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The Swap For Bowe Bergdahl

Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier who apparently abandoned his post in Afghanistan, is headed home to a world of controversy. We’ll dive in.

In this image taken from video obtained from Voice Of Jihad Website, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, right, stands with a Taliban fighter in eastern Afghanistan. The Taliban on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, released a video showing the handover of Bergdahl to U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan, touting the swap of the American soldier for five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo as a significant achievement for the insurgents. (AP)

In this image taken from video obtained from Voice Of Jihad Website, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, right, stands with a Taliban fighter in eastern Afghanistan. The Taliban on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, released a video showing the handover of Bergdahl to U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan, touting the swap of the American soldier for five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo as a significant achievement for the insurgents. (AP)

The release of American Afghan war prisoner Bowe Bergdahl by the Taliban Saturday landed first as straight great news for most people over the weekend.  Then, the immediate twist:  it was a swap for five Taliban held at Guantanamo.  Then a ton of complications.  Bowe Bergdahl had walked off his own base five years ago.  Maybe deserted.  The Taliban detainees were commanders, now headed for freedom.  Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers – platoon –mates – were unhappy.  So is Congress.  This hour On Point:  the unfinished story of Bowe Bergdahl, the swap, and Afghanistan.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Andrew Tilghman, Pentagon bureau chief for the Military Times. (@andrewtilghman)

Nathan Bradley Bethea, former member of Sgt. Bergdahl’s unit in Afghanistan. (@inthesedeserts)

David Rohde, Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist for Reuters and the Atlantic. Author of “Beyond War: Reimagining American Influence in A New Middle East.” (@RohdeD)

From Tom’s Reading List

Military Times: Source: Bergdahl may have walked off base more than once – “An internal military investigation concluded in 2010 that there was little doubt Bergdahl walked away from his unit before he was captured. That investigation, known as an AR-15-6, remains classified and has not been released publicly, but several officials familiar with it have disclosed its results under condition of anonymity.”

The Wall Street Journal: Behind Bowe Bergdahl’s Release, a Secret Deal That Took Three Years – “Sgt. Bergdahl’s return marks the culmination of a three-year diplomatic effort to bring warring sides in Afghanistan to the negotiating table, according to a reconstruction of events compiled through interviews with administration, defense and intelligence officials, including some directly involved in the negotiations. The goal of reconciliation never materialized, but the prisoner exchange, which sent the five Afghan Taliban to Qatar, has convinced some in Washington that the U.S. and the Taliban could one day find common ground.”

The Daily Beast: We Lost Soldiers in the Hunt for Bergdahl, a Guy Who Walked Off in the Dead of Night – “Bergdahl also deserves sympathy, but he has much to answer for, some of which is far more damning than simply having walked off. Many have suffered because of his actions: his fellow soldiers, their families, his family, the Afghan military, the unaffiliated Afghan civilians in Paktika, and none of this suffering was inevitable. None of it had to happen. ”

 

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  • hennorama

    Wow. Some truly inspiring days.

    It’s really been great to see all the “Bigger Tent” conservatives/Republicans/TEA Shindiggers, and their media representatives, take advantage of the opportunity for American unity, by praising the return of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only remaining American soldier held prisoner in Afghanistan, to safety.

    Also great was the support they gave to the President and his administration, for having doggedly pursued any and all opportunities to secure Sgt. Bergdahl’s release.

    Sen. John McCain should be singled out and commended for his consistent support of American POWs, MIAs, and other captives over the years. Only recently, in February of this year, the Senator had this exchange with CNN’s Anderson Cooper:

    COOPER: Would you oppose the idea of some form of negotiations or prisoner exchange? I know back in 2012 you called the idea of even negotiating with the Taliban bizarre, highly questionable.

    SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Well, at that time the proposal was that they would release — Taliban, some of them really hard-core, particularly five really hard-core Taliban leaders, as a confidence- building measure. 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.

    [. . . (Mind the gap.) . . .]

    COOPER: So if there was some — the possibility of some sort of exchange, that’s something you would support?

    MCCAIN: I would support. Obviously I’d have to know the details, but I would support ways of bringing him home and if exchange was one of them I think that would be something I think we should seriously consider.

    Again, so great and truly inspiring to see such American unity, and the support from all the “Bigger Tent” conservatives/Republicans/TEA Shindiggers, and their media representatives, for the President having gotten an American soldier back from captivity, safe and (mostly) sound.

    Source:
    http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1402/18/acd.01.html

    • pete18

      It’s a horrible deal that endangers more American, soldiers and citizens as well as our allies. Tent size does has nothing to do with withholding critiques on the president for foolish and dangerous policy, no matter how good his intentions might have been.

      • jefe68

        I guess you have the same contempt for GW Bush and Reagan (Iran Contra) over all their secret negations with terrorist. Or is this only fodder for more anti-Obama screeds.

        • pete18

          Yes, Iran Contra was one of the biggest mistakes of Reagan’s presidency and deserves lots of criticism. Bush’s negotiations with the Sunnis was about quelling fighting between the Sunnis and Shiites, which served to try and stabilize Iraq and make things safer for US soldiers. My critique isn’t about never negotiating with terrorists, that all depends on the situation. Mine is about critiquing risky and bad deals with terrorists or any other enemy.

          You DON’T think letting go of FIVE terrorists who are deemed by the Pentagon as a high risk of attacking the US and their allies if released is an overly risky trade?

          • jefe68

            Yes, I do. But it remains to be seen how this plays out. Neither of us are well versed enough in inner workings of this kind of thing. For all we know the five men in question here could be drone targets in a few weeks.

            Reagan also supported supplying the Mujahideen to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. That did not work out well for us.

          • Ray in VT

            When I first heard about it I did wonder if they were going to be rather immediately targeted for strikes.

          • pete18

            I think the idea of being comforted by the efficiency of our intelligence and the drone program to stop these guys from endangering others again is a foolish one. Five terrorists under lock and key is a much safer bet than five roaming free under watch of drones.

            “Reagan also supported supplying the Mujahideen to fight the Russians”

            Yes, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. It actually worked out very well in helping to bring down Russia, our major enemy of the 20th century.

            One cannot always predict the future consequences of alliances. Our collaboration with Russia to defeat Hitler certainly helped embolden and strengthen Russia for the next 50 years, yet to have not teamed up with them during World War Two would have been a much worse decision. Same is true with our support of the Mujahideen during that time period.

            However, one thing that is crystal clear now is that the Taliban Five are a threat
            and releasing them does not in any way help us defeat a more dangerous or immediate enemy.

          • jefe68

            I’m not supporting the drone policy.
            I was trying to point out that we do not know what the end game is here.

            We knew what we were getting into with the Russians in WW2. Churchill was wary of them from the outset of WW2. Patton was ready to drive them back to Moscow.

          • pete18

            The end game is all speculation. Given what we know now, this is a bad deal.

            “Churchill was wary of them from the outset of WW2. Patton was ready to drive them back to Moscow.”

            Right, but that didn’t stop us from becoming allies with them during the war and as great as a general as Patton was, driving the Ruskies back to Moscow would have been a stupid maneuver.

      • anamaria23

        The weird thing is you may be right. The country with the greatest defense budget on the planet with billions in equipment and technology is quaking before 5 has been Taliban leaders who, when let loose a year from now, may wreak untold havoc via cell phone from their caves in the mountains.

      • hennorama

        pete18 – TYFYR.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      What’s your beef with Senator Diane Finestein?

      Bad judgement is bad judgement.

      • hennorama

        WftC – TYFYR.

        Is Sen. Dianne Feinstein part of the “Bigger Tent” conservatives/Republicans/TEA Shindiggers, and their media representatives? Wow. I did not know that.

        TYAFYR.

    • OnPointComments

      Let’s have another big tent, Kumbaya moment by exchanging Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen for Edward Snowden, and getting another American citizen back. It will be an opportunity for American unity.

      • hennorama

        OPC – TYFYR.

        Not only is your comment completely unrelated to the topic, there is only one word for your suggestion that the U.S. exchange two individuals who admitted to and were convicted of espionage, for another who has admitted to elements of crimes against the United States, and who no doubt would [very likely] be convicted if he returned to the U.S.:

        Bizarre.

  • X Y & Z

    WikiLeaks document backs up U.S. soldier’s claim Bowe Bergdahl tried to contact Taliban

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/wikileaks-document-backs-up-u.s.-soldiers-claim-bowe-bergdahl-tried-to-contact-taliban/article/2549280

    It’s a tragedy that eight US soldiers died searching for Bergdahl the deserter.

    • jimino

      You would have known all about this a year ago if you read Rolling Stone instead of just looking at its cover when prompted to do so by the propaganda you rely on for information.

      • X Y & Z

        You call eight US soldiers who gave their lives trying to find this deserter, ‘propaganda’?

        • JS

          Wow, even for you, that’s a clueless response.

          • X Y & Z

            Releasing five Taliban commanders without first notify Congress (as is required), is dangerous and reckless.

            But apparently not to you.

          • JS

            Again, clueless.

          • X Y & Z

            That’s a good way of describing the Obama ‘Presidency’, but incompetent is much more accurate.

          • JS

            No, just you: clueless

        • jimino

          No, I’m saying you are uniformed. And based on this attempt to respond, obviously stupid too.

  • pete18
    • jimino

      I expect you would have been posting and praising the video of his beheading as just desserts if we would have just told his captors to do whatever they want because we ain’t negotiating with terrorists.

      • northeaster17

        No he, they, would be blaming Obama for letting such a thing happen.

      • pete18

        I like how well you counter your own invented positions for the other side.

        I think the real question would be is what will you or President Obama say if any of these released Taliban members are involved in new acts of terrorism that kill other innocent people?

        • camco50

          I don’t think that dismissing northeaster17′s comment is justifiable. What you call “invented position” is what most people would call a solid analysis of the situation and certainly relevant to the question of whether this trade was warranted. You know full well that the right-wing attack machine would have Obama’s head on a platter if Bergdahl had been executed by the Taliban. Had the opportunity for this exchange been presented to me, I would absolutely err on the side of rescue, not execution. What kind of morals does a human being require to parse that formula?

          • pete18

            I’m dismissing jimino’s position not northeaster17′s. Jimino invented a position for me, not the right wing attack machine. It was nothing but a distraction from the main point.

            I’m for the attempted rescue of all our soldiers, even the ones who may have
            been deserters. However, that does not mean that I would except doing ANYTHING to rescue every soldier. I’m sure if you were honest with yourself, neither would you.

            I think the line of acceptable risk was crossed here by releasing five dangerous prisoners that other soldiers likely risked their lives to capture, and that are high risks to be dangerous to other soldiers, Americans and allies in the future.

            A president often has to make moral decisions that decides between the life of one vs. many. To pretend that there is no moral risk on the other side of this decision is shortsighted and myopic. You may still believe that Obama made the right decision, but to ignore the validity of the critiques against it and claim some sort of moral high ground because of your dislike for Republicans is partisan
            sophistry.

          • camco50

            Fair enough. I accept your position but need to emphasize that these decisions are not made in a political vacuum. There can be no doubt that this president would face extreme hostility from the right-wing had he not taken the deal and Bergdahl were to die in captivity. Multiply that reaction by one hundred if you can imagine the reaction had he died and the news of a rejected release were made public. With a right-wing like that, even if I agreed with your position, and it’s a close call, I would take the release. Now if John Boehner AND Eric Cantor AND Ted Cruz were to agree to holster their weapons, then I might reconsider. We all know that that scenario just can’t happen with this Republican House. This is just another example of how the Right-Wing is making good governance difficult, if not impossible (although most Republicans think we have good government when it does nothing). If the Right believed in governing for all Americans they would partner with the president and throw away their ideology to represent the best interest of the people, not their party. Instead, they are unwilling to compromise (That’s actually part of most Republicans’ campaign message) and willing to use every opportunity to try and impeach this president.

          • pete18

            To base your moral judgement on what’s right or wrong in a life or death national security question based on the fact that the opposition party might give you heat for it is weak leadership from a president and silly and sad coming from you.

            Opposition parties give the ruling party heat, that’s their job. George Bush was lambasted by the left on a daily basis, often very unfairly, for his decisions during the Iraq war. He was always facing extreme hostility.

            In this instance, Obama’s decision deserves push back and criticism. To expect something different from Republicans then what was considered “patriotic opposition” from democrats during the Iraq war is nether realistic or fair.

            And, if Obama had actually followed the law and notified congress before hand he might have gathered a little more support.

          • camco50

            Do you believe that it’s moral to discriminate based on sexual preference? Do you believe that 50 million Americans lacking health care and millions more with inadequate coverage is moral? Do you believe that we should not pass even the simplest gun laws in an attempt to stem the growing carnage in America? Do you believe that students graduating from college should be saddled for the rest of their lives in debt? If you answered yes, then you are a Republican and your morals are already suspect. Everything that the Republicans of today stand for is all about exchanging morality for votes.

            As far as the left’s behavior during the Iraq war, Democrats actually supported Bush pretty broadly so I’m not sure what you are talking about. I don’t recall much talk about impeachment and I certainly don’t remember any special prosecutors. This president lives in fear of impeachment as it’s the preferred political tool of choice for Republicans. I’m also pretty sure that after all of the destruction to the U.S. economy and all of the lies perpetrated by the Bush administration, Obama came to office ready to reconcile. He rejected any talk of investigating one of the most embarrassing presidencies in history. Had we done that then, we might have put all of the theories of the Right-Wing on display and exposed it for the fraud it represents.

            As for gathering “a little more support”, what planet do you live on? Do you honestly believe that Obama could do anything that the right might be willing to work with him on? If you answered yes, you are part of the problem. Democrats have grown to accept that there is no middle when it comes to working with Republicans. If you don’t see that then you’re in denial.

          • pete18

            I can certainly match your partisan and loaded moral questions regarding policy if you’d like. One of the most obvious would be, do you believe it’s moral to kill a baby just because a mother doesn’t want to bring it to term? You’d also be pretty surprised on my positions on many of the items you listed. However, none of that is to my original point, which you seem to be avoiding. I’m wasn’t critiquing the morality of your positions but how you seem to be reaching them, at least on the prisoner swap issue.

            What I hear you saying is that your position has as much to do with defying the right’s critiques of Obama as it does with the inherent value and morality of the decision itself. Have I got that wrong?

            If you don’t think Bush was hammered relentlessly during the Iraq war you either have a short memory or weren’t paying attention. After the initial invasion, the democrats were all over Bush, with many prime players asking for impeachment and accusing him of war crimes on a regular basis. This was echoed in spades by the press.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efforts_to_impeach_George_W._Bush

            And yes, if Obama had not BROKEN THE LAW on the prisoner swap he would have less heat now from Republicans. I didn’t say no heat, but certainly less. He has gone out of his way to aggrevate them and cause more distrust in his word.

          • camco50

            I’ll take your comments in order. Morality. WOW! Let’s take a look at gun violence for this one. We have been overwhelmed by gun violence in the US, tallying about 33,000 deaths every year. This number is only the number of people killed, not shot – that number reaches about 100,000/yearly. We know certain gun control measures, when enacted nationally can reduce those numbers. Now we know that we can’t completely eliminate gun deaths but suppose those numbers can save 5% of those victims from a premature death. That would be around 1,600 deaths we can prevent and that number is on the low side. The people of your party have blocked any and all attempts to enact legislation to control this problem. Your party has decided to allow 1,600 people as a price to maintain their gun fetishes. Your party has sentenced 1,600 people to death to support an ideology. The same can be said of the death penalty. Projects to prove the innocence of death row inmates have been made in error have shown us that many innocent people that were to be executed were in fact innocent. Your party is at the vanguard of protecting the right of states to execute essentially sacrificing innocent lives at your ideological altar. The same can be said of invasions of countries, particularly Iraq. We essentially executed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians to satisfy your party’s war-lust. Small price to pay to find WMD. Now where is that pesky yellowcake? You know how that turned out. My party defends the right of those living right now and my morals are aligned with them. I believe in personal liberty without sacrificing innocent people to make an ideological point. You can’t protect the children at elementary schools like Sandy Hook but you’ll shoot doctors to save a clump of cells at 12 weeks. Move on.

            You talk about Obama concerning himself with the right’s critique of his war decisions. You are correct in your assumption. I’ll take that a step further for you. War is politics. War is politics. Iraq was politics, Libya is politics as is Egypt, Syria, or any other backwater that’s hosting our soldiers or diplomats. I know that’s a shock to you because you seem to think that war is about honor. How quaint.

            Nice link too the impeachment info. You make a fair point on that one but remember that during most of that period cited in the article, the entire congress was essentially controlled by Republicans meaning that impeachment was a fat chance. Upon taking the Speaker’s gavel in 2007, Nancy Pelosi ruled out any attempts to impeach Bush. Your comparison falls apart there. You can’t impeach without the Congress and the Democrats never had or took the opportunity to do so. Quite the opposite of the Republican leaders hinting at impeachment. Bet you never heard John Boenher take impeachment off the table. No such moderation in your party so yes, the concern must remain in Obama’s mind.

