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Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl
Republicans are not happy about the Obama administration's swap of five Guantanamo Bay prisoners for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held by the Taliban for five years. Though Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said that the swap "was essentially to save the life of Sgt. Bergdahl," Republicans have three key objections.

Some Republicans are focused on the argument that the administration was negotiating with terrorists for the release of a hostage. White House press secretary Jay Carney disputed this characterization in a CNN appearance:

“The fact is he was held in an armed conflict with the Taliban,” Carney said. “We were engaged in an armed conflict with the Taliban, and we have a history in this country of making sure that our prisoners of war are returned to us.”

“He was not a hostage, he was a prisoner,” Carney added.

A second major Republican procedural objection to the deal is that the Obama administration did not give Congress 30 days notice of the release of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, as called for in the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. Administration officials point to a signing statement the president made on the NDAA, saying that "The executive branch must have the flexibility, among other things, to act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers." UN Ambassador Susan Rice said that Congress had been told in the past that a prisoner trade was possible to get Bergdahl back. And, again, they point to the imperative of Bergdahl's declining health.

Third, some soldiers who served with Bergdahl have called into question his actions leading to his capture, labeling him a deserter.

With general Republican opposition to anything President Obama does or supports, House Armed Services Committee Chair Buck McKeon promising hearings, and right-wing blogs having sunk their teeth into the portrait of Bergdahl as a deserter, this story is likely to be with us for some time.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 08:42 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  #Bergdahlzi (34+ / 0-)

    The GOP oxymorans can't have it both ways: a War on Terror without POWs, much like imprisoning and prosecuting "unlawful combatants" in military courts

    “The fact is he was held in an armed conflict with the Taliban,” Carney said. “We were engaged in an armed conflict with the Taliban, and we have a history in this country of making sure that our prisoners of war are returned to us.”
    “He was not a hostage, he was a prisoner,” Carney added.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 08:47:19 AM PDT

  •  What disturbs me is (11+ / 0-)

    his fellow soldiers who served with him are dissing one of their own.  Disgusting and Dishonorable!

    •  According to them he deserted for their (5+ / 0-)

      right to have free speech.  Or something like that. The one's that died looking for him are silent on the issue.  

      "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubt." Bertrand Russell I'm very certain that is true. 10−122

      by thestructureguy on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:09:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who died looking for him? (12+ / 0-)

        I keep hearing that, but no substantiation. Also the cut and paste viral desertion description supposedly from someone who was in his group - no one seems to want to actually claim it as their own. The whole Bowe Bergdahl attack seems pretty well coordinated to me, but what do I know.

        •  Even if nobody died, somebody easily (4+ / 0-)

          could have. If it is true that he deserted his fellow troops, then in the least he deserves to be called out for it.

          •  When I first read about this possibility (16+ / 0-)

            I dismissed it immediately and entirely.  Apparently, there is some there, there.  How much, I can't say.  According to the rolling stone magazine article written in 2012, Bowes family and soldiers that served with him were forced to sign non disclosure agreements.  That's a red flag, in my eyes.

            There have been comments circulating that 6 died looking for him and that after the Taliban had him, attacks picked up and were more specific (as if he was aiding the enemy).

            I don't know what the truth is.  Like I said, I was furious when these reports surfaced.  I immediately thought it was intended to stain the president. But I've since come to learn that these accusations of desertion are not new and that alone gives me pause.

            I say, let the poor kid recover.  If, in the future, there's a case to be made, perhaps it should be a consideration that he's been through enough already.  I'm glad it's not my call.

            •  I think the US Army is scared.... (6+ / 0-)

              but not of Bergdahl's disappearance.   IMO they're scared that if we dig further, we'd have to examine the critiques about his unit and chain-of-command made in those emails to his family.

            •  ^^^^this^^^^ (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bear83, worldlotus, Elfangel

              What the hell is it about this country and rushing to judgment? Why can't we just WAIT a little while?

              OK, I'm being sarcastic, but just a little. I'm not surprised in the least that the same "We [heart] The Troops" Republicans would start shrieking the moment Bergdahl climbed aboard the helicopter. And the world wonders why I'm a cynic.

              I'm sure my truly gentle Republican friend K. could tell me not one, but TWO examples of Dems doing the exact same thing when a Repub administration brought back a POW. Which is why I'm not going to mention it to him.

            •  Various possibilities (9+ / 0-)

              There are various possibilities. One is indeed that Bergdahl was a deserter. But even if he was, that is not the remotest excuse for saying he should be left to rot in the custody of the Taliban.

              Another possibility is that some of his comrades were doing something wrong that led to him being left alone and the Taliban seizing him. If so, then it would be entirely natural for them to make up all sorts of stories about him, feeling safe in the knowledge that he would never be seen again, but also getting their defence in first in case he was and uncovered what they had done.

              We don't know. It certainly sounds as if there are things the military investigators would want to look into. But to launch these attacks on him before he is even back on US soil it utterly disgusting whatever the truth of the matter.

          •  If it's true that monkeys fly out of the (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bear83, claude, Johnny Q

            Statue of Liberty's ass at sundown during blue moons, then in the least we all deserve to hear about it.

            "If" is such a fun word.

            “Poor people have access to American courts in the same sense that Christians thrown to lions had access to the Coliseum.” — Earl Johnson Jr., retired justice,California State Court of Appeal

            by JesseCW on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:50:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Read the articles about it (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, AlexDrew, peregrinus

          such as the one here.

        •  hulibow - it seems as though members of his (6+ / 0-)

          squad and platoon have had to sign agreements that they wouldn't discuss anything related to Bergdahl. If that's true, it is troubling.

          "let's talk about that" uid 92953

          by VClib on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:50:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "seems as though" (9+ / 0-)

            it also seems as though you're talking out of your ass.  If there was credible evidence that this was a deserter, why would the Dept. of Defense or the administration agree to such a prisoner swap that they certainly knew would provide ammo to the Repubs for further attacks, endless hearings, or even reason for impeachment?  
            If you've got some credible evidence, you need to post it or STFU, I know you and your buddy coffeetalk like to jump in on various threads to support whatever the wingnut Repub issue du jour is.  

            •  What evidence do you need to believe he is (0+ / 0-)

              a deserter?

              New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

              by AlexDrew on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 10:21:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I agree, let's get the facts made public (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              and then we can all decide if we agree with the decisions of the administration, or not.

              What's the best way to put everyone under oath and get to the facts?

              "let's talk about that" uid 92953

              by VClib on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 10:42:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  No he doesn't. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              IreGyre, Elizabeth 44, grover, Elfangel

              I disagree as to the aspect of him deserting.  But as despicable of an attack from the Republicans that this is, it is not wrong for us to at least  discuss the possibility so that when it comes time to rebut it when someone tries to assert it as a fact we actually have a way to do it other than just a weak "No, he's not!"  Also, if all we do is isolate ourselves from a discussion only because it is a Republican talking point and so knee jerk take the opposing view we are no different from them on their worst trait.  We will also run into the same cognitive dissonance issues they are.

              As far as Sgt. Bergdahl, he the worst that he probably did is possibly to have gone AWOL.  The simple fact is that no one has produced one shred of evidence other than second hand hearsay on desertion.  There has been no physical evidence anyone has produced.  Also, no one has even intimated that his mental competency was in any way impaired when he went missing.  

              Attempting a desertion when it is hundreds of miles before you can get to a location to have a chance of leaving the country.  Where the location you are at is not only extremely remote but there is no real way to differentiate the hostiles from the friendlies until they start shooting at you and all of your clothes and equipment  clearly show your affiliation.  It would take someone whose mind was no longer properly making rational decisions.  If he had made up his mind that desertion was his best option of getting out of being in a war zone getting a 2-pass to where ever his units R&R location and skipping out there, where infrastructure exists to get out of the country that didn't rely upon the Army he was supposedly trying to desert.

              If I were to hazard a guess as to what happened.  He probably went AWOL and left the perimeter to either get away from everyone for a bit.  The fact that there have been some people that were also stationed at the camp that have trash talked him indicates that he did have some friction and issues with some of the people there since it is obvious some there had friction and issues with him.  I don't know about you but it is frequently difficult for me to regain equilibrium when I have really lost it when I am being surrounded by people and have no way to get away from them.  While walking about in what he thought was empty scrubland he intersected with Taliban scouts that were checking out the base.  Probably so lost in his own thoughts didn't even notice them until they had him surrounded and covered nine ways to Sunday.  They probably were unsure as what to do with him and took him with them when they reported back to whatever command structure they have.  He is probably lucky they didn't just shoot him when they saw him.  

              A person's character is measured by how they treat everyone. Not just your pet group.

              by Tempus Figits on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:09:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Facts: (4+ / 0-)
                Attempting a desertion when it is hundreds of miles before you can get to a location to have a chance of leaving the country.  Where the location you are at is not only extremely remote but there is no real way to differentiate the hostiles from the friendlies until they start shooting at you and all of your clothes and equipment  clearly show your affiliation.  
                Folks don't seem to understand that being AWOL isn't the same as deserting.

