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U.S. defends captive swap with Taliban, critics stir

  • Diane Walker takes a picture of a sign celebrating U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release in front of Zaney's coffee shop in Hailey, Idaho. Bergdahl, 28, had been held prisoner by the Taliban since June 30, 2009. He was handed over to U.S. special forces by the Taliban in exchange for the release of five Afghan detainees held by the United States. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Kyle Green)

    Diane Walker takes a picture of a sign celebrating U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release in front of Zaney's coffee shop in Hailey, Idaho. Bergdahl, 28, had been held prisoner by the Taliban since June 30, 2009. He was handed over to U.S. special forces by the Taliban in exchange for the release of five Afghan detainees held by the United States. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Kyle Green)

  • Jani and Bob Bergdahl speak to the media during a press conference at Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho, on Sunday, June 1, 2014. Their son Bowe was freed from captivity Saturday, May 31, 2014, by the Taliban.  Also on the stage are Idaho National Guard Public Affairs Officer Col. Tim Marsano, Idaho Army National Guard Maj. Kevin Hickey, and Army Psychologist Dr. (Col) Bradley Kamrowskipoppen. (AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger)

    Jani and Bob Bergdahl speak to the media during a press conference at Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho, on Sunday, June 1, 2014. Their son Bowe was freed from captivity Saturday, May 31, 2014, by the Taliban. Also on the stage are Idaho National Guard Public Affairs Officer Col. Tim Marsano, Idaho Army National Guard Maj. Kevin Hickey, and Army Psychologist Dr. (Col) Bradley Kamrowskipoppen. (AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger)

  • U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, center, is seen aboard a U.S. Military Aircraft before speaking to members of the media during his flight, Sunday, June 1, 2014. Hagel spoke about the released of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl who was held hostage in Afghanistan, and who was handed over Saturday morning by members of the Taliban in exchange for five Afghan detainees held at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)

    U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, center, is seen aboard a U.S. Military Aircraft before speaking to members of the media during his flight, Sunday, June 1, 2014. Hagel spoke about the released of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl who was held hostage in Afghanistan, and who was handed over Saturday morning by members of the Taliban in exchange for five Afghan detainees held at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)

  • Diane Walker takes a picture of a sign celebrating U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release in front of Zaney's coffee shop in Hailey, Idaho. Bergdahl, 28, had been held prisoner by the Taliban since June 30, 2009. He was handed over to U.S. special forces by the Taliban in exchange for the release of five Afghan detainees held by the United States. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Kyle Green)
  • Jani and Bob Bergdahl speak to the media during a press conference at Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho, on Sunday, June 1, 2014. Their son Bowe was freed from captivity Saturday, May 31, 2014, by the Taliban.  Also on the stage are Idaho National Guard Public Affairs Officer Col. Tim Marsano, Idaho Army National Guard Maj. Kevin Hickey, and Army Psychologist Dr. (Col) Bradley Kamrowskipoppen. (AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger)
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, center, is seen aboard a U.S. Military Aircraft before speaking to members of the media during his flight, Sunday, June 1, 2014. Hagel spoke about the released of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl who was held hostage in Afghanistan, and who was handed over Saturday morning by members of the Taliban in exchange for five Afghan detainees held at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)

Five years a captive in the Afghanistan war, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is back in American hands, freed for five Guantanamo terrorism detainees in a swap stirring sharp debate in Washington over whether the U.S. should have negotiated with the Taliban over prisoners.

U.S. officials said yesterday that Bergdahl’s health and safety appeared in jeopardy, prompting rapid action to secure his release. Republicans said the deal could place U.S. troops in danger, especially if the freed detainees return to the fight – one called it “shocking.” Arizona Sen. John McCain said of the five detainees, “These are the hardest of the hard core.”

Visiting troops in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel stepped forward at Bagram Air Field to thank the special operations forces who retrieved Bergdahl, who officials said was the only American prisoner of war still held by insurgents in that conflict. Gen. Joseph Dunford spoke of the excitement that spread through U.S. ranks when the sergeant’s release was confirmed. “You almost got choked up,” he said. “It was pretty extraordinary.”

Tireless campaigners for their son’s freedom, Bob and Jani Bergdahl thanked all who were behind the effort to retrieve him. “You were not left behind,” Bob Bergdahl told reporters, as if speaking to his son. “We are so proud of the way this was carried out.” He spoke in Boise, Idaho, as residents in the sergeant’s hometown of Hailey prepared for a homecoming celebration.