            In what way has Obama gone out of his way to aggravate the Republicans? And I vociferously disagree with your contention that he would have gotten less heat had Bergdahl died while in captivity. Your party lacks a civility mode and unless they were able to go ballistic, their heads would explode.

            I’m tired. Nice chat Pete.

          • pete18

            “WOW! Let’s take a look at gun violence for this one. We have been overwhelmed by gun violence in the US, tallying about 33,000 deaths every year.”

            You missed my point completely.

            “War is politics.”

            Obviously that’s what you and Obama think, hence the willingness to endanger people with the release of the Taliban Five. Sad.

            “I know that’s a shock to you because you seem to think that war is about honor. How quaint.”

            Really? What have I said that makes you think that?

    • Ray in VT

      He’s nothing like Sid Caesar at home and Joba Chamberlain abroad.

      • pete18

        That’s true, Obama’s domestic policy has been a much bigger joke than anything Sid served up
        on the Show of Shows, and he’s certainly had many more strikeouts than Joba.

        • Ray in VT

          Nice reply, although the biggest joke has been to watch the insipient attacks on the President for every single thing that he has done for the past 6 years, and by far the biggest strikeout was the TOP’s inability to take him down in 2012 despite his real vulnerabilities and the copious amounts of dung that was flung at him.

          • pete18

            Nice change of topic.

          • Ray in VT

            Just following your lead.

  • LinRP

    Why are all of you leveling accusations here? Many people are making claims against Bergdahl, but it is for the military to investigate his actions and then act or not act based on those findings.

    Is not desertion one of the most serious charge leveled against a
    military member? Bergdahl deserves a fair investigation and not a rush to judgment–certainly not be anyone here. The lives of hose soldiers we are told were lost while searching for Bergdahl also needs to be investigated.

    Stop listening to accusations and playing judge, jury, and God. We all know virtually nothing about this case.

    • William

      There needs to be a public uproar to ensure that this deserter is brought to trial.

      • JS

        Why have a trial when you have already convicted him?

        • William

          Why have you declared him innocent without bringing him to trial?

          • Ray in VT

            How has JS done that? It does not appear that JS has taken a position either way.

          • JS

            Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat

        • HonestDebate1

          That’s what the military does. It would not be a trial, it would be a court martial. Deserting is a very serious charge just a notch under turning your weapon on your fellow soldiers. There seems to be sufficient evidence to investigate.

          • Jill122

            Everyone has promised an investigation. Could we wait, please, while he gets well?

          • HonestDebate1

            Unfortunately no. There is too much evidence and a seemingly 100% agreement across the board from the soldiers he served with to the commanders to the Congress on both sides of the aisle.

          • Ray in VT

            So we can dispense with the trial aspect because there is “seemingly 100% agreement across the board”?

          • HonestDebate1

            No, that would not be justice. There also seems to be universal agreement for due process.

          • Jill122

            Unfortunately no we cannot wait? Is that what you are writing? Too much evidence? I’m gob-smacked that you would write anything so silly. I had the feeling that you might have been a smart guy but just happened to be on the right. I’m resetting as I type this.

          • HonestDebate1

            Oh no, it’s well established that I am an idiot. I am just saying the speculation will continue because not a single authority has denied he was a deserter although there is still some question as to whether he is a contributor.

            And remember the forum. This place is notorious for having shows speculating that the oceans will rise as proven by any weather event, that men are misogynist as proven by Elliot Rodger and night watchmen are murderous racists as proven by George Zimmerman. Tom Ashbrook was quick to speculate the “consequence” of Sarah Palin’s words were a bullet through the brain of Gabby Giffords.

          • JS

            My response was to William calling him a deserter, before a trial or court martial.

            BTW, isn’t a court martial a trial in a military court?

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t think calling him a deserter is convicting him without the trial William advocated.

            A court martial is very different than a civilian trial.

            http://www.courtmartial.com/Answer-Center/Court-Martial/What-are-the-differences-between-courts-martial-and-civilian-trials.shtml

          • JS

            A court martial is a trial in military court. A civilian trial is a trial in civilian court.

            Shouldn’t he be innocent of the charge of “deserter” until proven guilty?

          • HonestDebate1

            A court martial is called a court martial not a trial in a military court. A civilian trail is called a trial. Whatever, call it what you want. He is likely to face a court martial and not a trail. I don’t think he broke any laws outside of the military code. That’s all.

            The below is from Hennorama’s link up top. They will first determine if he is a deserter and if they determine he was then they will court martial him. Innocent until proven guilty is not a military tenet. But either way that is separate from speculating his status on a stupid blog which is not a conviction. Personally, I have not labeled him a deserter.

            “Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will face an investigation and a potential court-martial if the Army finds that he deserted his unit in Afghanistan, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey said Tuesday.”

          • JS

            The Judge Advocate General of the US Army says otherwise:

            http://www.apd.army.mil/pdffiles/p27_7.pdf

            And what some General said to a reporter is not necessarily specific procedure,

            Innocent until proven guilty is a military tenet.

        • J__o__h__n

          Who needs a trial? We have five empty beds at Guantanamo now.

    • OnPointComments

      Yet when the discussion was about the traffic jam caused by the closing of a lane on the George Washington Bridge, you said that there wasn’t even the need for an inquiry — that Christie, Kelly, and Wildstein should simply be arrested. You made no cry for a fair investigation and avoiding a rush to judgment.

      It makes me believe that your protest is partisan.

      • camco50

        I’m pretty sure that it was the Christie administration that resisted an investigation. New Jersey has a Democratically controlled legislature and they chose investigation. Who on the left proposed we just skip the investigative? You, my friend, have a very blurry reality, indeed.

        • OnPointComments

          LinRP proposed arrest without an investigation.

  • X Y & Z

    Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s father tweeted pro-Taliban comments directed at terrorist website while son was a prisoner in Afghanistan

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/brothers-arms-bash-bowe-bergdahl-traitor-article-1.1814106

  • RolloMartins

    The US has such a long history of negotiating with terrorists and with enemy states. First, is this a war? Then he is a POW and the US has always had a policy of negotiation for release and for good treatment of prisoners. Geo. Washington, John Adams, T. Jefferson, T. Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton all did the same. So what precisely is the problem on the FAR right? And the media? Do they not know the history or do they just select what they want for controversy/ratings?

  • Ed75

    Glad he’s home, but doesn’t sound like a good deal to me.

  • Ray in VT

    I keep hearing the 5 referred to as fighters, but based upon one story that I heard last night wouldn’t officials be a better descriptor for at least a couple of them?

    • TFRX

      I thought they were SmokingGunMushroomCloudsters myself.

      Of course, I’ve been consuming a lot of Hannity lately.

      • Ray in VT

        I hope that that isn’t the Urban Dictionary definition of hannity.

    • MrNutso

      They are fight-em-over-herer’s, not fight-em-over-therer’s.

  • JGC

    The brief biography of David Rohde does not include that while on a reporting assignment, he was captured and held by the Taliban for 7 months, until he managed to escape.

    This looks like an interesting panel.

  • Charles

    What I have noticed (and been disturbed by) is just how quickly the right has coalesced to smear this man Bergdahl.
    Regular consumers of ‘reputable’ news outlets have known about this situation for years. However, the right’s antagonist, POTUS, has done something that any President would do, and thus everything associated with the situation must be wrong.

    • William

      If you are calling the NYTimes “the right” well then add them to the smear list.

    • HonestDebate1

      This is not a partisan divide. Have you seen Diane Feinstein’s comments?

    • hennorama

      Charles- it’s not new in any way.

      Back in July 2009, shortly after Sgt. Bergdahl’s disappearance, a Fox News Strategic Analyst declared that Sgt. Bergdahl “is a liar” and was “collaborating with the enemy.”

      Plus, a he very helpfully suggested that if Sgt. Bergdahl did indeed desert, that the Taliban could “save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills.” By killing him, one must infer.

      Fox News Strategic Analyst, Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, was in a segment with FNC talking head Julie Banderas, and said:

      “On that video, he is collaborating with the enemy …”
      “He’s lying about how he got captured … “
      “We know this private is a liar … “

      If we find out, through some convoluted chain of events, he really was captured by the Taliban , I’m with him. But if he walked away … I don’t care how hard it sounds – as far as I’m concerned, the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills.

      Ms. Banderas seemed stunned by that last comment, as any normal human being would be, but recovered well.

      The last quote is very near the end of the video, at around 3:25.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xezi8wAGZZc&app=desktop

  • John Cedar

    A sleeper cell Muslim president can only control his urges so long.
    Eventually he has to accidentally give the green light for Iran to finish their nukes, or accidentally publish a CIA name while visiting crapistan or release everyone in Gitmo.

  • HonestDebate1

    The Republican establishment sat back while Obama changed Obamacare 38 times without legislation. Holder decides he didn’t like certain drug laws so he just decided not to enforce them. President Obama’s lawlessness is legion. At least we have A href=”http://dailycaller.com/2014/05/07/ted-cruz-releases-definitive-list-of-76-lawless-obama-actions/”>Ted Cruz.

    As feckless, gutless Republicans tolerate this unprecedented disregard for law, Obama becomes emboldened. Now we have this illegal swap and they find Jesus. He broke the law, overrode the process but he has an out because he is Commander in Chief in wartime. Where have these impotent cowards been?

    • Ray in VT

      Indeed, the President of the United States never made changes regarding the implementation of laws and regulations and such before Obama. There’s no precedent for it at all.

      • jefe68

        Careful, you’re dealing with a delicate and “challenged” mind.

        • Ray in VT

          I think that the claim of an IQ of 12 is overblown.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — perhaps.

            One thing is certain, however:

            It ain’t “Honest.”

          • HonestDebate1
          • Ray in VT

            I think much the same thing when I read the comments of so many TOPers, except for I would strike “of humor”.

          • HonestDebate1

            C’mon man! Give me some wiggle room, at least let me round up to double digits.

          • Ray in VT

            You can use whatever number you like. I was just commenting upon claims made.

          • HonestDebate1

            Then it’s 12.

          • Ray in VT

            Based upon experience I would contend that that is an inflated number.

    • Charles

      We agree. Presidents have been running roughshod over impotent Congresses for a long time now.
      I would posit that if we maintain a constant State of War, we will move further down the road to ruin. It won’t be long until we find Congress giving a president “emergency powers”, and then, bam!…Palpatine.

    • Ed75

      Makes one wonder which side the president is on.

      • Ray in VT

        I am sure that it does make some wonder, especially when charges fly about regarding the President being some sort of secret Muslim or always backing Islamists. Sounds more like base political opportunism by the President’s opponents to me.

        • 1Brett1

          Ray, you left out ‘the President promotes the murder of unborn children.” It is Ed, after all.

          • Ray in VT

            Also, I forgot to congratulate you a couple of weeks back on the Marks program for saying the most ‘Merican thing that has ever been said.

          • jefe68

            and puppies.

          • MrNutso

            Not puppies!

          • jefe68

            Yes, sad to say puppies. And, and kittens as well.

          • MrNutso

            Sniff.

      • X Y & Z

        Even the ‘rebels’ (al-Qaeda) in Syria are openly claiming they have received support from this Administration.

        • Ray in VT

          Please provide evidence that al-Qaeda or al-Qaeda linked groups in Syria have received American aid.

          • X Y & Z
          • Ray in VT

            Labeling all of the rebels as al-Qaeda does not make them so no matter how many times you post the same link.

          • X Y & Z

            The rebels in Syria have confirmed links to al-Qaeda.

          • Ray in VT

            Some yes, but just calling them “the rebels” without acknowledging that there are very different factions with different ideologies fighting is a mistake, but it is one that I expect that you will continue to make.

          • X Y & Z

            Keep making excuses for Obama’s documented support of al-Qaeda, it suits you well.

          • Ray in VT

            Please provide some documentation of such, as you have yet to do so.

          • X Y & Z

            I already did in the link above.
            The only thing you ever provide are excuses for this incompetent Administration.

          • Ray in VT

            What excuses am I providing? Saying that all Syrian rebels are not al-Qaeda? That is just a fact, as are various facts regarding the LFPR and the factors contributing to how it has changed in recent times. Perhaps your clearly addled mind merely cannot recognize such things.

          • X Y & Z

            I provided a link which proves that Obama is supporting al-Qaeda in Syria. You can’t accept the truth that Obama supports al-Qaeda, which he is, sorry to burst your bubble.

          • Ray in VT

            No, you did not provide that. You provided a link citing how we support some rebels, which we do, and then you claim that that means that we are supporting al-Qaeda. Just repeating that over and over doesn’t make it true.

          • X Y & Z

            Keep avoiding the facts, it helps you from admitting the truth.

          • Ray in VT

            Facts must be presented to be avoided. You fail to present them, so they cannot be avoided.

          • X Y & Z

            I presented the facts. Obama is supporting al-Qaeda in Syria.

          • Ray in VT

            No you did not. You have claimed that you have, but you have not. All rebels are not al-Qaeda.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — I for one appreciate your Quixotic engagement with the drone-bot, despite the ongoing evidence that said drone-bot is obviously impervious to logic and reason, and cannot distinguish between opinion and fact.

          • jimino

            So does the Tea Party, I have heard.

  • NewtonWhale

    Not so fast with the lynching, guys:

    “critics of Sergeant Bergdahl contend that every American combat death in Paktika Province in the months after he disappeared, from July to September 2009, was his fault…Two soldiers died during the most intense period of the search after Sergeant Bergdahl’s June 30 disappearance. Both were inside an outpost that came under attack, not out patrolling and running checkpoints looking for him. The other six soldiers died in late August and early September.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/04/world/middleeast/can-gi-be-tied-to-6-lost-lives-facts-are-murky.html

    • Jill122

      Oh no!!!! More facts??? How could you introduce facts into this discussion. That’s so *mean*!!!

  • Jasoturner

    I don’t know enough about Mr. Bergdahl to have an opinion on the “worthiness” of this exchange, but I personally think that a successful transaction with the Taliban is a positive. Why? Because we cannot kill hostile Islamists out of existence, and our tendency here in the U.S. of treating them as nothing but suicidal nuts dreaming of virgins in heaven is an interactive dead end. Here we see them acting in a completely rational and self-interested, non-destructive way. That offers a good lesson for to think about – perhaps physical annihilation is not the sole end game we can contemplate.

    If one watches the video of the exchange now posted on the Times’ web site (yeah, the “liberal” NYT but it isn’t their video), it is fascinating that the narrator complains about the rudeness of the American soldiers who collected Bergdahl – they did not shake hands or only offered their left hand to his captors. This concern with manners and respect is quite telling, it seems to me, about how they apprehend the world and how they think about Americans. And it suggests how unconcerned we have been with trying to interpret and understand this perspective. To our detriment I would posit.

    Funny how mundane things sometimes reveal matters that complexity tends to obscure…

    • 1Brett1

      Of course, we even have some citizens who think our President supports terrorists, so…

      • jefe68

        …and some who think he’s Muslim and a foreigner.

      • Jasoturner

        Funny you should make this comment. I was quite impressed (if that’s the word) with a particularly infantile comment in this forum. The author was clearly attempting to bait those who attempt to have a real dialogue in these comment sections.

        But it got me wondering. Does one begin making snarky comments about, say, Obama having been born in Kenya, for amusement purposes but then slowly – through repetition and a form of self-inflicted propaganda – begin to subsume such nonsense into one’s actual, real-world, non-trolling perspective? In other words, can one start believing the comically implausible thanks to a lack of self awareness, thanks to a bad joke run amok? I think the answer may be yes, based simply on the thematic repetitiveness of such posts.

        • MrNutso

          That’s how the Ministry of Truth works starting with Newspeak.

        • Euphoriologist

          Excellent comments, as usual, jasoturner.

          The answer to whether people who repeat political propaganda often enough come to believe and incorporate it into their worldview, is yes, I would say. Today’s Morning Edition had a great segment about the disturbing fact that half of Americans believe in menacing conspiracy theories now:

          http://www.npr.org/2014/06/04/318733298/more-americans-than-you-might-think-believe-in-conspiracy-theories

          How can so many people be enjoying ever greater access to information than before while simultaneously drifting ever and ever farther from reality? I think it’s become the central paradox of our new Information Age, and the dangers it presents to American self-governance are all too obvious.

          The era of the paranoid style in American politics has returned with a vengeance.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Paranoid_Style_in_American_Politics

        • 1Brett1

          I’m inclined to think the answer to such questions are yes, as well. Some posters may be perpetuating nonsense out of ignorance, or they are repeating the latest sentiments expressed on, say, conservative media and believe/trust such distorted information. Some may be distorting information (whether intentional or not) because it fits in with their ideology/world view. The reason some repeat false/distorted information is not usually clear, although one or the other of the aforementioned reasons probably plays a role.

  • Yar

    None of know what we would do in someone else’s boots. I am so sick of making every event as a political football trying to move the country left or right. 5 years as a POW is more than enough to say thank you and welcome home. Let’s leave it at that!