                There's a huge difference in intent and in consequences.

                © grover

                So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

                by grover on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 03:09:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Probably the same group that swift boated Kerry (6+ / 0-)

          No names, no military records. Just a bunch of Republican chickenhawks who love to wave the flag and send others off to war while they reap the profits.

          Voters should select people to represent them in their government. People in government should not select people who may vote!

          by NM Ray on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 10:44:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  There's a list of the 6 names in the Time story (0+ / 0-)
    •  Why do you assume that what (12+ / 0-)

      they are saying (which is that he intentionally wandered off the base) is not true? Whatever his issues with the war, deserting your unit, and thereby forcing other soldiers to mount missions looking for you, is not going to make you popular with your fellow troops. I wouldn't side with Bowe over the others in his unit if I were you until you hear the entire story.

      •  This is true the other way, as well. (12+ / 0-)
        Why do you assume that what
        they are saying (which is that he intentionally wandered off the base) is not true?
        Why do you assume it is?

        The articles I have read, even while attacking his character, all have the caveat that we don't know what happened.  IF he deserted, then sure, he should be criticized.  IF he was kidnapped (which I have also seen reported, specifically grabbed from a latrine) then there is considerably less ground for criticism.  

        Shouldn't we wait for the facts before crucifying him, or suggesting we (the USA) should have let Bergdahl (a US soldier) die in the hands of the Taliban?  Doesn't every soldier deserve that benefit of the doubt?

        •  Yeah, what ever happened to innocent (9+ / 0-)

          until proven guilty.  

          "In 20 years, the GOP will be small enough to drown in a bathtub." - me

          by estamm on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:42:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  He wasn't grabbed from a latrine. That we know. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, Jon Says

          He was on a base, a FOB.  To grab him off a latrine the TB would have had to secretly penetrate the base and then secretly carry him off.  It didn't happen.  

          We don't know exactly what happened--but we do know a few things that didn't, including your scenario.

          This is going to hurt Obama if it turns out he did desert, or wander off by himself, and there is no follow-on investigation and prosecution, if it is found to be true.  I'm pro-Obama, and even pro-this exchange: but there must be an investigation and it must be followed up on, with charges, if necessary.  

          To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

          by joesig on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:09:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think anyone has suggested otherwise... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            worldlotus, Elfangel

            after he is deemed mentally competent to participate, an investigation is sure to happen.

            Don't know if it will still be in the media spotlight by that time though.

          •  Oh, and the report I mentioned ... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            worldlotus, Elizabeth 44, Elfangel

            wasn't 'my scenario' but was that, a report.  

            An Associated Press examination of the case quoted radio intercepts, released by Wikileaks, as indicating that he was later captured while sitting on a makeshift latrine.
            From the Kansas City Star
            •  If it was an intercept, and it was translated as.. (0+ / 0-)

              "makeshift latrine", a two-word concept that really doesn't exist in Pashtun life--the real translation is that he was squatting to relieve himself when captured.  

              It's becoming increasingly clear that he abandoned his post, and unit, and went AWOL.  Whether that was through PTSD, mental illness, or a simple desire to desert is not yet clear.  

              To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

              by joesig on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 01:27:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  'Increasingly clear' - This is based on .... (0+ / 0-)

                reports in the media?  Unlawful statements from his fellow soldiers?  

                I think we should wait for the investigation.  

                Even with your own statement, there is plenty of doubt as to culpability here.  

                In any case, I was simply passing on the reports I had heard, not interpreting them (or researching them).  Maybe AP got it wrong, but all I said was that AP reported it.

                •  Unlawful statements? (0+ / 0-)

                  There's actually no doubt in my mind as to culpability--I was being nice.  He did go AWOL, he did completely signal that it was coming, and he did put people at risk looking for him.  Period.  Now, I'll stick with my statement that it might be PTSD, mental illness, or a simple desire to desert.  

                  No soldier leaves a FOB or a combat outpost by himself, without knowing he is violating the UCMJ, common sense, and the operations of his unit.  Period.  Yes, I'm glad he's back.  Yes it was the right decision to get him back.  Yes, I believe he should be investigated and perhaps prosecuted if it's not found to be a mental health issue.   And yes, I'd be happy if, found guilty, he gets credit for time served with the HQN.   But no Honorable Discharge, no benefits.  Is that clearer.  

                  And a spent 2.5 years in AFG from 2009 to 2012, so I'm reasonably familiar with the situation.

                  To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                  by joesig on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 10:10:43 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Nondisclosure agreements ... (0+ / 0-)

                    That is why I am calling statements made, in violation of those statements, unlawful.  

                    I don't disagree at all about what should happen to him (investigation, prosecution if found in dereliction, etc).  I think the honorable discharge and benefits are also up to the courts (military, of course), and shouldn't be decided by anyone outside that venue, no matter what your status in 2009-12.  

                    This is all rumor, speculation, etc.  Anyone with 'inside knowledge' certainly shouldn't be speaking out.  Common sense.  Period.

                    •  This is not all rumor and speculation. (0+ / 0-)

                      The soldiers in his squad and platoon know he deserted.  They spent hard weeks searching for him.  They have every right to speak out.  

                      To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                      by joesig on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 11:59:22 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  AWOL vs Desertion (0+ / 0-)

                        Maybe I am just having problems with the assertions.  You don't know he deserted, you know he was out of his post.  Desertion requires intent not to return.  That needs to be decided by a court, and since no one has been in contact with him (until now, and that is medical personell) then assertaining desertion seems a stretch for me.

                        People searching for him means he was missing, not deserted.  The soldiers were pissed for having to look for him, and that taints the story, but we don't know what happened, how far he got before being under other's control, and if he intended to return to his post.  

                        He was AWOL, perhaps (if he didn't have leave to be off post), but desertion is a serious charge.

                        It also plays into the rhetoric that this was an incorrect decision by the administration (which you aren't subscribing to, I know).  Allen West is calling for impeachment.  Asserting he is a deserter, an unwarranted charge at this point, imo, feeds that fire.

                        •  I can't decide if you're serious. (0+ / 0-)

                          We're not talking about San Diego Naval Base or Fort Bragg.  This is a Combat Outpost in Paktika.  There is no leave.  There is no going "off post".  When you walk out of the perimeter you are in bad guy country.  You have deserted the second you're out of the perimeter without permission.  You have endangered your fellow soldiers the second you sneak out.  

                          Obama made the right decision, for a number of reasons. The clearest, as my friend John Kirby at the Pentagon said yesterday: "In the Navy, if someone falls off an aircraft carrier into the sea, it doesn't matter if he tripped, was pushed, or jumped: we turn the ship around and pick him up."

                          To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                          by joesig on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 05:12:54 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The name of the game is intent. (0+ / 0-)

                            Words matter.  

                            Your assertion of desertion are not held up by facts you could possess.  

                            Desertion requires intent.  We don't know his intent.  Wait for the lawyers.  

                            The assertion of desertion is what is causing political problems, so even if we agree on the actions of the President, I find your assertions problematic.  

                            Again, words matter.  That is why the Pentagon doesn't call him a deserter, but uses the acronym that refers to 'duty status whereabouts unknown' and then labels him 'missing/captured.'  The charges of AWOL or desertion are up to the military, and the court-martial.  We don't have the facts.  Even in your position (which you assert as if you have more authority in the matter), you don't have the facts as to Bergdahl's intent.  

                            His leaving, even in a combat zone, is not desertion unless he intended to shirk combat duty.  Do you know that?  How?

                            Words matter.  

                          •  Words do matter. (0+ / 0-)

                            DUSTWUN is not really a personal status, but is instead a situation calling for max effort (in this case) to recover an individual.  It's before AWOL, before desertion.  And no, I don't need to wait for the lawyers to have an opinion, especially one grounded firmly in fact.  We know what he wrote his family, what he told his friends, what he shipped home, what he took with him when he left: we know many things that establish intent.  Do I know he intended to shirk combat duty?  Of course.  Every combat post of that size, and certainly in RC-E/Paktika has an emergency protocol, requiring each soldier to be in a certain place, with a certain job, with certain gear, when either a drill is called or the real thing happens: by definition he shirked that duty.  And that's just for starters.  

                            Did he absolutely know he was forbidden by standing orders to leave the COP?  Yes.  You want to defend the indefensible, instead of just defending what Obama did.  I'm with the on the latter: the former is a fool's errand.

                            To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                            by joesig on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 11:49:23 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Innocent until proven ... (0+ / 0-)

                            You might be right.  He might be a deserter. I am not 'defending' his actions, I am stating that I am not in a position to judge (I don't think you are either, but you assert you are).  These are media reports, not facts.  The courts will decide. I am happy not to call him a deserter until the court-martial says he is (if they do).  I think that is also better for the country, and the military.  I abhore trying our service members in the press, and the suggestion that we should have left him with the Taliban.  I think asserting his status as 'deserter' plays into that right wing politics.