Hagel was met with silence when he told troops in a Bagram hangar: “This is a happy day. We got one of our own back.” It was unclear whether the absence of cheers and applause came from a reluctance to display emotion in front of the Pentagon chief or from any doubts among the troops about Bergdahl.

In weighing the swap, U.S. officials decided it could help the effort to reach reconciliation with the Taliban, which the U.S. sees as key to more security in Afghanistan. But they acknowledged the risk that the deal would embolden insurgents, perhaps encouraging them to grab U.S. troops or citizens as bargaining chips for the release of others in U.S. custody.

Republicans pressed that point. “Have we just put a price on other U.S. soldiers?” asked Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. “What does this tell terrorists, that if you capture a U.S. soldier, you can trade that soldier for five terrorists?”

“I’m going to celebrate him coming home,” said Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. But the release of “five mid- to high-level Taliban is shocking to me, especially without coming to Congress.”

Republicans also said the deal violated requirements that Congress be given 30 days’ notice before any exchange of captives at Guantanamo.

National security adviser Susan Rice said “an urgent and an acute situation,” which she did not specify, did not allow that time.

“We did not have 30 days to wait,” she said. “And had we waited and lost him, I don’t think anybody would have forgiven the United States government.”

Bergdahl, 28, is being treated at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. Rice said he had lost considerable weight and faced an “acute” situation. Yet she said he appeared to be “in good physical condition” and “is said to be walking.”

The circumstances surrounding Bergdahl’s capture remain murky.

In 2012, Rolling Stone magazine quoted emails Bergdahl is said to have sent to his parents that suggest he was disillusioned with the United States’s mission in Afghanistan, had lost faith in the U.S. Army and was considering desertion. Bergdahl told his parents he was “ashamed to even be American.” The Associated Press could not independently authenticate the emails.

Hagel brushed aside such questions for now.

“Our first priority is assuring his well-being and his health and getting him reunited with his family,” Hagel said. A senior U.S. official told the Associated Press that the Army would make the decision on any charges but the feeling at the moment was that Bergdahl had suffered enough. All the officials who discussed details of Bergdahl’s transfer insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to be identified.

The U.S. has long sought Bergdahl’s release, but there was renewed interest in his case as Obama completed plans to pull nearly all U.S. forces out of Afghanistan by the end of 2016.

Officials said the Taliban signaled to the U.S. in November that they were ready to start fresh talks on the issue of detainees. After the U.S. received proof that Bergdahl was alive, indirect talks began, with Qatar sending messages back and forth.

Rice spoke on CNN and ABC, Cruz on ABC, McCain on CBS and Kinzinger on NBC.

Let's be honest. The Left likes this trade, the soldier who deserted was anti-war and an enemy sympathizer. Those on the Left never agreed with or approved of the war so they see reasons why deserting is OK with them. I predict that he will be a hero of the Left and if he is tried and convicted and imprisoned or executed, he will become a martyr of the Left. Soldiers speaking out on Bergdahl were only interviewed on FOX at first because as usual the other networks carried the water and protected the administration. Now it should be noted that NBC, CNN and others are not reporting this information. When it was only on FOX, the usual suspects here were pointing to the fact that it was propaganda. As the facts come out, they are now silent and making other excuses and saying that it is political. At least one of the Taliban leaders released and publicly stated that he wants to go back and fight the Americans on Afghan soil. More than that, the five released will go back and organize and once we leave Afghanistan, they will go back to torturing and abusing women. Yet those same on the Left will care less about that as they tout the so called "war on women" here at home. It is all about protecting their president over their country. President Obama is right no matter what, they can't admit for one moment that he has lied, is sneaky, has an agenda, etc. You see, to the Left, the ends justify the means no matter how un-American the means are.

To tillie below, those citizens spitting on our troops when the came home from Vietnam were NOT Republicans, they were Democrats, many of which are now heading the Democratic party today, the same bunch marching in lockstep with Obama, children of the 60's. Your point is moot.

And what party is now demonizing Bowie Bergdahl and especially on which channel. I will give you a hint, it is run by a former big wig Republican first name Roger.

lol...that was a non answer to your point about the democrats of the 60's...look..over there....!!! something I can point to so I dont have to acknowledge that comment...

