Pentagon ‘Outraged’ over Obama’s Victory Lap on Bergdahl – General

Posted on June 10th, 2014

Prisoner swap Bergdahl by Mike Keefe, Cagle Cartoons

By Rick Moran

A former vice chief of staff of the army says that Pentagon officials were “outraged” when President Obama paraded the parents of Bowe Bergdahl before the world in the Rose Garden.

Retired Four-star General Jack Keane also contradicted Susan Rice’s interpretation of Bergdahl’s service when she claimed he served with “honor and distinction.

Daily Caller:

“The fact that a citizen volunteers — becomes a soldier, becomes a paratrooper, goes to combat as a result of that, has an unblemished record, is a very good soldierand then deserts his post, that trumps all previous behavior,” he explained. “So that is a distinction in itself, and he has to be held accountable for that.”

“And how have the military leaders you’ve talked to this week — I know you’re close touch with a lot of folks, still, at the Pentagon — how do they view the way this week has rolled out?” Wallace asked.

They’re outraged that the president, at the Rose Garden ceremony, was actually promoting an event in terms of public relations,” Keane declared. “And then taking his family — who by the way, the military had advised to maintain a very low profile, and they had maintained a low profile for years.”

“And then to put them in front of the cameras like that and begin a celebration, I think that created not only anguish among those who were his teammates and those who may’ve lost his lives in rescuing him,” the general explained, “but senior military leaders looked at that and just shook their head and said, ‘Why are we doing something like that?’”

Keane and the officers in the Pentagon who were astounded by the display with Bergdahl’s parents aren’t alone. Even some liberal commentators were aghast at the spectacle. At the time, the White House was confident that the release of Bergdahl would be a cause for celebration in America, so clueless they were about the situation.

It’s been a trying 5 years for the military. Several generals have gotten into hot water for criticizing the administration. I’m sure for most of them, 2016 can’t come soon enough.    (my emphasis)

By Rick Moran for American Thinker

By permis

sion American Thinker

www.americanthinker.com

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/06/pentagon_outraged_over_obamas_victory_lap_on_bergdahl__general.html

Psaking It to State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki

Posted on June 10th, 2014

WAIMH Red ArrowEDITOR’S COMMENT: Every time I see Jen Psaki make an appearance I start to grimace, because, based upon past appearances, I know she will be totally unprepared and not knowledgeable about the issue being discussed. It is almost always pretty pathethic, as she eventually has to resort to falsehoods and misstatements to try and extricate herself. A commenter on Thomas Lifson’s blog probably summed up this whole scenario best, when he wrote: A fool as spokesman for a State Department headed by a buffoon who, in turn, serves at the pleasure of an ignoramus.”

By Thomas Lifson

Highly visible among the hacks who are now in charge of US foreign policy (such luminaries as Ben Rhodes and Susan Rice) is Jen Psaki, official spokesperson for the United States Department of State. Psaki is now an object of ridicule on Russian television, which has created the word “psaking” to describe “when someone makes a dogmatic statement about something they don’t understand, mixes facts up, and then doesn’t apologize.”

Psaking

Buzzfeed reports:

Kremlin propaganda chief Dmitry Kiselyov dedicated an entire segment of his show to “Psaking,” which he claimed is a “new buzzword that has appeared on the spaces of the global internet.”

While Russian propagandists are not generally to be trusted, Psaki has handed ample ammunition for ridicule to Kiselyov and company:

…during a press conference, Psaki criticized the phenomenon of “carousel voting” at a separatist referendum in eastern Ukraine, before admitting that she didn’t know what the term meant.

Mouthing a talking point without understanding its meaning gets to the heart of being a hack, much as Susan Rice did with her “served with honor and distinction” praise for Bowe Bergdahl.

