Quotes of the day

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…

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…

Hagel, visiting troops in Afghanistan, was met with silence when he told a group of them in a Bagram Air Field hangar: “This is a happy day. We got one of our own back.”


At a private Army promotion ceremony in Washington in late 2012, a general discussed how he and a subordinate officer had helped lead search efforts in eastern Afghanistan with an infantry battalion at the time Bergdahl disappeared. “He left our organization and went over to the other side,” the general told the small audience at the closed reception, which was attended by an ABC News reporter…

A former senior military Special Forces advisor who was in Afghanistan and directly involved in efforts to mount a rescue mission for Bergdahl told ABC News there was anger and frustration after Bergdahl’s capture because soldiers were being asked to risk their lives to save a man who allegedly “was disillusioned and walked off base.”…

The Special Forces operator who spoke to ABC News said his team near Kabul was sent to the decrepit outpost near Ghazni to “stir up intel” on Bergdahl’s whereabouts.

“When he left he had his knife, his compass, his bottle of water. That’s what the 25th Infantry Division guys said to us,” the Special Forces operator told ABC News Sunday. “We were all pissed off. We were going to go out there and search every building to find this kid.”


Republican lawmakers angered by a White House deal to swap five Taliban prisoners for a captured U.S. soldier in Afghanistan on Monday demanded hearings over why the Obama administration reached the agreement without consulting Congress

Texas Representative Mac Thornberry, vice chairman of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, said: “The president violated a provision of law in not giving Congress advanced notice. And while you can always argue that, ‘well, this was an emergency, he needed to act quickly,’ this pattern of violating the law is also a danger to national security.”…

A source close to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai’s palace in Kabul said Karzai was angry at being kept in the dark about the deal. “The president is now even more distrustful of U.S. intentions in the country,” said the source, who declined to be identified.


Mullah Mohammad Fazl, the Taliban’s deputy defense minister, is so senior in the Taliban hierarchy that he once threatened the Taliban’s supreme leader, Mullah Omar. Fazl has “operational associations with significant al-Qaida and other extremist personnel,” and “If released, [Fazl] would likely rejoin the Taliban and establish ties with anti-Coalition militias (ACM) participating in hostilities against US and Coalition forces in Afghanistan.”…

Mullah Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa, once the Taliban’s interior minister, was “directly associated to Usama Bin Laden (UBL) and Taliban Supreme Commander Mullah Muhammad Omar” and was “trusted and respected by both.” After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, he “represented the Taliban during meetings with Iranian officials seeking to support hostilities against US and Coalition forces” and “attended a meeting at the direction of UBL, reportedly accompanied by members of HAMAS.” He is “one of the premier opium drug lords in Western Afghanistan” and was likely “associated with a militant training camp in Herat operated by deceased al-Qaida commander (in Iraq) Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.”…

These Taliban leaders are supposed to remain in Qatar, subject to security measures, including a one-year travel ban. Assuming that they abide by the terms of their release, they will be free to return to Afghanistan and take up arms against the United States on June 1, 2015. They will be welcomed back to the battlefield as jihadist heroes, and their reemergence after more than a decade in captivity will be a massive boost in morale for America’s enemies.


The argument will be made that he wasn’t worth saving, especially given what we had to give up. Hastings cites “White House sources” as telling him that Marc Grossman, Richard Holbrooke’s successor as AfPak coordinator, “was given a direct warning by the president’s opponents in Congress about trading Bowe for five Taliban prisoners during an election year. ‘They keep telling me it’s going to be Obama’s Willie Horton moment,’ Grossman warned the White House.”

Can Republicans make this resonate outside their base? Hard to say. I think to most Americans, this is a feel-good story. We value a life, one American life. Bibi Netanyahu traded one captive Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, not for five Palestinian prisoners. He traded Shalit for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. And there was broad agreement across the spectrum of Israeli politics that bringing Shalit to safety, even at that price, was the right thing to do.

But of course, that doesn’t matter to the right. No one outside their base cares much about Benghazi, but that hasn’t stopped them. They’ll keep pursuing Benghazi mostly to see if they can pin anything on Hillary, but when it comes to wet impeachment dreams, Benghazi may have just been pushed to the back seat. The crazy never stops.


“It gets really hurtful when I think, this guy was worth my son’s life? My son who was patriotic? Who was a true soldier? Who defended his country with his life?” Andrews told Army Times via phone on Monday. “That guy was worth that? I don’t think so.”

Andrews also was upset to hear the U.S. government agreed to release five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Bergdahl’s freedom.

“I bet you anything there were soldiers killed or wounded capturing those five guys,” she said. “So what does that do for their sacrifice? They sacrificed for nothing, because they turned right around and let them go.”



Via Gateway Pundit.


Via the IJR.