Your post is nonsense on multiple levels. Claims that returning soldiers were spat upon when they returned from Vietnam are an urban legend that have little or NO basis in fact. First: they are implausible because most returnees came home to military bases. Second: the scenario of a hippy protestor spitting on a Marine or Army veteran and not getting the snot beat out of him is remote. “Despite the widespread belief these days that troops returning from Vietnam were spat on, there's not a shred of evidence from that time period that this ever happened.  In his book The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam, the sociologist Jerry Lembcke looked for evidence of episodes of spitting.  As he wrote in a 2005 Boston Globe op-ed: ‘STORIES ABOUT spat-upon Vietnam veterans are like mercury: Smash one and six more appear. It's hard to say where they come from. For a book I wrote in 1998 I looked back to the time when the spit was supposedly flying, the late 1960s and early 1970s. I found nothing. No news reports or even claims that someone was being spat on.’” http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/01/27/295571/-Newsweek-Perpetuates-a-Lie#

ah ok..glad you set tillie straight.....I think though...its more a figurative description....there was generally quite a bit of disrespect shown to returning Vietnam Vets.

Please read The Homecoming by Bob Greene, it tells first hand stories. If you search the web you will find first hand accounts of how soldiers were treated. I remember protesters screaming "baby killers" and throwing eggs at returning vets. Someone who served, Bruce, unlike the draft dodgers, wrote this on a history site about a man claiming what you wrote about returnees from Jerry Lembcke: "His lines about traveling only to bases and were dischared or sent on to new locations is flat out incorrect. He speaks of credulity, but his story lacks it from what I see. Returning GI's got home leave and did not immediately proceed to a new duty station for processing. IMore often than not, traveling by commercial air lines in uniform. If he reseached the rest of his book as throughly as he did this tidbit of information, then I would advise to take it with a grain of salt." Lembcke's book is motivated by politics to raise the anti-war movement to untouchable status; another version of "the debate is over". Nice revisionist history though.

You know I lived through the Vietnam Era when the returning soldiers were spit upon. Never thought I would see that again.

I read this paper for 2 reasons...1..its the best source of news for north of Concord...2..to get the "left" version of the news...along with the comments to try and gain some understanding...the above comment however, I will never understand. 5 talibanies, the worst of the worst, who should have been dead long ago, are traded for a person who by all accounts deserted, good men died trying to find, and this is seenas the same as people spitting on returning Vietnam veterans...Have you no shame...?

You know if I was a cursing lady I would tell you what I think of a remark like that. The Vietnam soldiers were accused of being baby killers among other things without any proof just like the soldier has been tried and convicted by people like you and Itsa and Rabbit without ever being able to say one word to defend himself. Don't talk to me about shame, talk to your Republican friends who can see a way to make political points against Obama in any national tragedy where Americans have died. As a matter of fact don't address me again at all.

You are correct, tillie, our soldiers were accused of killing babies, torturing the enemy and killing innocents. What is more disturbing is that one of the accusers is our present Secretary of State, John Kerry.

Itsa you are going so far off the deep end, I think you may need to see a doctor soon to calm down. Once again as someone who seems to have a lot of opinion of actual soldiers who served in dangerous areas, I would appreciate your expertise more is you would explain what part of the service it comes from and which war.

John Forbes Kerry, testifying before Congress on April 22, 1971: "They had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan.” Reference: testifying against our soldiers. Just before he traveled to Paris to meet with the Viet Kong and North Vietnam to plead like a sissy to end the war.

A history lesson is in order. As much as the right and revisionist historians might wish it to be otherwise, the truth about the Vietnam War is well documented: massacres like that at My Lai were all too common. Free-fire zones and an emphasis on body counts made it easy to kill civilians in a war in which the line between civilian and soldier was already blurred. Your last sentence, calling Kerry a 'sissy', is simply pathetic name-calling that is demonstrably false, based on his war record, and his efforts afterwards to end that war. But what can one expect from those who rely on slime-balls like Jerome Corsi to provide confirmation for what they already believe, and mistake nonsense peddled by the far-right for fact.

The deserter will have his say..I doubt he will have a press conference anytine soon though...BTW..it wasnt Nixon voters doing the spitting either...

"Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, she's a lady. Talking about that little lady, and the lady is mine...not". Just a little 'Tom Jones' levity, tillie. Don't have a cat over it.

Awww, come on Larry, we know that she is just an innocent 'lil ole lady from Epsom, as harmless as a butterfly. Never cursed, as pure as the driven snow.