As Ed Lasky has chronicled on these pages, Psaki’s background as a campaign aide to Obama ill-qualifies her for her serious diplomatic responsibilities.  But in the Obama administration, political loyalty trumps expertise every time, even in the most sensitive positions.    (my emphasis)

By Thomas Lifson for American Thinker

By permission American Thinker

www.americanthinker.com

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/06/psaking_it_to_state_department_spokesperson_jen_psaki.html

Obama Must Go! (But He Won’t)

Posted on June 9th, 2014

Obama Legacy

By Alan Caruba

Given the collective anger over the exchange of five Taliban commanders for what appears to be a U.S. Army deserter, combined with the anger from the Veterans Administration revelations, one might be tempted to think that Obama would be impeached or would resign, but neither of those options will occur.

He’s not leaving because he doesn’t care what Americans think and only cared when the issues involved forthcoming elections. He was, after all, elected twice. He doesn’t even care what the members of Congress think, relying now entirely on executive orders and by working his way through federal agencies and departments.

He knows that his approval ratings fluctuate between 48% and 51% on any given day—a testimony to the stupidity that liberals embrace while accusing conservatives of being stupid—and he knows that the vast bulk of Americans are too busy trying to hold onto their jobs, if they have one, and that most do not spend much time paying attention to the issues. Large numbers receive some form of federal assistance and that is their sole concern.

Until the Taliban debacle the mainstream media could be depended upon to ignore tragic events like the Benghazi attack and its cover-up. Indeed, some speculate that Obama thought that getting a U.S. soldier back from the Taliban would detract attention from the VA issue, but did not anticipate how badly that would turn out. It was, after all, part of his intention to release all of the Gitmo detainees and close the facility.

It hardly seems accidental or ironic that the spokesperson for both scandals has been national security advisor, Susan Rice, lying through her teeth.

In the 2010 and 2012 elections Republicans gained more seats in the House of Representatives, but made little progress in the Senate. Some Tea Party movement conservatives like Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Marco Rubio now hold office, but they are a minority within a minority so far as the U.S. Senate is concerned. I will take any progress we make and any candidate with a “R” after his or her name.

Even if the GOP were to gain control of the Senate after the forthcoming November midterm elections there will be no impeachment proceedings against Obama because Republicans with long memories will recall how badly that turned out when it was attempted against Bill Clinton. It was rejected and he went on to become the Democratic Party’s popular senior statesman.

Hillary Clinton has let it be known she did not favor releasing the Taliban commanders. A story in the Daily Beast on June 3 reported that “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was personally and intensely involved in the debate over swapping five Taliban commanders for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in 2011 and 2012. But she had severe reservations about the potential deal, and demanded stricter conditions for the release of the prisoners than what President Obama settled for last week.”

Should she become the Democratic Party candidate for 2016 Hillary will put as much distance as possible between herself and Obama.

Will Obama resign as this new wave of anger sweeps over the White House? That is not going to happen either.

If we know anything about Obama at this point it is that he has no regard for the oath of office he took, even less for the Constitution. He breaks laws now with virtual impunity.

He knows that his lies have made it possible for him to pursue his agenda for legislation like Obamacare, increasing the national debt to the highest it has ever been, and imposing regulations through the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct his “war on coal.” His “stimulus” to goose the economy was a failure. His “reset” with Russia has been a failure along with other foreign policy missteps.

When Obama leaves office—assuming the worst fears of many conservatives that he will declare martial law and try to make himself President-for-Life will not occur—he will have a long life of considerable wealth awaiting him. He will be gone, but in the same way the Clintons are gone, yet still making news.

So, yes, Obama must go. But he won’t.     (my emphasis)

By Alan Caruba for Facts Not Fantasy

By permission Alan Caruba

Alan Caruba writes a daily post at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Why Team Obama Was Blindsided by the Bergdahl Backlash

Posted on June 6th, 2014

Bowe Bergdahl Obama by Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant

EDITOR’S COMMENT: Of the literally hundreds of articles and comments that I’ve read this week trying to get a glimpse into President Obama’s reasoning or lack of reasoning for making this Taliban/terrorists for Bergdahl prisoner swap, the one commentary that stands out is one written for National Review Online by former Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters entitled “Why Team Obama Was Blindsided by the Bergdahl Backlash”, in which he attributes President Obama’s decision to the basic ‘culture clash’ that exists between the civilians running the White House and the military.