                          •  I do assert I am. I even assert you are--you just (0+ / 0-)

                            don't like the necessary conclusion.  Are you one of the OJ's not a murderer types?  The infallible courts will decide?  We know enough about his actions to conclude he deserted.  It's not clear if he was mentally ill, or suffering PTSD, or just an immature kid living in a fantasy world of his own making.  The FFFL took one look at him and said "no way".  At the time he enlisted, our standards were too low to say the same.

                            To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                            by joesig on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 01:19:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Subtract one F from FFFL! Unless it's the.... (0+ / 0-)

                            standard one, I suppose.

                            To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                            by joesig on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 01:21:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, Gen McCrystal seems to agree with me. (0+ / 0-)


                            I also appreciate your faith in both the justice system and your former military colleagues (who run military investigations and trials).  The media has such a better record than the courts in getting things right, and having access to all of the information.

                          •  I love Gen McCrystal.... (0+ / 0-)

                            and worked for him for many years.  And I agree with what he said, for public consumption.  The President did do the right thing, and we should always strive to bring every serviceman back, even sometimes at great cost.  And that it is too early for public condemnation.  And I also think, in a private conversation, he would agree that sneaking off that COP was desertion, and that is can't be judged yet because it might be PTSD, might be mental illness, might be a confused and dumb and immature soldier, might be a clearly decided and clearly criminal case of desertion.  

                            To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                            by joesig on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:36:25 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

      •  Do the circumstances of his capture matter as f... (14+ / 0-)

        Do the circumstances of his capture matter as far the importance of bringing home and American soldier who was held captive for five years? Does it matter if a small, vocal number of fellow soldiers think he is/was a deserter? He is an member of the United States military so securing his release and return to his family is the most important thing.

        •  no, it doesn't matter (13+ / 0-)

          the best that the teabagger dipshits and the concern trolls here can say is that the military and the administration didn't know for sure, and erred on the side of saving an American.  
          To even suggest or promote the notion that he was a deserter before the military has even finished debriefing him is disgusting.  

        •  "the circumstances of his capture matter" (0+ / 0-)

          Yes it does, especially if it comes out that he is a deserter. We will know soon enough.

          New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

          by AlexDrew on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 10:24:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So are you implying that if he deserted (6+ / 0-)

            he should have been left to be killed by the Taliban? If he did desert he should face court martial or other military justice proceedings, but until he is brought home and given due process, he is still a soldier and active duty member of our armed forces and every available avenue should have been used to free him from his captors. I wonder if you think it would matter if he was your son, brother or father. If we can send young men to fight our wars we should do everything possible as a country to bring them all home regardless of transgressions. God only knows the type of mental and physical stress he was under fighting for your government but apparently you are quick to cast stones without knowing the facts.

          •  what are you saying? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bluenick, Elizabeth 44, Johnny Q, askew

            are you saying that we should have left him there if we determined he was a desserter?  
            We also might find out that he had PTSD or some type of mental illness or breakdown that caused him to walk away.  Again, doesn't change the fact that we should have rescued him, and anyone who so much as suggests otherwise is an un-American piece of shit.  

            •  People can have a range of views on (0+ / 0-)

              whether it was right to trade 5 Talibanists for this guy. At the least, people can ask questions. That doesn't make anyone an un-American piece of shit. Ordering people to shut up because they disagree with you does, however, strike me as pretty un-American.

          •  I don't believe it matters (6+ / 0-)

            He's an American. He was dying. And, it appears he's been seriously damaged. Did you read he's not capable of speaking English anymore?

            We don't leave anyone behind. It sends a message to the world that we care about our folks and we value them.

            He deserves to come home regardless of his circumstances and it appears he was more than willing to come home.

            I'm sure if there were nefarious circumstances around his "capture", it will be dealt with at the right time and place.

            Bringing him home first is far more important to his family and the rest of the country.

            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

            by fcvaguy on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 01:03:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  If he deserted in order to join the Taliban (0+ / 0-)

          then yes, it matters.

          No one knows for sure that that is or isn't what happened. But yes, it matters, and a full investigation should be carried out, and then the chips will fall where they may.

          •  What if he had some mental issue due to be in a... (0+ / 0-)

            What if he had some mental issue due to be in a war zone and went AWOL for a short time? He could have deserted or could have been suffering from some serious stress and wanted to gather his thoughts. Either way he deserves to come home. If he broke any military rules then he should face a possible court martial but he should still be given a chance at life and due process

    •  the GOP doesn't believe the liberal media (16+ / 0-)

      but will listen to the Taliban's version of the events...

      of course

      The Seminole Democrat
      Confronting the criminally insane who rule our state; as well as the apathy of the vast majority who let them.

      by SemDem on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:36:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And what if it is true? (22+ / 0-)

      What if stress, a breakdown, maybe just a passing wave of suicidal ideation took over, and he did wander off into the hills? What if he broke, and his entire life, he sought solace and meaning in wilderness?  So he wandered into the hills?  

      That kind of thing happens in war zones.  Did he fight for the Taliban?  Nobody is alleging that.  If a young soldier  loses it and gets into trouble, you do what you can for him, and then sort out the details later.

      I think the bigger issue here is the politicization of this issue by the Republicans.  I suspect that Obama is looking for a way to close Guantanamo, as he has claimed he wants to do since his first presidential campaign.  The bigger back story probably has less to do with Bergdahl and more to do with negotiations with the Taliban now that the US is drawing down forces.  

      I have some real concerns that two or more of the prisoners that were released, were war criminals who killed Hazara (Shia') civilians and otherwise committed atrocities. But Guantanamo is unsustainable and we would not have this problem if the US had signed on to the International Criminal Court or fostered a real investigation of crimes under the Taliban so that there was a prayer of universal jurisdiction for these guys.  But we did not, and now a decade later, the choices are to detain them indefinitely at great cost to rule of law, or figure out some way to release them.  

      But the GOP is not concerned about this or anything else. Their concern is solely about gaining political advantage, and they will stoop as low as they can go without any regard for the big picture here.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:46:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So you were there? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jon Says

      You know for a fact he did not desert his post?   If not I would tend to believe the soldiers  who were.

      •  "how do you know he didn't?" (0+ / 0-)

        is  no legitimate reason to accuse anyone of anything.

        Those who make such accusations have shown their utter lack of integrity to all but their conservative masters.

        You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

        by Johnny Q on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 03:50:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I really think these morans may just (18+ / 0-)

    use this as the justification for bringing impeachment charges.  Oh, the calmer heads in the House leadership will try to resist, remembering the shellacking they took in 1998 after impeaching Clinton, but, well, we know how long the "leadership" can resist the clarion call of its idiot caucus.

    Poltically, doing so could put the House up for grabs.  I don't think the American people will rally around a political impeachment done because the President bartered some "terrorists" to free an American POW (BTW, that is the term which should always be used with regard to Bergdahl.  It has a special resonance with the electorate.  I can remember during the first Gulf War Bibi Netanyahu continually referring to Israelis held by Hizbollah as "our POW/MIAs".   He knew how the term resonates.)

    Dick Cheney was completely wrong about Iraq, and we are still struggling with the aftermath of what Dick Cheney and his crew thought was the right policy: To go in and start a war of choice for the wrong reasons. -- John Kerry

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 08:55:18 AM PDT

  •  This 'dirty him up' campaign will surely bite the (16+ / 0-)

    GOP in the ass.....As for Obama...impeach him.......I dare ya.

    •  Swiftboating 2.0 Being Bergdahled nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

      by JML9999 on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:24:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  While HRC sits on the sidelines. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JML9999, Cartoon Peril

        I guess they want her to get sprayed by mud by proxy?

        These people are so distractible. They think they're gearing up for 2016. But their hatred for president Obama is the equivalent of "Squirrel!"

        I, for one, welcome this young man home, and wish him and his family peace and healing. Hopefully, the GOP will move on to to next faux "scandal" shortly.

        © grover

        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:22:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  one would think (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bluenick, FloridaSNMOM, Hillbilly Dem

      But the smear campaign against worked against John Kerry and Bush II was lauded as a hero, though there was amble evidence of desertion.

      I am just going to say it. These type of things are why a many in the civilized community have no faith in the military. When it comes to their care, everyone says that we must take care of of our own, but when push comes to shove, as in this case, the so called honorable military are willing to stab each other in the back.  Of rape fellow soldiers and then honorable claim they did not, and then say they still deserve their pensions.

      I am sure that the majority of the military are honorable and do not just want an way government check, but situations such as this in which alleged honorable people are willing to slander one another for political gain is why we have a constitution. Because when push come to shove, the few people of no honor will use the military might to subvert liberty.

  •  Taliban Victory (8+ / 0-)

    Mullah Omar released a statement yesterday praising Allah for bringing home 5 warriors that can help fuel the Taliban resurgence.

    These guys are wiser than we give them credit for, and they are rubbing our nose in the fact they got us to pay a price for the return of Bergdahl.

    GOP heads are exploding right now and that will only get worse if there is any legs to the story of Bergdahl being a deserter.

    I agree with the idea of not leaving any American behind, but I am actually somewhat uncomfortable that we gave the Taliban anything in exchange for getting him back as it does set the precedent that we will pay a price for the return of Americans.

    If down the line we see a shift toward hostage taking we may regret having set this precedent.