The usual suspects on here--and those in the G.O.P. who've complained, are the ones who have no shame. Bergdahl is a U.S. soldier. He was held captive, and then released in a prisoner swap--something done in every armed conflict we've ever fought. Bergdahl volunteered to serve his country in the military, and the military and the nation owed him this much: to make every possible effort to bring him home. We don't know what caused Bergdahl to go AWOL--that will be for the Army to determine, but is irrelevant to the fact that EVERY U.S. soldier should be brought home.

you have members of this mans unit...privates and medics who have told the story of what they witnessed...and what did a member of the Obama admin have to say about that?“What if [Bergdahl's] platoon was long on psychopaths and short on leadership?" and this person is a veteran himself...now you have veterans in the Obama admin spitting on other veterans...its disgusting.

Sorry GWTW, in all services there are what we call in the USN, "mess deck lawyers". These so called "authorities" cause more problems than they ever resolve. This really seems the case here, especially if the soldier is not well liked as he seems to have been in this case. From personal experience, I have seen two people, in the service, do the exact same thing. The one who was liked was given a pass, whereas the other was sent to Capt. Mast. How do I know this? I was the one sent to Mast. So do us all a favor and wait for the results of the Army investigation to see just what this SGT is guilty of.

You're kidding, you were not well liked, who would have imagined that?

Yea those Taliban waving good by to him where "captors"

every soldier should be brought home...and these 5 taliban should never ever have been eligible for release....

tillie, if he deserted, he was not worth 5 Taliban members. If he deserted and at least 6 other soldiers were killed looking for him, he was not worth 5 Taliban members. Period. I don't care if he was a journalist sympathizing with the enemy or a soldier. Your analogy is impotent.

Thank you Mr.judge, jury, and executioner.

Even if Bergdahl is guilty as charged as a deserter, you would more than likely view him as a patriot and want him to be pardoned as we all know that we are a horrible country, with a terrible history and we need to be put in our place. And BY GOD, you and Obama are just the ones to do that. He will be your champion on the Left or a martyr in your anti-war, peacenik, fantasy world.

Need another bale of straw for your post?

If the shoe fits.........

So, how many more terrorists do we have at Gitmo? Just wanted an idea of how many more americans will most likely be taken in exchange for Gitmo detainees. We have pretty much told our enemies we are willing to trade terrorists for hostages. Just when you thought things could not get any more incompetent. And we thought the screw-ups with the economy, jobs, etc were bad enough.

And you folks actually believe that every scandal, every screw up, every wasted tax payer investement, every lie, and dividing us by gender, religion, and the size of our wallet is Okay? How can you keep giving this President a pass? it makes no sense. He has made a lot of mistakes. What will it take for you folks to realize he has no clue what he is doing? Will it take a screw up in homeland security for you folks to wake up?

You have to realize that you see all this through the prism of your bias and maybe just maybe everyone, except for the usuals here, don't see things quite the way you do.

Polls prove you seriously WRONG

You might not see things the way I do Tillie, but you sure as heck cannot dispute them. Referring to what past Presidents did and refusing to discuss issues, is not refuting anything. It is playing politics, or just plain uninformed.

I do dispute them Rabbit. Everything you wrote in your post was not fact, it was your opinion. And your opinion is not objective.

I have never seen you dispute anything that this administration has done Tillie. You make excuses and pretty much state that any negative evaluation of this President's policies is nothing more than politics or racism. Your either in denial or your uninformed. This is not about winning the debate, it is about running the country.

I like the way Obama is running the country much better than I liked the way Bush was running it. And I don't have to see the names of those dead soldiers listed every week on the Sunday news.

Au contraire, Tillie is exactly right. You Carpers whine, complain, and second-guess every single thing president has done from the moment he took office. In this case, he traded 5 Taliban who would have been released when we left Afghanistan for the ONLY American soldier being held prisoner there. We get our soldiers back when we can--no matter what their status or their conduct. Who are any of us to declare him unworthy of rescue? The military has procedures to deal with soldiers who are derelict in their duty. Bergdahl is still a soldier; it will be up to the Army to decide what comes next.

Whine & complain huh Bruce. Tillie nor you honestly evaluate President Obama on anything. Instead, you make excuses for his screw ups, say he was taken out of context, blame previous Presidents, and agree with everything he does. You basically do not want his tenure as president evaluated, even when the affects of his policies are there for all to see. You are about his agenda period. If that agenda has negative affects, your fine with it. Basically, you believe that he does not screw up. When he is called out, you pretty much use the race card or politics. You cover for him, and your fine with our country being divided. The Dems have lowered their standards in favor of their political agenda.

You are starting to recycle your posts. You sound like BPR, the same thing over and over.