Here are some of his insightful comments:

Congratulations, Mr. President! And identical congrats to your sorcerer’s apprentice, National Security Adviser Susan Rice. By trying to sell him as an American hero, you’ve turned a deserter already despised by soldiers in the know into quite possibly the most-hated individual soldier in the history of our military.

I have never witnessed such outrage from our troops.

Both President Obama and Ms. Rice seem to think that the crime of desertion in wartime is kind of like skipping class. They have no idea of how great a sin desertion in the face of the enemy is to those in our military. The only worse sin is to side actively with the enemy and kill your brothers in arms. This is not sleeping in on Monday morning and ducking Gender Studies 101.

But compassion, please! The president and all the president’s men and women are not alone. Our media elite — where it’s a rare bird who bothered to serve in uniform — instantly became experts on military justice. Of earnest mien and blithe assumption, one talking head after another announced that “we always try to rescue our troops, even deserters.”

This is a fundamental culture clash. Team Obama and its base cannot comprehend the values still cherished by those young Americans “so dumb” they joined the Army instead of going to prep school and then to Harvard. Values such as duty, honor, country, physical courage, and loyalty to your brothers and sisters in arms have no place in Obama World. (Military people don’t necessarily all like each other, but they know they can depend on each other in battle — the sacred trust Bergdahl violated.)

President Obama did this to himself (and to Bergdahl). This beautifully educated man, who never tires of letting us know how much smarter he is than the rest of us, never stopped to consider that our troops and their families might have been offended by their commander-in-chief staging a love-fest at the White House to celebrate trading five top terrorists for one deserter and featuring not the families of those soldiers (at least six of them) who died in the efforts to find and free Bergdahl, but, instead, giving a starring role on the international stage to Pa Taliban …    (my emphasis)

You can read all of Ralph Peters’ comments from National Review Online here.

Amateur Hour. Another Defining Moment of the Obama Presidency

Posted on June 5th, 2014

Taliban Swap Obama by Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

By George Neumayr

The Obama administration presented the release of Bowe Bergdahl as an indisputably glorious moment for the country. Amidst the celebration on Saturday, Obama didn’t bother to mention that Bergdahl was a deserter. Obama considered the swap of five of the most dangerous terrorists of the Taliban for Bergdahl worthy of a Rose Garden ceremony. Even for the release of a decorated soldier, that would have been a dubious idea, given the shocking, precedent-breaking character of such a trade. But for Bergdahl, whose story of desertion and possible treachery and collaboration grows more troubling with each new report, a Rose Garden ceremony seems almost like a parody of liberalism.

Obama administration officials, straining to defend the trade, noted that the Israelis have occasionally released Palestinian prisoners for hostages. But one can’t imagine the Israelis ever executing such a trade for a deserter whose actions caused the deaths of soldiers (the number keeps climbing in press reports) who conducted a long and risky search for him.

According to Susan Rice, who professes perplexity at why Republicans still have questions about the administration’s handling of Benghazi, Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction.” Rice said that “Sergeant Bergdahl wasn’t simply a hostage; he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield.” No mention of his deliberately leaving the battlefield. Obama, too, described Bergdahl as captured on the battlefield. But by Tuesday the Pentagon’s press secretary was using more cautious language, comparing at one point the recovery of Bergdahl to the recovery of someone who jumps from a ship.

Perhaps the Obama administration will claim ignorance again, saying that it only recently learned of Bergdahl’s deserter status from “news reports.” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, over the weekend, adopted a jubilant tone as if he wasn’t exactly clear on the circumstances of Bergdahl’s departure from his camp and numerous other officials played dumb about his undoubted desertion.

The risks Obama took for the deal — breaking the law by not notifying Congress, among others — wouldn’t be justified under any circumstances, much less these. Obama tried to give the deal a patina of respectability by casting it as part of America’s tradition of not leaving any soldier behind. But the release of terrorists has never been seen as a legitimate means of fulfilling that duty.

An administration caught out in recent weeks for its indifference to the health of soldiers was eager to argue that dire health concerns about Bergdahl justified its release of terrorists for him. Obama evidently hoped that the Rose Garden ceremony would arrest his flagging poll numbers after the VA scandal. But it has only raised new questions about the depth of the administration’s amateurishness, recklessness, and dishonesty.

