This ambiguity has put American officials in an awkward position. They are at once celebrating the return of an American captive, regretting the release of five American enemies, and uncomfortably hemming about how America and the Army should welcome back Bergdahl.
A truthful response by the secretary of defense and other administration officials would have been better. Mr. Hagel could have said, “We are grateful Bergdahl has been released. An investigation into his disappearance has been conducted. The United States Army, as his parent organization, will take the matter from here.”
QED. That was all the administration should have said about the matter. Let the Army take care of its own. By waffling and insinuating that the Bergdahl episode closed on a high note with his return, the administration has politicized the event. The Bergdahl episode hasn’t finished: It is just getting started. It won’t be over until the Army determines whether Bergdahl deserted his unit, and whether he should be subject to court martial and punished.