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U.S. Senator John McCain speaks during a news conference at the U.S. embassy in Kabul January 2, 2014. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX16ZTP
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
Sen. John McCain usually gets a free pass from the media, but this time he may have gone too far. The 2008 presidential loser is being called out for his egregious flip-flop from, in February, wanting the Obama administration to get Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release from the Taliban, to his outrage now that exactly that has happened. McCain has fallen back on claiming that he did want Bergdahl released, but not by the terms of this specific deal. Too bad the facts don't back him up even a little bit. The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler concludes a fact-check of McCain's claims by awarding him an upside-down Pinocchio, and begins it with this devastating pair of McCain quotes:
“Now this idea is for an exchange of prisoners for our American fighting man. I would be inclined to support such a thing depending on a lot of the details.”

–Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), interview on CNN, Feb. 18, 2014

“We were never told that there would be an exchange of Sergeant Bergdahl for five Taliban.”

–McCain, interview on CNN, June 3, 2014

Yes, McCain said in February that his support would depend on the details, but there is no question that he knew it would involve an exchange of prisoners and even knew which prisoners were likely to be involved. In fact, he described a potential deal as involving "five really hard-core Taliban leaders." And Kessler goes on from there, establishing that McCain would have known most of the major details of the deal—exactly the things he's now claiming he didn't know. Not only had the identities of the prisoners been reported, it had also been reported that they would be sent to Qatar for some period of time. McCain can say he disagrees with the length of time they'll be required to stay in Qatar—one year—but, as Kessler writes:
... what is the point of a prisoner swap if the released prisoners are not at some point going to be free? By the very nature of such a deal, an experienced lawmaker (and former POW) like McCain should expect that the Taliban Five would have been able to go free eventually.
Sifting through the details shows that McCain absolutely knew the broad strokes of the ultimate deal back in February when he said he would be "inclined to support it." But it's McCain's own words this week that give up what's really going on. "We were never told that there would be an exchange of Sergeant Bergdahl for five Taliban" is so clearly a complete lie, without question, that McCain deserves zero benefit of the doubt. He's just lying, and the reasons he's lying are obvious to anyone who has watched the Republican Party, and McCain in particular, over the past six years. Republicans will oppose anything President Barack Obama does, just because he did it. And to that, John McCain adds a big dose of sore loserdom.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 07:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by Baja Arizona Kossacks and Daily Kos.

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