Rice: Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction”

posted at 12:01 pm on June 2, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Did the White House send Susan Rice out on another Sunday talk show fool’s errand? Just as with the Benghazi attack, Barack Obama’s national-security adviser went out on a Sunday to discuss a burgeoning controversy, and perhaps without a full set of the facts in front of her. When questioned by George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week, Rice tried to parry the question about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s initial disappearance, which some of his fellow soldiers believed to be an act of desertion that cost more American lives. Rice insisted that Bergdahl had served with “honor and distinction,” a claim that will be tested in the coming days and weeks (via Daniel Halper):

“Certainly anybody who’s been held in those conditions, in captivity for five years, has paid an extraordinary price. But that is really not the point. The point is that he’s back,” Rice told ABC host George Stephanopoulos when asked whether Bergdahl was a deserter and whether he’d face punishment.

“He is going to be safely reunited with his family. He served the United States with honor and distinction. And we’ll have the opportunity eventually to learn what has transpired in the past years, but what’s most important now is his health and well being, 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.”

Halper notes that Rice also claimed in this segment that “Sergeant Bergdahl wasn’t simply a hostage; he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield.” That depends on a very broad definition of battlefield. Fellow soldiers from his unit claim Bergdahl deserted and was captured well away from any military action, and they’re far from joyous over the deal that freed him. One of them, Nathan Bradley Bethea, wrote a damning piece today for The Daily Beast expressing outrage over the swap of Bergdahl for five high-value Taliban targets:

The Daily Beast’s Christopher Dickey later wrote that “[w]hether Bergdahl…just walked away from his base or was lagging behind on a patrol at the time of his capture remains an open and fiercely debated question.” Not to me and the members of my unit. Make no mistake: Bergdahl did not “lag behind on a patrol,” as was cited in news reports at the time. There was no patrol that night. Bergdahl was relieved from guard duty, and instead of going to sleep, he fled the outpost on foot. He deserted. I’ve talked to members of Bergdahl’s platoon—including the last Americans to see him before his capture. I’ve reviewed the relevant documents. That’s what happened.

Our deployment was hectic and intense in the initial months, but no one could have predicted that a soldier would simply wander off. Looking back on those first 12 weeks, our slice of the war in the vicinity of Sharana resembles a perfectly still snow-globe—a diorama in miniature of all the dust-coated outposts, treeless brown mountains and adobe castles in Paktika province—and between June 25 and June 30, all the forces of nature conspired to turn it over and shake it. On June 25, we suffered our battalion’s first fatality, a platoon leader named First Lieutenant Brian Bradshaw. Five days later, Bergdahl walked away. …

On July 4, 2009, a human wave of insurgents attacked the joint U.S./Afghan outpost at Zerok. It was in east Paktika province, the domain of our sister infantry battalion (3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry). Two Americans died and many more received wounds. Hundreds of insurgents attacked and were only repelled by teams of Apache helicopters. Zerok was very close to the Pakistan border, which put it into the same category as outposts now infamous—places like COP Keating or Wanat, places where insurgents could mass on the Pakistani side and then try to overwhelm the outnumbered defenders.

One of my close friends was the company executive officer for the unit at Zerok. He is a mild-mannered and generous guy, not the kind of person prone to fits of pique or rage. But, in his opinion, the attack would not have happened had his company received its normal complement of intelligence aircraft: drones, planes, and the like. Instead, every intelligence aircraft available in theater had received new instructions: find Bergdahl. My friend blames Bergdahl for his soldiers’ deaths. I know that he is not alone, and that this was not the only instance of it. His soldiers’ names were Private First Class Aaron Fairbairn and Private First Class Justin Casillas.

Though the 2009 Afghan presidential election slowed the search for Bergdahl, it did not stop it. Our battalion suffered six fatalities in a three-week period. On August 18, an IED killed Private First Class Morris Walker and Staff Sergeant Clayton Bowen during a reconnaissance mission. On August 26, while conducting a search for a Taliban shadow sub-governor supposedly affiliated with Bergdahl’s captors, Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss was shot in the face and killed. On September 4, during a patrol to a village near the area in which Bergdahl vanished, an insurgent ambush killed Second Lieutenant Darryn Andrews and gravely wounded Private First Class Matthew Martinek, who died of his wounds a week later. On September 5, while conducting a foot movement toward a village also thought affiliated with Bergdahl’s captors, Staff Sergeant Michael Murphrey stepped on an improvised land mine. He died the next day.