  •  I'll politicize it from the left (4+ / 0-)

    It would have been nice if Obama had complied with the law and notified Congress as required.

    What would have been even nicer is for Obama to have vetoed the bill instead of issuing a signing statement, which is the equivalent of saying, “I will comply with this law when it pleases me to do so.”

    The House of Representatives should have warned the first president to issue a signing statement that impeachment proceedings would begin if the president broke the very law he signed into existence.

  •  A thought.... (18+ / 0-)

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:02:08 AM PDT

  •  They only care about political points. (10+ / 0-)
    According to White House sources, Marc Grossman, who replaced Richard Holbrooke as special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, was given a direct warning by the president's opponents in Congress about trading Bowe for five Taliban prisoners during an election year. "They keep telling me it's going to be Obama's Willie Horton moment," Grossman warned the White House. The threat was as ugly as it was clear: The president's political enemies were prepared to use the release of violent prisoners to paint Obama as a Dukakis-­like appeaser, just as Republicans did to the former Massachusetts governor during the 1988 campaign....

    The tensions came to a boil in January, when administration officials went to Capitol Hill to brief a handful of senators on the possibility of a prisoner exchange....

    [Senator John] McCain reluctantly came around on the prisoner exchange, according to those present at the meeting, but he has continued to speak out against negotiating with the Taliban. Opposition has also come from Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a Republican from Georgia who won election with a vicious smear campaign against former Sen. Max Cleland, a decorated Vietnam veteran who lost three limbs in the war. Chambliss, according to Bowe's father, has insisted that America shouldn't make a prisoner trade for a "deserter."

    Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

    by Mike S on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:05:54 AM PDT

  •  Who's Calling Him a 'Hero' ? (7+ / 0-)

    Seems the only ones right now are some of those who've served in these two wars of choice, joining the choris voices of the 'chickenhawks', and are blasting his service instead of his release, alive, and returned home:

    Thankfully I didn't, at the time knowingly, serve with these types, leaving their brothers behind no matter what they think might be!! The same are the ones, did serve with some of like political mentality shown in the years after, who Attack the VA and not their representatives nor the 99% served, No Sacrifice, who grossly under fund the VA for decades as they knowingly ignore many costly issues as veterans die from, as they seek to privatize for corporate profits off the peoples treasury and as still a government agency the ability for those reps to legislate extra fee's for those corporate entities!!!

    USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71 - Independent**

    "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    by jimstaro on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:08:51 AM PDT

  •  Ya gotta be kidding!! (17+ / 0-)

    Those five a 'serious national security threat'?

    They've been out of that loop for years, they're to old and any physical abilities and body tone their younger bodies had were lost in confinement, to even last a day or two in so called training camps as fighters, and fighters they wouldn't seek to be! There was no hard evidence so they couldn't even be tried in the kangaroo courts set up at GitMo let alone in Courts within the Country! They are extremely behind in the technologies of today as well as the in-theater grounds in present form to lead any groups in fights against anyone, including seeking a rise to the top!

    The only 'threats' they pose are to the present Taliban, or any extremist groups formed, thanks to the bushco policies the conservative fear enhancements mindset and the so called christian intolerant rants, and much more, from within, which were greatly enhanced and spread far and wide to many other area's instead of contained in one or two seeking retaliations for those policies! The younger and more tech advanced are not going to allow them to take over that power, either the ones that came up through the ranks of these groups or those that self proclaimed their leaderships in getting rid of any opposition to them! And you can do a sure bet that preparations are being done within these groups to hinder any attempts, right now, to lock them out!

    They will get respect as elders and living martyrs for having survived, while not prosecuted, so long. We do that here, think Sunday Mornings with Sen McCain any TV channel. But threats they aren't. They may be able to use that respect to garner followers but that would only be for the political side of any extremist organization, even here where the more extreme you are the easier to play the grifting game and not only gain power but wealth without doing much at all!

    "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    by jimstaro on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:09:53 AM PDT

    •  it's not an all or nothing thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      a "threat" is really percentage danger of releasing these guys, versus the costs in holding them and missed opportunity to repatriate Sgt. Bergdahl.  They might well return to the life of terrorism, but it seems like a manageable risk.  

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:35:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Plus they're going to spend a year in a prison as (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus, bear83

      "guests" of the Qatari government

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:44:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  These are all good points (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mmacdDE, worldlotus

      But don't forget, also, that huge amounts of the detainees were/are innocent of any crime.  Which is to say, returning to your first sentence, they may have never been in the loop in the first place.

      It's crazy that we once faced down the Soviet Union, which was armed with enough nuclear warheads to destroy us many, many times over, but now we're supposed to cower in fear about a handful of guys we've had locked up  for a decade.

      •  Like I Said (0+ / 0-)

        There was no evidence, the congress was fighting against release and other factors, probably were first subjects of the CIA secret torture prisons, there's a number of facors, one being GitMo is still open and the conservatives want to spend another some $60mil to build a new prison camp there!! 'google it'

        "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

        by jimstaro on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:33:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The biggest mistake here (0+ / 0-)

        was that we didn't just ship 'em all to Qatar. There would be no reason to keep the Gitmo prison open if it was empty.

        Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

        by bear83 on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 12:26:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Fazl, one of the 5, was the commander of the army (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jon Says
      Despite some efforts to reorganise the Taliban military along more conventional lines, offensive operations have fallen mostly to task force groups thrown together on an ad hoc basis under different commanders from different provinces. On paper at least, an army corps is based in Kabul, commanded by Mullah Mohammad Fazl, along with an independent armoured brigade. However, there is no evidence to suggest that any meaningful divisional structure has emerged in the provinces.

      Taliban Forces Proper

      Mullah Fazl was also a famous name during the Taleban era. He is a Kakar, originally from Tirin Kot in Uruzgan, and is also old enough to have fought at a junior level during the 1980s jihad. While not one of the original Taleban, he joined early and rose through the ranks because of his fighting ability. He ended up as one of the most important and feared commanders of the Emirate and was head of the Army Corps in 2001.

      Releasing the Guantanamo Five? 1: Biographies of the Prisoners

      He was also important in the surrender of Taliban forces to General Dostum around Kunduz in 2001. This is from Dostum's version of events:
      November 18-23, 2001 - Taliban Army Chief Mullah Faizal and Taliban Northern Zonal Chief Mullah Nuri negotiated a surrender of their fighters trapped in Kunduz. General Dostum lead the process and members of the CIA, US Special Forces and western media were present during this negotiation.

      Dasht-e-Leili Timeline

      There is a strong general theme from the early days of the war, that Afghan commanders had wanted negotiated surrender, where Taliban members would be allowed to return home and retire from political life. But the Bush administration had other ideas, about smoking them out and killing them all. This old mistake is still a major cause of problems today.

      It's related to the other old mistake that still haunts us, of not distinguishing Taliban from al-Qaeda, a confusion of fighting war versus fighting terrorism, and of the exceptionally muddled justifications for capturing and holding prisoners.  

      When the United States launched its offensive on October 7, 2001, the Taliban’s organization disintegrated under the pressure of the military campaign. Many Taliban returned to their villages and waited to see what would happen. Soon they found themselves targeted by U.S. Special Forces and the new Afghan elites. These actions were dictated by President Bush’s policy of making no distinction between members of the Taliban, whose regime had harbored al-Qaeda, and al-Qaeda itself.

      Separating the Taliban from al-Qaeda: The Core of Success in Afghanistan

      About these five, or at least for some of them, I don't think concerns about evidence, or kangaroo courts, should even apply. They are former Taliban officials, not al-Qaeda terrorists. Being Taliban, at the time Taliban controlled most of Afghanistan, is not a crime.

      As far as the evidence of Fazl's command responsibility for the 1999 burning of villages in the Shomali Plains, and potential war crime prosecution of that, it gets pretty messy. General Dostum, current candidate for Vice President of Afghanistan, his and our responsibility for the Dasht-e-Leili massacre, is an example of the messiness.


  •  McCain (18+ / 0-)

    The fact that he's leading the faux outrage on this one makes my blood boil.  He should be applauding this with every ounce of his being, because he's been there.\

    I'm sorely tempted to tweet him saying that we should have left him in Hanoi.  Scumbag.

  •  Bergdahl (5+ / 0-)

    The "new" Bengahzi!

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:17:22 AM PDT

  •  Right wingers are animals (19+ / 0-)

    That is the nicest thing I can say about them. I'm sick of these pigs and they way they drag everything through their own muck. Now they're going to slander this soldier because they don't like the fact that the n*gger president did something about his being held prisoner.

    Fuck them all. I have no sympathy for these filthy beasts. Anything and everything that can be brought down upon their heads and the heads of their families is fine by me.