He was NEVER listed as a POW = FACTS always refute a liberals narrative

Obamanistas can help themselves - only a 12 step Obamanista program could help

Wabbit, Giving you benefit of all doubt that your post above is the absolute gospel, how is it any different from Gee Dubya's regime? Mistakes, no clue what he is doing, pass after pass granted. Sound familiar? Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Well Dirty Larry, the Bush presidency was a bit different. The media called him out on everything. They went out of their way to trash him and report on his youth. They knew how many guard meetings he attended, accused him of being stupid, and fought him on security after 9/11 in regards to wire tapping and airport security. Second guessed him on everything. President Obama was given protection by the media. Any screw up was excused and race was used to try and stop any debate about his policies. Still is. Cannot remember another president that was blessed with media protection. President Obama is detached and in my opinion all about rhetoric as opposed to leading. And he seems to not know what is going on till after the fact. That is why I say he is detached. Every President inherits a mess to some degree. What they do during their tenure is what they should be judged on.

You must not be paying attention. The media have not had a good word for Obama in years. The "media" as you call them, senses blood and it dose not care ever what party it is. You only notice it when it happens to your side.

Wabbit, You seem like an intelligent person, but I gotta tell ya sumpin'. This registered Independent votes Republican more often than most of my breed, I'll bet, as Indies tend to lean to the left. One republican I voted for was Reagan. That said, and I think some honest GOP members would concur here, that George W Bush (aka, 43) was the absolute worst US President of my AARP card-carrying lifetime. And that includes the current occupant of the Oval Office, Barack Obama. Not just because of it, but certainly anyone who had a loved one show up on the casualty list of that 'wrong war' he started would surely agree with my assessment; don't you think? And not to be unkind, but Will Ferrell's kid-like impersonations of GW on SNL really weren't all that far off. The man was in way over his head, and we'll be paying for GW's admin for a long, long time.

First it was FOX news, GOP pols and Talk radio, predictably. But then CNN got on board. And then some Democratic pols expressed their concern. Now even MSNBC - a network that had up until oh, this morning, been calling Bowe a hero is now coming to the realization that something may by fishy here. When Diane Feinstein, CNN and MSNBC are covering it as a legitimate story, isn't it a legitimate story?

So Fox leads and the rest follow. So you think he should have been left there even though he had never been charged or told his side of what happened?

wasn't listed as a POW - what about the one in the Mexican prison?

Now, on the news I heard that his father is promising to do everything he can to get all Taliban prisoneers released from Gitmo. You can see that the apple does not fall far from the tree when it comes to father and son. And progressives on here call Tea Party folks "extreme"?

And what "news" would that be?

tillies LIDV comment ...again

president Obama did the right thing in securing the release of sgt. bergdahl if sgt bergdahl is found to have walked away from his post than he should be court martialed . I also agree our solder being held in the Mexican jail should be given the same effort by president Obama to secure his release . the bottom line is no American solder should be left behind !!!!!

If he is a deserter, he needs to face trial. Soldiers who served with him are already speaking out. Searching for him, many soldiers lost their lives. It is also coming out that after he walked off base, Taliban attacks started to intensify on weak spots on the base security. Moreover, Congress passed a law that prohibits Obama from doing this without informing them. Once again, Obama is skirting the law, following it where he sees fit. Next, 5 for 1 is not a very good deal. We have a Marine sitting in jail in Mexico right now and Obama could do something about that as Mexico is an ally and he is either impotent in his ability to do anything or he just does not care. Make no mistake, this release thing is a smokescreen to get peoples minds off of his issues with the VA and Obamacare. But if this soldier walked off, he is a deserter. The actions and words of his father are even more disturbing. He was "ashamed to be an American".....that says it all. Will we put him on trial? Not under this president, he feels the same way about our country.

So wonder where you got all this information. I am sure from your time in the service you know all kinds of stuff. This soldier is completely dammed before he even sets foot on American soli. The Afghanistan war is coming to an end and all prisoners are to be returned home. Bush released over 500 prisoners from Gitmo. And how would you like Obama to get the marine from Mexico? Release drug lords from prison? I am sure we all have to endure more investigations over this too. That is all your Republicans are good for. Having investigations. Can you name any thing positive the Republicans have done in the last five years? And I mean POSITIVE, not just blocking Obama.