It is important to name all these names. For the veterans of the units that lost these men, Bergdahl’s capture and the subsequent hunt for him will forever tie to their memories, and to a time in their lives that will define them as people. He has finally returned. Those men will never have the opportunity.

Bill Kristol wondered this morning whether Rice ended up holding the bag again for another false narrative from the Obama White House:

“Those are the people who fought, who fought in the same company in some cases, and who feel like they sacrificed to get this guy back who may have behaved at best irresponsibly and at worst worse. And we need to have honesty about that. There was a big Army investigation–what did Susan Rice know? What did President Obama know about the investigation about Bergdahl?

“It’s one thing to trade terrorists for a real POW, someone who was taken on the battlefield fighting honorably for our country. It’s another thing to trade away 5 high-ranking terrorists to someone who walked away.”

Kristol asks the right question, at least in terms of the politics of it. If the White House was this ignorant of the issue, then it calls the administration’s competence into question. If they did know it, then it calls something else into question, too.

Update (Allahpundit): To follow up on Ed’s point, Rice saying that Bergdahl was captured “on the battlefield” smells like a sly way of implying without clearly stating that he was captured during combat, as most POWs are. I think she and the White House are calculating, possibly correctly, that most voters will pay attention to this story for 48 hours after Bergdahl’s release and then tune out. To the extent they can use that window to create the impression that Bergdahl is a POW as that’s commonly understood, they’re going to do it.

Simple question: If he was captured “on the battlefield,” during which battle, specifically, was he taken?


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Guys, please don’t respond to the trolls. FFS, some of them are *us*, for some f*cking reason.

Stop encouraging *any* of them, please.

Midas on June 2, 2014 at 2:18 PM

He’s mentally disturbed. And bored.

We should come up with a list of similar people who should not be taken seriously. Like bluegill, coolrepublica, Pickles, brushingmyhair, etc.

non-nonpartisan on June 2, 2014 at 2:27 PM

I was captured on the battlefield… of love.
http://youtu.be/IvDaJaU5My4

Seth Halpern on June 2, 2014 at 2:28 PM

If Bergdahl was ashamed to be an American, why should we have expended American blood and treasure trying to find him and then given up 5 hardened terrorists for him?

Resist We Much on June 2, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Well your question is of course open ended.
Regardless of his opinions or mental state, he was then and is now fully a US Soldier.
We could ask ‘how much American blood and treasure should be spilled’ for all sorts of things.
I do not discount the complexities here. But I’m also clear that looking for him and attempting to free him from his captors was the right thing to do. And the soldier’s who lost their lives in that effort unquestionably died with honor.

verbaluce on June 2, 2014 at 2:28 PM

This woman is effin insane, seriously what the hell is wrong with her.

Bishop on June 2, 2014 at 2:16 PM

She’d have made a good Nazi.

And her defense at the war crimes trial would have been: “I was just following orders.”

AZCoyote on June 2, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Susan Rice, aka “Benghazi Barbie”

myiq2xu on June 2, 2014 at 2:32 PM

eculabrev + amabO =’s orez

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 2, 2014 at 2:35 PM

John Kerry thinks Bowe should also get a place of honor in the Talaban war museum just like Kerry was honored in the NVA war museum.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 2, 2014 at 2:38 PM

As I already said the way everyone has already judged Bergdahl guilty of treason reminds me of when the public had already judged McCain guilty of treason for taking part in 32 propaganda broadcasts during Vietnam, (in which he accused the US of war crimes), and for telling the enemy the flight patterns of U.S. Fighters, (which led to a 64% increase in fighters being shot down), in exchange for individual medical care that was not available to the other POWs.

Maybe we should wait see what happens before judging a man guilty.

Also we already had to release the Taliban prisoners this year, (as is required by international law) because their dentition was do to the war against the Taliban government of Afghanistan for which combat operations cease this year.