    And as the song and dance begins, the children play at home with needles, needles and pins.

    by The Lone Apple on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:17:31 AM PDT

    •  My comment of the day! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      •  Yes, I'm really sick of them too (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Pretending to be "patriots" while doing all they can to wreck the country. Pretending to be "Christians" while lacking all compassion for those Jesus told them to care for. Pretending to revere the Constitution while remaining ignorant of it. And basing most of their beliefs and arguments on lies and obfuscation to the point where you can't have a reasonable debate on issues anymore, and calling a media that demands you do and that Democrats give up everything "liberal." I'm just sick of it. I actually had a couple of righties try to deny hard numbers about Ohio's budget because they confirm that Kasich is a reckless tax and spender on a massive scale. They insisted I made up budget office figures that are easily confirmed. I'm out. They're not rational anymore.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

        by anastasia p on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:16:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  McCain was flying where he was told NOT to go (8+ / 0-)

      when he was shot down...curious how that is not a problem for McCain, disobeying orders....

      "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

      by merrywidow on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:47:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I felt the same way too, initially (0+ / 0-)

      Then, I began to read more and found that these assertions about Bowe deserting and aiding the enemy have been circulating for years and began with the soldiers in his own unit.  I'm not sure to what to make of all this, but there is some there, there.  I guess we'll have to wait and see what develops.

  •  No matter what (18+ / 0-)

    Repubs will attack President Obama.

    If he walked on water, they'll say he can't swim.

    If he cured cancer, they'll say he's a job killer, putting doctors out of business.

    If he said the sky is blue, they'll foam at the mouth trying to prove it's green.

    The fact that they would attack the President over this incident is proof that they are not patriots, but traitors to America.

  •  Read Michael Hastings' excellent long article (6+ / 0-)

    in the Rolling Stone about Bowe and the story of his capture.

    the dog you have, is the dog you need. - Cesar Millan

    by OregonWetDog on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:20:46 AM PDT

  •  predictable Repug response. What you would expect (0+ / 0-)

    from a Hawk/warmongering party. Obama accomplished something of value and meaning, and they did not, so lets attack Obama. What a shock!!!!

  •  Greg Sargeant's blog The Plum Line (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    River Rover, Garrett, worldlotus, askew

    has a good summation of the 4 main GOP arguments against this deal.

    1) The first argument is, to put it bluntly, that Bergdahl didn’t deserve to be rescued.

    2) The second argument Republicans are making is that we simply shouldn’t negotiate with terrorists.
    3) The third argument is that the release of these particular Taliban prisoners is uniquely dangerous.
    4) The final objection Republicans have is that President Obama didn’t follow the law in the way the deal was carried out.

    The 1st 3 are the usual GOP nonsense. The post concludes that the last argument has actual merit, and the Obama Admin is going to have to justify bypassing the law.

    See here.

  •  I'm just so flustered over all this crap. (4+ / 0-)

    Now they'll be yelling, "BENGHAAAZZZZIIII - BERGGGDDDAAAHHHLLL!!!"  

    I am so sick of these RWers.  And, yes, they are seditious, and they are traitors to America.  

    And, no sense talkin' at 'em.  

    The purpose of live is to live a life of purpose...and serve your neighbors with joy and love and make a positive difference in their lives.

    by MinervainNH on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:23:53 AM PDT

  •  Support the Troops / Yellow Ribbons (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, bear83

    They support the troops, but not as much as they support locking people up.

  •  Israel Who The GOP Love Swaps Prisoners (5+ / 0-)

    of war all the time.  They don't call them hostages.  LOL.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:29:48 AM PDT

  •  Don't believe the politics of this will work (5+ / 0-)

    for the GOP this time around.

    This is not 2002. 9/11 is not as fresh (and neither are these 5 Taliban!).

    It's kind of like 1992 when the GOP thought they could rerun the 1980 campaign and try to make the election about "Reagan's successor" vs "another Southern Democratic governor". What they failed to grasp was by 1992 Jimmy Carter was more popular and held in higher regard than Ronald Reagan by the general public.

    The American public is weary of Afghanistan. They just want out. We got bin Laden, declare victory and go home.

    And so we didn't leave one of our own behind on our way out. Whether a hero or a bum, he was still one of ours.

    And nobody is going to care about what most will see as process issues around notifications, signing statements, etc.

    I don't believe in signing statements either, but if the GOP was truly upset about that perversion of the Constitution then they should have spoken up every time Bush II used them.

    Blue is blue and must be that but yellow is none the worse for it - Carlisle Wheeling

    by kenwards on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:31:24 AM PDT

  •  We All Knew This Was Coming... (9+ / 0-)

    Of course the RWNJs have attacked the Bergdahl exchange. They can't possibly let President Obama be thought of as the humanitarian that he is for getting the man released; he might get praise for it, and we all know that the GOP-ers can't stand to have the Black Guy in the White House get praise.

    You can bet that if President Obama hadn't gotten this soldier back and he died, those same GOP-ers bashing him for the trade would be bashing him for "letting an American soldier die". They GOP has failed in their crusades to trash President Obama on the ACA, the economy, GM, getting Bin Laden, and everything else President Obama has accomplished during his time in office. None of their slanders has worked, so all they can do now is beat their dead horses and try to hold umpteen hearings on the same nontroversy.

    If a Rethuglican president did this those same critics would be putting their prez up for the Peace Prize. Remember all the "You should respect the Presidency even if you don't like the President" crap we had thrown at us when we protested DUHb-ya's war over non-existent WMDs? You hear none of that since President Obama got into office. The GOP-ers completely ignore their previous policy of how to treat the President. It's always the same with the GOP-ers: They think that everything they do is patriotic, but let us do the same thing and it suddenly becomes the act of traitors.

    How about dealing with the fact that prisoners at Guantanamo have been held without counsel, hearings, or being allowed to know the evidence against them, in violation of the Constitution? We should close Guatanmo now. Anything that furthers that along is okay with me.

    Trading prisoners is nothing new. It happened with Gary Powers (who was also bashed when he came home, because a Dem president had pulled off the trade) back in 1962. Presidents do this, but the Rethugs only have a problem with it when the President is a Democrat.

    And for all the 'baggers, et al saying that no one/nothing should ever be traded for prisoners, I have one sentence for you:

    Reagan and arms for hostages

  •  another wise decision by the republicans (4+ / 0-)

    politicize and argue against the release of a POW.

    If we lose to these jerks in the midterms... we don't deserve to win anyway.

    The threat to our way of life comes from corporations, and the solution is to shrink corporations while freeing government from corporate control.

    by gbaked on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:35:34 AM PDT

  •  Disgusting. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loge, Matt Z

    These people are feckless and disgusting.

    This is a testament to how clean a ship Obama runs if this is what they're reduced to doing.

    Of course the SCLM isn't going to say anything about those little pesky facts, and people will remain uninformed of the truth. We're stuck in "Some say"-ism, really.

  •  Only a few days ago conservative Christians were (5+ / 0-)

    clamoring for Bergdahl's release using the hashtags #Bergdahl #tcot on Twitter.  Now that he's released through Obama's efforts he's suddenly a "deserter" and a "traitor." Go check it out for yourself on Twitter.

  •  Its the WAR ON TERROR republicans, you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    insist on this. By any definition that makes him a POW.

  •  How he left his post is a separate question (9+ / 0-)

    If the military has reason to believe that he left voluntarily (= deserted), I have no problem with them charging him with desertion and holding a trial, with due process and all that.

    That is a separate question from whether the President had the legal right to negotiate the prisoner swap (how could he not, as Commander in Chief?), or whether this individual should have been left in Taliban hands for whatever fate awaited him there.

    It is beyond belief that some members of the military or Congress apparently think that whether you rescue a soldier depends on whether everyone agrees that he's a 100% hero. In wartime, there is no one who is morally pure, and I'm not aware that we've ever distinguished between "good" or "deserving" soldiers who get rescued and "bad" or "undeserving" ones who just get left behind.

    •  Good points rugbymom. Worth pondering: (0+ / 0-)
      It is beyond belief that some members of the military or Congress apparently think that whether you rescue a soldier depends on whether everyone agrees that he's a 100% hero
      What I do not get about the sudden outrage, labeling, etal is that according to the 2012 Rolling Stone article linked above by OregonWetDog is how anyone can claim irregularity or threat to other soldiers:

      1)Apparently, POW swaps are made on the ground with regularity-by those on the ground.  Also cited is an instance where Israel swapped over a 1000 for 1 Israeli.
      All without setting up hordes of other soldiers to be kidnapped & ransomed.

      2) At the time of the Rolling Stone's article, similar or same exchange negotiations fell through.  This was not some secret kept-major political players were/have been involved for years regarding the release of this soldier.

       President Obama did not just wave a wand & free this individual yesterday.  Took the concerted efforts/skills of who knows how many & apparently all these intervening years to do so.

      In an aside, I am stunned to discover how long it takes and of the USA political aspects involved to obtain the freedom of one of our fellow Americans.

      Someone's child, spouse, brother, sister, parent.....their fate determined by who & what.

      And to top it off, without a true knowledge base, this particular soldier is being smeared.  Whether allegations are true or false or shades of grey, imagine what a lovely life this person & his loved ones will now face.

  •  Given that the Taliban are no strangers... (8+ / 0-) propaganda, if this guy had really deserted, I'm sure they would have set him up in front of TV cameras by now to badmouth the USA and their policies in the region.