  • OnPointComments

    National Security Adviser Susan Rice on ABC’s This Week: “Sergeant Bergdahl wasn’t simply a hostage; he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield…he served the United States with honor and distinction.”

    I wonder if Susan Rice will ever reach the point where she resents being used as the administration’s stooge on the Sunday morning talk shows.

    • Ray in VT

      Well, they obviously sent her out to lie with the made up intelligence that they cooked up.

      • OnPointComments

        Is it your belief that Sergeant Bergdahl served the United States with honor and distinction?

        • Ray in VT

          He served. I do not know his record or the facts regarding his disappearance. That latter bit is yet to be determined.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — he served, and was repeatedly promoted, including while in captivity.

            Promotions do not happen automatically, and require approval by superiors.

            In other words, Sgt. Bergdahl’s unit commanders were involved in the process of his promotions.

            See:
            http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/armypromotions/a/armypromotions.htm

  • HonestDebate1

    At first I thought the obvious, that Obama was just shifting the news cycle from the VA. And that did happen. There is even reporting they were blindsided by the reactions, they expected “euphoria”.

    My position has evolved. I don’t think Obama traded 5 of the worst so he could free Bergdahl. I think he used Bergdahl as an excuse to free the jihadists and empty Gitmo. With the baddest of the bad gone, it’s all downhill. I don’t think Obama gives a damn about the law. He is President and will do whatever he wants. He wants Gitmo closed.

    • Ray in VT

      Of course. This is all a distraction and a part of his master plan.

      • MrNutso

        Everything Obama does is part of a master plan that even he does not know about.

        • jefe68

          Oh come on, he’s out to turn the US into a socialist/fascist state secretly run by the French or worse, a “new world order”…

      • jefe68

        The conjecturing is funny, such experts in international diplomacy.

        What most seem to fail to realize is this kind of deal is not unusual and if some of the right wing hand wringers did a little research they would find that presidents from both parties make deals with despots.

        • Ray in VT

          I’m not sure how I feel about the deal. I can make cases for both sides, but I do prefer to have our people back, as Israel has done at times.

          • jefe68

            It’s an odd tale. This guy just up and walked off his post. Which in the field of battle it’s desertion. People forget that nearly 50,000 American and 100,000 British soldiers deserted from the armed forces during World War II.

            War is ugly business.

          • 1Brett1

            I haven’t devoted enough energy to following this story to be anything but ambivalent about it from what I’ve heard so far, and to consider that I just don’t have enough information…

            However, I do have a problem with conservatives remarking that it was a bad decision to free Bergdahl in exchange for the Gitmo prisoners because a) Bergdahl is a deserter (as if we should only try to free Americans from being prisoners of war who are “good” ‘Mericans). B) The President doesn’t care about prisoners of war and he only made this deal to move closer to closing Gitmo (I might add that the very same people asserting this also periodically assert that the President never has had any desire to close Gitmo, the contradictory statements (and I’m using ‘contradictory’ in a euphemistic sense) we’ve all come to know and “love” from the usual suspects/conservative media people). And C) This is further evidence that the President is 1) acquiescent to/supportive of terrorists, 2) this is intended as a political distraction 3) it is yet another example of the President wantonly disregarding our laws, and 4) it is part of a mounting list of scandals, incompetent decisions or deliberate power plays to systematically destroy this country.

            As far as I can tell, we just don’t have enough information on this story to make any truly informed opinions about it. So, these speculative remarks (again, being euphemistic about the word ‘speculative’) appear to be ideologically/politically driven, as you probably also consider.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that a great deal of that is very much involved presently.

      • HonestDebate1

        What? I just explained it was not a distraction IMO. Obama doesn’t care what anyone thinks, he’s not up for reelection. He does what he pleases.

        • Ray in VT

          Yes, I am familiar with the many bizarre opinions that you have regarding the President, who you concluded long ago was an enemy of America. Obviously he’s just running amok, like they do. I hear that he’s going to forgive all student loans by EO.

  • J__o__h__n

    Obama is such a bad negotiator. How can one American soldier be considered a comparable exchange for five Taliban some of which were rather high level? Especially if he is, as appears likely, a deserter. Perhaps if congress didn’t throw up so many obstructions to relocating the Guantanamo prisoners, Obama wouldn’t have used this as a way to offload five of them.

    • MrNutso

      So I suppose the Israeli’s who have far more to fear from terrorism think swapping thousands of PLO for a few captured Israeli’s is an even worse deal. Like it or not, the good guy’s always pay a higher price to get their people back.

      • J__o__h__n

        I don’t think that how Israel does anything is relevant and there are no “good guys” on either side of that conflict.

        • MrNutso

          I think the detractors of this deal would consider Israelis to be good guys. On that basis, my comment is more illustrative than whether what the Israelis do is relevant.

    • HonestDebate1

      Harry Reid said Republicans refused to let the thugs be tried in court so that was the reason they were stuck. As if no democrats were opposed to such insanity, as if they were not unlawful combatants, as if military tribunals were not appropriate, as if Gitmo was not a venue designed of such proceedings.

      • J__o__h__n

        They should have been imprisoned in the US and not in a legal no mans land.

        • HonestDebate1

          Or just killed with a drone, no muss no fuss. That’s this administrations preferred method.

          • Ray in VT

            It’s better than invading countries and losing thousands of lives.

  • X Y & Z
  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Desertion, self-evident. Court martial should await this soldier.

    • Jill122

      Even desertion is not self-evident. IF, what you write proves to be true — it still has to be proved. You are guessing just like everyone else. Go ahead, be his judge and jury. Imagine too how you look to everyone but you.

      • hennorama

        Jill122 — all these jumped to conclusions have occurred without a single word from the most important witness — Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

      • HonestDebate1

        Maybe he was just drunk as the Taliban claimed.

  • TFRX

    If John McCain is going to be played on this show, please trace the incredible change in his beliefs.

    • MrNutso

      How dare you Johnkerry (v.) John McCain.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Obama’s White House = reverse Midas touch. Better for all if they resigned en masse & left those offices open until next president is elected.

  • stephenreal

    Sgt. Stu,pid will be court martialed no doubt about it. He cost a lot pain for a lot of families (trying to do the right thing for America). What a jerk.

    You know the prosecutor types in the JAG corp are tripping over themselves to get this case when it comes down the pike. I want the truth!

  • HonestDebate1

    There was undoubtedly and exchange of money with the Haqqani network in addition to the prisoner swap.

    • Ray in VT

      Have some evidence of that?

      • HonestDebate1
        • Ray in VT

          If it is speculation, then certainly “undoubtedly” is an inappropriate term.

          • HonestDebate1

            I have no doubts.

          • Ray in VT

            Based upon what exactly?

            Indeed, even the dictionary cannot produce doubts in what you have decided must be.

          • HonestDebate1

            I gave you the well thought out reasoning of someone who understands the dynamics well. If you want to discuss the merits, I’m happy to.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t know how well I trust opinions of a thriller writer and the conclusions that he reaches based upon his speculations.

          • HonestDebate1

            Then shred his logic to bits, at least read it.

          • Ray in VT

            I skimmed it. The claim is that Bergdahl was held by the Haqqani network, and they care about money and not Taliban detainees, ergo money was involved. There is a line of logic to his reasoning, but upon what or how many facts is it based? To not doubt that money was involved based upon such seems unwise.

          • HonestDebate1

            No, it was far too detailed to sum up as you have. I would also point out he is not the only one with this view.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, I think that that is basically it. One can find many people who have the same opinions. However, if those opinions are made without or in contradiction to facts, then just having a bunch of people doesn’t really mean much.

          • HonestDebate1

            Why did Haqqani release him? Why would they care about Taliban prisoners? What did they have to gain?

          • Ray in VT

            That is assuming that they had him, which may or may not be the case, assuming that they are not linked to the Taliban in significant ways and would not benefit from that which may aid the Taliban. That is far, far too many ifs for me to build an undoubted position upon.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Follow the money. We haven’t heard the last of this nightmare.

          • HonestDebate1

            I think we will find out sooner rather than later.

          • HonestDebate1

            Evidently, ransom was considered then shelved. So it was on the table at one point. If it was taken off, that doesn’t preclude it from being put back on.

            http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/06/04/intelligence-community-largely-ignored-in-taliban-bergdahl-trade-officials-say/

  • stephenreal

    All that time and money looking for his du,m askz while he’s hiding from our own guys who are looking for him.. I read the damn reports. Some even suggest he directed live “fire” against our own team for Christ sake. This outrageous.

  • creaker

    Probably not the best trade – however, if the news had come out that Obama passed up the trade, Republicans would have criticized that as well.

    They really need to dig into this “simply walked off” story – it does not pass the smell test. Where could he have possibly expected to walk to? It sounds completely irrational.

  • X Y & Z

    Pentagon knew Bergdahl’s whereabouts but didn’t risk rescue for ‘deserter’

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jun/2/pentagon-knew-berghdahls-whereabouts-but-didnt-ris/

  • stephenreal

    I guess it’s better than sending the fellas all the way up the Mong river (across the border into Pakistan deep inside the Haqqani network) to kill Kurtz. That was on the table for a long time.

  • stephenreal

    Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    We should scrub the designation commander in chief* from the constitution. Most serving presidents aren’t qualified to hold that honor & own those responsibilities having no US military experience, let alone combat service. In any case, We The People are America’s CINC. We don’t need a raw, overwhelmed civilian attempting to oversee our military forces.

    * Of the armed forces, though not exactly the language written in the document. The intent is clear.

    • J__o__h__n

      Civilian control of the military is a good idea.

      • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

        If civilians would control it instead of using it as a Ronald Reagan flag/patriotism prop. Hoober Doober

  • JGC

    I would like to learn why the French Foreign Legion rejected Bergdahl’s application, yet why he was deemed acceptable to join the U.S. Army. Were there pre-existing mental health issues? Or did something develop in that way later in Afghanistan? And if there is a charge that results in anything from dishonorable discharge up to desertion, will an army psychiatrist need to examine Bergdahl on his state of mind, and would the diagnosis affect the determination of his fate?

    • Omaha Guy

      oh… this is new information to me… I will have to verify that he was rejected by the French Foreign Legion.

    • jmpo’lock

      You may remember that after these wars started, and the sh*t got deep, the military couldn’t find enough qualified recruits. They lowered the standards DRAMATICALLY, allowing for mental disorders, criminals, out of shape, you name it crap to sign up to be cannon fodder….

    • hennorama

      JGC — what might it say about one’s “pre-existing mental health issues” if one volunteers for service in the U.S. Army in 2008, in the middle of 2 wars, and at a time when the total of US military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan had already exceeded 4,000?

      Sources:
      http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/06/03/timeline-sgt-bowe-bergdahl-life-leading-up-to-his-capture-by-taliban/
      http://icasualties.org/

      • OnPointComments

        “Team Obama and its base cannot comprehend the values still cherished by those young Americans “so dumb” they joined the Army instead of going to prep school and then to Harvard. Values such as duty, honor, country, physical courage, and loyalty to your brothers and sisters in arms have no place in Obama World.”
        –Ralph Peters

        • hennorama

          OPC – TYFYR.

          (Apologies in advance to the forum for the repetitive nature of this post. Your indulgence is appreciated.)

          Quoting someone who suggested the Taliban should perhaps kill Sgt. Bergdahl, to “save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills,” huh?

          In July 2009, shortly after Sgt. Bergdahl’s disappearance, “Fox News Strategic Analyst” Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, was in a segment with FNC talking head Julie Banderas, and said all of the following:

          “On that video, he is collaborating with the enemy …”
          “He’s lying about how he got captured … “
          “We know this private is a liar … “

          If we find out, through some convoluted chain of events, he really was captured by the Taliban , I’m with him. But if he walked away … I don’t care how hard it sounds – as far as I’m concerned, the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills.

          The last quote is very near the end of the video, at around 3:25.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xezi8wAGZZc&app=desktop

  • stephenreal

    It’ll all come out in the process. And let’s hope JAG has all their ducks in a row and not fumble this thing so embarrassingly as the West Wing has.

    Whomever advised the President of the United States on this should be fired. Today. You’re out of here!

  • DeJay79

    this is actualy a win win. what these released Taliban members don’t know is each of them were secretly implanted with tracking beacons. Now we will always know where they are and who they are with.

    • Ray in VT

      I did also wonder if that might have been tried.

  • SteveTheTeacher

    So the US government frees the guy from captivity in Afghanistan and is now, likely, seeking to put him in captivity in the US. Awesome.

    • OnPointComments

      If desertion is proven, Sergeant Bergdahl should be court martialed and suffer the consequences.

      • X Y & Z

        Obama will probably pardon him, just to cover his own tracks.

  • stephenreal

    You do not have to read the these obscure intelligence sites for love of man to know about Sgt. St0opid. He was in Rolling Stone magazine for crying out loud!

  • X Y & Z

    Jeffrey Toobin: Obama ‘Clearly Broke the Law’ on Bergdahl

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/jeffrey-toobin-obama-clearly-broke-the-law-on-bergdahl/

  • stephenreal

    This is just part of the political process wrapping this war up. The President wants to close the door on this and not leave it to the next guy. The President is gonna empty Guantanamo of prisoners before his administration comes to a close.. It’s the political gimme. I say take the gimme.

  • creaker

    Yet another event whipped up by the government to distract us from the real issue that the richest are raking in more money than ever while the rest of are falling through the cracks.

  • JGC

    A surprising legal opinion from Lawfare, “Released Taliban Detainees: Not So Innocent After All?” , by John Bellinger, national security legal advisor to President George W. Bush:

    http://www.lawfareblog.com/2014/06/released-taliban-detainees-not-so-innocent-after-all

    • hennorama

      JGC — TY for sharing.

    • HonestDebate1

      I agree with his assessment except for the opinion about our reputation regarding gitmo. It may be true in some sectors but I think most people agree gitmo is necessary. And regarding the terrorist, gitmo is never cited as a reason for jihad. Not that it matters.

  • toc1234

    perhaps Obama’s long plan is to actually encourage more US personnel kidnappings so he can trade more Gitmo Taliban and soon enough Gitmo has no more prisoners. voila, Gitmo closed, who cares the means.

  • Yar

    Starship Troopers addresses going to war over one prisoner. There is no if history, why not leave it to fiction.

    • Ray in VT

      I love the book and the movie, although for somewhat different reasons.

      • Yar

        There is more than one movie, none accurately represents the book. My favorite is the book on tape as read by George Wilson. He really nails the dialog. I refer to the kindle version often.

        • Ray in VT

          Oh yeah, the movie (I am referring to the first one only) is, in most ways, not like the book, but it’s a good movie for blowing stuff up, which I do enjoy. It has some nice humor elements to it as well. Anyways, I like Heinlein’s work, although some of his views I disagree with. I thought that the book was interesting for how it used the format of the novel to express what I think were the author’s social or political views.

  • Scott B

    A guest on another NPR program was involved in talk for the same deal three years ago and they turned it down repeatedly.
    Three of them have been in Gitmo since day one of it being open, and the other two are long time detainees as well. They’re “old men” now and the Taliban and Al Qaida aren’t the same organizations they were ten years ago, and these guys might be good for some PR, but mostly likely little else.

    His captors probably saw Bergdahl’s condition going downhill fast and figured that they better get something for him, rather than have him die in captivity and bring down all kinds of problems on themselves.

    • JGC

      I heard that same interview, but I couldn’t find where it was said. (Here & Now?)

      • Scott B

        That’s where, but for some reason H&N didn’t tweet it, and I had a terrible time finding it.
        Also, some of the info I posted was from Rachel Maddow’s show, and credit should go there, too.

  • toc1234

    and the Guardian will go out of their way to show the military in its worst possible light…

  • jmpo’lock

    I find it interesting that the right wing did not react so hyperbolically when that soldier went AWOL in Iraq and proceeded to massacre an entire Iraqi family, women, children, young girls and burned the bodies and home.

    Why didn’t they exclaim his treasonous behavior? How his actions endangered not only his comrades in arms, but the entire basis of the mission? Why they didn’t similarly demand his being left to the Iraqi justice system? NO! They extracted him, and returned him home to military justice.

    So, I guess, if someone goes AWOL in peaceful manner, they should be left to be beheaded by the Taliban, but if they go AWOL in a psychopathic murderous criminal way, that’s just Okey Dokey? I clear view into the mind of the right wing.

    • toc1234

      ” They extracted him, returned him home to military justice…… , but if they go AWOL in a psychopathic murderous criminal way, that’s just Okey Dokey? ”
      facing military justice = everything being ok? good post.

    • William

      The NYTimes brought up the issue about this guy being a deserter.

      • jmpo’lock

        Yeah, that’s my point. Two different examples of soldiers leaving their base without leave/orders. One for (evidently) peaceful reasons, one for evil ones. And then note the reactions in each instance from the right/Fox News?

        Abject hypocrisy, intellectual dishonesty, and moral decrepitude!