For the sake of one soldier, who may turn out to be as anti-American as his captors, Obama has now endangered the lives of countless new ones. He breezily says, “This is what happens at the end of wars,” as if the released terrorists will stop fighting theirs. They clearly won’t. They were treated as conquering heroes upon their arrival in Qatar and will undoubtedly return to the fight.

Such an astonishingly dangerous move falls into the Obama administration’s pattern of treating terrorists as less than terrorists. It is hard to imagine almost any other White House even considering such a deal. But in an administration that once contemplated jury trials for the planners of 9/11, anything is possible.

Obama still harbors the illusion that if the U.S. treats terrorists with more consideration their behavior will change for the better. Far more likely is that it will grow more emboldened, as they see how easily the U.S. can be manipulated and overpowered. Terrorists have been crowing over the pictures of the U.S. surrendering five of its most avowed enemies. The deal has unified them and divided Americans. Yet Obama speaks of it as a great moment in peacemaking that will result somehow in “broader discussions among Afghans about the future of their country by building confidence that it is possible for all sides to find common ground.”

Obama has telegraphed to the enemy America’s lack of resolve in the war on terrorism and encouraged more kidnappings. The beneficiary of this transparently self-defeating gesture — a deserter who grew to hate the military and saw America as a “horror” — makes it an even more vivid illustration of national decline.     (my emphasis)

By George Neumayr for The American Spectator

By permission The American Spectator

http://spectator.org

http://spectator.org/articles/59483/amateur-hour

George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author, with Phyllis Schlafly, of the new book, No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom.

‘Terrorists For A Turncoat’ May Define Obama Tenure

Posted on June 5th, 2014

Taliban Deal Obama  by Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

EDITOR’S COMMENT: Investor’s Business Daily has an interesting overview of President Obama’s swap of five Taliban prisoners for an American soldier over the weekend by suggesting that not only was this done to distract attention away from the Veterans Affairs scandal, but that the White House is ‘again trying to bamboozle the public.’

Here are some of their comments:

Even if Bowe Bergdahl were a Medal of Honor winner, trading five terrorists to kill more Americans would be unjustified. Almost as outrageous, the White House is again trying to bamboozle the public.

First, the deceptions. Departing White House spin secretary Jay Carney outrageously refused Monday to call the Taliban a terrorist organization, but “an enemy combatant.” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who showed he was unqualified during his Senate confirmation, insisted “we didn’t negotiate with terrorists.”

Didn’t a certain Democrat presidential candidate in a major 2008 foreign policy speech complain President Bush didn’t use “the full force of American power to hunt down and destroy Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida, the Taliban, and all of the terrorists responsible for 9/11″?

Second, who is this man exchanged for five now free-to-roam terrorists? Bowe Bergdahl may be court-martialed for desertion. He apparently sought to renounce his U.S. citizenship and e-mailed his parents that he was “ashamed” to be American.

In 2010, Taliban officials claimed Bergdahl converted to Islam and was training them in bomb-building.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told the Hill magazine that House and Senate Intelligence panel leaders from both parties “were virtually unanimous against the trade when the idea came up in 2011. But Obama approved the deal without informing them. And, astoundingly, the president may have done it to distract from the VA scandal.

One turncoat deserter was worth five terrorists — that perverse notion may end up defining the Obama presidency.

You can read Investor’s Business Daily’s entire editorial here.

Why Is the Left Defending the Swap of 5 Terrorists for a Deserter?

Posted on June 4th, 2014

WAIMH Red ArrowBy Rick Moran

I am shaking my head in wonder this morning at the manner in which some on the left seem determined to defend the administration’s swap of 5 Gitmo terrorists – who shortly will be back killing Americans – for an admitted America hater and deserter.

In order to carry water for President Obama, the left has had to ignore the obvious and raise strawmen regarding Bergdahl’s status, while positing fanciful theories about why the terrorists would have been freed anyway.