The negotiations with the Taliban have been a desperate attempt to weaken Iran and Russia while also binding Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India closer as a bulwark against Chinese influence with the TAPI pipeline.

The projected gains from the TAPI gas pipeline still retain the potential to create a win-win deal among regional stakeholders in Afghanistan

http://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/shanthie-mariet-d-souza-tapi-a-pipeline-of-peace-in-south-asia-111032000005_1.html

“Afghanistanisation” is a longer term project that underlies the geopolitical strategy of ensuring that Iran is excluded from being able to export its gas eastwards through Pakistan into India, one of the world’s largest markets. Thousands of Western troops and private contractors will remain after 2014.

China’s influence in Iran was a major reason for the growing importance of the TAPI pipeline, a main geopolitical ambition of the Afghanistan war which would block off Iran’s rival IP pipeline and work towards isolating it.

Risks of Afghan War Shift From Soldiers to Contractors

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/world/asia/afghan-war-risks-are-shifting-to-contractors.html?_r=1&

Obama is hiring military contractors at a rate that would make Bush blush.

Short history lesson:

In the summer of 2001, the United States Geological Survey (USGS)’s annual assessment of Afghanistan reported that, in addition to its considerable mineral resources, “Afghanistan has additional economic potential because of its strategic geographical position as a transit route for Cental Asian hydrocarbons to the Arabian Sea. This potential includes proposed multibillion dollar oil and gas export pipelines through the country.”

The British trade journal Alexander’s Gas and Oil Connections dated March 20, 2002, describes the readiness of three U.S. Federal agencies in the Bush Administration to fund the pipeline project: the U.S. Import/Export Bank, the Trade and Development Agency, and the Overseas Private Insurance Corporation. The article continues: “…some recent reports …indicated …the United States was willing to police the pipeline infrastructure through permanent stationing of its troops in the region.”

“One of our goals is to stabilize Afghanistan, so it can become a conduit and a hub between South and Central Asia so that energy can flow to the south.”
—U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Richard Boucher

“NATO troops have to guard pipelines that transport oil and gas that is directed for the West.”
—NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer to a NATO conference in June 2007

The U.S. military bases that are placed exactly along the entire distance of the planned pipeline route, and wrote: “Work will begin on the TAPI once Taliban forces are cleared from the pipeline route by U.S., Canadian and NATO forces. As American analyst Kevin Phillips writes, the U.S. military and its allies have become an ‘energy protection force.’”

The Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv notes: “If one looks at the map of the big American bases created [in the Afghan war], one is struck by the fact that they are COMPLETELY IDENTICAL to the route of the projected oil & gas pipeline to the Indian Ocean and placed EXACTLY where the pumping stations are going up.”

To sum it up these negotiations are an attempt to make all the blood and treasure, spent on a 13 year long war, worth it by getting the Taliban to allow us to secure the TAPI pipeline. As of now the Taliban keep blowing it up as we try build it.

JustTheFacts on June 2, 2014 at 2:43 PM

If Bergdahl was ashamed to be an American, why should we have expended American blood and treasure trying to find him and then given up 5 hardened terrorists for him?

Resist We Much on June 2, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Exactly. Also, why he join the army, if those were his opinions. And what was with his obsession with (French) Foreign Legion. It doesn’t make any sense. The Foreign Legion is a ruthless amy of mercenaries, and according to his father he was devastated when he was rejected. So, how was the Foreign Legion good enough for his lofty ideals of saving the world from itself, or at least the Afghan people, as his father claimed but somehow the US military are ‘fools’ and vile. I m guessing the Us military do not raise to the high moral standards of the Foreign Legion :). If not a deserter, this man is a nutcase, and am not sure it’s any better, especially when all other servicemen died looking for him.

jimver on June 2, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Did he join that is…

jimver on June 2, 2014 at 2:47 PM

They really do just make things up as they go along don’t they?

Texas Zombie on June 2, 2014 at 2:48 PM

JustTheFactsPropoganda on June 2, 2014 at 2:43 PM

You’re a fool. Berghdahl abandoned his post. McCain was shot down while performing his duties.

NotCoach on June 2, 2014 at 2:50 PM

From the NY Post.