  • Coastghost

    The “offended morality” of suspected deserter Sgt. Bergdahl sounds of a piece with the untethered “offended morality” of the traitor Edward Snowden.
    If we clear Guantanamo of all Taliban detainees, we’ll have plenty of room for the likes of these two, if or when duly convicted and/or apprehended. (What else would Obama like to do: trade Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames for Snowden?)

  • stephenreal

    On July 10, 2006 the U.S. Army charged four other active duty soldiers with the same crime as Pfc Green. A sixth soldier, Sgt. Anthony Yribe, was charged with failing to report the attack, but not with having participated in the rape and the murders. On May 7, 2009, Green was found guilty by the federal court in Kentucky of rape and multiple counts of murder.

  • stephenreal

    wikileaks bro. page after page of sadness (army code sadness)
    the raw data stuff like “IED”, over and, over and, over again.
    google it . way too easy bro

  • stephenreal

    You never read the raw data from Wikilieaks? You kidding me?

  • Omaha Guy

    This is a no-win situation for President Obama.

    If your relative joins the military, and then becomes mentally ill, and walks into enemy territory… should your relative be abandoned? So if Obama did nothing, he would have been torn apart in the press for leaving a man behind.

    And since he did something…after searching first, he compromised to bring back the only POW of the war.

    This is also a symptom of a congress that was purchased, in order to do nothing. And it becomes another no-win situation for the president.

  • Human2013

    A terrorist starter kit??? Wife and house….the Taliban are effective recruiters.

  • Stephen706

    Tom, why are you among others disavowing the countless testimony and reports that may have some to complete semblance of truth? The soldiers that were there know best and they have been barred to be heard… until NOW!!! Deal with it folks! This guy may not be some POW or hero but a deserter and taliban sympathizer

    • Jill122

      You said it yourself:

      This guy may not be — let’s allow the facts to surface. The guys who were there worked very hard to get him back. And they heard a lot of rumors all along the way. It doesn’t mean what they heard is true.

  • stephenreal

    It’s all there man! Every single word every spoke on the battlefield. all of the reports.

  • stephenreal

    If this show weren’t so short, and my time precious,I’d search the link myself.

  • James

    My one question is when President Obama released the five Taliban commandos did he break the law, and is there anything anyone could even do about it.

    • HonestDebate1

      Yes and no, not without the will.

    • Omaha Guy

      Yes, with all the talk coming from the Koch brothers about impeachment, you would think that President Obama would be careful about not breaking a law created by congress.

    • OnPointComments

      If the Obama administration had the time to call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and tell him of the impending exchange, why did the administration not call anyone else?

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    Will Obama get away with this too?

    • Omaha Guy

      There is nothing to get away with. It was a very sad situation of a mentally ill soldier… and the desire not to abandon a POW. And, the sad situation of elderly Taliban who would die in our prison, and become martyrs. There is nothing anyone will “get away” with here.

    • Jill122

      I sure hope so. Returning US soldiers to US soil is a great thing. I’m very proud of my president today. He has done the right thing. Period. Full Stop.

    • HonestDebate1

      Probably. What hasn’t he gotten away with?

      • Jill122

        That’s one of the perks — you two should run for President. Perhaps together you could get half of the job done. *And* you’ll be delighted with all the “rights” and of course, given who you are, you won’t be faced with any responsibilities. The buck never stops anywhere with republicans so you won’t have to answer for your mistakes (WMD, Iraq, millions dead, etc. etc. etc.)

        • HonestDebate1

          “The buck stops with you” -President Obama

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    Bowe helped the Taliban attack his American troops. He helped them attack his fellow soldiers.

    • Omaha Guy

      Bowe is not being released. He is now in our custody.

      • HonestDebate1

        But the terrorists are free to move about, if reports are true.

        • Omaha Guy

          These elderly terrorists might be temporarily regarded as heroes by the taliban, but cannot regain leadership… but could disrupt their leadership.

          but, if the elderly terrorists die in our captivity, they become martyrs in the view of the taliban. this cannot help our troops.

          • HonestDebate1

            Do you remember Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir? He was only a medium risk, these guys were deemed highly likely to return to the battlefield.

          • Omaha Guy

            He will not be as effective as a released prisoner, as he would be as a “martyr”

            preventing martyrs supports our troops

          • pete18

            I guess we shouldn’t have killed Osama Bin Laden then, right?

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe that’s why Bush didn’t do it. Better to go off chasing his tail in Iraq instead.

          • pete18

            Are you saying that you agree with Omaha Guy’s premise?

          • Ray in VT

            I think that rubbing out Bin Laden ran the risk of making him a martyr, which, I think, was at least part of the reason for burying him at. I still prefer him long gone.

          • pete18

            Yes, better a dead martyr than a live and free terrorist and better five locked up terrorists, who seem to have long odds as martyrs while rotting there, than five free terrorists. Seems like a pretty obvious choice.

          • Ray in VT

            I would rather have our guy back.

          • pete18

            Both you and Barack Obama will have a lot to answer for if those freed Taliban guys kill more of our soldiers or other civilians.

          • Ray in VT

            So why will I have to answer? I am sure that the President is aware of the risks. Who exactly has paid for us arming the Mujahideen, the Contras or for invading Iraq? It seems that there is a long line ahead of me and ole Barry.

    • Jill122

      cites, documents, proof. You will be needed at his court martial, you may as well give up the proof now so that we can have the trial here, today, right now.

      • Omaha Guy

        good point jill

      • MOFYC

        The commenter may also be busy in the libel lawsuit he may be slapped with.

    • Ray in VT

      Do you have some evidence to support that contention>

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    Five terrorists for one turncoat. Soon, Bowe will be in jail for life.

  • toc1234

    gotta like how Rhodes dismisses any negative hearsay (from the caller) but two seconds later he throws out positive hearsay (regarding his escape attempt)….

    • Jill122

      You think it’s because he knows what it was like since he spent 8 months as a captive? What about you? How long have you been in prison?

      • toc1234

        I was not commenting on prisoner conditions. he was saying that his positive hearsay has credence but the caller’s negative hearsay does not.
        what about you? how’s your reading comp?

  • X Y & Z

    Obama’s incompetence as Commander in Chief continues to rise.

    • Omaha Guy

      President Obama is much more successful as a statesman and commander and chief than Vladamir Putin.

      Putin had to only maintain a base in Syria and Crimea without genocide… and without making friends angry… and without creating enemies.. and without causing doubt about the Russian political and democratic process…

      President Obama, used the military to help the Philippines after a disaster. Even though the people there still remember the policies of previous eras… the support of a dictator… The loss of a base during the Reagan/Bush era is now being regained.

      So, we are gaining a military base by creating friends, and not alienating the world. THAT is the definition of a successful statesman and commander and chief.

    • jmpo’lock

      Methinks you are a total COWARD.

      • X Y & Z

        Because I don’t support a President who commits reckless and dangerous acts in violation of the Congress?

        You sound really desperate.

        • jmpo’lock

          NO, you are clearly afraid of all those Taliban “terrorists” flooding our cities and villages.
          You, can’t name ANY incompetence, only your fact free biased opinion. And I’m no Obama freak, I’ve got many issues with him too, but compared to Bush/Cheney? (Who got us in this sh*t!) THAT my friend is incompetence.
          Get a Dictionary

          • X Y & Z

            Now you sound even more desperate, and pathetic.

  • MrNutso

    I remind the Honorable Mr. Cruz about Iran Contra.

  • X Y & Z

    Is this Obama’s attempt ‘to win the hearts and minds’ of the Taliban?

    • Omaha Guy

      The elderly taliban would become martyrs if they die of old age in our prison. so, it was clever to get rid of them before.

    • jmpo’lock

      No, it’s his opening up the opportunity to insert these double agents into the midst of unsuspecting Taliban, foiling their evil S.P.E.C.T.R.E. plot to destroy the ENTIRE WORLD….for ONE MILLION DOLLARS!!!!

      • Omaha Guy

        oh, i get it… an austin powers reference.

  • MOFYC

    Thankfully Sgt. Bergdahl will be assessed and possibly judged by a military justice system drived by facts and evidence, rather than an ideologically driven Internet lynch mob.

    • Omaha Guy

      i hope you are right MOFYC

  • Yar

    Would any major corporation be stronger if old CEOs were returned to leadership along with current leaders?
    How can the return of these aging soldiers be anything but disruptive to the Taliban?

    • hennorama

      Yar — not to mention that, as Sgt. Bergdahl will be doing over the next months and years, they will need time to recover from their long, long captivity.

      • HonestDebate1

        Physically, he was in fine shape.

        • jefe68

          I guess you should know, being a doctor and all. I guess you were also present when he was examined.

          • HonestDebate1

            Nah, but I did see the video of his release and he looked dashing, especially compared to John McCain or Jessica Lynch when they came back. He might have had a little sand in one eye.

  • Dia Bubalo Kleitsch

    Maybe Ted Cruz and all the other critics should man up and get over there to straighten out this mess. Let’s see if they handle the stress with honor and if they speak in complete truths after their experiences. Remember the weapons of mass destruction, Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch?

  • X Y & Z

    al-Qaeda in Syria is openly proclaiming that the Obama Administration is supporting them. Obama’s decision to free five Taliban commanders is not surprising.

    • jmpo’lock

      Didn’t you know? Obama is a cloaked “Reptilian” Alien.
      Al Qaeda are also

      • X Y & Z

        Those still aren’t nearly as big of a lie as this whopper:

        “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it”.

        • Omaha Guy

          Yes, he should have qualified it…

          If you have an honest, likeable plan, you can keep it.

          Honest plans that are actually affordable remained because they met the affordability index.

    • Ray in VT

      Which al-Qaeda group is that, and why do you trust them?

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    John McCain was returned to this country with a prisoner swap.

    • jmpo’lock

      Evidently a big mistake (per right wing thought), since it’s also known he collaborated with the VC and sang like a birdie in his bamboo cage…

      • jefe68

        One wonders how you would fair if tortured for hours on end. Hung up by your hands until your shoulders dislocate.

        • jmpo’lock

          Clearly my point was that I get that! And no one here knows what was in Bergdahl’s mind, if he just cracked under pressure.

          And based on the way the right is acting now, they should’ve made the same type of commentary about McCain….and OF COURSE that’s absurd.

          Just because he managed to get shot down (again) and lose millions of dollars of hardware, cause the distraction of resources, talk to the enemy, and require the transfer of VC prisoners to get him back, it was worth it, he was an American Airman!
          p.s. I’m sure I’d do at least as well as McCain

          • jefe68

            I don’t know you so I have no idea how you would hold up being a POW in the Hanoi hotel. Even if I did know you, one can never tell how one would act under the same circumstances. That’s pretty brazen of you and in some ways points to a kind of cowardice.

          • jmpo’lock

            No, I was just being a wiseguy

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    now that Obama has helped the Taliban, maybe they will stop trying to hurt us.

    • X Y & Z

      Obama’s charm offensive?

  • Luis Clay

    Tom, I am the father of a young lad in the military. I’m disappointed that you would quote Ted Cruz as a rationale source on the discussion regarding Bowe Bergdahl. All soldiers in foreign territory have a price on their heads, and always have. The only way to solve that problem is to stop sending youngsters on colonial ventures overseas. Thanks.

  • creaker

    Odd to think that when USSR was in Afghanistan, we trained many of these “terrorists” and called them “freedom fighters”, even though what they are doing hasn’t really changed over the years.

  • manganbr

    Was the Taliban classified as a terrorist organization by the state department under the Bush administration?

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    There are credible claims that Bergdahl helped the enemy. After his capture, he helped the Taliban with the placement and methods of IEDs.

    • Omaha Guy

      If your relative joined the military and became mentally ill, and walked off the base, and into enemy prison, and as a stockholm syndrome, possibly said and did some things… you could never be happy, but wouldn’t you feel worse if he were simply abandoned there?

      And, if the elderly taliban become martyrs and heroes because they die in guantanamo, how does that help the troops? It doesn’t.

      • http://www.google.com Big Brother

        If your son had a gun and came to my daughters school to kill kids, I would shoot him in the head with my gun.

        • Omaha Guy

          oh, sorry, i thought you could understand the situation. my mistake.

        • jimino

          What would you do if foreign soldiers showed up in your town?

    • jimino

      There are credible claims that Bergdahl obtained a lot of helpful intelligence about the Taliban’s strategy while in captivity that will help us in our military efforts in Afghanistan.

      • HonestDebate1

        Of vice versa.

  • AC

    this seems like a bad decision. i usually don’t pay much attention to the hysterics about the president because they feel so forced and fueled by dislike as to be believed, but i think this time, it is a mistake. who knows what info he had access to that i didn’t tho, so maybe the final true story will make this seem ok.

    • Omaha Guy

      Hi AC, there was no good decision.

      if your relative joined the military and became mentally ill, and walked off base, and into enemy control… would you feel okay if they just abandoned him or her?

      also, there was no good decision about the senior (old) taliban who would die in captivity and become martyrs. doing that cannot help the troops

      • AC

        it’s more in the sense of recently reading articles involving ‘kidnapping’ – a huge growing industry world wide. it’s never good to give the kidnappers what they want….it just encourages them….i almost want to say ‘why can we all just get a long’ but that’s too stupid to say….we’re seriously in need of evolving, we’re still barbarians. i mean all humans…

        • J__o__h__n

          Not every human is a barbarian. Failing to distinguish who behaves monstrously and who doesn’t isn’t useful to improving humanity. For all the US’s faults, we aren’t executing blasphemers, executing gays, shooting girls in the head for going to school.

          • AC

            i’ll agree with this

    • http://www.google.com Big Brother

      If you were to ask Obama, he didn’t know about Bowe’s desertion until he read about it in the paper.

      • hennorama

        Big Brother —

        1. Alleged desertion. You have jumed to a conclusion without a single word from the most importnat witness: Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

        2. Questions about Sgt. Bergdahl’s disappearance emerged almost immediately, back in July 2009.

        3. The U.S. has been trying to retrieve Sgt. Bergdahl since his capture. Possible prisoner exchanges have been extant, and discussed with members of Congress, since at least late 2011.

        • HonestDebate1

          That’s simply not true Hennorama. He is not the most important witness because he is unlikely to tell the truth to incriminate himself and if he pleas the fifth we are not to assume guilt. It is also not true that we have not heard from him, He wrote he was ashamed to be an American and expressed a desire to renounce his citizenship.

          • OnPointComments

            I think it is likely that we will find out that Sergeant Bergdahl is not the most important witness. He may plead the fifth as you said, but regardless, there are many of his fellow soldiers who say he deserted, and those soldiers will likely be called to testify.

          • camco50

            We should ask the gentleman you probably voted for in 2008 what that feels like. After all, didn’t John McCain do the same?

          • HonestDebate1

            No. John McCain is a proud American. He did not say he was ashamed of America or try to renounce his citizenship. I’m not sure I get your drift. Are you referring to the document he signed after years of torture? If so, that’s not the same at all.

          • camco50

            Are you referring to McCain “the legend” or the real McCain? Let’s see. McCain was a privileged aviator who had a reputation as a reckless hothead who only made it because his father was Admiral McCain. After all, graduating 894th out of 899 students from the Naval Academy wouldn’t get most people elevated to his station in life. He didn’t follow rules the day he was shot down and other squadron members are quoted as saying, “McCain had got himself shot down”. I’m not sure why you’ve elevated McCain to such a high stature. Many other prisoners were badly tortured, some killed in the process, and didn’t sign any documents. Also, he offered to provide information to his captors so that they might take him to a hospital since he was badly injured in the crash (read his book for more detail). He says that he only did it to get to the hospital, planning to provide false information once he received treatment, but he didn’t need to do any of that. He could have stood on principle and taken the bullet like many others.

            My point isn’t to denigrate McCain but rather to illustrate the folly of judging battlefield behavior. If you weren’t there then it’s pretty hard to be a sideline judge.

          • HonestDebate1

            I respect McCain but I did not vote for him. I voted for Sarah Palin. McCain refused to be cut loose when it was offered because of his fathers prestige. That caused another two years of torture. And by torture I mean real torture not a nasal rinse. There is no comparison to Bergdahl and even if there was it’s irrelevant. You are just changing the subject by denigrating him. And yes, that’s what you are doing.

          • camco50

            Palin. Doesn’t that tell you the whole story right there? What you are implying is that there are different levels of POW. McCain = GOOD and Bergdahl = EVIL. Yes it’s relevant and yes you are judging. You just did in this latest post. Nasal Rinse anyone? Then you dismiss any discussion of POW behavior as irrelevant though I’m not sure why. I’m illustrating the folly of judging battlefield behavior as viewed from our vantage point, safe at home. You seem to capable of judging behavior from afar though but I can’t. I would rather not have the Taliban act as our court system. I believe we sent him to war, we need to bring him back even if it means he faces a courts-martial. Why do you love the Taliban anyway?