    "In 20 years, the GOP will be small enough to drown in a bathtub." - me

    by estamm on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:39:41 AM PDT

    •  "Lost his shit under stress and wandered off" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      claude, Johnny Q

      certainly meets the definition of desertion under the UCMJ, but it's not what most people mean when they use the word.

      I have a strong feeling that those using this line of attack are going to wind up looking a lot like Patton slapping a shell-shocked soldier.

      “Poor people have access to American courts in the same sense that Christians thrown to lions had access to the Coliseum.” — Earl Johnson Jr., retired justice,California State Court of Appeal

      by JesseCW on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:59:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  whether he was a deserter is a valid inquiry (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask, dpinzow, MaikeH, peregrinus

    Apart from the policy issue of how or whether to negotiate and swap for the release of our service member being held by an enemy, I think it is legitimate to determine the circumstances of how he came to be separated from his unit.

    As a military veteran, I believe it is reasonable for the DoD to formally determine the circumstances.

    If some of the men in his unit are claiming that he was a deserter, that is a legitimate basis to open an inquiry.

    Let the facts fall where they fall.

    I'm glad he is home, regardless of how he came to be captured by the Taliban (in other words, even if the facts show he was a deserter) - but I support a DoD inquiry about how he came to be captured.

    A Congressional inquiry could become a partisan clown show.  A DoD inquiry would make more sense.

  •  The "deserter" thing is really troublesome (8+ / 0-)

    because it is being made by his fellow soldiers.  

    From CNN:

    According to firsthand accounts from soldiers in his platoon, Bergdahl, while on guard duty, shed his weapons and walked off the observation post with nothing more than a compass, a knife, water, a digital camera and a diary.

    At least six soldiers were killed in subsequent searches for Bergdahl, and many soldiers in his platoon said attacks seemed to increase against the United States in Paktika province in the days and weeks following his disappearance.

    Many of Bergdahl's fellow troops -- from the seven or so who knew him best in his squad to the larger group that made up the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division -- told CNN that they signed nondisclosure agreements agreeing to never share any information about Bergdahl's disappearance and the efforts to recapture him. Some were willing to dismiss that document in hopes that the truth would come out about a soldier who they now fear is being hailed as a hero, while the men who lost their lives looking for him are ignored.

    If any of this is true, then this is criticism is really legit.  If any of this is true, trading this guy for the five high-ranking Taliban guys -- and making soldiers sign a non-disclosure agreement promising not to discuss the six soldiers who lost their lives looking for this guy -- stinks.  To me, the non-disclosure thing stinks the most -- what the hell is the government doing that kind of thing for?  Who makes soldiers sing non-disclosure agreements like that?  It looks really bad (if this guy was a deserter) to be giving up so, so much for him while at the same time refusing to let anybody talk about the six soldiers who died because of what he did.  

    This criticism -- if true -- will have staying power precisely because it's not being generated by Republicans (even though I'm sure they will pounce on it).  This is the kind of think that could come back to bite the Administration.  

    •  I remember a Presidential Candidate having (9+ / 0-)

      stories told about him by "his fellow sailors".

      “Poor people have access to American courts in the same sense that Christians thrown to lions had access to the Coliseum.” — Earl Johnson Jr., retired justice,California State Court of Appeal

      by JesseCW on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:57:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No one every called John Kerry a (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AlexDrew, VClib, Jon Says, nextstep

        deserter, no one ever alleged that six people died trying to find him and -- most importantly, in my view -- the government did not make other soldiers sign a non-disclosure agreement saying they could not talk about his alleged desertion nor about six other soldiers who allegedly died trying to find him.

        The non-disclosure thing here really is problematic, in my view.  There's something going on that we don't know about.  

        •  Could be lots of things (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, PurpleElectric, doroma, askew

          Bergdahl could have just snapped. He could have been seeking mental health treatment and been denied. He could have been on drugs, and those could have been prescribed by the military (not uncommon). He could have witnessed some event on a mission that he was going to report up the chain of command, got ordered not to, and gone off the rails.

          There could be DOZENS of reasons why he wandered off. Assuming he DID wander off, and didn't get captured. Which is a possibility. If his capture was due to lousy security at the outpost, hell yes they'd want to cover that up.

          We don't know. But I suspect we'll find out.

    •  Then you can run for President . . . (6+ / 0-)

      and cut your own deal.

      why did we do a prisoner swap for a pilot as shitty as John McCain back the day?  

      It's not all Saving Matt Damon . . . bring him home and court-martial him if appropriate.  

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:59:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really? Denigrating McCain's military service? (5+ / 0-)

        I understand a lot of people hate McCain's political life - and there's a lot to criticize there.  

        But as a POW, McCain refused early release offered to him by the North Vietnamese.  They offered him early, out-of-turn release because he was the son and grandson of admirals and (as he was aware) they wanted to use him as a propaganda tool.  He refused to have his release be out of turn and refused the special treatment because of who he was.  

        Whatever people think about McCain's political life (and I have no problem with people criticizing his politics), I seriously doubt very many of us would have been willing to sacrifice years of our life under tortuous conditions like he did as a POW.  

        This story needs to stand or fall on its own merits without trying to use it to denigrate McCain's military service.

        •  Nope, denigrating your "argument" (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          red rabbit, worldlotus, doroma, askew

          where we should leave someone behind because of hearsay . . . the fact is, similar arguments could have been made against McCain from when he did appear on North Vietnamese tv, after torture.  It "looked bad," after all, which seems to be the standard you're applying.  Seizing upon what we don't know to justify leaving Sgt. Bergdahl is immoral -- as I said bring him home and if he's a deserter, charge him as one.  If he's not, then he's not.  One could even make the case that if we only got five fewer prisoners in Guantanamo, dayenu, though I'm not sure I'd go that far, not knowing anything about these five dudes, nor does anyone whose commentary I could actually read.

          That said, the time McCain was shot down over North Vietnam was neither the first, nor somehow the last, time he crashed a plane.  He was an incredibly brave man and very bad at landings.  

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 10:30:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm assuming the Administration knows (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AlexDrew, Jon Says, nextstep

            whether it's "hearsay" or not.  If they don't, they are completely incompetent.  

            And if, when they made the deal, they knew that he was a deserter and that his actions got six other soldiers killed, then yes they have an issue.  

            •  yeah, i view your claims (7+ / 0-)

              like a demurrer.  Let's assume the worst case scenario is true.  He's still an American soldier, and the military is obligated not to leave him behind.  If you want to play deckchair JAG lawyer about whether he should or shouldn't be court-martialed once he's returned, that's fine, but either way it's not an indictment of the diplomacy or political judgment to make the swap, much less the terms of it.

              Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

              by Loge on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:18:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  The argument on the other side is just as potent: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burlydee, Johnny Q

      You can't leave our soldier to die in a foreign country, period.

      "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

      by Wildthumb on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 10:10:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We have no idea if or why he deserted his (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus, Johnny Q

      post.  At the end of the day, it doesn't matter.  We don't leave one of our own to be done god knows what with at the hands of our enemies.  I think that is basic army 101 - leave no man behind.  I'm sorry for whomever loss their life searching for him.  Many people died pointless deaths in that war. The guy they should be blaming is sitting in an air conditioned mansion in Texas.

    •  thanks for your concern, troll (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      always can count on you to promote the GOP wingnut talking points, arguments, and smears.  
      You're right up there with Romney attacking the President before anyone knew the full story about Benghazi.  
      I'd think that someone who presents themself as some sort of supposed legal expert would have better things than to troll here, you'd at least find some people who take you seriously on one of the wingnut sites.  

      •  Why are you so angry? (3+ / 0-)

        New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

        by AlexDrew on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:36:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's simple (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          burlydee, askew

          I don't like trolls who have a long track record of being GOP trolls.  Not that complicated.  Why do you care?  Oh right, you support the notion that a POW should be left to die based on allegations and an incomplete investigation.

          •  When did I say he should be left to die? (0+ / 0-)

            Those who put words in someone else's mouth are probably losing the argument.

            New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

            by AlexDrew on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 01:26:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  The name calling and personal insults... (0+ / 0-)

        that way too many people seem to enjoy is one of the really unfortunate aspects of this site. I've seen that they usually begin to appear when someone feels threatened that their version of an argument might be losing ground...

  •  Let's just kill them all then. If we can't ever (0+ / 0-)

    let them go and we can't bring them to a more humane-ish prison here, then just kill them

    or WTF does the GOP think we should do with these Human Beings in our care?

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:44:27 AM PDT

  •   Deserter (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, River Rover, peregrinus, Jon Says

    "According to firsthand accounts from soldiers in his platoon, Bergdahl, while on guard duty, shed his weapons and walked off the observation post with nothing more than a compass, a knife, water, a digital camera and a diary."
                        General Orders No. 1   I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.                        

    •  How about we at least get Bergdahl's side (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus, Johnny Q, askew

      of the story before labeling him (and libeling him) as a deserter?  

