There simply has to be more than currently meets the eye with regard to this Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap.
Because if there isn’t, this has to be one of the weirdest things I have ever seen and I’ve been watching politics and government for a long time.
I understand the notion that we never leave a soldier on the battlefield. That is honorable. But the way this prisoner exchange played out is just bizarre.
President Barack Obama traded five top Taliban commanders for Bergdahl, who had been held in Afghanistan by the Taliban since 2009.
(The Taliban guys have to stay in Qatar for a year. Then they can go wreak havoc wherever they please.)
Some are saying President Obama “broke the law.” But as commander in chief of America’s armed forces, the president has broad authority under Article II of the U.S. Constitution to order a prisoner exchange. So I highly doubt – as some have brazenly claimed – that the president is some impeachable lawbreaker over this.
But here’s where it gets a little weird.
The president defended his actions, saying that the administration had a very small window of opportunity for the swap, law or no law, and that the White House had already talked about the swap with Congress all the way back to 2011.
Fair enough.
But at the same time the president was defending his actions, the White House was apologizing to Sen. Diane Feinstein, the Democrat head of the Senate Intelligence committee.
The Hill quoted Feinstein, “I had a call from the White House last night, from Tony Blinken, apologizing for it. ... He apologized and said it was an oversight,” she added.
Feinstein also said, by the way, leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence panels were almost unanimously – bipartisanly – opposed to a prisoner trade when it came up in 2011.
(Good thing the president didn’t consult Congress. Sounds like Congress would have said no.)
So why is the White House apologizing if everything, according to the president, is all hunky dory?
But that’s just the tip of the weirdness iceberg.
Seems Bergdahl may well have been a deserter.
The New York Times, quoting a senior military officer, reported that Bergdahl left behind a note in his tent saying he had become disillusioned with the Army, did not support the American mission in Afghanistan and was leaving to start a new life. He slipped off the remote military outpost taking only a soft backpack, water, knives, a notebook and writing materials.
Rolling Stone, in 2012, published the following quote from Bergdahl, attributing it to an email he sent to his parents: “Life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. … I am ashamed to even be [A]merican.”
Rolling Stone also reported Bergdahl told his parents his battalion commander was a “conceited old fool” and his peers were “the army of liars, backstabbers, fools, and bullies.”
The ensuing search for Bergdahl led to the deaths of at least two soldiers and possibly six others in the area, according to various news reports. The Pentagon says those numbers are unsubstantiated.
While looking for info on Bergdahl online, I stumbled across an August 2010 article from the Daily Mail. (That’s almost four years ago.)
It was about Bergdahl.
From the article:
A captured American soldier is teaching Taliban fighters bomb-making and ambush skills, according to one of his captors and Afghan intelligence officials
Private Bowe Bergdahl disappeared in June 2009 while based in eastern Afghanistan and is thought to be the only U.S. serviceman in captivity.
The 24-year-old has converted to Islam and now has the Muslim name Abdullah, one of his captors told The Sunday Times.
A Taliban deputy district commander in Paktika, who called himself Haji Nadeem, told the newspaper that Bergdahl taught him how to dismantle a mobile phone and turn it into a remote control for a roadside bomb.
Nadeem claimed he also received basic ambush training from the U.S. soldier.
Afghan intelligence officials also believe that Bergdahl is ‘cooperating with the Taliban’ and is acting as adviser to fighters at a base in the tribal area of Pakistan.
Lies? Propaganda? Who knows?
Let’s add to the weirdness.
CNN’s Barbara Starr reports that Bergdahl will be promoted because he has not been classified as a deserter.
Bergdahl, by the way, was promoted twice after he was taken prisoner in June 2009. He was promoted to the rank of specialist in June 2010 and then sergeant in June 2011.
Guess they didn’t read the Daily Mail article, because they promoted the guy while he reportedly was teaching the Taliban how to make bombs and ambush U.S. soldiers.
And how about that Susan Rice? Remember her?
She was the one – as the U.S. United Nations ambassador – who went out on the Sunday talk show circuit and pushed the dubious narrative that the attack in Benghazi was the result of a Youtube video.
Well, after that, she got a promotion. Now she’s the president’s national security adviser.
And she was back on Sunday TV last weekend  declaring that Bergdahl “served the United States with honor and distinction” and that “Sergeant Bergdahl wasn’t simply a hostage; he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield.”
I know the guy’s innocent until proven guilty, but “honor and distinction?” Wouldn’t you temper that a little bit until you had all the info?
Plus, in his five years of captivity, Bergdahl was never listed as a prisoner of war. He was listed at first as “duty status whereabouts unknown.” After that, his status was changed to “missing/captured.”
For crying out loud, who in the White House is writing that poor woman’s talking points?
Which brings me back around to the first paragraph of this article
My hope is at some point, a nugget of information will come out and all this will make sense – like, maybe Bergdahl is some top-secret CIA mole or something.
If not, this just makes the Obama administration look incompetent.