Bowe Bergdahl would detail his disillusionment with the Afghanistan campaign in an email to his parents three days before he went missing.
“I am sorry for everything here,” he wrote. “These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid.”
Bergdahl also complained about fellow soldiers. The battalion commander was a “conceited old fool,” he said, and the only “decent” sergeants, planning to leave the platoon “as soon as they can,” told the privates — Bergdahl then among them — “to do the same.”
“I am ashamed to be an American. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools,” he concluded. “I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting.”
Bob Bergdahl responded in an email: “OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!”
One night, after finishing a guard-duty shift, Bowe Bergdahl asked his team leader whether there would be a problem if he left camp with his rifle and night-vision goggles — to which the team leader replied “yes.”
Bergdahl then returned to his bunker, picked up a knife, water, his diary and a camera, and left camp, according to Rolling Stone.
The next morning, he was reported missing, and later that day, a drone and four fighter jets ­began to search for him.

kingsjester on June 2, 2014 at 2:53 PM

If Bergdahl was ashamed to be an American, why should we have expended American blood and treasure trying to find him and then given up 5 hardened terrorists for him?

Resist We Much on June 2, 2014 at 1:38 PM

There is no good logical reason. He should have been left to the fate he chose. I’d like to know which Obama operative gave the order to waste so much to find him.

ROCnPhilly on June 2, 2014 at 2:59 PM

You’re a fool. Berghdahl abandoned his post. McCain was shot down while performing his duties.

NotCoach on June 2, 2014 at 2:50 PM

https://www.google.com/search?q=mccain+nixon+pardon&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

During Vietnam McCain was called Hanoi John by the American people, solders, and veterans. They continued to call him this even after Nixon pardoned him.

- Gave order of battle information to the enemy in exchange for individual medical care that was not available to the other POWs.

- Joined several other turncoats in freely making radio broadcast for the enemy knowing they were being used to effect the moral of American troops.

- Gave unauthorized interviews to foreign nationals and to ease their efforts McCain spoke to them in their native language.

- After McCain provide his information to the North Vietnamese, the number of U.S. air craft being shot down dramatically increased.

My point is that people should wait for a trial/court martial before claiming someone is guilty.

JustTheFacts on June 2, 2014 at 3:04 PM

JustTheFactsPropganda on June 2, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Was there something unclear in what I posted?

The comparison fails because the situations are beyond comparable. Bergdahl abandoned his post!

NotCoach on June 2, 2014 at 3:09 PM

verbaluce on June 2, 2014 at 2:28 PM

You certainly don’t live up to your screen name, did you pick it to be antithetical ?

F X Muldoon on June 2, 2014 at 3:11 PM

You have to understand why they lie. Obama said it best months ago “You don’t have to win the argument, just win the moment.”

Translated, that means tell the lie, hold your position just long enough for it to sink in and then watch the people walk off, now interested in something else.

It is brilliantly thought out.

For example, say there are 8 million people signed up for Obamacare and then walk away. Regardless whether true or not, the “moment” is seized, and all the next day’s headlines will reflect the eight million number, even as the facts come out that it was a lie all along. I heard more people quote that fictitious number than not.

Like I said, brilliant.

archer52 on June 2, 2014 at 3:18 PM

You have to understand why they lie. Obama said it best months ago “You don’t have to win the argument, just win the moment.”

Translated, that means tell the lie, hold your position just long enough for it to sink in and then watch the people walk off, now interested in something else.

It is brilliantly thought out.

For example, say there are 8 million people signed up for Obamacare and then walk away. Regardless whether true or not, the “moment” is seized, and all the next day’s headlines will reflect the eight million number, even as the facts come out that it was a lie all along. I heard more people quote that fictitious number than not.

Like I said, brilliant.

archer52 on June 2, 2014 at 3:18 PM

You see that Miley’s house was broken into!??!?!!111

Murphy9 on June 2, 2014 at 3:20 PM

JustTheFacts on June 2, 2014 at 3:04 PM

To the extent that any of that is true, that all happened during McCain’s time as a POW, while he was being physically tortured, not before. McCain was shot down. Nobody denies this.

this is exactly the opposite of what we are discussing here. Nobody is arguing – for the most part – about what he did while a “prisoner”. Instead, we are arguing whether it was worth it to illegally negotiate with terrorists and trade high-level terrorists to obtain his “freedom”.

