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Bowe Bergdahl's release bumps VA scandal from political spotlight (Whoo-hoo!)
The Hill ^ | 6/01/14 | Kevin Cirilli

Posted on 06/01/2014 2:43:36 PM PDT by Libloather

The Taliban’s release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl dominated the Sunday talk shows, pushing Friday’s resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki from the headlines.

The Sunday shows were packed with Republicans launching into political attacks against President Obama and the administration for transferring five Taliban members from Guantanamo Bay to Qatar in exchange for the release of Bergdahl, the 28-year-old whom the Taliban released on Saturday, and administration officials defending the decision.

"Disturbing," was how Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) put it on ABC's "This Week."

"Dangerous," echoed House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) on CNN's "State of The Union."

"We need more information about the conditions of where they're going to be and how," said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on CBS's "Face The Nation."

Administration officials hit back hard against the insinuation that Obama negotiated with terrorists and broke the law requiring him to notify Congress 30 days before the release or transfer of Guantanamo Bay prisoners.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice in separate Sunday show interviews said that Obama acted within his constitutional authority as commander in chief, forced to act against non-state actors as Bergdahl's health was deteriorating.

“We didn’t negotiate with terrorists,” Hagel said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Sgt. Bergdahl is a prisoner of war, that’s a normal process in getting your prisoners back... We don’t let anyone out of Guantanamo, and I will not sign off on any detainee coming out of Guantanamo unless I am assured…that we can efficiently mitigate any risk to American security."

Rice said on CNN's "State of the Union" that Defense Department officials consulted with the Department of Justice officials prior to the transfers.

"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 requirements because it would have potentially meant that the opportunity to get Sgt. Bergdahl would have been lost," Rice said on CNN.

Saturday Obama announced that the Taliban released Bergdahl, who had been held for nearly five years by the Taliban after being captured in Afghanistan. Then came multiple reports that U.S. officials released five Taliban members from Guantanamo Bay. Those members are: Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Nori, Abdul Haq Wasiq and Mohammad Nabi Omari, according to multiple reports.

McCain said that while the administration had previously told Congress about the possibility of transferring the Taliban members for the release of Bergdahl, such a plan received "bipartisan opposition."

"There was discussions that I heard way back as far back as two years ago to release these people," McCain said on CBS. "There was a bipartisan opposition to that. But obviously, what's done is done."

Republicans argued that terrorists would be more inclined to kidnap U.S. soldiers in order to hold them ransom, and that the administration's latest tactic could put America's troops and its allies in danger.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) dismissed the GOP attacks as nothing more than politics.

"We save an American life on foreign soil, the president gets criticized. We lose American lives on foreign soil, the president gets criticized,” she said on Fox's "Fox News Sunday." “Are you seeing a theme here? It’s politics.”

But the questions surrounding the transfer could prove a political headache for the administration in the coming days. Republicans have sought to criticize the administration's foreign policy as ineffective and weak.

Meanwhile, administration officials dodged questions about whether Bergdahl deserted the military and his capture more than five years ago.

Some critics allege that Bergdahl walked off his base in Eastern Afghanistan in 2007.

ABC News "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos asked Rice whether such allegations would be "investigated."

"If it is found that he did, will he be disciplined or has he already paid the price?" Stephanopoulos asked.

"Certainly, anybody who has been held in those conditions in captivity for five years has paid an extraordinary price, but that is really not the point," Rice said.

"The point is he's back. He's going to be safely reunited with his family. He served the United States with honor and distinction."

"We'll have the opportunity to learn eventually what happened in the past years,” she added. “But what's most important now is his health and well-being and that he have the opportunity to recover in peace and security and be reunited with his family which is why this is such a joyous day."

On NBC, Hagel echoed similar themes.

“I'm not surprised that there are still questions, and until we get the facts exactly what the condition of Sergeant Bergdahl is, we can't go much further in speculating,” Hagel said.

“But, you know, this is a guy who probably went through hell the last five years and let's focus on getting him well and getting him back with his family.”

Bergdahl has yet to be reunited with his parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl, who stood behind Obama during a Rose Garden address Saturday during which the president discussed the incident.

Bergdahl’s father, Bob Bergdahl, said on Sunday that there were “too many people to thank” for his son’s release.

Bob Bergdahl said Bowe should listen to the “devoted team” that’s working with him in Germany.

“Listen to their instructions. Listen to them. They are hand-picked people,” Bob Bergdahl said.

“They are here to help you.”


