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    Bergdahl: connecting the dots

    Bergdahl: connecting the dots

    So, we have Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl released in exchange for five of the most notorious Taliban held in Guantanamo, the place Obama keeps saying he wants to empty. This certainly helps to empty it.

    The five men will now be held by Qatar, which has reassured us they’ll be in secure conditions but won’t say what those conditions are, except that they can’t travel out of the country for a year. Qatar is a Wahabi country, by the way, with a history of assisting Islamic movements worldwide.

    Obama has been winding down the Afghan War, and one of his stalled goals in connection with that is negotiations with the Taliban. So it may be that the release of these particular prisoners wasn’t just a reluctant move in order to free Bergdahl, it may be more accurate to say that Bergdahl’s release was negotiated at this point in time in order to free the Taliban Five:

    The official’s comments hinted that the deal is seen as potentially helping the Afghan government, which soon will have a new president, in efforts to end strife with the Taliban — a point seconded by Jonah Blank, a senior political scientist at the Santa Monica, California-based RAND Corporation.

    “The Taliban prisoners released weren’t mere bargaining chips: It’s quite possible that, as influential figures, they’ll facilitate a broader negotiated settlement,” in Afghanistan, said Blank, a former staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    Doesn’t sound as though the plan is to keep them locked up in Qatar, does it?

    And then there’s the goal of the resumption of direct talks between the Taliban and the US:

    In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” from Bagram, Hagel said the prisoner trade could provide a window of opportunity for peace in Afghanistan.

    “So maybe this will be a new opening that can produce an agreement,” he said, noting that the United States had engaged in talks with the Taliban in the past.

    As for Bergdahl himself, his capture in Afghanistan involved some interesting circumstances:

    Rolling Stone magazine quoted emails Bergdahl is said to have sent to his parents that suggest he was disillusioned with America’s mission in Afghanistan, had lost faith in the U.S. Army’s mission there and was considering desertion.

    Bergdahl told his parents he was “ashamed to even be American.” Bergdahl, who mailed home boxes containing his uniform and books, also wrote: “The future is too good to waste on lies. And 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.”

    Here’s more:

    Bowe Bergdahl would detail his disillusionment with the Afghanistan campaign in an e-mail to his parents three days before he went missing.

    “I am sorry for everything here,” he wrote. “These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid.”

    Bergdahl also complained about fellow soldiers. The battalion commander was a “conceited old fool,” he said, and the only “decent” sergeants, planning to leave the platoon “as soon as they can,” told the privates — Bergdahl then among them — “to do the same.”

    “I am ashamed to be an American. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools,” he concluded. “I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting.”

    Bob Bergdahl responded in an e-mail: “OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!”

    One night, after finishing a guard-duty shift Bowe Bergdahl asked his team leader whether there would be a problem if he left camp with his rifle and night-vision goggles — to which the team leader replied “yes.”

    Bergdahl then returned to his bunker, picked up a knife, water, his diary and a camera, and left camp, according to Rolling Stone.

    The next morning, he was reported missing…

    Last but hardly least, Obama did not comply with a law that requires he give Congress 30 days notice if releasing prisoners from Guantanamo. Here’s the reason, according to Susan Rice in an interview:

    “We could not take any risk with … losing the opportunity to bring him back safely,” she said, adding the Department of Defense had consulted with the Department of Justice before making the decision.

    “Given the acute urgency of the health condition of Sgt. Bergdahl, and given the President’s constitutional responsibilities, it was determined that it was necessary and appropriate not to adhere to the 30-day notification requirement, because it would have potentially meant that the opportunity to get Sgt. Bergdahl would have been lost.”

    So, supposedly Bergdahl’s health was an urgent concern, after five years of it not being such an urgent concern. That of course is possible, but somehow I’m skeptical. Disregarding the law about informing Congress seems completely in line with the Obama administration’s notion that the law is for the little people or for Obama’s opponents, not for them. After all, who’s going to stop them? Eric Holder’s Department of Justice?