There is no debate here, none at all. He was a deserter who sympathized with the Taliban. That is now a fact. His fathers actions are pretty close to traitorous as he said that he will now work to get all Taliban prisoners released. Obama should send in Navy Seals if necessary or how about picking up the phone and saying to the president of Mexico that if he is not released we will boycott all Mexican products. Althouh Mexico is an ally so they should just release him. If the soldier released is a deserter, he should serve hard time for life in prison or face a firing squad. Investigations are necessary when you have an out of control administration that sidesteps and breaks the laws to fulfill its ideological agenda. You progressives were so worried what Cheney said to energy companies behind closed doors but you have absolutely no issue with Obama just doing whatever he wants in the open and behind closed doors. Truly ignorant and hypocritical.

You saying it is a "fact" or phony fox news saying it is a "fact" does not make it so. You and the rest of the right wingers throw around the word "fact" like you actually knew the meaning of the word. A court martial could make it a fact but not Fox news. I am absolutely positive as soon as Obama did any of those things you said to get the Marine out of Mexico, you and John McCain would turn on him and say he shouldn't have done it. "Hypocritical" is another word you really don't know the meaning of.

If he was declared a deserter, the US Army would not have kept promoting him. He was a PFC when captured, and now he is a SGT, that is a three rank increase. You have tarred and feathered him before all the facts have come out. Three years ago the Republicans were crying for his release and a resolution was passed by the house to order the President to do anything possible to get him back! Now that Obama has done that, These same criers are complaining how it was done. The Republicans refuse to give Obama credit for anything. That is downright wrong. He ordered the hit on Osama, and some of these Chicken Hawks criticized that!

First of all gsec, the Huffington Post is a lousy cite to post. Second, yes we do want soldiers home. That is not the issue. The issue is the deal that was made. When that deal was brought up two years ago everybody said no. Panetta, Interpol and Dems also. That is why the President went behind their backs. Then we have Rice on TV yet again stating he served his country with honor. I hardly believe a soldier that deserts his unit is honorable. That is not to say he should have been left to rot there. But the deal that was made will in fact put a target on every soldiers head to get more Gitmo Detainees released. A very bad deal. a better one could have been made with maybe money and detainees that were less of a threat. The President caved and as a result he put our troops in danger. The Taliban is giving each other high fives.

How about the Iran-Contra deal when Regan was pres? How about the 600 odd GITMO detainees released under Bush Jr. in 2007? How about all the Vietnamese released for our own "illustrious" McCain? How about the Arms we gave to Saddam to keep Iran in check? And the real big one, we trained and outfitted Osama to keep the Russians in check in Afghanistan. Spare me your false indignation and righteousness.

But alas, we are not talking about any of those events, we are talking about this event. Regardless of what has happened before, two wrongs never make a right and we should never make exceptions as we progress towards the future based on two wrong reasoning. Obama over stepped his bounds and now we find out that John Kerry did not even know this. If Kerry had any sense of duty and honesty, he would make a statement by resigning due to this. But we have no one with any spine in Washington, just those out for themselves.

But alas, I don't remember any conservative LIRV having any complaints with the exception of the IRAN/CONTRA where a very lonely Lt Col took the fall for the President and his security staff! please spare us all the false indignation.

gsec92, Oliver North was exonerated in 1991. But we are talking about this incident, not history. So please stay on topic and discuss this incident. If the only argument is that two wrongs make a right, that would make you a LIDV.

For your information, that is the process they follow with anyone missing in actions. Watch who you are calling a "chicken hawk" buddy. Hold on gsec92, I am a "crier", whaa, whaa, whaa....

The minute I read this story I knew that the usuals would be all over it. And if the swap HADN'T been made, they would have been all over that. Typical troll BS

this is a complicated thing..the pentagon said he walked away....deserted.5 of the worst of the worst war criminals were freed. He's an American and now home and free....but he is going to have to face the consequences for his actions. And frankly, I have to wonder how those 5 talibans were still breathing, let alone be released.

GWTW, it is a very complicated thing. This is perhaps the most glaring example of incompetency on the part of any American president and it underscores the inability of Obama to lead. This lame attempt was definitely ideological. Now Bean is upset because the truth is coming out and he can't handle it.. Bruce says that all of these stories are "hearsay", next he will say that the guy is "patriotic". I would say that he should serve hard time in Levenworth, minimal......

Your post makes little sense. Do you know the meaning of the word "incompetence"? You toss it around just like you do the word "arrogance" . The two are your all-purpose, go-to words when thinking won't do.

This supposed POW is being called out as a deserter.

There is a huge amount of info coming out about this soldier and his father. And what is coming out is not good.

For the last five years no one seemed interested In him or his father until Obama set him free by turning over Taliban prisoners.