First, Michael Tomasky writing in the Daily Beast:

Buckle up: The right is going to try to turn the Taliban prisoner swap for ‘deserter’ Bowe Bergdahl into a Willie Horton moment for the president—and they’ll ride it to January 2017.

Why the scare quotes around the word “deserter”? The evidence is overwhelming that Sgt. Bergdahl went over the wall. Whether he defected or not is in question. Whether he collaborated with the enemy is also unknown at this point. But there is evidence galore – from Bergdahl himself – that he left his post without authorization.

Tomasky then sets up the strawman argument that we really shouldn’t pay attention to criticism of the deal because the right is only using the matter to score political points against Obama:

So let’s imagine that on Saturday night, the news had emerged not that Bowe Bergdahl was being freed but that he’d been murdered by his Taliban captors. What do you suppose we’d be hearing from Republican legislators? You know exactly what: Barack Obama is the weakest president ever, this is unconscionable. Which, of course, is exactly what we’re hearing from them now that the U.S. Army sergeant, held by the Taliban since 2009, has been freed. And it’s going to get worse. I’m even tempted to say forget Benghazi—Bergdahl may well end up being the flimsy excuse for the impeachment hearings they’ve been dreaming of before all this is over.

The Republicans’ audacity here is a bit beyond the usual. Let’s face it: There is no question that if President George W. Bush or a President McCain or President Romney had secured Bergdahl’s release in exchange for five Taliban prisoners at Gitmo, Republicans would be defending the move all the way. That business about notifying Congress? They’d have a dozen excuses for it. We got our prisoner of war home, they’d all be saying. That’s what matters.

This is actually amusing. The question isn’t what the reaction on the right would have been if a Republican president had been this stupid. The question is whether McCain, Romney, or Bush would have even entertained the notion of a 5 terrorist for one deserter swap in the first place. The military is outraged over the swap – something a GOP Commander in Chief would have known almost instinctively.

And no, the reaction among many Republicans – far more than the number of Democrats today who are speaking against the deal – would have been equally harsh. Tomasky doesn’t know jack about conservatives if he thinks a sizable number of them would have let a President Romney skate on this deal.

Then there’s the canard that the 5 terrorists were going to be released anyway so we might as well have gotten something for them.

Think Progress:

When wars end, prisoners taken custody must be released. These five Guantanamo detainees were almost all members of the Taliban, according to the biographies of the five detainees that the Afghan Analysts Network compiled in 2012. None were facing charges in either military or civilian courts for their actions. It remains an open question whether the end of U.S. involvement in the armed conflict in Afghanistan requires that all Guantanamo detainees must be released. But there is no doubt that Taliban detainees captured in Afghanistan must be released because the armed conflict against the Taliban will be over.

Sgt. Bergdahl was a U.S. soldier captured in an active zone of combat. The circumstances of his capture make him a Prisoner of War, not a hostage as some have erroneously claimed. In traditional conflicts, both sides would release their prisoners at the conclusion of hostilities. This is not a traditional conflict, however, and the Obama administration rightly had no expectation that Sgt. Bergdahl would have been released when U.S. forces redeployed out of Afghanistan. As that date neared, any leverage the United States possessed would have been severely undermined.

Conservative critics, however, are stuck fighting the political fights of the last decade and refuse to appreciate the cunning maneuvers that secured the release of the lone American soldier taken prisoner in Afghanistan at little risk to the security of the United States.

Cunning? Yes, I’m sure the administration negotiators are legends in their own minds.

And if the war was going to end soon anyway and all those Taliban released, why negotiate at all? The fact is, the administration has trumped up some health issues for Sgt. Bergdahl to defend the indefensible; their refusal to inform Congress as required by law that the release of five terrorists from Guantanamo was being effected. The supposed bad health of Bergdahl is also being cited as a reason for the haste in concluding the negotiations. Seemingly desperate to remove Bergdahl from the clutches of the Taliban because his life was in imminent danger, the exchange of 5 dangerous terrorists who are being celebrated in Pakistan as heroes and where Taliban spokesman has said they will rejoin the battle soon., was justified by “exigent” circumstances.