      If he did desert, he certainly didn't join with the Taliban and spout their party line.  If joining the Taliban wasn't his aim, why did he desert?  To wander alone in a war-torn country with the distinct possibility that he'd be killed or captured?  No, that doesn't make sense.  At this juncture, we still don't know if he was captured or walked away from his post.  Calling him a deserter a now is beyond premature.

      A word to the wise is sufficient. Republicans need at least a paragraph.

      by d3clark on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:23:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Desertion is a serious charge (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I agree that it doesn't look good for Bergdahl, but as an American citizen (which outranks his status as an American soldier) he deserves a fair trial to and to face his accusers.   Let them testify under oath and prove their case - no more of this skulking-around anonymously on Twitter and in comments sections of rightwing 'blogs.

    Even in the best case scenario Bergdahl's actions endangered the lives of all those who searched for him.   I have no problem with a trial to get to the bottom of this thing.

    Finally - I STILL have more respect for a deserter than a chicken-hawk warmongerer, because at least the deserter came by his opinions honestly after enlisting and experiencing military life firsthand.

  •  If Pres. McCain and Pope Romney I think this is... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    claude, askew

    ...a bad deal then that's good enough for me!

    History has taught me a valuable lesson: Genghis Khan but Immanuel Kant.

    by Metro99 on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:47:29 AM PDT

  •  Signing statements don't trump laws. (4+ / 0-)

    Never have.  That's not how our system works.  It's truly a shame to see anyone claiming to be on the side of the law trying to advance the notion that they do.

    That's the only place they've got even a thin ledge to hang from.

    On the other hand, having already informed Congress that a deal like this was possible is a much more credible defense.

    “Poor people have access to American courts in the same sense that Christians thrown to lions had access to the Coliseum.” — Earl Johnson Jr., retired justice,California State Court of Appeal

    by JesseCW on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:48:57 AM PDT

  •  It Was OK to Get Back McCain (8+ / 0-)

    John McCain was freed from a Vietnamese POW camp along with 107 POWs, a little less than half of the total American POWs held prisoner, by the terms of the Paris Peace Accords of 1973.

    The US held thousands of Vietnamese POWs at the time. Most of them were released to Vietnam in the exchange under the Accords.

    Far more than five of the Vietnamese POWs "returned to the battlefield". Indeed they won the war and their government continues to rule Communist Vietnam three decades later.

    But It's OK If You're A Republican, amirite? Especially if you're the exceptional John McCain.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:50:32 AM PDT

  •  Supportify those them thar troops!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burlydee, askew

    Except for the, well, you know.... actual troops.

    Rick Perry - the greatest scientist since Galileo!

    by Bobs Telecaster on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:51:17 AM PDT

  •  Thank you Mr President, for this latest gift. (0+ / 0-)

    Benghazi was getting a little out of date so this "POW exchange" is like a Godsend for the GOP.

    We promise to make it last a long time.

    Thanks again,

    Gratefully yours (not really)
    The Republican Party

    Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

    by River Rover on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:56:47 AM PDT

    •  He'll catch hell no matter what he does. He might (5+ / 0-)

      as well act according to his own ideas and interests now and damn the GOP. Including the new carbon emission standards.

      Don't worry. Next week it'll be a new outrage. And another. And another. And, like Jimmy Carter's reputation, they'll attack Obama after he's gone. So fuck them.

      "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

      by Wildthumb on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 10:13:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  and if Bergdahl died it would be a scandal (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PurpleElectric, Johnny Q

      heads the GOP wins, tails Obama loses.  And the reliable trolls on this site would be with the GOP either way.
      It would have been "very troubling" if they knew that Bergdahl was sick, and that they had the chance to save him but didn't.  Very troubling indeed.  

  •  GOP is callous and dead wrong here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The slogan is "no soldier left behind," even if the soldier is below average. The military will investigate whether Bergdahl left his post without permission or not

  •  I'm sure (6+ / 0-)

    if Mitt Romney had won as was now president, the same Republicans who are knocking the Obama administration for this move would be praising Mitt as a hero for bring this POW home.

    The hypocrisy is amazing. It just never ends.

  •  Is it possible... (0+ / 0-)

    ...that before they were freed, they were microchipped?

  •  Does it matter that he's a deserter? (6+ / 0-)

    I mean ok, so what if he's a deserter? Let's bring him back for a trial then.

    If the contention is that the Gitmo prisoners shouldn't be in there and that most of them aren't a threat and they're broken and it's inhumane, then releasing them should be no big deal.

    What I'm getting at is that it seems to me that him being a deserter is not really germane to whether he should come home. It just feels like they're throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks.

    There is nothing Obama can do that will please them. So let them bray and moan and hang themselves.

    •  Exactly. They'll oppose him NO MATTER WHAT. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      red rabbit

      So he might as well do what he feels he needs to do. And I'll back him.

      "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

      by Wildthumb on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 10:14:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I think it was the right thing to do to bring the man home regardless of the circumstances of his disappearance. If he really did desert, then he should be held accountable.

      I'm sure he will be questioned and there will be an investigation into exactly what happened.

      No matter what the circumstances are, it was the right thing to do to bring him home.

  •  Republicans care (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    about the troops that actually fight in the same way as they are pro-life,  if you are actually a living human you are worth anything.

    Mostly they are pissed because Obama got one step closer to actually closing Guantanamo by sending these five prisoners away.   Real americans not the deluded Republican version of real americans would trade five has been terrorists for a live US Soldier just about any day of the week.

    •  And, of course, bringing a POW home would (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hulibow, jfromga

      make Obama look too good to millions of Americans.  The GOP can't have that.  So, Obama has to be attacked, and Bergdahl has to be smeared as a deserter.  Of course, recently the GOP was calling for Bergdahl's release.  When they were, the deserter allegation wasn't mentioned.  

      Now the RepubliCon masses will be whipped into a raging froth of foaming hate with the headlines: Obama, terrorist, Taliban, deserter, Guantanamo.

      A word to the wise is sufficient. Republicans need at least a paragraph.

      by d3clark on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:37:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Also it should noted that his name (0+ / 0-)

    starts with a B and has an unpronounceable conflagration of g and h so clearly this is just more cover-up for BENGHAZI!


    New Plan: Obamacare Old Plan: Nobodycares

    by groupw on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 10:31:29 AM PDT

  •  Here's why the deserter thing matters. (8+ / 0-)

    If being a deserter in a war zone simply meant you did something really really bad, for which you should have to suffer the consequences, I could understand those of you who say, "if he deserted, make the swap for him -- give up five high-ranking Taliban guys who want to continue to try to kill Americans -- and bring him home for trial."  

    But being a deserter in a war zone means a hell of a lot more than simply going back on your oath.  It means a hell of a lot more than simply doing a really bad thing for which you should be punished.  It means endangering the lives of your fellow soldiers. As a soldier, Bergdahl surely knew that, yet -- if what the other soldiers are saying is true -- he intentionally put the lives of his fellow soldiers at risk.  And in this case if what the other soldiers are saying is true, apparently, it means doing something that got six of your fellow soldiers killed.

    I'm not sure the country is going to think it was appropriate to essentially release five high-ranking Taliban guys whose primary goal in life is to  kill Americans in exchange for a guy who intentionally did something that directly resulted in the death of six fellow soldiers.  Especially since it is those same actions that allegedly resulted in the death of six other soldiers that put him in that position in the first place.  

    Seems to me that the Administration would know whether these allegations were true before they did this trade.  I'd like to hear from the Administration -- since they made the other soldiers sign a non-disclosure agreement prohibiting them from talking about it. If this guy  is worth that much in a trade, what would, say, another soldier who is serving honorably be worth?  

    If you were the parent of one of the six who allegedly died as a direct result of what this guy did -- and the government prohibited anyone from talking about the death of your son --  how would YOU feel about this deal?  

    Perhaps I'm overly sensitive because of a good friend whose son served honorably and was killed in Afghanistan in 2011.  I readily acknowledge that for that reason I may be viewing this from the point of view of the parents whose sons were killed allegedly because of what Bergdahl did.  

  •  Sarah Palin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jon Says

    Sarah Palin has weighed in on the matter and pointed out that Susan Rice was once again lying on Sunday morning shows when she said Bergdahl served with "honor and distinction".

    “No, Mr. President, a soldier expressing horrid anti-American beliefs – even boldly putting them in writing and unabashedly firing off his messages while in uniform, just three days before he left his unit on foot – is not ‘honorable service,’” the former Alaska governor wrote in a Facebook post. The New York Post has reported that Bergdahl once emailed his parents from Afghanistan saying he was “ashamed to be an American.”

    It might be best to leave Susan Rice off the Sunday morning circuit going forward as the right seems to latch on to everything she says and turn it into a fiasco.

    I can already see them investigating who issued the talking points that a deserter (if he is found to be such) is considered as serving with "honor and distinction."

  •  I just find it reprehensible (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anastasia p, worldlotus, Johnny Q, askew

    that this is being politicized and that this young man is being hung out to dry by so many before even touching down in this country. ASSUMING he, for whatever reason, walked off his post, I am going to assume he is not the first ever to do that, but more importantly, there is no punishment greater than what he has been through. He will never be the same...ever.  