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; alqaeda; alqaeda4hostage; alqaeda4hostages; bergdahl; bobbergdahl; bowebergdahl; deserter; gitmo; scandal; taliban; taliban4hostage; taliban4hostages; traitor; va; wagthedog
The Drive-by Media to the rescue.
1 posted on 06/01/2014 2:43:36 PM PDT by Libloather
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To: Libloather

I want to know why Jay Carney resigned. Over at the British Daily Mail, they are suggesting this was one lie too far. I had this thought this morning.


2 posted on 06/01/2014 2:46:11 PM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: Libloather
Well, now we know what that was all about.
3 posted on 06/01/2014 2:46:22 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." --Tacitus)
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To: Libloather; All
"Bowe Bergdahl's release bumps VA scandal
from political spotlight"


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4 posted on 06/01/2014 2:46:37 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: Libloather

Any doubt if the Blind Sheikh for Stevens swap had occurred in Benghazi like Obama planned the media wouldn’t have done the same thing..called Obama a hero for saving Stevens life..all of this was planned and orchestrated to take the VA Scandal off of Obama because he knew he was losing badly on it


5 posted on 06/01/2014 2:47:35 PM PDT by Sarah Barracuda
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To: Libloather
"He served the United States with honor and distinction."

SAID ***SUSAN RICE***

6 posted on 06/01/2014 2:48:28 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: Sarah Barracuda

EXACTLY..! Excellent point..!

THIS media reaction (and probably x 1,000) was what we’d have seen if “Genius Obama” negotiated a “Cyclops/Stevens” swap.

Right.


7 posted on 06/01/2014 2:50:01 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: Libloather

No...this release of 5 high up terrorists without notifying congress is now another scandal.


8 posted on 06/01/2014 2:50:38 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: gaijin

And that is why it went down and I will always believe that is exactly what happened..if the other three men had not appeared to save Stevens life, the swap would have happened..everything Obama does is well orchestrated to make himself look good


9 posted on 06/01/2014 2:51:07 PM PDT by Sarah Barracuda
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To: Libloather
Except this is another scandal.
10 posted on 06/01/2014 2:51:15 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: Libloather

Honor and distinction my ***.


11 posted on 06/01/2014 2:51:20 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Sacajaweau

Not the way the media is reporting it, in fact when I watch my local news they say “Republicans allege” and “Republicans say” the transfer was illegal..they are going to make it like us mean mean Republicans didn’t want to save this man’s life


12 posted on 06/01/2014 2:52:00 PM PDT by Sarah Barracuda
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To: Libloather

If the House would start impeachment nothing would be able to shut down his being in the spotlight.


13 posted on 06/01/2014 2:52:50 PM PDT by Logical me
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To: Libloather

I wonder if team Obama have a big list of scandals that they reveal whenever one is getting too hot?

Do you think any are deliberately created to be on hold to help get others off the front pages?

I despise this administration.


14 posted on 06/01/2014 2:53:42 PM PDT by FreeAtlanta (Liberty or Big Government - you can't have both.)
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To: miss marmelstein

Probably because trading 5 Taliban commanders for a traitor who deserted the army to join the Taliban was too much, even for him. Most people would call that high treason by a sitting US President, but because we have a joke posing as a press today and a bunch cowering RINOs, he’ll get away with it.


15 posted on 06/01/2014 2:53:51 PM PDT by GrandJediMasterYoda (Hitlery: Incarnation of evil.)
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To: GrandJediMasterYoda

Undoubtedly, Carney knew this was coming down. Many people at the time were surprised by his resignation. Of course, I have no use for Carney and it’s entirely possible that his resignation had nothing to do with this. But I’m suspicious.


16 posted on 06/01/2014 2:57:46 PM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: Sarah Barracuda

What p***** me was the “no man left behind” out of Obama’s mouth.


17 posted on 06/01/2014 3:00:01 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Libloather

Well, let’s bump it back into the political spotlight.

...Eric Shinseki for Obamacare Czar!!!

He certainly has the creds for the position.


18 posted on 06/01/2014 3:00:18 PM PDT by Oscar in Batangas (It's not a Government 'shutdown'...It's "RIGHT-SIZING")
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To: Libloather
Odumbo has got every part wagging the dog except the cold wet nose.
19 posted on 06/01/2014 3:01:02 PM PDT by immadashell (The inmates are running the asylum.)
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To: Libloather

Maybe, unless you have a veteran in your family, know a veteran, are a veteran or care about what happens to veterans.


20 posted on 06/01/2014 3:13:34 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2Million USD for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: Libloather
First things first...stop referring to him as SGT Bergdahl. Yeah, the Army incorrectly promoted him to E-5, but he sure as hell didn't earn his stripes. PLDC, promotion board, promotion points...kinda hard to do all of those while hanging out with your goat-humping "brothers".