          • HonestDebate1

            No, not at all, I have judged McCain’s as honorable because we know his story. I have not determined that yet regarding Bergdahl.

            You are missing my position. I didn’t say Bergdahl is evil, I’m not even sure he’s a deserter. I don’t fault Obama for getting him even if he was a deserter. I fault him for giving away the farm though. I am uneasy not granting the President leeway in wartime so haven’t even harped too much on his breaking the law. But in the context of his relentless lawlessness on a host of issues it becomes troubling. I don’t trust him to be a good broker. The deal stinks. I think he’s just skirting Congress to empty Gitmo. He’s changing his story every day. My problem is not with Berdahl, it’s with Obama.

            I don’t love the Taliban but I do love Sarah Palin. Sue me. How can you not?

    • HonestDebate1

      It could be many are sincere in their objections to his policies and it’s not personal at all. Just food for thought.

  • pwparsons

    “None of it had to happen.” True!! Why aren’t our REAL Terrorists, ie: Bush, Cheney and their minions at least INVESTIGATED for “terrorizing” us into this prolonged “WAR” from which they have largely PROFITED, personally and politically?

    • William

      Congress approved that war. Now Obama’s war against Libya that was totally illegal and not approved by Congress. So I’m, sure you want him investigated about that right?

      • camco50

        I’m sure your right-wing wrecking crew would have impeached him before had they had the opportunity. It was a military action and did follow the letter of the law. Remember the debate in congress over this issue. You folks would impeach him for failure to attend to an ingrown toenail. Get over it.

  • X Y & Z

    I wonder Obama has offered any condolences to the families of the eight US soldiers who died trying retrieve Bergdahl, before he made this reckless decision, which is a violation of the law.

    • Jill122

      Doesn’t it mean anything at all to you that the ARMY tried to find Bergdahl? *They* thought it was a worthy enough goal to send out their best. But now you’re not only second guessing the president for doing something every president before him as pledged to do, but you’re questioning the Army itself for trying to retrieve him.

      Of course the president has offered condolences. He always does. He, unlike his predecessor, also goes to Dover to receive the dead.

      It is a violation of a law that very likely has no constitutional standing. You know, the kind Congress loves to pass.

      • X Y & Z

        Are you still standing by the blog you posted yesterday that Bergdahl was “kidnapped”?

        • Ray in VT

          Perhaps you have some evidence that he was not taken by the Taliban against his will. Unless or until evidence emerges that he was not, then I am working upon the assumption that he was captured, or “kidnapped” if you will.

          • Omaha Guy

            in his state of mind, he may have made it very easy to be captured, but it seems he was captured. his note was not pro-taliban, but anti-war. after capture, he was under enemy control. it is difficult to judge what he says after that as voluntary, or a stokholm syndrome.

      • OnPointComments

        Last December, President Obama signed into law a requirement that congressional committees must be given 30 days notice before transferring anyone from Guantanamo. He violated this law. The argument that there were exigent circumstances is proven false by the Obama administration calling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and telling him of the impending exchange. If there was time to give Harry Reid notice, there was time to give the committees notice.

        • HonestDebate1

          He has tried to go through Congress in the past and was rightfully denied. But he’s King, he don’t need no stinkin’ Congress.

          • jmpo’lock

            You guys can thank the precedents created by his forebears to make the “Imperial President”
            Didn’t hear you guys screaming out about Bush’s constitutional foibles, one’s that were SO BAD they had to be made retroactively legal…..
            btw, the Constitutional Powers afforded to the Commander in Chief at the time of War, supersedes your petty arguments, sorry.

          • HonestDebate1

            I have already made the point about the Constitutional powers afforded the President in wartime and expressed my disgust at Republicans for ignoring all of the prior, and more solid examples, of the lawlessness of this President.

            Bush is irrelevant to this. You have no idea what I did and did not object to at the time. None.

          • jmpo’lock

            Yup, you are correct. By “you guys”, I meant people of the right persuasion. I should’ve been more clear.

          • camco50

            Now there’s an “honest debate”! Do you really think that this Congress would help the president do the right thing for the American people? Your suggestion that they they denied him because it was right is a specious argument at best. They won;t let him do anything, even to pass their own plans. Could you offer evidence that the congress has actually worked with this president, ever?

          • HonestDebate1

            What I wrote is true. I did not give reason why he was denied because I don’t know. Congress gets a say, sorry if that bothers you.

            But thank you for making up my implication.

          • camco50

            “Making up your implication”?

            What does that even mean? You seem to ignore what you write so let me refresh. “He has tried to go through Congress in the past and was rightfully denied.” Sounds like you gave a reason for the denial right there, doesn’t it? You say that it was the right thing to do or should I not believe my lyin’ eyes?

            Parsing the rest of your comment , “But he’s King, he don’t need no stinkin’ Congress.” So first you say he was denied in Congress but he acts like a king. Which is it? I’m sure you’re not confused but you’ve left me with a few questions. Also, if you think that your ilk is doing the right thing in denying any sort of governance to the American people (based on your John Birch-esque ideology) then isn’t Obama doing the same for the people? Perhaps you need to take a refresher civics class and try and understand that Congress is there to help us collectively solve America’s problems. There was once a time when I could converse with Republicans because at least they realized that we have work to do as a country and compromise is the only way to move forward. Today’s Republicans are so hateful of the American government (which really is all of us) that they can no longer see their responsibility to make anything happen to better our lot.

          • HonestDebate1

            No, I gave no reason. I said it was right because because this deal stinks. The Congress has the right to deny the request. They did and King Obama then decided he did not need them with Bergdahl.

            “Perhaps you need to take a refresher civics class and try and understand that Congress is there to help us collectively solve America’s problems.”

            Tell that to Obama.

            The rest of your comment is based on a caricature of the right and not reality.

        • Pleiades

          Would you have preferred that we leave Sgt. Bergdahl with his captors? I’m like you in the fact that I do not like the how the exhange happened, but do you honestly think the US Congress would have agreed to the exchange? What would have happened had one year from now (5/15) we found out a deal could have been struck for Sgt. Bergdahls release in 5/14? All of you would be complaining about why it didn’t happen.

          Let’s be reminded that US Congress (especially the Republicans) are afraid to try “the worst of the worst” in our federal courts. They are afraid to transfer the Gitmo captives to other nations when it has been proven they were not terrorsit. They are afraid to have Military Justice applied to the Gitmo captives. Where does it end?

          • OnPointComments

            The law required 30 days notice, not agreement from Congress.

          • MrBigStuff

            Ding ding ding. Glad someone finally said THIS.

          • Pleiades

            It is obvious that through your comments that you desire Sgt. Bergdahl to continue to be in the hands of his captors. Just say it. That is all it takes. Do you desire Osama bin Laden to be alive also?

            Please comment on what would happen once the US Congress was given the opportunity to know of the trade. Would Seantor Cruz, Senator McCain and Senator Graham be out there saying “no deal” for an American soldier?

            Originally, the Taliban wanted 21 fighters released and $1 million for Sgt, Bergdahl. Is that accpetable for the release of Sgt, Bergdahl?

            Quit complaining and make your call as to what is acceptable for the return of a US soldier from his captors!

          • OnPointComments

            In your opinion, should President Obama obey the law? The law requires that relevant committees be notified before prisoners are transferred from Guantanamo, but the President chose to ignore this law. If President Obama had time to notify Harry Reid, he had the time to notify the relevant committees.

          • camco50

            I expect ALL presidents to obey the law but Baby Bush mad it clear that he would pick and choose which ones he would follow, setting the precedent for our current scenario. I would also add Saint Ronald Reagan to that list. He violated the Boland Amendment by sending aid to the murderous Contras while negotiating with terrorists for the sake of (ready for this) releasing American hostages. While we’re at it, he also armed the Taliban, strengthened Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran, sent troops to Lebanon (losing many troops in the process) and invaded Grenada to oust a Communist invasion that never was. Let’s not even talk about GW Bush because we’ll run out of room on this page.

            Incidentally, all presidents violate laws – that’s how they get tested in the courts. Not all laws are consitutional. The president does have the right to manage our defense as commander-in-chief so he may have a mandate that supersedes congressional actions.

          • OnPointComments

            Signing statements have been around for a while, and it has been a campaign issue. What did Candidate Obama say in 2007 about signing statements? “It is a clear abuse of power to use such statements as a license to evade laws that the president does not like or as an end-run around provisions designed to foster accountability…I will not use signing statements to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law.”

          • camco50

            You seem to be implying that presidents never break laws. You know how laws work, right? Laws are passed and many are simply unconstitutional. The only way to discover their validity is to ignore them or violate them and do what you believe is right. The case now goes to court and eventually a court can rule on their constitutionality. Then we know if the law can be upheld. It’s for that reason that I am objecting to your depiction of Obama’s action as an abuse of power. We don’t know if it was or wasn’t.

            How would you feel if that statute were eventually deemed unconstitutional? If you answered that it wouldn’t change your mind, then you suffer from cognitive dissonance.

          • Pleiades

            Why should I answer your questions since you have not given me the courtesy of answering any of my questions?

            Make you call…should Bergdahl still be in the hands of his captors? Yes or no. It is simple enough to answer.

          • OnPointComments

            No.

          • Pleiades

            Throughout our hisitory associated with our wars and military interventions, there have been laws skiirted during these actions for one reason or another. Sometimes it was the military that skirted the law. Other occasions it was the President who skirted the law.

            I’m like you in that I feel the US Congress should have been informed, but we need to let this play out to see what all the options were at the time of the release. It may be true that the release had to happen immeidately due to some unknown rreason. It may be that we are being lied to for some reason. All the facts need to be in front of us before we make a judgment.

          • William

            The GOP is not afraid of trying the terrorists in federal court due to it is a really bad idea. Even Obama backed away from that bad idea years ago. It was not the GOP blocking trials in Gitmo the past five years.

          • Pleiades

            Was it not the GOP who stated that such was unacceptable? Yes, it was.
            President Obama has not backed away from this in that we have convictions of terrorist in federal courts today, and we could easily achieve the same with the worst of the Gitmo prisoners.

            Maybe you should bone up on who is responsible for these trials in Gitmo.

          • camco50

            Just more evidence of how the conservatives are shipping our jobs overseas. Now the Republicans are making the case that we should off-shore our criminal justice system to the Taliban so that they can mete out the just we deserve.

    • jimino

      So you’re saying our troops should do nothing to assist fellow troops who get in harm’s way due to their own negligent acts? Who gets to decide when that standard gets applied?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Why weren’t those families invited to the White House?

      • X Y & Z

        Excellent point

    • jefe68

      What a class act, using the deaths of soldiers for your cheap political memes.

  • keruffle

    Bad trade
    Just made
    Why toast?
    Left post
    Our side
    Suicide
    5 men
    Fight again
    @keruffle

    • HonestDebate1

      Did he act alone out of frustrating temper or,
      Does this President think he’s emperor?

  • HonestDebate1

    President Obama is sure to be angry when he finds out about all of this.

    • Ray in VT

      Obviously he is a dictator who is personally overseeing and doing all of this and totally uninformed about all of it. Just like the secret lists that he should have known about, even though that rather defeats the purpose of the secret aspect.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      He found out when he read it in the press between rounds.

      FORE!!!!!

      • Ray in VT

        Well, he is the most vacationingist President ever, at least since the last one. At least Bush gave up golf for the troops.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          I shouldn’t joke. This was just a stupid decision.

  • pm05

    The platoon members hired a PR firm!! Why! Are they trying to coverup something that Bergdahl might say? Is there a reason that Bergdahl had to get far away from these guys? All these attacks on this guy are awful. He has been a POW for 5 years! Doesn’t anybody have any compassion at ALL!!! These are just horrible people to be doing this now!!!!

    • JS

      If political point are to be made, people will make them irregardless of consequences.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    “Homeland” — Bergdahl vs. Brody

    Somehow I don’t think Congress is in Bergdahl’s future.

  • tbphkm33

    Nopublican’s are so hypocritical. Is there any doubt that if the opposite occurred, and it was discovered that the Obama Administration could have traded for the release of Sgt. Bergdahl, the not-so-Grand-Old-Party would be crying foul in that scenario also?

    This is all self placating political maneuvering by Nopublican’s. Catering to their propaganda machines – evidenced by the same old talking points being regurgitated in this very forum by their brainwashed activists who fall over themselves to prove who is the bigger discussion board troll.

    The not-so-Grand-Old-Party illustrates once again their penchant for cherry picking what suits their whims of the day. Big on defense and a strong military… always out there when it comes to signing appropriations for ships, airplanes and tanks that will make their big money puppet masters more money. Yet, at the same time, arguing to leave captured soldiers behind with their captors and refusing to fund the Veterans Administration.

    Any doubt about the true character of the Republican Party???

    OnPoint should do a show about the very real costs that the Party of NO has inflicted upon the United States in the past five years. Their intransigence and unwillingness to even partake as a partner in governing the Union, has very real social and human costs. Kids are being underfed due to cuts in social spending. Individuals have been handed death cases, and indeed died, due to Congressional cuts in medical spending. There is a very true evilness attributable to the Republican Party.

    Ironic that Republicans calls themselves the “Party of God,” when their actions clearly points to it being the “Party of the Devil.”

    • HonestDebate1

      “Nopublican”? “Not-so-Grand-Old-Party”?

      Be careful, people around here have an aneurism if someone says “democrat party”, they are sure to scold you for this.

      • tbphkm33

        Thank you, “HonestDebate1″ (???) for validating my points.

        Unable to branch beyond the GOP propaganda talking points, you take offense to “Nopublican” and “Not-so-Grand-Old-Party.”

        • HonestDebate1

          Oh I’m not offended at all, I’m trying to help here. These guys are brutal when it comes to semantics.

          Regarding your comment, the premise is fantastical and whacked. I’m happy to trust people recognize that without my having to get in the gutter and debate such baseless assumptions. Not interested.

          The only thing I’d like your opinion on is flight 370 but I’ll wait until Friday.

      • 1Brett1

        Typical of your hyperbolic strawman building ['aneurism'].

        But, to be fair, you are making a valid point in comparing “Nopublican” and “democrat party.” I agree that using these phrases is not the way to have reasonable interactions among those who are at odds with each other (although, this doesn’t seem to be your point; your point seems to be more of a grudge holding one, a tit-for-tat one, of sorts).

        I will say that it is NOT about semantics (so no agreement with you –from below — on that); and, I would add that your regular use of “democrat party” is intending nothing other than to offend.

        So, two wrongs don’t make a right.

        And you continue to not only use phrases in the way some on the proverbial opposing side use (e.g., tbphkm33′s use in his comment) as some sort of justification for your own behavior. You also distort opposition to your own use of such language by saying people are having “aneurism’[s] over this and by saying people are being pedantic/claiming foul over nothing more than semantics.

        This is yet another example among hundreds upon hundreds of thousands regarding your “dishonest” approach to “debate.” …Okay, maybe only hundreds, but you get the idea.

        • HonestDebate1

          Two points and a joke:

          1) It’s not about me.
          2) All that is required to not be offended is to not be offended. (see my reply below)

          Did you hear about the Chinese couple Mr. and Mrs. Wong? They had a baby and the baby was white. The midwife was perplexed, she asked, “How can two Wongs make a White?”

          rim shot/cymbal crash

          Oh, and to answer your question: No silly, you can’t brutalize me on a stupid blog. I don’t care how brutal you are.

          • jefe68

            And yet it’s always about you.

          • HonestDebate1

            Not really.

          • 1Brett1

            1) Except that I was replying to a comment of yours that pertained to your perceptions about the attitudes of others on this forum. So, your comment WAS about you, at least in your perceptions of others, anyway. So, it was personal in nature. Besides, your reply was completely about me [I know, you don't mind being a hypocrite; you've said so yourself].

            2) You seem to get offended when Southern accents are poked fun at. You also have gotten offended on several occasions, one example being when, a few years ago, I used a metaphor about piano players who have no imagination/play nothing but tired clichés, etc., to say something about your platitudinal talking points (that one is particularly funny considering you were in quite a tizzy and now pretend as if not being offended is 100% the responsibility/problem of the offended; it is also funny because you completely misunderstood my use of the metaphor, took it very personally, and it started the initial rift between us. You were polite before that, then you began what you feel is justified rudeness [also further evidence that you hold grudges/are hypocritical]. Your approach to my commentary soured immediately after my “piano player” metaphor…Interesting how you set standards for others you don’t follow for yourself.

            3) Yeah, humor is definitely not one of your strengths.

            4) Hey, you used the word “brutal.” Perhaps at least a tad hyperbolic? Or maybe you just use death metal slang?

          • HonestDebate1

            1) Arighty then
            2) Ditto
            3) Ditto
            4) Ditto with the caveat that brutal is an adjective and brutalize is a verb, don’t try to understand. It’s heady stuff.

    • William

      Never let a crisis go to waste.