    [Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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    Henry Hawkins | June 2, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Either Obama did know Bergdahl was a deserter and not a hero, or he did not know. Either one is muy muy bad.

      Hepcat in reply to Henry Hawkins. | June 2, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      He doesn’t care. It’s all about him.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Henry Hawkins. | June 3, 2014 at 12:35 am

      If obastard isn’t a muzzie, he’s a muzzie sympathizer. He’s got long-standing connections to muzzies, as does manchelle.

      Suppose that, either directly or through channels or the deserter’s muzzie dad, it became known that this lover of all things Afghan or Paki lad was in the army. Suppose it was suggested, through channels, that he desert and become a voluntary POW, the only one never to be quartered and hung from a bridge. Suppose this was done so that, at some point when, over time, our forces had captured a number of very high-ranking Talidudes who were sent to the Gitmo country club (muzzie prisoners living better than most of our soldiers and veterans), btw). Now comes a time when enough of these big-time Talidudes have accrued to our custody that it became personally advantageous to obastard to go beyond bowing to Arab leaders and apologizing for America (sounds kinda like Bergdahl, eh?) and cut them loose in exchange for his little altruistic ace-in-the-hole, Bergdahl, the only “POW” in theater to NOT be beheaded and/or quartered and hung from a bridge.

      It’s all just too coincidental.

    aerily | June 2, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    by no means are they the same, nor was that what I was trying to infer. I was trying to relate the effect of years of isolation.

      Ragspierre in reply to aerily. | June 2, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      You keep referring to “isolation”.

      Please support that these 5 pirates were in “isolation”.

      Next, support that American POWs in Japan were in “isolation”.

        AZ_Langer in reply to Ragspierre. | June 3, 2014 at 1:46 am

        ‘Next, support that American POWs in Japan were in “isolation”.’

        They weren’t. Even with the horrendous death rate (the Japanese didn’t subscribe to the Geneva Convention), they wouldn’t have been able to keep that many POWs in isolation. Heck they were using them as slave labor, not trying to isolate them.

        My father, like many of his POW buddies died young, but I still keep in contact with one survivor.

    imfine | June 2, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    They weren’t trading terrorists for Bergdahl, if you haven’t caught up, Obama does not care about the military. They need to get rid of the terrorists, but because of political sensitivities the unlike the little ones they can let go at the end of the afgan war, the big ones are very hard to get rid of politically. Bergdahl is just a token that they got something to cover up getting rid of the big boys. The White House may be surprised at how bad it’s gone, but they don’t really care in the end. Congress didn’t arrest Eric Holder for defying a congressional supeona or lying before congress, they know congress doesn’t have the balls to do anything more than bluster and it’s too far away from an election to matter.

    Daiwa | June 2, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    My take: A Classic Obama Squirrel Operation

    Despite Jay Carney saying (a full year ago, no less) that under no circumstances would the administration carry out an exchange of 5 Taliban leaders for Bergdahl without 30 days Congressional notice in accordance with the law (yes, the reporter’s question was that specific), the hit BO has taken to his pride with the VA scandal and the roundly-denounced West Point speech called for desperate measures. There is/was simply no other reason for this to happen [i]now[/i]. It was a calculated ploy, triggered not by any concerns for Bergdahl’s health or risk of execution (I call ‘bullshit’), but by the need to somehow change the subject. He’s wanted to get these terrorists back home for a long time and the cover of ‘never leaving a man behind’ was strategy on his part. Weak strategy, but strategy nonetheless.

    This turd may have a thin coat of polish, but it still stinks to high heaven.

    Daiwa | June 2, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    PS. Sending out Susan Rice, of all people, to defend this was his way of telling us all to go f**k ourselves. He has nothing but contempt for the lapdog media who have no effing clue and for the citizens who do.

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