Pres. Obama approved a Gitmo Taliban prisoner swap for U.S. serviceman Bergdahl's release from a Taliban Haggani terrorist group.
The brief details are that the Obama Administration had been negotiating through the third party of Qatar for the release of American serviceman hostage Bowe Bergdahl - which resulted in his release in exchange for 5 Gitmo Taliban prisoners.
Here is a Google Bergdahl search link - pick your poison for articles with details.
The right wing is going nuts because Pres. Obama did not talk to Congress, or the Intelligence Committee about it before he did the deal.
They are also assassinating Bergdahl's character, labeling him as a deserter. (which appears to be true, and is the Pentagon's position from as early as 2010.
The left is screaming; "What's the problem, we leave no soldier behind?" The left is also staunchly defending Susan Rice's statement that Bergdahl served with "honor and distinction," (which credible evidence suggests is definitively not the case - he deserted)
The middle ground is that there are no concrete facts known at this time beyond:
It is very obvious that Bergdahl did desert.
That Pres. Obama did negotiate with a terrorist group and arranged, (almost unilaterally - his defense and military advisers were against it), a prisoner swap to obtain Bergdahl's release.
So this question is... did Pres. Obama do the right thing?
I won't leave you hanging. My first reaction was "Hell no! You do not negotiate with terrorists!" And in the end that is my final reaction.
But I am given pause when the point was made that Israel, arguably the toughest and most experienced nation with regards to terrorist situations - was willing to trade hundreds? thousands? for the release of one of their soldiers.
I have a lot of respect for Israel's courage. I have a lot of respect for the military credo that you leave no soldier behind - dead or alive.
But still, my gut tells me this was a mistake, regardless of the Bergdahl specifics - we gave standing to terrorist hostage taking as a viable tactic by negotiating with them. So Pres. Obama was very very wrong!
What say you?
This old man thinks this was a terrible mistake. A precedence was set that can never be reversed.
One thing I have learned after half a century living in Arizona is that "You can't tame a rattlesnake." You can catch a rattlesnake, put it in a cage and keep it alive for years. But, when you do release that snake it will try to bite you every chance it gets.
Every one of these 5 will resume doing what they did before they were captured and confined in Gitmo. Only now, they will do it with more energy and passion than they did before their confinement. They hate America and will seek revenge.
But I guess we have nothing to fear because we have Homeland Security watching out for us.
Most of us realize this trade was done purely for political reasons. We have a Marine being held in a Mexican Prison, a church pastor being held prisoner and beaten badly by his captors in Iran, and reportedly at least three American citizens being held prisoner in N. Korea. I wonder if anyone is working on a trade to save these poor individuals?
I really like your "can't tame a rattlesnake" analogy. I frequently use a similar one about nipping a problem in the bud - re. a nest of baby rattle snakes.
And speaking of your contention that the trade was done for political purposes - there are some that say the deal was sealed in 2013, but the finalization was timed for political purposes - as in to get the VA out of the headlines. I don;t know if there is any substance to that, so maybe I should not have mentioned it. But....
We also don't know how much, if any, cash was involved with this trade. Many feel that cash would have sealed the deal and we could still have the 5 bad-guys locked up where they belong. We could also have issued a warning that if he was not released and turned over to US Military people there would be hell to pay.
There is more to this deal than we will ever know.
Bergdahl was a deserter. All the people in his unit have confirmed that. He left his unit to search out and join the Taliban. Then after finding out how miserable it is to live in poverty in the middle of the desert he decided he wanted to go back home.
In this instance the law breaking aspect isn't as mind boggling as Obama's complete lack of judgment.
Yes, there does appear to be lot of evidence that Bergdahl was an intentional deserter. At this point though, it is probably prudent to let the process work its way to a non-biased report before jumping to conclusions.
But... even if he is a deserter, the question remains, "Was it a smart move to trade prisoners for him?" Do we only rescue "honorable" soldiers? Would it matter if he changed his mind? As in, the reports that his inclinations were there, but it was a hashish filled night that finally prompted him to act. And what if when he came back to reality he saw the error of his ways. Do we say, "Too bad, so sad - you are on your own now?"
I think Pres. Obama was wrong, very wrong for negotiating with the terrorist - Bergdahl's particulars don't affect that opinion either way.
If anything I believe the honorable soldiers should have the higher priority. At the very least.
But to trade these five mass murderers who undoubtedly should not be walking and breathing is a huge insult to the suffering families of their victims. Not to mention the fact that this deal could actually entice the Taliban to kidnap even more Americans.
But aside from your point about the honorable over the deserters, I believe the larger issue is the can of worms the president just opened up by negotiating with these animals. I believe that he put any American soldier who resides in that part of the world in an infinitely more dangerous situation.