He's an American soldier held captive and now freed. Anything else at this point is hearsay. Get over it. In 2011, Israel swapped 1,027 prisoners for Gilad Shalit. http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/17/world/meast/israel-prisoner-swap-explainer/

The junk you read tells you a false story - He has NEVER been listed as a POW - NEVER !

What disingenuous nonsense. It's a distinction without a difference, as the excerpt from this piece below makes plain--information you couldn't be bothered with either looking up or posting. Your post distorts and misleads on the facts--do you ever post anything else? "For purposes of reporting and recording the status of service members, the Pentagon some years ago stopped using the term “prisoner of war,” although it awards a POW Medal for eligible service members and it has a Defense POW/Missing Persons Office. — The POW issue for American troops in Afghanistan stands in contrast to past U.S. conflicts such as World War II or the Korean War because Afghanistan is not technically at war with the U.S. or any other state. The 'enemy forces in Afghanistan are mainly the Taliban, which are considered a 'non-state armed group.'" http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/06/03/bergdahl-never-listed-by-pentagon-as-prisoner-of-war/

You are so right, PR, Obama should have just left him there. Not like the terrible threesome (Graham, McCain, Ayotte) wouldn't have made a big fuss abut leaving one behind when we left Afghanistan. Or that when one Taliban dies or is in jail, ten other don't take his place.

Hey...isnt MC Cain, one third of the terrible threesome a highly highly highly highly decorated veteran and POW....didnt you give me much grief about my comment about SHionseki? Keeping it real...

Actually keeping it real, I never impugned McCain's history or bravery as you did with Gen Shineski. But McCain was for the swap before he was against it.

Shinseki was fired or resigned because he was clueless as to what was going on at the VA. He just plain didnt know....my comment had nothing to do with his history or bravery . and, you just lied or made up McCains position..he was never "for" releasing these 5 talibans

Don't call me a liar. In February McCain told Anderson Cooper that because of Bergdahl's deteriorating condition he would be for swapping him for the 5 Taliban, the same ones the Taliban have been trying to get back for years. Google it and don't bother me again.

Googled it....you're a liar...good day.

I can't wait to see what was deteriorating? I think he is probably in good health.

That is not what McCain told Cooper Tillie. You are twisting what was said. McCain stated that in 2012 that it was brought up for an exchange of 5 hardcore Taliban. That idea was voided pretty much by Dems and Reps. McCain stated to Cooper he would be in favor of an exchange depending on the details. The President decided to do what he wanted. Now every soldier is a target for the Taliban to get more soldiers for more Gitmo Swaps. Nobody in their right mind would have said okay to swapping these particular 5.

The Washington Post gave him a Pinocchio. He always knew what the 5 Taliban were to be released. Those were the ones the Taliban wanted from the beginning.

Correct Tillie, but McCain and many others disagreed with the swap in 2011. All the advisors disagreed with the swap also, and even Hillary Clinton was not on board with those 5 being swapped. The president knew this. That is why he bypassed all of them. Panetta was against it also. McCain was against those 5 also. He stated that he would be open to a swap depending on the details. You are twisting what he said to cover your stance. The deal was a bad one. And there will be more like this deal, because President Obama wants Gitmo closed, even if those released pose a threat to our soldiers on the ground and the US national security. Even Rice came on board to do her usual Sunday TV appearance with lies. This is how President Obama operates. He gets caught and he spins it. That is fine with the economy, etc, but it is not fine when it comes to the safety of our troops and national security. Taliban took advantage of a weak President, just like Putin did.

Oh contraire Rabbit, I refer to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/03/bowe-bergdahl-release_n_5439644.html Blows your comments right out of the water

Come on! Do you even know what you are reading?? Mc Cain did NOT support releasing these 5 for any reason. He said he'd support a prisoner swap after going over the details...not these 5 hard core Taliban....

Three years ago these were clamoring to get him released at any cost!

no they were not....check your facts and your "source"...

Incorrect, read it again. You are spinning and twisting. But I am glad he was released, now we can try him for treason.

Now that that long standing US precedent of never ever negotiating with terrorists is broken we can expect NObama to offer 5 massively criminal Mexicans for our solder in a Mexican Jail. OOOPs I forgot - NObama already broke the law and put 35,000 of the worst illegals back on the streets of the USA

The Taliban are a military and political force we are fighting in Afghanistan. They're not a terrorist group. It's no different that negotiating with the Viet Cong or the N. Vietnamese during that conflict. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/06/bowe_bergdahl_and_negotiating_with_the_taliban_why_the_deal_to_free_this.html

source: slate.com, biased.

