Im waiting for my thank you card from them as a taxpayer who provided for them. Crock of sh*t. Obama is an f'ing terrorist.

For a second, I thought, I don't remember posting this. ;D

Good one Itch.
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