Baloney. As is the claim by Susan Rice that Bergdahl served with ” honor and distinction.” Or that his service was “honorable,” as Jay Carney claims. Freeing an American from thte clutches of terrorists is fine. We should support the notion that Bergdahl has to come home, deserter or not. But is this really the best deal we could have gotten? Really?

Finally, the next president of the United States – as declared by the media – Hillary Clinton, weighs in:

“This young man, whatever the circumstances, was an American citizen — is an American citizen — was serving in our military,” Clinton said in response to a question about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, whose release was announced Saturday.

The idea that you really care for your own citizens and particularly those in uniform, I think is a very noble one.”

It certainly is, Hillary. Another noble idea is that the Commander in Chief is responsible for all US soldiers and that releasing these 5 cold blooded killers puts other American military personnel in danger. It is also noble that at least 6 soldiers died trying to find and rescue someone who may or may not have wanted to be rescued at the time. But if you read the left’s straw man arguments, excuses, and attacks on the right, you note that the six dead soldiers are mentioned in passing – or not at all.

Finally, I include this passage from Tomasky’s screed only because it demonstrates an obliviousness to the facts that only someone besotted with partisanship would write:

He wandered away from his unit. A Fox News commentator called him a “deserter.” He is officially in good standing in the Army and has even received the promotions due him during his time in captivity, but some consider him a deserter and traitor. Get ready to start hearing more of that.

“He wandered away from his unit” but he may not be a deserter? What does Tomasky think he was at the point he wandered away? A tourist?

Tomasky is right about one thing. He and his friends on the left are going to be hearing a lot more about this apparently illegal prisoner exchange. And the American people will make their own judgment about it.    (my emphasis)

By Rick Moran for American Thinker

By permission American Thinker

www.americanthinker.com

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/06/why_is_the_left_defending_the_swap_of_5_terrorists_for_a_deserter.html

President Obama’s Rather Alarming Productive Week

Posted on June 3rd, 2014

White House blows CIA cover by John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune

By Jeannie DeAngelis

In the midst of America grappling with the reality that veterans are safer on the battlefield than on a VA hospital waiting list, on Memorial Day, Barack Obama, lover of all things military, flew to Kabul to surprise our U.S. servicemen and women.

After Obama arrived at the troop rally at Bagram air base, Afghani President Hamid Karzai, who in 2008 pinned a medal on George W. Bush’s chest at the presidential palace in Kabul, sent word that because it was such short notice he would not be meeting with the U.S. president.

Looking spiffy in a brown bomber jacket festooned with American flags, the guy who effectively barred veterans from entering the WWII Memorial during the sequester promised the troops that their well-being was of the utmost concern:  “We’re going to stay strong by taking care of our wounded warriors and our veterans. Because helping our wounded warriors and veterans heal isn’t just a promise, it’s a sacred obligation.”

To announce the impromptu drop-in, a press aide with the Obama administration — with exactly the level of competence you would expect — somehow forgot to remove the name of the top CIA operative in Afghanistan from the list of attendees provided to the media, putting the station chief’s life at risk.

So while Obama dazzled our servicemen and women with his awesomeness, his administration simultaneously ‘damaged intelligence operations’ and identified the person working undercover to thwart the Taliban’s plans to resume training al Qaeda.

A few days later Obama shared his vision to withdraw all 9,800 troops from Afghanistan and get those guys and gals home and onto a VA waiting list by the end of 2014, as well as by 2016 drawing down every service member remaining in the soon-to-be Taliban-repossessed country.

And if that weren’t enough action for one week, without notifying Congress and eager to get a soldier with a shady past released, the Obama administration suddenly thought it was a great time to make a ‘share the wealth’ exchange. America got back  U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, rumored to have spent five years teaching the Taliban bomb-making techniques and infantry tactics, and the Taliban got back five senior leaders from Guantanamo Bay.

Meanwhile, Iranian/American pastor Saeed Abedini sits in an Iranian prison where he’s being intermittently beaten for wanting to establish a Christian orphanage and Marine Reservist Andrew Tahmooressi remains shackled to a bed in Mexico after making a wrong turn into Tijuana with lawful guns in his truck.