In contrast to McCain, who was shot down flying a combat mission, Bergdahl, it appears from all the evidence, purposefully deserted in the middle of Afghanistan and also sent emails home – before deserting – stating he was ashamed of America, etc. So, it appears that he deserted – purposefully – in the middle of a very hostile country. And that after he deserted, good men lost their lives trying to find him.

So “just the facts”, try applying some of those facts before spewing your nonsense pro-Obama partisan hackery.

My point is that people should wait for a trial/court martial before claiming someone is guilty.

So silly. by that logic we aren’t allowed to form opinions about anything. If he is never investigated or tried by the military, we are not allowed to form opinions based on the evidence? Our opinion must be confined to what the jury decides? that’s absurd.

First, the chances of him being investigated or tried by the military are almost zero because Obama is the commander-in-Chief, thus no General is going to try and bring charges if Obama doesn’t want charges brought. That is the way it works.

So, absent a court martial, we must take Susan Rice’s (committed liar) word? (and, absent a courts-martial, why does she or anyone from the administration get to declare his service “good” or “honorable”?)

I hate it when people get confused by the state’s obligation to treat a person as innocent before convicted by a jury of their peers and the public at large’s right to form opinions.

the public at large can form whatever opinions it wants. Rules of evidence don’t apply. standards of proof don’t apply. I can state right now that I believe that O.J. Simpson murdered Nichole Brown. It doesn’t matter one whit to me that he was acquitted. The evidence that I saw proved he killed them. Just like I believe Ted Kennedy knowingly left Mary Jo Kopechne to die.

Likewise, I can form an opinion as to Bergdahl based on the evidence that comes out. I am open to change my opinion as more evidence comes out, but I will not wait for a trial before forming any opinion – particularly when it involves such large questions of public policy and national security.

Now, let me be clear – I would not want to see Bergdahl punished by the state absent due process. That is a different beast altogether. He is entitled to a fair trial. before the state imposes any criminal punishment upon him.

But that does not apply to my opinion of him or to my opinion as to what Obama did. those claiming otherwise are trying to hide behind silly procedural issues (wait until after a trial before forming any opinion) because the facts appear very much to be against them.

Monkeytoe on June 2, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Monkeytoe on June 2, 2014 at 3:21 PM

As another example – most of the left still believes Zimmerman is guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin despite being acquitted. I don’t see the leftists, such as “justthefacts” decrying that left and right.

Or when the officers were acquitted in the state trial on excessive force against Rodney King – the left went nuts and demanded they be tried in federal court for violating King’s civil rights.

So, the vaunted – “wait for the trial” advice is purely political.

Monkeytoe on June 2, 2014 at 3:25 PM

JustTheFacts on June 2, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Citing the NY Times as an defining source will only get you laughed at here.

My point is that people should wait for a trial/court martial before claiming someone is guilty.

JustTheFacts on June 2, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Like you guys did with Chimpy Bush in 2004 and then with General Petraeus before he testified to Congress in 2007?

F-

Del Dolemonte on June 2, 2014 at 3:26 PM

My point is that people should wait for a trial/court martial before claiming someone is guilty.

What trial? Was there anybody ‘trialed’ for Benghazi? iRS? What makes you think that this is different?

jimver on June 2, 2014 at 3:27 PM

just as everyone agrees that bin laden was a murderer though he was never convincted we can also agree that its possible to subvert democracy without being charged or convicted of such. is that logic too hard to follow?

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on June 2, 2014 at 2:04 PM

It’s not “logic” at all, because you have utterly failed to prove to us that the Kochs are attempting to subvert anything.

When you get around to doing so, please get back to us.

Del Dolemonte on June 2, 2014 at 3:29 PM

It’s not “logic” at all, because you have utterly failed to prove to us that the Kochs are attempting to subvert anything.

When you get around to doing so, please get back to us.

Del Dolemonte on June 2, 2014 at 3:29 PM

You don’t get it. the Kochs spend money on politics. Obviously, that subverts politics.