This monster Mohammed Fazi and his buddies were just let out of their cages.
This is hands down the stupidest thing I've ever seen Obama do. He is either a complete moron or completely evil. Either way it is a glaring testament to his incompetence and hatred for this country.
It will be interesting to see how the history books present this move on the part of Obama. I imagine it will depend on how many innocent people are killed because of this decision on the part of this President.
I agree that this move demonstrates extreme hatred for the country he is sworn to protect.
@Onusonus also - why do you both say hatred? Obviously I disagree with his actions - most importantly because of the danger this precedent sets for all Americans, military and civilian, and I disagree almost as strongly relative to the terrorists that were set free - but I don't see the "hatred" connection. I just see a different ideology, one which I strongly disagree with.
Come on fellas, hatred is a pretty strong accusation, can you back it up?
Obama, like Bush, is not his own man. Why don't you see that THEY are just showing us how much they can get away with, without us saying one thing!!! we say nothing!!!! NOTHING!
They know we cannot confront the situation directly because it is human life we are talking about. (They know we are too politically correct.)
They are laughing with evil glee.
Obviously, this issue is driving me crazy.
LOL! Watch out, I was banned for addressing another forum poster as "Grandma." I'm not sure what the problem was. I love my Grandma.
They: according to the internet = The Bilderburgers, Rothchilds and all those involved in the Council of Foreign Relations.
There has to be some explanation for the craziness going on.
Surely you would like to elaborate, or do you just want folks to listen to your music link?
Wow! That is quite a blanket statement. Why do you feel the need to bring Bush into the discussion
And as for "us not saying anything..." I think the hubbub over this is a lot more than us not saying anything. We are, as attested by even mainstream media stories, doing a lot of "confronting." I think the Obama administration was shocked as hell that they received anything other than praise for bringing home a U.S. serviceman. That is one reason why I agree with Old Poolman's assessment.
Yes he was wrong, but not for any of the reasons so far mentioned (with the exception of Onusonus mentioning he broke the law). He was wrong because he broke the law to do it.
You can debate 'till the cows come home the pros and cons of such a deal but tell me how it is right for the president to break the law? And by the way this is not the first time he has positioned himself as above the law.
Shepard Smith asked Judge Andrew Napolitano whether or not the Taliban prisoner exchange was legal under the NDAA H.R. 1960 Statute.
The judge explained that the swap was illegal because taxpayer dollars were spent to remove these prisoners from Guantanamo Bay without giving Congress 30 days notice.
However, Napolitano goes a step further by pointing out that Obama has provided material assistance (human assets) to the Taliban, which has been identified by Congress to be a non-state terrorist organization. This is a crime punishable by imprisonment of 10 years to life, which covers all Americans–including the President.
Read more at http://www.westernjournalism.com/judge-napolitano-...
Dead wrong. Bullshit. Obama cannot be trusted. If he was a deserter, then why set him free? He chose his fate. In my opinion, Obama wanted those prisoners set free and is on secret negotiations with these sick people.
Well, we agree on the "dead wrong" part, and even on the "can't be trusted part," (but I suspect for different reasons).
But, to the deserter part, and just to play the devil's advocate, (because the "known" evidence does strongly support it), what if it were a different scenario;
What if Bergdahl, with his disillusionment with U.S. policy in Afghanistan, gets all smoked up on hashish, (as one rumor has it), and in his altered state acts on his feelings and deserts?
Wait, I am not defending him, or offering a possible justifying explanation.
So the deed is done and when the hash clouded mind clears he thinks, "OMG! What have I done!" What if his cleared mind regretted his actions? Are you saying that no matter what - he deserted! Too bad, So sad, you are no longer an American. Your country disowns you.
I don't believe that scenario happened, but I pose it to ask if that were the true situation, would you still feel the same as you stated?
My gut tells me our government has a duty to try to recover all servicemen, not just the honorable ones. But that duty, in my opinion, does not include the choice of releasing terrorists. Or possibly, even negotiating at all.
Wait, I do see one negotiating offer I could accept... "If you return our servicemen - we won't kill you. This time."
I'm not saying he deserves to die. I'm just saying that given the information, we have no way of knowing if he changed his mind or had a change of heart or was simply scared or pressured or whatever. I'm saying that if he deserted, why should we exchange five thugs for a guy who may or may not have really wanted to desert the US?
Even if he hadn't, how much is too much in return? No soldier left behind? Yes I agree. But what if they ask for ten? Or twenty? What are the limits? How much do we sacrifice? This isn't about punishing the deserter. This is about getting rid of a pathetic president.
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