Wrong again, but I know you don't like to be confused by the facts, which you constantly confuse with opinion. But fact and opinion not really interchangeable. And I suspect in your heart of hearts you believe the simple fact of being a Musliim is sufficient to warrant a terrorist designation. However, a simple check of the facts on your part would have confirmed that the Taliban is NOT considered a terrorist organization. Recall that we invaded Afghanistan to get Bin Laden, and root out the Taliban and the Bush administration could have applied that designation then, but chose not to.

Faux, Faux, Faux, biased

You really can't stand anyone challenging your messiah Obama, can you? Even when the absolute facts fly in the face of your opinion, you won't give an inch.

Right back at you, brother, You can never give Obama the benefit o a doubt or credit for anything EVER. You don't have an objective bone in your body.

Was there a fact here you wanted to contest? What "absolute facts" are you talking about? Or are you just muddying the waters as usual.

THey rape and murder and treat women like property, refusing to educate them. I guess you support that as long as it is not in your back yard. Now five monsters are going home to repeat their atrocities. Have you no shame, all in the defense of your president. John Kerry would know about the Viet Cong, I guess, at least playing traitor to his country. You remind me of what liberals used to say about Hezzbolah "there is a military and political wing, we need to keep those separate; they are not terrorists". Sickening. The world according to Bruce, Negotiate with extremists, give in, let them fight another day, 'why can't we all just get along"..........Rodney Currie.

Didn't we hear the same from you in regards to Benghazi and the taking of the school girls Bruce? They are not terrorists!

RabbitNH don't forget the Sudanese woman married to an American who was given the death sentence by a court for marrying a person outside of Islam (the religion of peace). She sits in jail with her child and a newborn less than two weeks old and what is Obama doing? Unless it benefits him politically, he will do nothing. A Marine is in a Mexican jail and Obama does nothing. Those school girls are not being raped and Obama does nothing. But to get a traitor back, he moved heaven and earth.

Seems to me that this precedent has already been set. 1985 Reagan trades 1500 missile's for 3 American Hostages. So I guess it only matters what Obama does. If Obama comes out in favor of breathing - will conservatives suffocate?

It is not about that, it is about Obama's arrogance and this is just another example.

Just on what planet is this a case of arrogance. Do you even know what the word means? Obama could magically rid the world of hunger and you would still call him arrogant. It's very hard debating with one who is so set in their ways. If these Taliban were so dangerous why were they never charged with anything and given a military trial. The problem with fighting terrorists is you cut off one head you just create more in it's place.

He acted on his own. He was going to do what he believed in regarless of process and transparency. He is going to govern with his pen and his phone and if it means that to deflect criticism from the VA failures (which he has had 5 years to fix), damn it, he is the "boss" and he will do what he damn well pleases. If that is not arrogance, I really don't know what is!!

President Obama is arrogant on all levels. he bypasses laws, congress and the constitution on many issues. He is an Imperialistic President, wants all the power in the executive branch. It is also arrogant to lie, single out groups, and divide us on every issue. He can do this because he has the protection of the media and his uninformed supporters. The media use to police pols, and actually keep President's honest. Not anymore.

How quickly we forget: Cheney's notion of the "Unitary Presidency" and GW "I'm the Decider" Bush's moniker. None of which merited a stir from the Frothing Four at the time. They couldn't even call him 'arrogant', while nearly every action taken by this president is an impeachable offense. And the reason for his offenses: arrogance. I suppose this is progress of a sort. Fifty years ago, he would have been called "uppity", and lynched. The G.O.P will settle for impeachment now.

even Diane Feinstein has said Obama broke the law...

WAG THE DOG - that is what this is - 100%

good job president Obama u did the right action and as usual the republicans do the only thing they know to do and that is to complain larry braley

Prisoner swaps? Talk to the Israelis about prisoner swaps. Is there anything clowns like Ted Cruz won't complain about?

Well, we are not the Israeli's. Sorry.

How is that prisoner swap thingy working out for Israel?

WAG THE DOG - If a reader does not believe this is a "wag the dog" moment to take the VA SCANDAL off the daily news then your mind has lost its natural skepticism instinct and you may be a LIDV. NObama out of one side of his mouth says "Bergdahl’s health and safety appeared in jeopardy" and as usual from the other side of his mouth comes this.... "in good physical condition”. It requires a "suspension of disbelief" (aka Hillary) to think otherwise

Try looking on the bright side--it gives you one more thing to Carp about.

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