    Well, the right wing moran Stephanie Miller discussed this morning wants him executed, so yea, that's worse.

    The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. Molly Ivins

    by MufsMom on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 10:59:18 AM PDT

  •  Hi, Sarah Palin (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett, PurpleElectric, askew

    "No, Mr. President, a soldier expressing horrid anti-American beliefs – even boldly putting them in writing and unabashedly firing off his messages ( while in uniform, just three days before he left his unit on foot – is not 'honorable service.' Unless that is your standard,"
    It's still not like he joined a political party advocating secession from the U.S., though.  

    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

    by Loge on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:08:06 AM PDT

  •  So they're basically calling him Nicholas Brody (0+ / 0-)

    It sounds like some on the right are trying to claim this guy is more or less Nicholas Brody from the TV show Homeland.  As if he's somehow sympathetic to the enemy.

  •  Donald Trump (0+ / 0-)

    Not to be out done by Sarah Palin, Donald Trump has decided to weigh in on things.

    I think it’s going to turn out to be one catastrophe,” said Trump. “They think they’re doing it for political reasons; I think it will end up being a political nightmare.”

    He added, “It’s the gang that can’t shoot straight, that’s our leadership. But you can’t do this, you can’t set this kind of precedent and it puts every American solider and actually every American in danger. There is no question about it, this is a horrible trade.”

    Nice to see the GOP has been calling in the reinforcements from those with major foreign policy gravitas like Palin and Trump.
  •  Ha! ", House Armed Services Committee Chair Buck (0+ / 0-)

    , House Armed Services Committee Chair Buck McKeon promising hearings,"

    Yep. How long before it's "Hostagegate?"

  •  "The Obama 5" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The right wing has taken to naming the 5 terrorists released "The Obama 5".

    It almost sounds like they are cheering for them to commit acts of mayhem so they can blame it on the President.

    That doesn't seem very American to me.

    •  what's also un-American (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is the mere suggestion, even indirectly, that it would be somehow acceptable to allow an American POW to remain in captivity when we have the chance to rescue him--based on unsubstantiated rumors and an incomplete investigation, without even speaking to the POW who allegedly deserted, or hearing his side of the story.

      nope, we're in coffeetalk's wingnut kangaroo court now, where guilty until proven innocent is trumped by mere allegations and CNN stories.  

  •  We've dumbed-down terrorism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's impossible to have a rational discussion on the recent prisoner exchange of Taliban detainees for a U.S. soldier because we've dumbed-down the definition of "terrorist."  Terrorists are people that strap bombs to their bodies or fly planes into buildings in order to terrorize a targeted population to achieve some political or ideological concessions.  Not every Muslim that's angry with the U.S. or the West is a terrorist.  Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization, but not the Taliban, per se. The latter is a significant political faction of an area in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  There are only a handful of people ever held at Guantanamo that are al Qaeda operatives or suspected to have worked for al Qaeda in some capacity.  The rest are enemy combatants captured in a war, i.e. prisoners of war. The Bush administration and its neocon allies falsely portrayed the Taliban and the detainees as terrorists in order to propagandize and justify the worst foreign policy mistake in U.S. history.  It's time to reconsider who and what constitutes terrorism so we can extricate ourselves from a perpetual war, with perpetual prisoners held without trial or other protections of either the Constitution or the Geneva Accords.  When viewed in that perspective, the prisoner exchange makes perfectly good sense - especially since we are soon ending our active involvement in Afghanistan's conflict.

  •   “Taliban Dream Team” (0+ / 0-)

    Lindsey Graham has thrown his hat in the ring now.

    Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) requested a hearing to probe President Obama’s decision to exchange what he called the “Taliban Dream Team” for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, a move he predicted would result in more kidnappings.

    Graham emphasized that the group of five Taliban leaders include the Taliban army’s chief of staff and deputy minister of intelligence.

    “In effect, we released the ‘Taliban Dream Team,’” Graham wrote Monday to Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin (D., Mich.) and ranking Republican James Inhofe of Oklahoma. “The United States is less safe because of these actions. I fear President Obama’s decision will inevitably lead to more Americans being kidnapped and held hostage throughout the world.”

    Republicans are coming out full guns blazing right now and they are coming after the President.

    It is nice to see the usual suspects not missing any chance to demagogue the administration though. Not like they have more important governing matters they should be taking care of or anything.

  •  Bergdaalh (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    this comment was posted on NBC story:

    Read Comment #125

    It starts out:
    Richard Grenell, a former U.S. spokesman to the United Nations and partner with Capitol Media Partners, told Newsmax that numerous soldiers who served with Bowe reached out to him to express their anger with the decision.

    "I have spoken with several of Bowe Bergdahl's platoon mates and they are united in their view that Bowe walked away from them and that many lives were risked and some lost in looking for a guy who willingly left the team," Grenell said.

    Capitol Media Partners is a public relations firm. Grenell has deep ties to the Republican Party, having served in the Romney campaign and as a spokesman in the Bush administration. When I Googled his name, I found this:

    So, I started thinking : how do ""numerous soldiers"  in Afghanistan reach out to a well known Republican operator! Or. did Grenell reach out to the soldiers???  Why did Grenell go to Newsmax to report the story??? Why is there no report from Bergdahl's commander about his being AWOL??  How was he promoted TWICE, from E3 to E5 while in captivity?

    If I had to guess, Id say that Grenell concocted this affair, either independently or in collusion with the GOP. An soldier in the field is hard to contact and it's hard to send an outside email because they're all censored. The goal was to attack Obama with the story. Mind you, the story was ready as soon as the President made his announcement about the trade.

    Remember Nixon's dirty tricks??  I think we're staring one right in the face!  I've forwarded everything I have to Sen. Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed services Committeee. Id LOVE to see an investigation since there has been NO OFFICAL REPORT that Bergdahl was AWOL.

  •  this thread is a fine example (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of why what presumes to call itself "the left" in this country is such a ridiculous joke.

    Read the spewings of those here who carry the RWNJ Brigade's water for them and try to imagine them fighting to secure Social Security or the New Deal or any progressive legislation.  They would have impeached FDR for "loading the Court".

    Apparently they prefer being "right" to winning.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 01:20:34 PM PDT

  •  The Right has called "wolf" so incessantly... (0+ / 0-)

    ...that it scarcely matters anymore whether they have the occasional valid point.  They've already discredited themselves so thoroughly over such surreal absurdities as "birtherism" and "socialist conspiracy theories" and "BEN-GA-ZEE!" that whenever they try to sober up and play the role of the responsible opposition, nobody takes them seriously, except for their own base.  And Chuck Todd and Mark Halperin, of course.

    All that is necessary for the triumph of the Right is that progressives do nothing.

    by Mystic Michael on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 02:21:12 PM PDT

  •  This may be a bit radical here (0+ / 0-)

    But I don't actually care if he was a deserter. I am sympathetic that if he was a deserter it would have placed his fellow soldiers under harm. But I am also sympathetic to soldiers who reach their breaking point and need a way out.

    Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

    by moviemeister76 on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 02:40:27 PM PDT

  •  I don't know what charges would stick. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Outside of getting at least two of his captors to testify about his actions after disappearing, or he making a confession, I don't see a there, there.

    All we really know is this:

    A.  He disappeared from his post.
    B.  He was held captive for 5 years.
    C.  His release was negotiated.

    IMHO, all else is speculation.

    By the authority vested in me by Kaiser Wilhelm II, I pronounce you man and wife. Proceed with the execution...and the kiddie pool needs to stay open 24/7!

    by HarryParatestis on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 02:57:37 PM PDT

  •  PR driven campaign to discredt Bergdalh and Obama (0+ / 0-)

    Richard Grenell, a former U.S. spokesman to the United Nations and partner with Capitol Media Partners, told Newsmax that numerous soldiers who served with Bowe reached out to him to express their anger with the decision.

    "I have spoken with several of Bowe Bergdahl's platoon mates, and they are united in their view that Bowe walked away from them, and that many lives were risked and some lost in looking for a guy who willingly left the team," Grenell said.

    Read Latest Breaking News from  

    Now WHY would "numerous platoon mates" reach out to Richard Grinell, who happens to be a founding partner of Capitol  Media Partners?  (Crisis Communications We are available 24/7 to handle crisis communications issues.)

    Grinell also happens to have DEEP ties to the Republican Party having been a spokesman for both the Romney campaign and the Bush White House.

    So what we have is a group of soldiers calling a communications Partnership, whose managing partner happens to have deep ties to the Republican Party, who then calls Newsmax to get the attack story published almost as soon as the release announcement is made!

    This seems far too cute, too organized,  too coincidental  and like a Nixon dirty trick used to attack Obama!

  •  I said it when this first hit the news ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... and I'll say it again.  If a certain political party (we won't mention any names here - I'll just glance to my RIGHT) keeps control of the House, and takes control of the Senate in November, look for this to be highly placed on the inevitable articles of impeachment.

    Is THAT how YOU want DC to spend the next 2 years?  If not ...


    OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

    by mstaggerlee on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 02:29:54 PM PDT

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