Clearly, in Barack Obama’s “sacred obligation” economy, when it comes to exchanging prisoners, the value of Bowe Bergdahl outweighs the value of two men falsely imprisoned, one a Christian pastor, father, and husband, the other a dedicated veteran of two tours of duty in Afghanistan.

Barack Obama has not yet called Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to appeal for Tahmooressi’s release. That’s likely because the president has been so focused on freeing Taliban terrorists and bringing home a purported Taliban sympathizer that he just can’t spare the time.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. McKeon (R-CA) and ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee James M. Inhofe (R-OK) issued a joint statement pointing out that because of the 5-for-1 trade-off, “Our terrorist adversaries now have a strong incentive to capture Americans. That incentive will put our forces in Afghanistan and around the world at even greater risk.”

Oh well!

Then, to add still more intrigue to the week of exciting events, Robert Bergdahl, Bowe’s dad, who enjoys passing along pro-Taliban anti-American “invader” tweets for Taliban spokesperson Abdulqahar Balkhi and whose Twitter feed is an odd mix of anti-American and anti-war sentiments, Bible verses, strange quotes, and hippie-dippy tree-hugging weirdness, took it upon himself to celebrate his son’s release by sending a Tweet to the spokesman for his son’s captors.

The Tweet read: “@ABalkhi I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, Ameen [sic].” The Tweet was quickly deleted, but not before being captured on the Twitchy feed.

Bergdahl the elder’s correspondence with the Taliban’s spokesperson certainly coincides with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s alleged sentiments prior to his ‘capture.’ According to emails quoted in Rolling Stone magazine, Bowe told his parents he was “ashamed to even be American,” and that he was disgusted with the U.S. mission in Afghanistan and with the Army.

And all this drama happened the very same week Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki stepped down and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney decided to pass the baton to a more energetic lackey.

So there goes Obama, breaking the law — again — by refusing to give Congress the required 30-day notice before rescuing the soldier son of a man who appears to be Taliban-sympathetic — a soldier son who said, “The horror that is America is disgusting” and dreamt of walking to Pakistan.

To wrap up this extremely productive week, Barack Obama managed to see to it that America-hating Bowe Bergdahl was exchanged for some of the most dangerous Taliban commanders in U.S. custody. Thanks to the president, the Gitmo Five are now free to make their way west, where they can board a Greyhound bus from Mexico to Arizona, illegally join the U.S. military, or even make history next September 11th.    (my emphasis)

By Jeannie DeAngelis for American Thinker

By permission American Thinker

www.americanthinker.com

http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/06/president_obamas_exceptionally_productive_week.html

The Bergdahl Backlash

Posted on June 3rd, 2014

USA PFC BoweBergdahl ACU By Ben Smith

In a surprise Rose Garden announcement, President Obama announced the exchange of five Taliban Guantanamo Bay prisoners in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, the only soldier captured during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Bergdahl had been held for five years by radical Islamists in Afghanistan. But while he’s on his way home, several questions have emerged surrounding his disappearance, the exchange, and the Bergdahl family.

As reports came in, several soldiers claiming to be in his platoon immediately spoke out about what happened the night Bergdahl went missing. As Jake Tapper reported in an extensive piece, many of them criticized Bergdahl and claimed he was not captured, but that he deserted and went looking for the Taliban. In addition several people were killed in the effort to find Bergdahl. Being the only missing solider, the Taliban and other extremists knew that resources were being diverted looking for him, leaving other bases less secure. This led to a rise in attacks.

In addition, the exchange itself is flat-out illegal. According to federal statute as stated in the New York Times:

There was a potential legal obstacle: Congress has imposed statutory restrictions on the transfer of detainees from Guantánamo Bay. The statutes say the secretary of defense must determine that a transfer is in the interest of national security, that steps have been taken to substantially mitigate a future threat by a released detainee, and that the secretary notify Congress 30 days before any transfer of his determination.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, in the article, goes on to claim that in the interest of national security, the administration did not notify Congress because it was deemed that Bergdahl’s health was at risk, despite reports indicating he was otherwise drinking tea and playing badminton with his handlers.

