Meanwhile, William A. Thien, the Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, has written directly to Obama in an effort to free Tahmooressi:
Can I get an AMEN? pic.twitter.com/qHfz4ZbE2u— Tactical Firearms (@tacticalfirearm) June 4, 2014
... a free-spirited young man who asked many questions but gave no indication of being a deserter, let alone the turncoat that Mr. Obama’s opponents are now trying to create.In condemning a rush to judgment as to Bergdahl by critics, The Times Editors rush to an alternative judgment. More important, the centerpiece of the Editorial, with which it begins, is a quote from John McCain (emphasis added):
Four months ago, Senator John McCain said he would support the exchange of five hard-core Taliban leaders for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. “I would support,” he told CNN. “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.”I've underlined the words "Obviously I’d have to know the details" because those words were not in the original versions of the Editorial. Rather, it was a late correction which significantly scales back the notion that McCain previously supported this exchange deal. I've tracked the changes in the Editorial through a very useful service, NewsDiff. The NewsDiff archive history page for the Times Editorial reflects that the Editorial originally had a less aggressive title, and also did not include the part of McCain's quote I've highlighted. In omitting that language from the quote, the Times made it seem as if McCain supported the same deal that Obama struck. That supposed support was the foundation for the Editorial, but when the foundation shifted, the Times made like nothing changed. Here's the edit history of the intro paragraph via NewsDiff:
The story of this small band of men has been told, but not told enough. Spann was killed during the Battle of Qala-i-Jangi when Taliban prisoners gained access to weapons and attacked.
The sense of pride expressed by officials of the Obama administration at the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is not shared by many of those who served with him, veterans and soldiers who call him a deserter whose "selfish act" ended up costing the lives of better men. "I was pissed off then, and I am even more so now with everything going on," said former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl's platoon when he went missing on June 30, 2009. "Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war, and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him."
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?
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released yesterday in exchange for 5 top Taliban terrorists held at Gitmo. On the one hand, an American soldier was brought home. As with the Israelis, it sends a signal that we don't leave anyone behind, even when the trade is...
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