This is the point where you realize that this particular case of #BergGhazi Fever just might not be curable.
Uh, they're responsible for what? Oh, Lordy.
“First of all, I wouldn’t release these men,” McCain told CNN host Candy Crowley.
“Ever?” Crowley wondered.
“Not these men,” McCain insisted. “They were judged time after time during their confinement in Guantanamo, they were evaluated and judged as too great a risk to release. That was the judgement made.”
Crowley pointed out McCain had supported a prisoner exchange with the Taliban to save Bergdahl earlier this year.
McCain, however, insisted that the president had chosen the wrong prisoners, but refused to say exactly which detainees he would have selected.
“First of all, we’re not sending everybody home,” he chuckled. “We are going to send them — even if we close Guantanamo — we are going to send them to facilities inside the United States of America, that’s been the plan all along.”
“Second of all, I believe we should keep these people because they are hardcore jihadists who are responsible for 9/11,” McCain continued. “Of course, nobody wants to release people who are responsible for 9/11, and these people that are released that were Taliban governing worked hand-in-glove with al Qaeda.”
Look, if you've read the 9/11 Commission Report - which I have - and if you've read the book "Against All Enemies" by our then Chief Counter-terrorism Official under both President Clinton and President George W. Bush, Richard Clarke - which I have - or if you've read 'Imperial Hubris", the Profile of Osama Bin Laden by the former head of the CIA's "Bin Laden Group" Michael Shuerer - which I have - you would have to know that members of the Taliban were not involving either in plotting or carrying out the 9/11 attack. If Osama Bin Laden understood one thing, he understood his Tradecraft, he understood the importance of Operational Security, meaning he didn't share sensitive information or critical decision making with anyone outside of his trusted allies inside al Qaeda.
The idea that he would bring members of the Taliban in on his plot in any way what-so-ever is just plain ludicrous. I mean, if these guys were responsible for 9/11 - why exactly didn't they Get Waterboarded along with Abu Zubaydah and KSM? Who made that oversight? Gee, maybe if we'd asked them it might not have taken us 9 years to find ObL in Pakistan?
I don't think so.
People like John McCain have harshly criticized the President for the POW Swap. Some have argued that it may have been an Impeachable Offense for the President to arrange to release these prisoners without first providing a 30 Day notification to Congress. This is besides the fact that Congress had been informed of these negotiations for months, even years, previously and had spoken out about them urging the President to "do all that he could" to return Sgt. Bergdahl.
Then when the Administration provided a secure briefing on the Bergdahl negotiations to Congress at the end of the week, not only did some members of Congress Walk out in the middle they neglected to discover and acknowledge that the Taliban warned us that if prior news of the Deal went Public - they would Kill Bergdahl.
So the administration was literally left with the choice of abiding this Congress imposed notification technicality of the trade that they already been informed of, and some of them had previously endorsed - and risk the information being leaked - which would contribute to the execution of an captured American soldier or else skip it and risk pissing off Congress.
I for one can see why they probably considered the idea of Congress being Upset as the somewhat lessor of the two evils.
Add this to the Derp coming from Chris Wallace this weekend where he questioned whether the Death Penalty should be on the table for Bergdahl.
“From what you know so far, is Bergdahl guilty of leaving his base without permission, being absent from his post?” Wallace asked former U.S. Attorney General Michael Michael Mukasey during an interview on Fox News Sunday. “Is he guilty of being a deserter, is he guilty of being a defector? And after five years of captivity — some people initially said, well, that’s enough — should he face the appropriate punishment if he is found guilty?”Well, so much for that meme.
Mukasey pointed out that Bergdahl had not been found guilty yet, and that a decision about punishment should come after that.
“Desertion is a very serious offense,” the former judge noted. “It carries a penalty — if it’s done in wartime — that includes possibly the death penalty. At the end of World War II, we executed a U.S. soldier, in January of 1945 for desertion. So, it’s a very serious offense.”
“So, you believe the death penalty should at least be on the table for Bergdahl?” Wallace pressed.
“No, I’m not saying the death penalty should be on the table for Bergdahl,” Mukasey replied. “That case at the end of World War II was virtually unique in modern times.”
Let's consider the fact that formal charges have not even been filed yet. Also there are the facts as reported by Michael Hastings that a) Bergdahl had left the before twice, without being punished or reprimanded and b) He very well may have had permission since he was off duty and had asked a superior before hand "Would it be a problem if I left the base...?".
Those two factors do not, IMO, a strong recipe for "Desertion or Defection" make.
But mitigating factors such as these have not stopped people from issuing Death Threats against him parents which are being investigated by the FBI. We should have expected this, it's almost the same as what we've been seeing since it happened to the Dixie Chicks, but in my opinion this is far, far more heinous and despicable.
Threatening the Lives of a the family of an American POW? A devout Christian Republican Family who Home-Schooled their son Bowe? There are. No. Words.
And now we have John McCain latest Senile-gasm.
The idea any of these guys are not just Taliban POW's but actual 9/11 War Criminals, seem to be brand new news to the Chief Gitmo Prosecutor who was in charge of putting together War Crimes Tribunals...
Retired Air Force Col. Morris Davis, who was the former top prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay, told MSNBC on Saturday that the prisoners released in exchanged for Bergdahl were so inconsequential that he did not even know who they were.So it seems that these five guys, even if they may have been - as reported - members of senior Taliban Leadership, the point is that in "Terrorist" terms, in "War Criminal" terms, these five are pretty much a big pile of Nothing Burger.
“My role as chief prosecutor was to review the information we had on the detainees to determine which ones we could potentially bring war crimes charges against,” Davis recalled. “When I saw the names of the five individuals, when they were reported last weekend, my first reaction was, ‘Who are they?’”
“I never saw the names before, which means there was not enough information to even make it on our list of potential prosecution,” he explained. “To trade five of them for a U.S. service member, in my estimation, and I’m often critical of President [Barack] Obama, I think they struck a pretty good deal.”
We are in the process of attempting to negotiate a Peace Settlement between the Taliban and Afghanistan, as part of that process it only makes sense that we would begin to free the POW's of a war that is nearly over. Showing such Good Will might, just might help these negotiations go more smoothly and might - just might - help keep al Qeada from re-surging in the Afghanistan region in our absence. It's not exactly clear that 13 years of War have guaranteed a positive outcome, why not try more carrot and less stick for once?