The billions that unions and Soros pour into politics is good for democracy. the money that the Kochs put into politics is bad for democracy.

Can’t you see the obvious – when people I agree with spend billions – it is good for democracy. When people I disagree with spend less than that – it is badddddd for democracy.

Q.E.D.

Monkeytoe on June 2, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Degenerate Libs now giving honors to a deserter while our soldiers die. These people are morally bankrupt.

RdLake on June 2, 2014 at 3:36 PM

“Certainly anybody who’s been held in those conditions, in captivity for five years, has paid an extraordinary price.

Thought she was describing the effect of the administration she lies for.

V7_Sport on June 2, 2014 at 3:37 PM

“Rice: Bergdahl served with ‘honor and distinction’”

She has a video of said service.

formwiz on June 2, 2014 at 3:40 PM

This is the exact same page in Obama’s playbook that Clinton used when Monica was about to testify–except there are no handy cruise missiles to lob at aspirin factories to change the headlines, so he let some terrorists loose for a questionable deserter (some suspect corroborator)

Don L on June 2, 2014 at 3:50 PM

As I already said the way everyone has already judged Bergdahl guilty of treason reminds me of when the public had already judged McCain guilty of treason for taking part in 32 propaganda broadcasts during Vietnam,…
JustTheFacts on June 2, 2014 at 2:43 PM

I don’t recall McCain walking away from his post? Maybe you have better communications with the Vietcong than the rest of us?

Don L on June 2, 2014 at 3:55 PM

This is a perfect demonstration by the Obama administration of what Obama & his hand-picked people considers ‘honorable’ and ‘distinguished’ – a DESERTER and a TRAITOR!

Obama ‘honored’ Major Hassan by labeling his terrorist attack a case of ‘workplace violence’, sparing him from being branded what he really is – a TERRORIST.

Obama ordered our military to help Al Qaeda, perpetrators of 9/11, take over their own country and then hired an Al Qaeda-associated militia to ‘protect’ Ambassador Stevens while denying him additional NON-terrorist-associated security.

Obama helped the terrorist group The Muslim Brotherhood, who hold position of authority within our government and Obama’s administration, take over our ally’s (Egypt) government. He allowed members on the ‘No-Fly’ List to fly to Washington to sit in on his Cabinet Meetings.

And now Obama just broke the law, and is flaunting it because he knows Congress is gutless and will do nothing, by releasing the 5 TOP Taliban leaders, the worst terrorists of the bunch – U.N. designated/wanted War Criminals – go in an exchange for an American-hating deserter, traitor, & converted Muslim Extremist (the kind of guy Obama’s daddy would have loved)!

Congress should IMMEDIATELY file Articles of Impeachment against this emboldened and brazen President who no longer even tries to hide the fact that he violates the Constitution and Rule of Law whenever he chooses.

He has not been able to shut Gitmo down…so to circumvent Congress Obama simply violates the law and releases the ‘Taliban Dream Team’. You don’t need to close Gitmo, if you are the President, if you just use Un-Constitutional Executive Actions to simply release all the inmates.

The blood of Americans that will be spilled by these 5 in the future is on Obama’s hands. He has just sentenced innocent people – Americans – to die!

easyt65 on June 2, 2014 at 3:56 PM

WASHINGTON (AP)A Pentagon investigation concluded in 2010 that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl walked away from his unit, and after an initial flurry of searching the military decided not to exert extraordinary efforts to rescue him, according to a former senior defense official who was involved in the matter.

Instead, the U.S. government pursued negotiations to get him back over the following five years of his captivity — a track that led to his release over the weekend.

Bergdahl was being checked and treated Monday at a U.S. military hospital in Germany as questions mounted at home over the swap that resulted in his freedom in exchange for the release of five detainees who were sent to Qatar from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo, Cuba.

Even in the first hours of Bergdahl’s handoff to U.S. special forces in eastern Afghanistan, it was clear this would not be an uncomplicated yellow-ribbon celebration. Five terrorist suspects also walked free, stirring a debate over whether the exchange would heighten the risk of other Americans being snatched as bargaining chips and whether the released detainees — several senior Taliban figures among them — would find their way back to the fight. [...]