Giving Bergdahl Sergeant's stripes was a slap in the face to all proud NCOs -- of all branches, past and present. More proof that this has never been a war to TPTB...just an exercise in PR and PC.

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

21 posted on 06/01/2014 3:18:19 PM PDT by wku man (We are the 53%! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUXN0GDuLN4)
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To: miss marmelstein
Maybe I was wrong about Carney. I always said the lying little cowardly vermin had no conscience. Maybe he does...it's just buried under layers and layers of Communist ideology.

Or maybe he just knew even Goebbels couldn't spin his way out of this crock of shi'ite lie.

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

22 posted on 06/01/2014 3:22:28 PM PDT by wku man (We are the 53%! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUXN0GDuLN4)
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To: wku man

Carney is the only Press Secretary for with the Clintons or Obama that even the slightest shred of conscience, which was a huge liability for him.

It’s amazing that he lasted as long as he did.


23 posted on 06/01/2014 3:25:58 PM PDT by rdcbn
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To: Libloather

I’m surprised Obama did not kick in the Blind Sheik as a bonus


24 posted on 06/01/2014 3:27:16 PM PDT by rdcbn
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To: wku man

I’m going with your second theory. He had to get out of Dodge to save his dodgy career.


25 posted on 06/01/2014 3:31:47 PM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: Sacajaweau

Obama is a disgusting piece of crap, nothing he says surprises me anymore


26 posted on 06/01/2014 3:50:48 PM PDT by Sarah Barracuda
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To: Sacajaweau

How about the treatment of the VA. I think it’s complete horse$%^& given that plenty of them are stuck with serious guilt and depression whilst a man who betrays the military, putting numerous people in harms way gets a desired genital mutilation and steroid procedure, and another gets exchanged despite his sympathy for the Taliban. Washington would have executed a person in his army who leaked information. He also wouldn’t have allowed someone captured by the enemy directly back into combat. Our president and his phony military leaders don’t seem to know %^&& about the horrors of real fighting. What’s said is when people like the fictional ex-Iraqi named Sayid from lost know better than real-life military leaders, that’s a problem.


27 posted on 06/01/2014 3:51:56 PM PDT by Morpheus2009
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To: Libloather

Why would Bergdahl’s release be important news? The press has barely noticed him before this.


28 posted on 06/01/2014 4:02:55 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Libloather

Obama is running circles around congress and the idiots can’t or WON’T keep up. This is a disgrace. We have got to have the dumbest spineless congress ever seated. And what’s worse, we will vote in more of the same. After this election nothing from there on will matter with the full invasion taking place on our southern border as we sit.


29 posted on 06/01/2014 4:03:54 PM PDT by DeWalt (Times are more like they used to be than they are today.)
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To: GrandJediMasterYoda; miss marmelstein; Sacajaweau; Sarah Barracuda; All
Unfortunately, it's not incompetence. This is, at least temporarily, a hat-trick by Obama:

1. He successfully changes the conversation and diverts attention of the people (even if temporarily) from VA-Obamacare-IRS-Benghazi-EPA and weak economy to an easily spinnable feel-good story of "saving private/Sgt Bergdahl" and reuniting him with his long-suffering family, who also get their 15 minutes of fame spouting the usual left-wing anti-war/anti-military pablum.

2. He gives the media a break in their, by necessity, gloomy narrative of Obama's and Democrats' current "misfortunes" and allows them an opportunity to change focus and bash "heartless" Republican politicians and "critics" of Obama's brilliant foreign policy "successes" of ending the "longest American wars," setting up another "emotional" micro-isssue going into 2014 elections — some people won't go beyond the media headlines and happy TV news broadcasts of "reunion" and "no men left behind" spin.

3. He gets to use this "feel-good exchange" to remove most dangerous Taliban / al-Qaeda personnel from Gitmo, thereby setting in motion the completion of his long-standing promise and the goal of potential closing of Gitmo — now that few if any "serious" terrorists are out and thereby reducing Gitmo's "usefulness" for detention of those who can be "safely relocated" to mainland for "civilian court" trials.

30 posted on 06/02/2014 3:41:13 AM PDT by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: Libloather
“Bowe Bergdahl’s release bumps VA scandal from political spotlight (Whoo-hoo!)” for about two days and then IT will become a new problem for Democrats. But not to worry Nancy Bonehead and Ryno will grant amnesty and all will be right in the donkey stable again.
31 posted on 06/02/2014 5:11:41 AM PDT by jmaroneps37 (Conservatism is truth. Liberalism is lies.)
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