June 8, 2014
DIANE DIMOND: The President’s Very Real Military Problem.
The president of the United States is the commander in chief over all branches of the military. It is a historic time, given that no military member goes public to speak negatively about the ultimate commander.
But now, with the scandal in full bloom, after the administration’s smokescreen about what triggered the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and after the president’s tepidly received speech at West Point announcing diplomacy will replace military responses henceforth, the time for silence is over.
Now career military personnel are speaking out through gritted teeth, insisting they speak for active-duty personnel who cannot talk without being punished. They are speaking about injustice, ineptitude and impeachment.
The era of silence changed after President Barack Obama’s super-secret prisoner swap — five “high-risk” Taliban prisoners from Gitmo in exchange for one U.S. solider held for nearly five years in Afghanistan. The fact that the soldier, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, walked away from his unit leaving a note saying he was “disillusioned with the Army,” did not support his commander in chief’s mission in Afghanistan and was “leaving to start a new life” left military types stunned that the president would stage a Rose Garden ceremony with Bergdahl’s parents.
“I’m just surprised the president was dumb enough to stand next to them,” Maj. Mike Lyons told me. “It’s another example of (Obama’s) reading the tea leaves wrong.” . . . In addition, these men (I was not able to interview any military women) wonder why Bergdahl is free while just across the Mexican border, a U.S. Marine still sits in a Mexican jail after being arrested two months ago. Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi insists that while moving across country, he accidentally crossed the border. His offense? He carried three (legally owned) guns among his possessions.
Forget what the politicians on Capitol Hill are saying about the prisoner swap. Forget the pontifications from the myriad talking heads on TV and radio. Now you know what members of our U.S. military are thinking and saying. They have lost all respect for their commander in chief.
In the world Obama comes from, nobody but Fox pundits would notice or care.