Questions persisted, too, about the circumstances of Bergdahl’s 2009 capture. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel declined to comment on earlier reports that the sergeant had walked away from his unit, disillusioned with the war. Such matters “will be dealt with later,” Hagel said.

But the former Pentagon official said it was “incontrovertible” that he walked away from his unit.

The military investigation was broader than a criminal inquiry, this official said, and it didn’t formally accuse Bergdahl of desertion. In interviews, members of his unit portrayed him as a naive, “delusional” person who thought he could help the Afghan people by leaving his army post, the official said.

Resist We Much on June 2, 2014 at 4:04 PM

As I already said the way everyone has already judged Bergdahl guilty of treason reminds me of when the public had already judged McCain guilty of treason for taking part in 32 propaganda broadcasts during Vietnam,…

JustTheFacts on June 2, 2014 at 2:43 PM

I don’t recall McCain walking away from his post? Maybe you have better communications with the Vietcong than the rest of us?

Don L on June 2, 2014 at 3:55 PM

And I don’t recall “everyone” judging McCain guilty of that. I know there were some cranks who accused him of that, but it certainly wasn’t “the public” as a whole.

Del Dolemonte on June 2, 2014 at 4:05 PM

My hope is that our nation has the moral courage to pursue the facts. Many of us old-Vet types are reflexively supportive of POW/MIA issues, and Bergdahl has been the focus of POW/MIA demonstrations for many years (i.e. Rolling Thunder.) I’ve even met his parents (..who struck me as unusual, but whatever…)

So it is difficult for Vets to hound Bergdahl or his parents right now. But if the facts come out and they support AWOL or desertion – and good men died searching for his butt – then he is screwed from a Vet perspective.

I personally know more than a few soldiers who are convinced that he deserted and was a traitor. Spending 5 years as a prisoner as a consequence of one’s actions does not absolve you of responsibility.

My fear is that those people/media who wish to protect Obama will stonewall any serious look at the facts, because it might reflect poorly on the decisions and actions made by the President.

Let the chips fall where they may, and may God comfort the families and survivors of those warriors who died looking for Bergdahl.

Skiritae

Skiritae on June 2, 2014 at 4:07 PM

My fear is that those people/media who wish to protect Obama will stonewall any serious look at the facts, because it might reflect poorly on the decisions and actions made by the President.

Skiritae on June 2, 2014 at 4:07 PM

that isn’t a fear – that is exactly what is going to happen. Who will “look at the facts”? The military? Not while Obama is CIC. The media? No chance.

the GOP? I’m still waiting for them to do something about the gun-walking or the IRS scandal, or any of the other many Obama admin scandals. Fat chance they’ll act on this. They will be too busy passing amnesty.

Monkeytoe on June 2, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Why is the shitheal still sporting a muzzo beard?

Why would they let him be photographed that way?

Send him back, we don’t want him

Doyle Hargrave on June 2, 2014 at 4:21 PM

He’ll be sitting in the seat of honor come next State of the Union Address.

Murphy9 on June 2, 2014 at 4:27 PM

that isn’t a fear – that is exactly what is going to happen. Who will “look at the facts”? The military? Not while Obama is CIC. The media? No chance.

I hear you. And the bigger that the administration and media can make the “Yellow Ribbon” celebrations, the more legitimacy there will be for Obama’s executive decision. Wait for it….

I just think that Veteran organizations won’t buy it. The American Legion, the VFW, Rolling Thunder, and countless other Veterans’ groups will want to know the truth. I don’t think they will attack the Bergdahl’s, but they will stand down until they know, and then if it is the worse case – they will simply ignore the Bergdahls while the Obama sycophants celebrate him. Hopefully, people will see it for the sham it will be.

Skiritae on June 2, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Rice: Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction”

She must be using the Democrat’s “honor and distinction” standard with the Obama twist.

Dusty on June 2, 2014 at 4:37 PM

Rice: Bergdahl served with ‘honor and distinction’”

She has a video of said service.

formwiz on June 2, 2014 at 3:40 PM

It was on Youtube.

talkingpoints on June 2, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Who lies more and who is the worst liar, Carney or Rice?