  • hennorama

    From the Uniform Code of Military Justice (emphasis added):

    ARTICLE 85. DESERTION

    (a) Any member of the armed forces who–

    (1) without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently;

    (2) quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service; or

    (3) without being regularly separated from one of the armed forces enlists or accepts an appointment in the same or another on of the armed forces without fully disclosing the fact that he has not been regularly separated, or enters any foreign armed service except when authorized by the United States; is guilty of desertion.

    (b) Any commissioned officer of the armed forces who, after tender of his resignation and before notice of its acceptance, quits his post or proper duties without leave and with intent to remain away therefrom permanently is guilty of desertion.

    (c) Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.

    Source:
    http://www.ucmj.us/sub-chapter-10-punitive-articles/885-article-85-desertion

    How one might conclude anything about Sgt. Bergdahl’s disappearance from his unit, and anything about his intentions, without hearing a single word from Sgt. Bergdahl, is beyond me.

    There is of course some possible evidence of his intent, as has been widely reported. Evidence is not proof, of course.

    • OnPointComments

      So, if Sgt. Bergdahl pleads the fifth, would you simply let him go? Do you think a court might conclude something about Sgt. Bergdahl’s disappearance without the testimony of Sgt. Bergdahl?

      ev·i·dence [ev-i-duhns]

      Law. data presented to a court or jury in proof of the facts in issue and which may include the testimony of witnesses, records, documents, or objects.

      • hennorama

        OPC — TYFYR.

        From two of Sgt. Bergdahl’s superiors:

        Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will face an investigation and a potential court-martial if the Army finds that he deserted his unit in Afghanistan, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey said Tuesday.

        The 28-year-old Bergdahl was “innocent until proven guilty,” Dempsey said. However, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff promised that “our Army’s leaders will not look away from misconduct if it occurred.”

        [. . . Mind the gap . . .]

        “As Chairman Dempsey indicated, the Army will then review this in a comprehensive, coordinated effort that will include speaking with Sgt. Bergdahl to better learn from him the circumstances of his disappearance and captivity,” [Army Secretary John] McHugh said.

        Source:
        http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/06/03/dempsey-bergdahl-innocent-until-proven-guilty.html

        • HonestDebate1

          “Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will face an investigation and a potential court-martial if the Army finds that he deserted his unit in Afghanistan, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey said Tuesday.”

          That clearly says they will determine if he is a deserter before a court martial.

        • OnPointComments

          You have stated multiple times that the most important witness is Sgt. Bergdahl, without any apparent consideration that he may choose not to testify, or may have multiple soldiers testify that he deserted his post. If he does not testify, as is his right, it is likely that a court will reach a conclusion about his disappearance and his intent without hearing a single word from Sgt. Bergdahl.

          Lastly, evidence is proof.

          • hennorama

            OPC — Thank you for your response.

            Evidence is not proof.

            That you claim otherwise is surprising, given the evidence of a high level of intelligence that is contained in the posts under your moniker.

            Let’s say your jacket is found in a stolen vehicle. That jacket is evidence of your possible presence in the vehicle, but not proof. Neither is it proof that you are responsible for the vehicle having been stolen.

            Let’s say your fingerprints are found in the same stolen vehicle. Those fingerprints are evidence of your possible presence in the vehicle, but not proof. Neither are they proof that you are responsible for the vehicle having been stolen.

            Let’s say someone testifies that, around the time the vehicle was reported stolen, they saw you get in the vehicle, and then drive away. That testimony is evidence of your possible presence in the vehicle, but not proof. Neither is the testimony proof that you are responsible for the vehicle having been stolen.

            (The above should not be interpreted as you having been accused of stealing any vehicle(s), or any other nefarious activities.)

            ==========

            My repeated statements about Sgt. Bergdahl being the most important witness is to point out that many have jumped immediately to a conclusion that he is a deserter, without hearing or considering any evidence to the contrary, or a single word from Sgt. Bergdahl himself. These statements were not made “without … consideration that he may choose not to testify, or may have multiple soldiers testify that he deserted his post.” Rather, they were made in full consideration of those things, but also with full consideration that there are many, many steps that must come first, before any conclusions are drawn, beginning with questioning Sgt. Bergdahl. A court-martial or any other level of military disciplinary hearing is far from a certain outcome.

            While it should go without saying, Sgt. Bergdahl is innocent until proven guilty.

            Some are pointing to things Sgt. Bergdahl may have said or written both before and during his years of captivity, and then jumping to conclusions of guilt. Others point to media reports and statements by servicemembers who served alongside Sgt. Bergdahl, or in his company, battalion, brigade, division or corps, and then jumping to conclusions of guilt.

            Many of these same individuals cried foul as to jumped-to conclusions of criminal guilt in the Martin/Zimmerman case, the Duke lacrosse team case, etc., etc.

            Curious, that.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • OnPointComments

            If Bergdahl is tried and found guilty, do you think evidence will be used as proof of his guilt?

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFYR.

            Of course. There can be no proof without evidence, but there can evidence without proof.

            Otherwise, I have thrice proven you to be guilty of vehicle theft, in the suppositional above.

            “Proof is the perfection of evidence, for without evidence there is no proof, although, there may be evidence which does not amount to proof: for example, a man is found murdered at a spot where another had been seen walking but a short time before, this fact would be evidence to show that the latter was the murderer, but, standing alone, would be very far from proof of it.”

            Sources:
            http://www.lectlaw.com/def2/p184.htm
            http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/_/dict.aspx?rd=1&word=proof

  • X Y & Z

    The decision to release the five Taliban commanders should really help to boost Obama’s approval rating within the Taliban.

    • disqus_TIClM2voqP

      Not really. Obama’s killed so many of them that they don’t poll so well anymore. Especially Osama bin Laden. Funny but no-one has polled him since Bush was in office.

  • MrStang

    From Greg Mitchell
    WikiLeaks Has Bergdahl File

    “A monitored chat between two Taliban suggests he was using the toilet when captured (would undermine claim that he defected):
    1- LOL THEY KNOW WHERE HE IS BUT THEY KEEP GOING TO WRONG AREA. 2- OK SET UP THE WORK FOR THEM. 1- YES WE HAVE A LOT OF IED ON THE ROAD. 2- GOD WILLING WE WILL DO IT. 1- WE WERE ATTACKING THE POST HE WAS SITTING TAKING EXPLETIVE HE HAD NO GUN WITH HIM. HE WAS TAKING EXPLETIVE, HE HAS NOT CLEANED HIS BUTT YET. 2- WHAT SHEAM FOR THEM. 1- I DONT THINK HE W 2-YES LOOK THEY HAVE ALL AMERICANS,ANA HELICOPTERS THE PLANES ARE LOOKING FOR HIM. 1- I THINK HE IS BIG SHOT THAT WHY THEY ARE LOOKING FOR HIM. 3-CAN YOU GUYS MAKEA VIDEO OF HIM AND ANNOUNCE IT ALL OVER AFGHANISTAN THAT WE HAVE ONE OF THE AMERICANS. 1- WE ALREADY HAVE A VIDEO OF HIM.”

    http://gregmitchellwriter.blogspot.com/2014/06/wikileaks-has-bergdahl-file.html

    • JS

      On the toilet? Wait, are we saying he defected or….never mind.

      • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

        Defecated. Defected. Only ONE letter difference!

        • hennorama

          A R — humor generally does not improve with explanation.

          • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

            Mine does.

        • JS

          This whole thing could be one big misunderstanding. A soldier slips out for some late night falafel, needs to relieve himself, and gets captured. And I am only half kidding

          • HonestDebate1

            I’d stick with your better half if I were you… with all due respect.

          • JS

            But seriously, it seems he might have left the base a few times and returned, so maybe he was just popping out again and got captured.

          • HonestDebate1

            Fair enough but there were issues of concern raised about him long before that night. I’m not rushing to judgement either way.

          • JS

            Sure you are, you say he didn’t serve honorable. But of course you have to: The Obama administration has said otherwise.

  • MrStang

    THE VACANT SOUL OF JOHN MCCAIN

    By Charles P. Pierce

    snipsnip

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/john-mccain-obama-prisoner-release-060214

  • OnPointComments

    Some very damning allegations are being made by Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers.

    Evan Buetow, former sergeant

    Former Army sergeant Evan Buetow was Bergdahl’s team leader at the time. Buetow told CNN [that] intelligence from the search for Bergdahl indicates that Bergdahl deserted his platoon to seek out the Taliban. Buetow noted that following Bergdahl’s apparent desertion, the Taliban began launching more effective attacks on American forces.

    “Following his disappearance, IEDs started going off directly under the trucks,” Buetow said. “They were getting perfect hits every time. Their ambushes were very calculated, very methodical, like they knew what we were going to do.”

    Buetow explained that U.S. searchers monitored radio and cell-phone communications during their attempts to find Bergdahl, and overheard a conversation that suggested that Bergdahl was pursuing the Taliban. He said that the searchers heard, “‘the American is in [a nearby village], he’s looking for someone who speaks English so he can talk to the Taliban.’ And I heard it straight from the interpreters lips as he heard it over the radio.”
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/379522/bergdahl-accused-least-dozen-soldiers-and-bereaved-family-members-andrew-johnson

    • hennorama

      OPC — indications, coincidences, allegations, suggestions, and innuendo are not proof of anything.

      (Not that you indicated they were, of course.)

      • OnPointComments

        My bet is that when Bergdahl goes to trial, first hand knowledge and accounts will be proof.

        • hennorama

          OPC — TYFYR.

          If Sgt. Bergdahl is charged with anything, and if he goes to a martial court, sworn witness testimony may be given as evidence, which may factor into any verdict.

    • disqus_TIClM2voqP

      Yes and they have a republican PR flack arranging all the interviews the guys are getting. Since when do we as American convict someone based on hearsay? It’s disgusting the rush to judgement on this American service member. No facts are in except that we rescued an American from capitivity and the people who hate the president have no qualms about sliming this soldier in order to attack a political enemy. Months ago the same repubs were screaming that the president wasn’t doing enough to rescue this soldier. It was an impeachable offense that the president didn’t rescue him. Now that he has rescued him it’s also an impeachable offense. And who doubts that if the news were instead that the president didn’t rescue him because we don’t negotiate with terrorists then the same people would be screaming that he should be impeached for turning down the deal. You have lots of repubs scurrying to delete their twitter and web posts celebrating the soldiers release. Lots of repubs scurrying to delete their twitter and web posts calling for the president to secure his release by any means necessary.

      • William

        It’s not hearsay. He deserted his post. That is a fact. Did he help the enemy attack his former base or other GI’s? Maybe. Did he give the Taliban intel? Most likely. There needs to be massive pressure on the administration to ensure they don’t try to give this deserter a free get out of jail card. He needs to be held accountable for his actions and sent to jail.

        • disqus_TIClM2voqP

          How is it a fact that he deserted his post? Has the army stated that? Has there been a formal inquiry of any kind? What trial established his guilt? You heard he deserted from screaming partisans – that’s the definition of hearsay.

        • jefe68

          There has not been any formal charges regarding him deserting his post. He might have, that’s a possibility, the right wing are sure proving to be bottom feeders of the worst sort. From Bill O’Rielly’s obnoxious memes about Bergdahl’ father looking like he’s a member of the Taliban to the BS just posted by you. We don’t know that he gave up anything.

          Some of you people remind me of the film The Ox Bow Incident, all ready to hang the someone based on hearsay.

          • OnPointComments

            First hand eyewitness accounts from soldiers who served with Berdahl are not hearsay.

        • hennorama

          William — “He deserted …” is merely your conclusion, not a fact.

          • TFRX

            Hey, forget it: It’s Williamtown.

          • hennorama

            TFRX — TYFYR.

            Regardless of its futility, the effort is necessary.

            See also:
            LaMancha, The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of

  • HonestDebate1

    Several commenters are stressing the assumption of innocence until guilt is proven regarding Bergdahl. Those in that camp are sure to be outraged at the White House doing just that to our soldiers who were there for going on the record. Evidently they are guilty of “swift-boating”.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/report-white-house-accuses-soldiers-who-served-bergdahl-swift-boating-him_794307.html

    Questioning the integrity of our brave men is not wise. At least one is pushing back and revealing the military instructed them to not tell the truth.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2014/06/04/soldier-army-told-us-to-lie-about-bergdahls-capture/

    • disqus_TIClM2voqP

      HonestDebate cites 2 of the most dishonest websites on the internet. Not only are they dishonest propaganda sites but they have been consistently wrong about every single thing they’ve written about Iraq and Afghanistan. These are the people who said we would be greeted as liberators! They probably still claim there are WMD’s in Iraq. Obviously not the best sources of information.

      • HonestDebate1

        They are awesome sites, especially Hot Air, but you are entitled to your misguided opinion. God bless you.

        However, what does the forum have to do with what Chuck Todd reported? And it was SPC Josh Fuller who revealed the military instructions, not Hot Air. Are you accusing Todd and Fuller of lying or are you accusing the WS of fabricating Todd’s report and Hot Air of doctoring the video of Fuller with their own soundtrack? I don’t follow your logic at all.

        • disqus_TIClM2voqP

          Awesome sites for misinformation. Answer the question was their reporting accurate or not regarding the wars? In terms of the facts- none are i yet. I heard an interview today saying that the whole unit was a mess and there could be personal grievances tied to these accusations. I say he’s an American and we had to get him home. Period. Now that he’s home, he should suffer whatever consequences for his actions that he deserves. But the army should make that call not a bunch of paid liars at The Weekly Standard and Hotair.

          • HonestDebate1

            Again WS and Hot Air did not make any calls. It was Chuck Todd reporting what White House Aides told him and Hot Air posting video of SPC Josh Fuller.

            If there affords an opportunity to discuss Hot Air or the Weekly Standard then I’m happy to at that time but they have nothing at all to do with my original comment.

          • disqus_TIClM2voqP

            I don’t know the full story but neither do you, Chuck Todd, or the paid liars from the Weekly Standard/HotAir. Why the rush to judgement? Do you hate the president that much? How un-american are you that you just take 1 side and run with it. Does Bergdahl get a chance to defend himself or is he guilty because Chuck Todd interviewed someone who said Bergdahl was guilty? We owe Bergdahl more than that especially regarding something as important as a soldier’s service to his country and whether he has deserted or committed treason against his country. He deserves his day in court and a chance to defend himself but you all pile on with your “facts”. “But but Chuck Todd said so.” Yeah lots of proof there pal.

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t say he was guilty. My comment was about the White House tacitly accusing our soldiers of lying. That’s all.

          • disqus_TIClM2voqP

            The problem is you read that “information” on the Weekly Standard and Hotair which means the White House did no such thing because those 2 site are known liars. That was my whole point about the 2 sites. Since they are wrong on everything especially regarding Iraq and Afghanistan- “The war will pay for itself! Endlessly wrong. So therefore any assertion by them regarding the White House calling anyone anything is not to be believed.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

  • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

    None of you were there! YOU KNOW NOTHING… STFU!

    • HonestDebate1

      Are we allowed to cite the numerous soldiers who were there and came forward?

      • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

        Of course. By all means.

        • HonestDebate1
          • JS

            How could the two guys killed on base have been killed out looking for him?

      • jimino

        Whenever inquiry as to the views of the military, even the highest ranking of them, about why and how we were conducting our military missions in Iraq and Afghanistan was brought up in the past, the response always was “they just do what they can to try to accomplish what the higher-ups assigned them to do. It’s not their role to comment on policy, strategy and tactics.”

        I sure wish this new found desire to have them come forward and publicly express their views was in place for the past 13 years. Maybe so many would not have been convinced by the obvious lies told by those who sent them into a dangerous and unattainable mission at our expense.

        • HonestDebate1

          You just made all that up.

          • jimino

            You really do live in an alternate universe, don’t you?

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t fabricate quotes, assume desires and draw conclusions based on my own little Peyton Place. So no, I deny the charge. I’m right here.

          • jimino

            My quote is an accurate statement of the official position regarding the role of military personnel publicly expressing their views while in the military, without even addressing the use of a PR pro to do it. You can’t be this blind to reality, can you?

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

          • jimino

            Damn straight.

    • hennorama

      Alchemical Reaction — I agree.

      Stick
      To
      Foaling
      Ungulates

    • MrStang

      from Charles Pierce “…It would be like asking swine not to wallow.”

      http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/john-mccain-obama-prisoner-release-060214

    • hennorama

      Stuff
      Thy
      Folderol
      Uprear?

      Stick
      To
      Facts,
      Users?

      Stop
      This
      Foolishness.
      Uncool?

      (ceasing and desisting)

    • OnPointComments

      The first-hand statements that have been made by soldiers who served with Bergdahl have all been unanimous.

      • HonestDebate1

        I think there are only 12 in a squad and most have spoken.

        • disqus_TIClM2voqP

          You think. You’re not sure but that’s close enough for you to slime a fellow American’s service to this country? What branch of the military do you think you served in? Please do tell us of all the brave deeds you think you did while in Afghanistan compared to this soldier your sliming with glee so you can attack a president you don’t like?

