Skip to comments.Here's What Happens When You Play Politics with the Bergdahl Swap
Posted on 06/04/2014 5:30:30 PM PDT by nickcarraway
What if the White House had chosen a low-key announcement of the Bowe Bergdahl swap?
The best measure of whether President Obama cut a smart deal to free Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is what happens to the five Guantanamo Bay terrorists he traded away. Do they go (a) into retirement; (b) into battle against the United States; (c) or into five cold graves?
The rest of what you're hearing about the swap is politics thinly disguised as a legal and foreign policy debate. Unless you can predict the future, the smart move on such a complex story is to avoid an absolutist position.
Here's what happen when you don't:
The White House has undermined its credibility again by confusing governing with campaigning. It was no secret that the Taliban's capture of Bergdahl was complicated by evidence that he abandoned his unit. Many people in government long considered the soldier a deserter or traitor. Still, the United States had a moral obligation to seek Berghdal's freedom and a national security imperative to get him into the military justice system, where any complicity with the Taliban would be exposed, mitigated and punished. Little about the case was unambiguous.
SHARE THIS STORY All too typically, White House officials dismissed the grays and painted a black-and-white picture, one with a front-and-center pose for their hero-president.
National Security Adviser Susan Rice declared on ABC's "This Week" that Bergdahl served with "honor and distinction," an eyebrow-raiser that evoked memories of her Benghazi talking points fiasco. Bergdahl's parents were summoned to a Rose Garden ceremony that only a laughably incompetent communications team wouldn't recognize as a public relations risk. The White House failed to notify Congress in advance of the swap, as required by law. Presidential aides called it an "oversight." Overlooking something as basic as a congressional head's up? It's hard to believe that senior presidential advisers could be that incompetent, but the only other alternative is that they're lying. What if the White House had chosen a low-key announcement of the swap, pledging in a written statement to get to the bottom of Bergdahl's conduct while keeping gun sights on the free terrorists? No spin. No celebrations. No ammunition for the GOP. My guess: This would be a 48-hour story, not a mushrooming political fight.
The Republican Party looks hypocritical, and risks overreaching again. Many Republicans have been pressuring the White House to secure Bergdahl's release, knowing the most likely route would be via a prisoner swap. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the failed 2008 GOP presidential nominee, told CNN in February that he "would be inclined to support" an exchange of prisoners with the Taliban under the right circumstances. He is now condemning the Bergdahl deal, calling these the wrong circumstances.
Then there are the GOP news-whisperers. Buzzfeed reported Tuesday that a former adviser to President George W. Bush and Mitt Romney played a key role in publicizing Bergdahl's critics in the military.
The involvement of Richard Grenell, who once served as a key aide to Bush-era U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton and later worked for Romney's 2012 campaign, comes as the Bergdahl release has turned into an increasingly vicious partisan issue.
The New York Times reported that "Republican strategists" had arranged an interview for them with men who served in Afghanistan with Bergdahl, who was released after five years of imprisonment by the Taliban in a controversial prisoner swap deal. In the article, the men express their anger at Bergdahl for leaving the base, causing other soldiers to risk their lives looking for him.
The same soldiers also did interviews with The Weekly Standard, the Daily Mail, the Wall Street Journal, and Fox News.
Cody Full, one of the soldiers quoted in the New York Times and other stories, tweeted yesterday about Grenell: "I want to thank @richardgrenell for helping get our platoon's story out." Grenell retweeted the tweet, calling Full a "true American hero." Are there any straight shooters in Washington? In the 24 hours since I warned against politicizing this situation ("What Your Opinion About the Bergdahl Swap Says About Your Views Toward Obama"), both parties reverted to course. Republicans and Democrats are stuck in perpetual campaign mode, treating big national problems like election campaigns, where results are by nature a zero-sum game: total victory or total defeat. Governing, when done right, is not so clean.
... and Obamabots only follow campaigners, not governing. They are even more stuck on stupid with Zero than they were with Clinton.
Ronnie, still stuck on stupid.
Anybody who thinks these five will not go back into combat must have had a lobotomy.
Hell come out as gay and everything will be fine.
Target and General Mills will sponsor the cancelled hometown parade.
Hell jump Ellens couch and be on Dancing with the Stars.
After that hell run for US Senator for Massachusetts and win after tossing his medals over the White House fence.
Keith Ellison will swear him in on a koran.
I think ALL of the operations people witting to the impending swap were appalled, but it didn’t matter because the Obama political people were for it and THEY are the people who count.
The Kabul Chief of Station voiced strong objections and presented himself as a political obstacle.
The Obama political people therefore “made a little paperwork foul-up” and OUTED the guy, thereby comprimising him and perhaps ending his role there in Kabul.
Who really believes the swap and the outing so close together could really be a coincidental MISTAKE...?
You’d be retarded to believe that.
This sounds like the work of Nightstalker ValJar, again.
We have a winner!
At Bengazi why was Obama never in the Situation Room?
Because what always has his focus is the POLITICS of plans or situations —who will get credit or blame.
That’s why he was always upstairs with Vallerie Jarrett, even as our guys were dying.
We see that basic pattern here, too:
I think the political people in this swap had all the “juice” and the people in operations with experience were simply ignored.
What difference, at this point, does it make?.
Ron Fournier need to know something - Republicans did NOT release this guy... Obama did. And Obama did it without the consent or approval of Congress - which is required by law.
Which brings Daniel Pearl to mind.
Fournier wants to have his cake and eat it, too.
He wants to condemn Obama for a dumbass move, but also condemn the Republicans who naturally complain about it.
Well, it’s worse. Obama violated the law. Period.
Congress, and that means the House because the Senate is lead by an Obama sycophant, Harry Reid, has an obligation, even a DUTY to challenge the law breaking of the administration on this. Just what are high crimes and misdemeanors, anyway?
Does any of this make sense to you, Ron Fournier? Does the law and the Constitution mean anything to you beyond politics?! Can you adjust your head to the fact that wrong-doing on the part of EVEN a democratic administration must be met by EVEN a Republican Congress????
Watergate comes to mind, but presidential misconduct is not confined to one party. If so, we’re finished. Period.
My friend Yancy said:
Well this got debunked fast:
The person who actually helped coordinate getting these soldiers in front of cameras was Brad Chase, a communications strategist at Capitol Media, and definitely NOT a Republican. If you had bothered to to any.... oh I don’t know... reporting.. rather than rushing to cover the administration’s backside you might have discovered that. Mr. Chase’s Twitter profile can be found here:
Politicizing. What that even mean?
Here’s my deal. Give the Traitor back or we will hang one of your Buddies every day until Gitmo is emptied out.
Not bad - you have a future as a playwright or political consultant.
What if the White House had chosen a low-key announcement of the Bowe Bergdahl swap?
Well, Ron, a low-key ceremony would not have allowed Obamugabe to send his surrender message to the mohammedans. With Bergdahl, his cracker Osama bin Ladin, chanting the mohammedan consecration of what was once the USA’s White House, Obamugabe sent out the ultimate eCard to his muslim masters to let them know that they and their satanic deity now own our sacred ground.