THE ILLEGAL BERGDAHL DEAL: Shady Details, Troubling Implications

Published on January 28, 2015

The plot thickens.

By Guy Benson, Town Hall

Multiple news sources are now reporting that the US Army is charging Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl — the American soldier handed over by terrorist hostage takers in exchange for the release of five high-ranking Taliban commanders from Guantanamo Bay last spring — with desertion.  This comes as no surprise for those who followed the Bergdahl controversy closely; as Katie reminded us earlier, Bergdahl’s platoon mates unanimously spoke out against his actions.  The evidence of his desertion is overwhelming.  Other facts suggest that he may have crossed a line into active collaboration with the enemy.  Despite the fact that the military had drawn negative conclusions about Bergdahl’s conduct as far back as 2010 and declined to list him as POW, White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice declared that his service was marked by “honor and distinction” on national television.  This was part and parcel of the Obama administration’s public relations strategy surrounding the entire affair: Wave the flag about a captured American returning home to his family, and hope that the good vibes and emotional images of relieved family members and friends would crowd out the more sordid details — such as the freed terrorists’ long trail of blood and destruction, Bergdahl’s alleged crimes, and the manner in which Obama bypassed strong objections from top military and intelligence officials to close the deal.  Remember this?

Leaders of the U.S. intelligence community and military were opposed to freeing five senior Taliban commanders in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl when the White House first began exploring the prisoner swap in 2011 and 2012. The U.S. military wanted to bring Bergdahl home, but releasing Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Noori, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Khairullah Khairkhwa, and Mohammed Nabi Omari was seen as too dangerous at the time. James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, according to three U.S. intelligence officials flat out rejected the release of the five detainees, saying there was too high a risk these Taliban commanders would return to the battlefield and orchestrate attacks against Americans. Clapper was not alone.

Read more: Townhall