The White House also needlessly offended members of the military. When national security adviser Susan Rice claimed that Bergdahl had served with “honor and distinction,” members of his unit felt compelled to speak out, because the word “honor” actually means something to them. So did others who joined a dangerous manhunt in a warzone. The rest of us have no reason to prejudge the facts in this case, but those who served with Bergdahl have every right to present their version of events.
The Bergdahl case reveals a disturbing gap between the White House and military culture. After Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers corrected the administration’s false narrative, anonymous White House aides accused them of engaging in “Swift-boating.” Consider that a moment. While the White House (still) claims that Bergdahl served with “honor,” aides now impugn the motives of those who served beside him — and who stayed at their posts. Particularly in a time of war, why are these attacks not a firing offense?
If the White House really believes that questions raised about the swap are uniformly partisan and political — even from the military — it has adopted the thinking of the bunker.