Furthermore, the five prisoners exchanged for Bergdahl are high-ranking Taliban members; one of them was “deputy chief intelligence officer” for the Taliban. The most embarrassing legal point of this exchange is the weak one-year timeout in Qatar, where the prisoners have been mandated to stay. The deal says nothing about preventing the released prisoners from returning to the frontlines after that year.

Adding to an already bizarre disappearance and exchange are the actions of Bergdahl’s father, Bob Bergdahl, during his son’s captivity. In now a famously deleted tweet, Bob Bergdahl pushed to free detainees from Gitmo. After a bizarre press conference in which he compared Idaho to Afghanistan, Bergdahl continued to push for the release of more dangerous detainees.

With so much controversy surrounding the disappearance, the hasty exchange, and the odd behavior on Bob Bergdahl’s Twitter account, the White House and the Bergdahls have many questions left unanswered. The Obama Doctrine, as noted by the Daily Caller, is currently “don’t do stupid sh*t.” Well, without the proper vetting of the situation, it looks like the administration once again stepped in it.     (my emphasis)

By Ben Smith for The American Spectator

By permission The American Spectator

http://spectator.org

http://spectator.org/blog/59465/bergdahl-backlash

The High Price of Bowe Bergdahl’s Freedom

Posted on June 2nd, 2014

WAIMH Red ArrowBy Thomas Lifson

President Obama got a feel-good moment from the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, dominating the weekend news with a positive story:

“On behalf of the American people, I was honored to call his parents to express our joy that they can expect his safe return, mindful of their courage and sacrifice throughout this ordeal,” President Obama said in a statement. The president rightly noted: “Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield.”

But America paid a very high price indeed for the release of Bergdahl. While all Americans must share the joy of his liberation, the question must be asked: did President Obama’s need for a good news story, an achievement of some sort, outweigh the larger security interests of the United States?

The five Taliban commanders given their freedom from Gitmo are the worst of the worst. Eli Lake writes in the Daily Beast:

The five Guantanamo detainees released by the Obama administration in exchange for America’s last prisoner of war in Afghanistan, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, are bad guys. They are top Taliban commanders the group has tried to free for more than a decade.

According to a 2008 Pentagon dossier on Guantanamo Bay inmates, all five men released were considered to be a high risk to launch attacks against the United States and its allies if they were liberated. The exchange shows that the Obama administration was willing to pay a steep price, indeed, for Bergdahl’s freedom. The administration says they will be transferred to Qatar, which played a key role in the negotiations. [emphasis added]

Thomas Joscelyn in The Weekly Standard amplifies this concern:

There are good reasons why the Taliban has long wanted the five freed from Gitmo. All five are among the Taliban’s top commanders in U.S. custody and are still revered in jihadist circles. 

Two of the five have been wanted by the UN for war crimes. And because of their prowess, Joint Task Force-Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) deemed all five of them “high” risks to the U.S. and its allies.

But there are other, possibly much worse dimensions to this exchange, than just creating further danger, and strengthening the radical elements in the Taliban. We have given up other strategic goals. Joscelyn again:

The Obama administration wants to convince the Taliban to abandon its longstanding alliance with al Qaeda. But these men contributed to the formation of that relationship in the first place. All five had close ties to al Qaeda well before the 9/11 attacks. Therefore, it is difficult to see how their freedom would help the Obama administration achieve one of its principal goals for the hoped-for talks.

My reading of the deal is that Obama’s inner council, Valerie Jarrett, Michelle, and one or two others, perhaps, decided that he needed to look like a winner, after weeks of appearing incompetent. There is nothing like a returned “hero” (see Rick Moran’s blog on who Sgt. Bergdahl really is) to make the nation feel good about what their leader has accomplished. This would not be the first time that long term consequences paid by others mattered less to Obama than short term poltiical gains.     (my emphasis)

By Thomas Lifson for American Thinker

By permission American Thinker

www.americanthinker.com

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/06/the_high_price_of_bowe_bergdahls_freedom.html

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