  • MrStang

    War is a Racket -Smedley Butler

    War is a mess that we all must cleanse ourselves of…

    snip<"But some of McCain’s fellow prisoners, who were tortured and did not collaborate, have challenged his narrative, expressing their belief that McCain was not physically abused at all and that he was well treated. Others who were also in the prison camp dispute that claim. But by McCain’s own account he may have begun cooperating with the North Vietnamese within three days of his capture and was fully on board within two weeks, providing specific intelligence on his aircraft carrier, its aircraft, and the support vessels attached to it, information that was later featured in North Vietnamese radio broadcasts. One account that appeared on a wire service entitled “PW Songbird is Pilot Son of Admiral” reported that McCain may have gone beyond an acceptable level of collaboration in assisting the psychological warfare offensives aimed at American servicemen: “The broadcast was beamed to American servicemen in South Vietnam as a part of a propaganda series attempting to counter charges by U.S. Defense Secretary Melvin Laird that American prisoners are being mistreated in North Vietnam.”

    http://original.antiwar.com/giraldi/2013/05/29/john-mccain-war-hero-or-something-less/

  • William

    It seems odd that he kept getting promoted and would receive any salary/back pay. When you go UA/Desert everything stops, pay, medical, etc….once you are caught you are paid what was due prior to going UA/Deserting. It would be a major disappointment to see this deserter receive 150-200k in back pay and get an honorable discharge. The x-gi that deserted in South Korea and was gone for decades did not get back pay for all those years.

  • hypocracy1

    The prisoner swap will put a price on American soldiers heads… because there wasn’t one there to begin with..

    DERP

  • HonestDebate1

    So why did the White House send National Security Adviser Susan Rice to the Sunday shows to claim that Bergdahl “served the United States with honor and distinction”?

    It wasn’t necessary. Rice, speaking for the White House, could have said something to the effect that “Bowe Bergdahl is a troubled young man who made a terrible mistake. Nevertheless, he is an American soldier, and the United States wants him back. The president had a difficult decision to make in balancing the release of the Taliban detainees with this country’s longstanding policy of not leaving U.S. forces behind in a war zone, no matter the circumstances.”

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/what-if-team-obama-had-just-told-the-truth-about-bowe-bergdahl/article/2549287?custom_click=rss

    • jimino

      In the off chance you are actually interested “the truth” as opposed to BS emitting from Byron York’s fetid imagination, try this:

      http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/13-things-you-need-to-know-about-bowe-bergdahl-20140602

      You could also then read the Rolling Stone article, written 2 years ago,which informed those of us who actually are interested in the truth of this situation. Can you point me to the Examiner’s contemporaneous article, or did they just find out “the truth”?

      • HonestDebate1

        Yes, JGC posted the original Hastings piece a few days ago.

        I don’t get your point. Byron York was just wondering aloud why Susan Rice went on the Sunday shows and said what she said. What’s the problem?

        Personally I think it has something to do with her and Sundays in general.

        You know a prisoner swap is a solemn thing, a great price is paid knowing full well the potential danger to America. We got a chest-thumping circus. It’s not appropriate.

        I also will again say that I have not called him a deserter, I don’t claim to know the whole truth but I do value the opinions of his squad mates who are his family, his brothers, his lifeblood, his Brady Bunch. I am very interested in the truth. What do you think?

        • jimino

          York called her a liar and claimed to know the truth.

          You are mistaken as to who the ringleader of the circus is in this instance.

          I think Bergdahl was an immature, troubled person who joined the military based on the bullshit he heard about serving and what it could accomplish, much of it from military and public officials, which did not make him unique.

          I think with a band of brothers like these he didn’t have a chance at any sort of success except survival. And neither do they.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yea, except he didn’t.

            Do you agree with Ms. Rice? Did Bergdahl serve with honor?

          • disqus_TIClM2voqP

            Bergdahl served with more honor than you did. Please tell us all about the honor you served with? Go on were waiting Rambo.

          • HonestDebate1

            We signed our wills today, it was creepy. We have a sizable estate and no children. Without going into detail, Veterans will be happy with what we decided to do with our assets after we’re gone. Not that they are not happy now with our efforts that you know nothing about. Not that it’s any of your business.

          • disqus_TIClM2voqP

            Great all the “secret’ stuff and the money makes up for attacking an American soldier so you can attack the president. Not cutting it. You are a traitor.

          • OnPointComments

            I’m sure HonestDebate1 has at least as many years of service in the armed forces as President Obama.

          • disqus_TIClM2voqP

            So you’re saying HonestDebate1 has 6 years of service as Commander and Chief bright boy with the fat mouth?

          • disqus_TIClM2voqP

            Hey OnPointComments no more pithy comments about Obama’s military service? Aren’t so clever now huh?

          • HonestDebate1

            Fail. Presidents are elected, our soldiers volunteer.

          • disqus_TIClM2voqP

            And you haven’t done either one and yet you pass judgment on the elected president and the volunteer American soldier. Not only that but you yourself evaded military service.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m a patriot dude, STFU. Good night.

          • disqus_TIClM2voqP

            You’re a patriot because you slime an American soldier because the TV and radio told you to? You can’t think for yourself and you’re a patriot? Especially when you have done nothing and will do nothing, where do you get off calling yourself a patriot?

          • JS

            The minute he signed the papers and donned the uniform he did more than most on this forum criticizing him. Since we don’t know if he is a deserter or not, or under what circumstances, then the only answer is: Yes, he served with honor.

          • HonestDebate1

            I could argue that but i won’t. I will just point out that Rice was not asked if he served with honor. She felt the need to insert it on an assumption.

          • JS

            He served with honor. When he’s judged guilty of desertion, then I will reconsider.

            Like I said, he stood up, volunteered to put his life on the life for America. He served before being captured. How is that not honorable?

          • HonestDebate1

            It is not honorable if the multitude of other soldiers who did the same say so. Until they are proven to be bald faced liars, I am not willing to assume anything given the evidence.

          • JS

            He served, did you? He put on the uniform, did you? Isn’t that honorable? He was (as far as I know) never disciplined, never charged. But feel free to dishonor a veteran with no proof.

          • hennorama

            JS — Sgt. Bergdahl was also promoted twice while in captivity, something that does not occur automatically, and requires approval of his superior(s). All of that happened after questions about his disappearance first emerged.

            That is not proof of honorable and distinguished service, of course, but is at least suggestive of it.

            Now, imagine the uproar from some quarters had Sgt. Bergdahl not been promoted during his captivity.

          • HonestDebate1

            No, it does not suggest honor. The promotion was based on time served. They are all but automatic. No more going before a board and being grilled like the old days.

            “Imagine the uproar”

            Yes, you have to imagine it.

          • JS

            Imagine this scenario: (god forbid) a video showing the beheading of Bergdahl instead of his release. The right is in an uproar: Obama could have saved him, but didn’t lift a finger. All we had to do was release 5 old used up Taliban has-beens. A brave soldier has died, one which other brave soldiers died trying to find and save. They cared enough to try and find him, but feckless Obama doesn’t care about the troops!

            Imagine the uproar indeed.

            And I’m sure you noticed where most of the posts condemning Bergdahl are coming form, and who is saying lets wait and see the whole story.

          • hennorama

            JS — TYFYR.

            What I found most jaw-dropping was the strongly implied suggestion from, “Fox News Strategic Analyst” Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, that the Taliban should just kill Sgt. Bergdahl, “…if he walked away …”

            Peters made this suggestion on July 19, 2009, the day after a video of Sgt. Bergdahl was released by the Taliban:

            If we find out, through some convoluted chain of events, he really was captured by the Taliban , I’m with him. But if he walked away … I don’t care how hard it sounds – as far as I’m concerned, the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills.

            I’ve posted the Peters video multiple times, so I won’t do so again.

            Similar sentiment has been expressed over the last few days. Ann Coulter said “Why are we doing anything to get this guy back? He’s ashamed to be an American. He calls America ‘disgusting.’ He wanted to leave, so he left. He got what he wanted.”

            Her quote is a bit after 1:20 into the video below (after she got in a plug for one of her publications, of course).

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-fxkZeNqEw

          • JS

            So much for “Support Our Troops”

          • hennorama

            JS — TYFYR.

            There must be some sort invisible asterisk about that, something like:

            * Unless captured by the Taliban, then released during the Obama administration

            Thanks again for your response.

          • disqus_TIClM2voqP

            “I could argue that but I won’t”. A window into the republican mind at work. A devastating rhetorical line of attack that’s utterly devastating. He makes a claim, get’s called on it, and responds “I could defend myself but I won’t”.
            How is that even American? Such weakness is disgusting.

          • 1Brett1

            Do you think Bergdahl served with honor? If not, what do you base this on? Are you quick to believe soldiers who may have an axe to grind? Or because you presume his comrades were his “Brady Bunch”? Or would you be willing to abandon your ‘Bergdahl did not serve with honor’ inference until more substantiated evidence emerges?

          • HonestDebate1

            According to his squad, he did not. That carries weight if that’s what you mean by asking what I base what you think I think on. But still, and I doubt you will grasp this, I have not called him a deserter, I just don’t automatically assign honor to him. I would give him the benefit of doubt in a vacuum.

            It is not a presumption that a squad is a family. It must be that way or they all die. If you don’t get that then I won’t convince thou.

          • 1Brett1

            Your feigned high-mindedness is politically motivated. It’s doubtful you know anything about any military squadron’s dynamic. You are simply believing what you want to believe, all while condemning someone you know nothing about because that suits your political agenda.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s not about me, please don’t tell me what I think.

        • disqus_TIClM2voqP

          Did you see the report from the vet who wrote the Rolling Stone article? He called the unit the most unprofessional he’s ever seen. Somethings up here and everyone should wait until the facts get out. If he’s a deserter the army can certainly deal with it. And if he’s a deserter he still deserved to be rescued and brought home to face our justice not revenge from the Taliban. And finally if he’s a deserter the President still did the right thing getting him home.

    • OnPointComments

      Susan Rice is getting her fair share of criticism, justified in my opinion.

      And oh by the way, if national security adviser Susan Rice ever goes on another Sunday news program, the ratings will be high — but she won’t have a high bar to clear for success. Everyone will tune in and her performance will be considered remarkable if she gets through her entire segment without telling a colossal whopper.

      It’s safe to assume Rice knew there were questions about Bergdahl’s service that would contradict her claim he served “the United States with honor and distinction” and that she also knew the White House had negotiated with terrorists for his release and had not consulted with Congress. So what could possibly explain her jaw-dropping, surreal performance last Sunday? I think it is further proof — in case we needed any — that this White House operates in an insular bubble that breeds arrogance and a lack of self-awareness. This administration has little use for anyone outside its small circle, it doesn’t learn from its mistakes and it doesn’t take any criticism to heart. The president and his advisers believe they are morally and intellectually superior to the rest of us, and any criticism just proves that point. Team Obama believes that candor is beneath it. What else can explain its blindside? The Bergdahl story isn’t anywhere close to being over.
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2014/06/04/the-insiders-as-white-house-insiders-talk-the-bergdahl-story-boils/

      • HonestDebate1

        She got a promotion after the Benghazi debacle. Why does she even have a job?

        • disqus_TIClM2voqP

          No she didn’t. The lies told by people like you, Fox News, and the republican party cost her the Sec of State job which I’m sure she really wanted since it’s such an important job. Do facts mean anything to you? You live in a mythical bubble world of lies.

          • HonestDebate1

            National Security advisor IS a promotion from Ambassador to the UN. And if not for the fact that National Security Advisor does not require Senate confirmation then she would be Secretary of State. You are arguing that she didn’t get enough of a promotion, not that she didn’t get promoted.

            It’s not about me.

          • disqus_TIClM2voqP

            How have you served honorably or do you just shoot off your big fat mouth?

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s not about me and Susan Rice still got promoted. I have backed up everything I’ve written. You, not so much. Who’s shooting off their mouth? Not me.

          • disqus_TIClM2voqP

            You haven’t backed up anything. You’ve attacked an American soldier without fact and before he is even home on US soil you scum.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

    • disqus_TIClM2voqP

      Tell us all about how you served with honor while you slime an American soldier’s service. We’re waiting big mouth. You have so much to say about other’s patriotism, what have you done? We’re waiting. How did you serve honorably big man?

      • HonestDebate1

        I am slimming no one except Obama and I stand by it. Its not about me and if you are reduced to making the absurd argument that I cannot have an opinion because I was too young for Viet Nam and too old for Iraq then I suggest you take that nonsense to Obama. It’s not about me.

        • disqus_TIClM2voqP

          When you question Bergdahl’s service without any facts then it is about you. You’re a lying coward who cannot wait for the facts because you hate the president. The president brought an American home. You trying to slime that is ridiculous and beneath contempt and everyone knows it.

          • HonestDebate1

            Why are you sliming Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers as liars?

          • disqus_TIClM2voqP

            I’m not. I’m saying wait until the army does a real, formal, investigation. This American soldier deserves that not to be attacked by you traitors who have never served and are pronouncing judgment on him from the comfort and safety of the United States you coward. How dare you.

  • Kocakola

    So by the Republican standard. We should check to see if they are a Republican Party card holder before saving an American solider? I don’t really get it, we either save them all or none which is it? I don’t really want anyone deciding who is ‘Worthy’ to be saved.

  • OnPointComments

    It’s an interesting juxtaposition between today’s two programs. On this program, all of the Obama supporters are saying innocent until proven guilty. Click on the next show and the supporters are saying the Koch brothers are guilty, guilty, guilty.

    • disqus_TIClM2voqP

      Big difference is the Koch brothers have been doing what they do for a long time and there is a lot of evidence and proof of how they are bad for democracy and our society while this soldier has been accused of the worst crimes a citizen can be accused since saturday and in 72 hours it’s gone from accusations to proven guilt- read the comments below and turn on Fox News to see the rush to judgment with no proof.

      • OnPointComments

        Were the Koch brothers able to buy your vote? If not, why do you assume that others can be swayed by the Koch brothers?

        • disqus_TIClM2voqP

          I have more time and interest in politics than most people. Also the effects of the Kochs aren’t just at the ballot box. Their ability to buy politicians gives them more power over other citizens. They are allowed to pollute with impunity and pass those costs onto everyone else- while lecturing us about free markets and the perils of regulations. They have funded economics departments at universities but only if what they want is taught so they are now polluting education. Did you follow the massive mountain of toxic coal ash they dumped 1st in Detroit and then in Chicago? Why should they be able to foul and endanger neighborhoods and people? If you or I dispose of a set of tires improperly we would get fined. Their actions speak loud and clear that they are not good citizens or neighbors and they are extracting costs from the rest of the country because of their bought and paid for political power.

          • OnPointComments

            Which politicians have they bought? How much did they give each politician?

          • disqus_TIClM2voqP

            Mostly the republican party with some coal state dems thrown in and unfortunately the going price is ridiculously cheap. See Citizens United.

          • OnPointComments

            When? How much did they pay? When were they charged and convicted?

          • disqus_TIClM2voqP

            The fact that they haven’t been charged and convicted proves my point. I am saying the problem with the Kochs is they have so gamed the system that they have effectively purchased the government and are above the law. Are you trying to refute that by claiming the fact they haven’t been charged proves they’re not corrupt?

          • pete18

            Is the huge amount of left wing money being spent in politics NOT “gaming the system?” Or is it just “gaming the system” in a way that you agree with and is therefore OK?

          • disqus_TIClM2voqP

            It’s the money in politics but it’s also what is done with the money. The Koch Brothers’ actions are clearly to the detriment of everyone else. Left wing money supports candidates and policies- clean air and water, investments in education and infrastructure etc- that benefit everyone including the Koch Brothers. In general, most dems would prefer to much less money on either side.

          • pete18

            That’s funny. You do realize that what you deem to be a detriment and supportive to society is a matter of opinion.

            I happen to believe that most of the money that support left wing causes are detrimental to society, they unnecessarily handcuff businesses, limit freedom of speech and expression and burden our society with higher debt and taxes. So, who gets to decide what money is appropriate and what money isn’t?

          • disqus_TIClM2voqP

            The voters should decide which takes us back to the undue influence of a few individuals who’s tax rates are at record lows.

          • pete18

            George Sorros is in the same boat are you suggesting that he shouldn’t be spending money either? Those few individuals with record low tax rates actually pay the largest percentage of taxes. So if we are using tax payments as a measure of who gets to speak, then they should have more influence than the people who pay no taxes. I’m not suggesting this but it would be the obvious conclusion to draw if we follow your logic.

            However, I wasn’t asking you who gets to decide those policies, obviously it is the voters. What I’m asking is who gets to decide whose money is allowable in politics and whose isn’t? Either everyone is allowed to spend money or no one is.
            If you believe no one should be then you shouldn’t just be attacking the Koch Brothers, because it’s evidence that your position is a partisan, rather than a principled one.

    • TFRX

      You really need to get out more.

  • hennorama

    It should go without saying that Sgt. Bergdahl is innocent until proven guilty.