Has there ever been a regime more out of touch with the country they purport to serve?

FireBlogger on June 2, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Rice and Hillary use the same script writers

“Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they’d go kill some Americans,” Clinton said. “What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?”

But that is really not the point. The point is that he’s back,” Rice told ABC host – Rice

Taliban Bowe may well meet the Obama WH definition of honor and distinction. Heard he got two promotions while being kept on ice (for the coming election?), with a third promotion pending

Meanwhile, Walid Shoebat has the full coverage of the father,

Watch Obama smile as soon as Bergdahl [the father] gives the most famous Muslim expression, the “Bismillah” or the “Basmallah” [the most famous war cry of Islam, “bismillah al-rahman al-rahim]:

Of the islamicized father:

What no one in the media captured was Robert Bowe Bergdahl’s favorites on his Youtube account.

It reveals a dark mind, a collector of a litany of ‘terrorist favorites’, videos from training on how to become Muslim Jihadist to urging American troops to desert and even favorite speeches by confirmed terrorists like Shaykh Anwar al-Awlaki, condemning America as a terrorist state:

Shoebat translates what he found, and explains the significance. The intellius linking of the father to the taliban was probably because the father was in conversation with a Taliban liason, via the web, which Intellius might pick up

Some American soldiers connected to him had to sign non disclusures. You can see why:

A former member of Bergdahl’s squad, who goes by “Cody,” shared that local village children in Afghanistan said that Bowe came by their area and “Wanted to meet with Taliban.”

Read Shoebat and watch the Obama video

entagor on June 2, 2014 at 6:43 PM

My point is that people should wait for a trial/court martial before claiming someone is guilty.

JustTheFacts on June 2, 2014 at 3:04 PM

To draw a comparison to John McCain, shot down over Viet Nam, to Bowe Bergdhal, an admitted deserter and anti-american Muslim sympathizer, is outrageously stupid. Then again…you libiots are not noted for anything other than stupidity, are you?

bimmcorp on June 2, 2014 at 6:49 PM

This needs to be closely looked at. The stories so far have enough holes in it to drive a truck through. First in war soldiers go over to the other side. It might be remorse or a variation of Stockholm syndrome but the fact is it has always happened. They again become disillusioned and want to come back and they manufacture a deliberate story to justify their actions. It dose not necessary mean they were traitors but it dose mean they were not heroes. My nemesis was in Viet Nam in 1968 SP4 C.A.

That is not the problem here. What is the problem and we should not be distracted from it is did our government manufacture these circumstances for the purpose of political gain. If so that would be treason and should be criminally followed. At the moment this looks the most likely story.

jpcpt03 on June 2, 2014 at 9:42 PM

Seriously? They sent out Susan Rice again?

tenore on June 2, 2014 at 10:42 PM

Simple question: If he was captured “on the battlefield,” during which battle, specifically, was he taken?

AP, really?

Scopper on June 3, 2014 at 1:08 AM

AP, really?

Scopper on June 3, 2014 at 1:08 AM

Really. What battle?

The Obama admin is using “battlefield” to mean a place where a battle took place at one time or another – not the understood definition in this context of a place where a battle was currently ongoing when the event happened.

The point here is that he was not taken during a battle. He walked off purposefully. The Obama admin is trying to obfuscate that by claiming all of Afghanistan is a “battlefield” so he was “taken from the battlefield”.

Monkeytoe on June 3, 2014 at 7:44 AM

And we are supposed to believe you Susan? Ha ha ha .Lying witch!

redware on June 3, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Rice: Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction”

yeah and “that filmmaker” was responsible for Benghazi.

That’s 0-2.

Memo to Stanford: When choosing Affirmative Action candidates, pick from to top (in lieu of the bottom) of the barrel.

MaiDee on June 3, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Would you believe anything this woman says? And Benghazi was all about a YouTube video!

generouse on June 3, 2014 at 10:29 AM

She’s talking about his service with the Taliban.

Monkeytoe on June 3, 2014 at 12:14 PM

I’m sure a “metal of honor” is on it’s way….that’s what the Obama agenda calls for…..

nonstopca on June 3, 2014 at 5:33 PM

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