Five dangerous terrorists traded for a deserter

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Five dangerous terrorists traded for a deserter

Postby Bill Glasheen » Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:14 am

From today's Wall Street Journal:
WSJ.com wrote:Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was freed by Afghan insurgents last May as part of an exchange for five Taliban prisoners, was charged Wednesday with having deserted his remote base before his capture in 2009.

The military charges, resulting from a long-awaited but tightly guarded investigation, include desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. A conviction could lead to a dishonorable discharge from the military and, in the extreme, life in prison for Sgt. Bergdahl.

The decision to lodge charges marked the culmination of the closely scrutinized probe of the 28-year-old, whose release in last year’s swap allowed the five Taliban prisoners to go free from the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Sgt. Bergdahl’s release triggered criticism from soldiers who had served alongside him and from some lawmakers.


Initially Susan Rice attempted to make the prisoner swap look like an Obama administration triumph, as though Obama had just secured the release of an American hero:
Susan Rice wrote:Sergeant Bergdahl wasn't simply a hostage. He was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield. We have a sacred obligation we have upheld since the found of our Republic to do our utmost to bring back our men and women who are taken in battle
.

The following brave men gave their lives searching for St. Bergdahl after his alleged desertion:

1) Staff Sergeant Clayton Bowen, 29, of San Antonio, TX
2) Private 1st Class Morris Walker, 23, of Chapel Hill, N.C
3) Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss, 27, of Murray, UT
4) 2nd Lieutenant Darryn Andrews, 34, of Dallas, TX
5) Staff Sergeant Michael Murphrey, 25, of Snyder, TX
6) Private 1st Class Matthew Martinek, 20, of DeKalb, IL

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Re: Five dangerous terrorists traded for a deserter

Postby fivedragons » Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:35 am

Iran-Contra, Valerie Plame, etc...
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Re: Five dangerous terrorists traded for a deserter

Postby Bill Glasheen » Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:23 pm

fivedragons wrote:Iran-Contra, Valerie Plame, etc...


..... Non sequitur
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Re: Five dangerous terrorists traded for a deserter

Postby Bill Glasheen » Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:33 pm

I chose CNN as a source for this because they're generally supportive of Obama and his policies.

..... Officials: Detainee swapped for Bergdahl suspected of militant activities

..... The Gitmo detainees swapped for Bergdahl: Who are they?

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Re: Five dangerous terrorists traded for a deserter

Postby Bill Glasheen » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:58 pm

This is *part* of an editorial from today's Wall Street Journal. Understand that editorial means an opinion is stated, usually bolstered by fact. But the opinion is one I share.

More important to consider is the bigger message that is sent. Capture any U.S. flunkie and you can get five of your best chess pieces back into the game. This is contrary to decades of U.S. policy dealing with terrorism and those who commit acts of terror.

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WSJ wrote:<snip>

The Associated Press has reported that an internal Pentagon investigation in 2010 found “incontrovertible” evidence that he had walked away from his post. Journalists also uncovered an exchange of letters in which the soldier wrote to his father “the title of U.S. soldier is just the lie of fools,” that he was “ashamed to even be american,” and that “the future is too good to waste on lies.” Replied father Robert: “OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!”

All of this would have been known to President Obama and National Security AdviserSusan Rice when the Administration decided to swap Sgt. Bergdahl for five Guantanamo Bay detainees—all top Taliban leaders—in May 2014. Mr. Obama even invited Sgt. Bergdahl’s parents to a Rose Garden ceremony to announce the swap, while Ms. Rice declared on a Sunday talk show that the soldier had served his country with “honor and distinction.”

At the time of the release, Mr. Obama said he had a sacred obligation as Commander in Chief to do everything possible to bring the sergeant home. Maybe so, but the President made his real motives clear when he noted that the transfer was part of “the transition process of ending a war” and that he wanted to “whittle away” the number of Gitmo detainees. That, he told NBC, “is going to involve, on occasion, releasing folks who we may not trust but we can’t convict.”

This is the language of a President more concerned with pursuing his ideological fixations, and fulfilling a misbegotten campaign pledge, than winning a war or securing the country.

The Bergdahl swap unleashed a torrent of criticism at the time, including from Senate Democrats, so it’s not surprising that the charges against the soldier are only being unveiled now, five months after the midterm elections. There was no Rose Garden ceremony, and Ms. Rice issued no statement that we saw.

Meanwhile, the war in Afghanistan shows no sign of ending, while an emboldened Taliban can look forward to getting their old commanders back after their obligatory year in Qatar ends in June. Sgt. Bergdahl will now face a court martial, but we already know that the White House is guilty of deserting its obligations to U.S. security.
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Re: Five dangerous terrorists traded for a deserter

Postby Glenn » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:27 am

"Best chess pieces" seems generous praise for a handful of failed minor-to-mid-level Afghani Taliban officials. The key here is "releasing folks who we may not trust but we can’t convict." With growing domestic and foreign legal and human rights pressure to do something with the Guantanamo detainees it seems likely that these five would have been released eventually.

And note that the U.S. has never officially designated the Afghani Taliban as a terrorist organization, with both the Bush and Obama administrations attempting to include them in plans aimed at bringing stability to Afghanistan, so this trade did not run contrary to decades of U.S. policy....as Republican Chuck Hagel pointed out almost a year ago. This is really no different than the Reagan administration's "Iran-Contra" trade of arms to Iran in return for the release of Americans held in Lebanon (well there is the difference that Reagan tried to keep his trade secret while Obama did not) or Bush Junior making deals with Iraqi Sunni insurgents during the Iraq war that paid people who had been killing US soldiers. All of these deals may be questionable, but they demonstrate that Obama's deal was actually in line with decades of established U.S. policy.

Look on the bright side Bill, with this trade the U.S. military has gotten its hands back on an alleged traitor and have now charged him...as opposed to the hundreds of detainees simply released by the Bush administration with no trade, of which as of January 2009 almost 20 were confirmed to have returned to terrorist or militant activities while another 40+ were suspected to have done likewise.
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Re: Five dangerous terrorists traded for a deserter

Postby Bill Glasheen » Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:18 am

First...

The grandstanding by Obama and Rice with Bergdahl's release was nothing short of an obnoxious lie, and a slap in the face to the six men who gave their lives trying to retrieve him. Only a blind Obama supporter would say something silly like "Well.. he did it too!"

Second...

I have no use for Bergdahl, and take no pleasure in seeing him punished either by the Taliban who tortured him (Real saints, aren't they?) or the military who likely will give him life in prison.

Thrid...

It took me 30 seconds to find this. Go ahead... do your not-a-terrorist-organization two-step. A duck by any other name quacks. If "workplace violence" works for you, well... go for it.

..... White House acknowledges -- but also denies -- that Taliban are a terrorist group

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