    Not so, according to many in this forum. Some point to things Sgt. Bergdahl may have said or written, both before and during his years of captivity, and then jump to conclusions of guilt. Others point to media reports and statements by servicemembers who served alongside Sgt. Bergdahl, or in his company, battalion, brigade, division or corps, and then jump to conclusions of guilt.

    Many of these same individuals cried foul, loudly and often, regarding jumped-to conclusions of criminal guilt in the Martin/Zimmerman case, the Duke lacrosse team case, etc., etc.

    Curious, that.

    • OnPointComments

      When the administration sends Susan Rice out on the Sunday talk shows (again) to say Bergdahl was captured on the battlefield (and please, please don’t enter into a semantic argument) and that Bergdahl served “with honor and distinction” when she knew, or should have known, that there are very serious questions about how Bergdahl became separated from his camp, it certainly raises questions about what is going on. Add that the Obama administration calls Harry Reid to notify him, but chooses not to call the committees that the law President Obama signed says should be notified, and the questions grow.

      • HonestDebate1

        I get so sick of the shallowness. This is not a partisan issue. Thank God I don’t live in a bubble that holds ideology over truth. If I thought for a minute this blog represented the public at large I’d just curl up in a fetal position and cry. I’d rather go fishing.

        Sorry, I didn’t intend to dump on you but I know you get where I’m coming from.

      • hennorama

        OPC – thank you for responding to the above comment, which was part of an earlier reply to you, to which you have yet to respond. I separated it from said reply, edited it slightly, then posted it separately due to your “interesting juxtaposition” thread below.

        Interesting how the themes are similar, no?

        It’s also interesting that your response attempts to change the subject (“flexible” standards of some in this forum, when it comes to presumption of innocence).

        Please excuse me for not responding further to your attempt.

        Thanks again.

        • OnPointComments

          I have no idea what you are referring to in your first paragraph.

          • hennorama

            OPC — no worries.

            You may simply have skipped/missed it. It was a reply to your “evidence is proof” remarks, and begins

            OPC — Thank you for your response.

            Evidence is not proof.

            That you claim otherwise is surprising, given the evidence of a high level of intelligence that is contained in the posts under your moniker.

            You can jump to it here:
            https://disqus.com/home/discussion/on-point/the_swap_for_bowe_bergdahl#comment-1419881481

      • disqus_TIClM2voqP

        How would you know what Susan Rice should have known? You’re some partisan knucklehead who wouldn’t recognize a battlefield or honor if it occurs under a president you don’t agree with.

    • HonestDebate1

      Sorry, we are not jury. It does not apply. We cannot convict nor exonerate Bergdahl with our opinions. No, what is in play here is the notion that this is a serious charge that should not be leveled willy nilly. And you know what? It is not, there is overwhelming evidence. Certainly too much to assume he is innocent. Certainly more evidence than there was when liberals not only assumed Zimmerman was a racist, but said he was a stalking murdering racist… so were all whites in the South according to many. Ditto Duke Lacrosse, evidently all rich white college students were capable of rape. And don’t forget Zimmerman and the Duke lacrosse team were exonerated in a court of law after their lives were ruined.

      Nice try but no cigar. And if your main point is to prove some imagined hypocrisy then all I can say is it’s a petty endeavor.

      • disqus_TIClM2voqP

        You’re not a jury but you say the evidence is overwhelming. You dance around like the coward you are so you don’t have to stand by what you say. What evidence do you have? None. You shoot of your big fat mouth off questioning this soldier’s service when you’re a coward who wouldn’t get anywhere near a war zone.You have no proof of anything and when called on it you run away.

        • OnPointComments

          And yet just 7 minutes ago you act as judge, jury, and executioner with regards to the Koch brothers.

      • 1Brett1

        I’ve noticed that while your comments have nothing to do with you personally (at least this is what you maintain), you do tend to generalize opinions “others” have and make them absolute, with your characterizations being peppered with sentiments of “‘all’ [liberals] believe this,” “‘all’ [liberals] say that,” and so on…those are such bush-league retorts. Those comebacks are lacking in imagination, even for you.

        Also, I guess your hypocrisy is justified and “others” see only “imagined hypocrisy.” If you actually could deliver a sentiment with humor, I’d be laughing at that one. I try to find humor in what you post, truly I do, but more I see someone who’s sadly, pathetically lacking in self-awareness (or is being disingenuous). It also seems that one standard of conduct is “in play” during your commentary; those same “standards,” however, are not “in play” for the commentary of other posters.

        If your excuse is that “liberals do it too,” it doesn’t say much about your integrity.

        • HonestDebate1

          Enough about me, let’s talk about you. Why are you so obsessed with me?

          • 1Brett1

            That appears to be only in your imagination.

          • HonestDebate1

            Please point to an iota of your comment that is not about me. Don’t make me count all the yous and yours.

          • 1Brett1

            I never said my comment wasn’t about you?! YOU said your comment wasn’t about you…you know those voices inside your head are simply your own inner voice, nothing to worry about.

          • HonestDebate1

            The issue isn’t me, don’t try to understand. your head will explode.

        • jefe68

          You forgot the self righteous act.

      • disqus_QiVYNk1Omi

        Your posted is equal to wearing “I am Stupid”-sign

  • 1Brett1

    Conservatives don’t even have to teach themselves to type a new meme, for the most part; they just have to change a few letters. From “the Benghazi scandal” to the “Bergdahl scandal” is just a few letters difference.

    • HonestDebate1

      How dare you characterize and reduce the deaths of Americans or the service of our heroes on the battlefield to a “meme”. How dare you suggest the democrat party is not just as concerned with the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl has anyone. How dare you inject politics into this. You should be ashamed.

      • 1Brett1

        Yeah, blah, blah, blah; whatever. Conservatives are doing their fair share of injecting politics into this. Of course, you put blinders on for that. I’m sure you’ve listened to enough conservative media in the last few days to know how much conservatives are injecting politics into this.

        It’s not about me.

      • jefe68

        You keep proving that you’re a bottom feeder, over and over again.

  • JGC

    This is a copy of the signing statement attached to the “National Defense Authorization Act” by President Obama, giving him authority to act outside regular notification of Congress channels when it came to transfer of Guantanamo detainees.

    http://www.coherentbabble.com/Statements/SShr3304-PL113-66.pdf

    • JGC

      The link above was a pdf file, but actually the entire website is great as a source for information on all the signing statements from both Presidents Obama and G.W. Bush, and issues surrounding them.

      http://www.coherentbabble.com

      Also, concerning the original Obama signing statement mentioned above, H.R. 1960-National Defense Authorization Act for FY2014 (113th Congress 2013-2014) can be read at

      http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/1960

      (Look near the end of the document, under Title X: General Provision/SubtitleD: Counterterrorism/Section 1033 on transfer of individuals detained at Guantanamo.)

    • OnPointComments

      http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2008/specials/CandidateQA/question4/

      Question 4: Under what circumstances, if any, would you sign a bill into law but also issue a signing statement reserving a constitutional right to bypass the law?

      Barack Obama (emphasis added): Signing statements have been used by presidents of both parties, dating back to Andrew Jackson. While it is legitimate for a president to issue a signing statement to clarify his understanding of ambiguous provisions of statutes and to explain his view of how he intends to faithfully execute the law, it is a clear abuse of power to use such statements as a license to evade laws that the president does not like or as an end-run around provisions designed to foster accountability.

      I WILL NOT USE SIGNING STATEMENTS TO NULLIFY OR UNDERMINE CONGRESSIONAL INSTRUCTIONS AS ENACTED INTO LAW. The problem with this administration is that it has attached signing statements to legislation in an effort to change the meaning of the legislation, to avoid enforcing certain provisions of the legislation that the President does not like, and to raise implausible or dubious constitutional objections to the legislation. The fact that President Bush has issued signing statements to challenge over 1100 laws – more than any president in history – is a clear abuse of this prerogative. No one doubts that it is appropriate to use signing statements to protect a president’s constitutional prerogatives; unfortunately, the Bush Administration has gone much further than that.

      All of the other Democrat candidates for president agreed that they would not use signing statements.

  • dillweed

    The moderator made mention of the hard issues, but the whole direction of the program was to go easy on Berghahl. Oh well, I guess we should be thankful that he didn’t send them 50 Taliban instead of 5.

    • hennorama

      dillweed — your comment is evidence of an apt moniker.

      Not proof of course, but evidence.

      • IHateFatChicks

        Nor is yours. The fact remains that Obama did break the law, per Jonathan Turley and Jeffrey Toobin, as well as every other legal scholar and congressional official. Additionally, this one soldiers’ life (who was a deserter and AWOL) was not worth 5 high value Taliban detainees. Nor was he worth risking a helicopter crew in valley giving up high ground to the Taliban who had rocket launchers and personnel on the ground ready to ambush. You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about, as usual. The Obama administration, in a tacit acknowledgement of making several PR and tactical mistakes has changed their entire message, demonstrating how badly they misjudged the reaction of: the public, the military and Congress.

        • dillweed

          There was a lot in this program about not jumping to conclusions, etc. etc., but Michelle Malkin wrote about this in today’s column, and she and others have written about this situation long ago. Mr. Berghahl’s actions had a lot of consequences years ago, and there is no need to give him a “clean slate,” since there is considerable documentation of his actions.

    • HonestDebate1

      Good point but realize the show is much more balanced than this blog. I actually thought Mr. Ashbrook did a fair job… in the context of NPR fair.

    • jefe68

      Or a thousand, as the Israel did to free one Israeli soldier.

  • Human2013

    Why does the US military send young men to remote, archaic locations and expect that they won’t give serious thought to their situation. Sgt Bergdahl clearly became a conscientious objector – rightfully so – after using his idle time to think about the war in Afghanistan.

  • X Y & Z
  • VarshaMoretoniss

    like
    Jacqueline implied I’m taken by surprise that a mom can earn $8130 in 1 month
    on the computer . see post F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

    • HonestDebate1

      Wow, you sure are pretty. And you make all that money. And judging from your profile, all your friends and family make good money too. They are also pretty. No wonder you’re so proud and post the same message everywhere.

    • NewtonWhale

      Are you by any chance related to Valar Dohaeris or Valar Morghulis?

  • NewtonWhale

    Congratulations, OnPoint, for contributing to the hysteria that led to this:

    n Hailey, Idaho, the hometown of freed U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl, the joy at his release has turned for some into shock and fear — the fear of picking up the phone. That’s because some town officials have been deluged with angry calls from people who think that Bergdahl is an Army deserter or traitor who doesn’t deserve a hero’s welcome.

    Jane Drussel, the president of the Hailey Chamber of Commerce, has been fielding dozens of angry calls.”Well, (I feel) disappointment number one, just absolutely total surprise at how bad some of them are,” she told NBC News on Tuesday.

    Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/Americawhat-the-hell-is-wrong-with-us.html#zs8BtALugTqaqAdE.99

    You know this is not a real story and that you’ve been played. How do we know? Because the same Republicans who are attacking Obama for bringing Bergdahl home were previously attacking him for leaving him behind.

    What do we make of former Vietnam POW Sen. John McCain, who won his own freedom in a 1973 prisoner swap and who said just four months ago “I would support ways of bringing him home, and if exchange was one of them, I think that would be something I think we should seriously consider” — but who now calls the actual deal that was negotiated “a mistake.” Or former U.S. Rep. Allan West (and he’s “former” for a reason) who just this December lambasted Obama for not doing anything to free Bergdahl because there were “no camera highlights in it for him” — but now wants the president impeached. And Sarah Palin and….well, you get the picture.
    Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/Americawhat-the-hell-is-wrong-with-us.html#zs8BtALugTqaqAdE.99

    • HonestDebate1

      Are you suggesting On Point should not have covered this story?

  • jimino

    I heard a report from one of Bergdahl’s unit claiming that that in the weeks after his disappearance the unit was single-mindedly focused on finding him, during which a number of them were killed. What competent field command in the midst of a war effort with would do that for deserter? And why didn’t the soldiers speak up then and bring this to our attention as they are now?

    And more importantly, why didn’t Obama intercede and prevent this from happening?

    • HonestDebate1

      He’s a soldier, we don’t leave them behind. Some of them claim they knew the moment he went missing that he had deserted but it doesn’t matter.

      It was also alleged by his squad leader that IED attacks and ambushes became much more precise after he left as if he had collaborated with the enemy. If that’s true then it’s all the more reason to find him. What they would have done with him if they did find him is unknown. Did you hear the Viet Nam era caller describe the dynamic he faced?

      • JS

        Was that the first time he went missing (and came back) or the second time he went missing (and cane back) or the third time he went missing (and was captured)?

  • stephenreal

    The fellas in the Arm Forces of U.S. need to wash more of these nut jobs out before they even get in. How long is BASIC training again? Any more of these wackadoos that are suspected by the NCO’s need to be X’d out immediately. No more nut cases. Very disturbing to read these wacky cases.

    • northeaster17

      Back when Bergdahl got in, the Army was taking almost anyone. More than a few loonies got in. The two war senario was obviously taking a toll.

      • stephenreal

        As the wars wind down the fellas have to double down on quality of human we except into the team man and i ain’t talking about ptsd. this stuff is wrapped in pain with a dash of hurt on top.

  • stephenreal

    Sgt. Bergdahl is a head case. He’s just sitting in his room over there on the other side of the pond, (Landstuhl, Germany). Clearly he is in shock.
    Dude is gonna be f’d up for the rest of his life.
    No doubt about it.

  • pete18

    “Asked whether the Taliban would be inspired by the exchange to kidnap others, he laughs. “Definitely,” he says. “It’s better to kidnap one person like Bergdahl than kidnapping hundreds of useless people. It has encouraged our people. Now everybody will work hard to capture such an important bird.”

    What? Predictable downside to the prisoner exchange?

    http://time.com/2826534/bowe-bergdahl-taliban-captors/

  • MrStang

    Reagan traded missiles for hostages. Nixon traded hundreds of vietcong for Mccain.

    • jenn

      Nixon pardoned a traitor:

      “McCain’s cover story, that the plane behind him fired a missile into his plane is at odds with other stories that blame exploding bombs on some other part of the ship. The investigation and all records involving his military records were under the direct supervision of his own father.

      We are going to look at Holland’s evidence and see if there are statements from people on the Forrestal.

      Colonel Ted Guy was preparing criminal charges against John McCain when Nixon took Admiral McCain’s little boy under his wing. Where are McCain’s 32 propaganda tapes that were made during Vietnam and broadcast over the radio to US troops? (Colonel Ted Guy)

      Why did McCain accuse American soldiers of war crimes during Vietnam? What did he get in return?

      If our news media can go thru a presidential election hiding all of this from the American people, nearly putting someone like this in office, what else are they capable of? What else have they done? What else are they hiding?

      Vietnam veterans are requesting that the records of the debriefing of all POWS be made public. Those who were heroes need real recognition and shouldn’t have to hide behind a presidential pardon they never needed or wanted.”

      http://www.veteranstoday.com/2009/10/01/john-mccain-aid-and-comfort

  • Geheran1958

    The Obama Rose Garden choreography coupled with Ms Rice and her encore performance on the Sunday Talk Show circuit (the good Sergeant served with “honor and distinction”) smacks of another Benghazi-like whitewash in the making. While Sergeant Bergdahl will undoubtably get his day in court, my Brooklynese instincts tell me that a presidential pardon is headed our way.

    • JS

      He served, have you?

      • Geheran1958

        Four years, nine months and 27 days.

        • JS

          I thanks you for your service, as I thank Berdahl for his. Most attacking Berdahl haven’t served. I consider any service honorable, including Berdahls.

          And what should he be pardoned for if he has yet to be charged, much less convicted, of anything?

          I thought all soldiers felt the “no one left behind” ethos?

          • Geheran1958

            I don’t believe President Obama made a “wrong” decision but I do believe it was handled poorly. Given the questionable circumstances surrounding his disappearance, the WH choreography of the Rose Garden, the commentary of Susan Rice on the the Sunday Talk Shows circuit (“served with honor and distinction” for merely donning the Army uniform?) coupled with a WH spokesperson labeling Bergdahl’s six comrade-in-arms “psycopaths” for having given their first-person account of Sergeant Bergdahl’s behavior smacked of a set-up for a whitewash.

  • Carla

    Tom’s cold response to the caller who is now even more concerned about the risk of his child in the military being taken hostage was particularly egregious, and showed his true colors. The caller stated the rational concern that this trade raised the price of his own child’s head, mentioning that following such an approach, Guantanamo could eventually be emptied and all prisoners given to the enemy if the enemy just captures more of our soldiers. Tom’s response? Well, some people want Guantanamo emptied. I imagine that caller’s disappointment and perhaps even rage at such a response. Tom, try harder to put yourself in your callers’ shoes, but I know your left bias does get in the way. Off Center with Tom Leftbrook then. And to the caller, thanks for your child’s service for our country. (Don’t go looking for thanks on the left, it seems.)

    • JS

      Like all the thanks Bowe Berdhal has gotten from the right?

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