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by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

June 3, 2014 - 8:38 am

President Obama acknowledged today that there’s “absolutely” the possibility of the five Taliban leaders swapped in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl returning to a life of terrorism.

“In terms of potential threats, the release of the Taliban who were being held in Guantanamo was conditioned on the Qataris keeping eyes on them and creating a structure in which we can monitor their activities. We will be keeping eyes on them. Is there the possibility of some of them trying to return to activities that are detrimental to us? Absolutely. That’s been true of all the prisoners that were released from Guantanamo,” Obama said at a joint press conference with President Bronislaw Komorowski in Poland.

“There’s a certain recidivism rate that takes place. I wouldn’t be doing it if I thought that it was contrary to American national security. And we have confidence that we will be in a position to go after them if, in fact, they are engaging in activities that threaten our defenses,” he added.

“But this is what happens at the end of wars. That was true for George Washington; that was true for Abraham Lincoln; that was true for FDR; that’s been true of every combat situation — that at some point, you make sure that you try to get your folks back. And that’s the right thing to do.”

When asked if Bergdahl could face disciplinary action for deserting his post, Obama quickly replied, “That’s not something that we’re discussing at this point because our main priority is making sure that the transition that he’s undergoing after five years of captivity is successful.”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey wrote on his Facebook page, though, that disciplinary action is not out of the question.

“The questions about this particular soldier’s conduct are separate from our effort to recover ANY U.S. service member in enemy captivity. This was likely the last, best opportunity to free him,” Dempsey wrote. “As for the circumstances of his capture, when he is able to provide them, we’ll learn the facts. Like any American, he is innocent until proven guilty. Our Army’s leaders will not look away from misconduct if it occurred.”

Obama said his administration “consulted with Congress for quite some time about the possibility that we might need to execute a prisoner exchange in order to recover Sergeant Bergdahl.”

Opposition to the idea of a deal floated months ago came from both sides of the aisle, as well as from then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who said the security assurances surrounding the released Taliban would be inadequate.

“We were concerned about Sergeant Bergdahl’s health. We had the cooperation of the Qataris to execute an exchange, and we seized that opportunity. And the process was truncated because we wanted to make sure that we did not miss that window,” Obama added of the requirement by law to give Congress 30 days’ notice of a Guantanamo release.

“With respect to the circumstances of Sergeant Bergdahl’s capture by the Taliban, we obviously have not been interrogating Sergeant Bergdahl. He is recovering from five years of captivity with the Taliban. He’s having to undergo a whole battery of tests, and he is going to have to undergo a significant transition back into life. He has not even met with his family yet, which indicates I think the degree to which we take this transition process seriously — something that we learned from the Vietnam era,” the president continued.

“But let me just make a very simple point here, and that is, regardless of the circumstances, whatever those circumstances may turn out to be, we still get an American soldier back if he’s held in captivity. Period. Full stop. We don’t condition that. And that’s what every mom and dad who sees a son or daughter sent over into war theater should expect from not just their commander in chief but the United States of America.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
Top Rated Comments   
The man is a complete and utter fraud and he rose to power using fraudulent documents. He is a FRAUD in CHIEF not a Commander in Chief. Those West Point cadets pegged him, they know he is a FRAUD.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
“But this is what happens at the end of wars. That was true for George Washington; that was true for Abraham Lincoln; that was true for FDR"


None of whom were president when their wars ended. But nobody ever went to Obama for history lessons.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Everything about this story stinks. Every new fact makes it stink more. There's been nothing new that adds anything positive to this story.

Now he apparently left a note strongly implying that he's a defector rather than a deserter.

But there will be no consequences to the administration…we can’t even blame the media on this one…they’ve largely reported the story negatively. But a majority of the country just doesn’t care. If there were no term limits, I’ve no doubt Obama would win again handily because they think he’s cool and he’s friends with Jay Z and George Clooney.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (22)
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As for the circumstances of his capture, when he is able to provide them, we’ll learn the facts. Like any American, he is innocent until proven guilty. Our Army’s leaders will not look away from misconduct if it occurred.”

He (Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs) left huge loopholes in this little declaration. I see nothing in this that indicates that the Army is even going to LOOK at the possibility that Bergdahl willingly defected. Also, it looks to me as if Bergdahl only has to claim a hazy memory to avoid all questions. It looks to me as if Bergdahl has already been found innocent and will be home in Idaho in a few days, free of any charges. I wonder if Obama will see fit to give him a medal for his suffering?

As for Obama's acknowledgement that there is a "certain rate of recidivism" among released Taliban, it's too bad he lacked the honesty to state that number. The numbers I've seen are staggeringly high. Darned few of these Taliban have beaten their swords into plowshares; most of them are back in the fight.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"And we have confidence that we will be in a position to go after them if, in fact, they are engaging in activities that threaten our defenses,”

Sure, just like the Obama regime went after the murderers of Ambassador Stevens in Libya.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is that the only trick you know, pony?
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
As the evidence rolls in it seems likely that we traded FIVE Taliban for ONE Taliban. Susan Rice LIED AGAIN, this kid will eventually receive a DISHONORABLE discharge and will be pounding rocks at Leavenworth for years to come. Because this stupid President did something idiotic there is a small town in Idaho that thinks this DESERTER is a damn hero. Obama and Rice should be pounding rocks at Leavenworth with Bergdahl. The kids father should be placed on a terror WATCH LIST. How the hell was he cleared to enter the White House. Some Secret Service!!
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe the Secret Service is really on our side?
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
" Like any American, he is innocent until proven guilty."...'cept for the ones I droned to death!
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Democrat Party is not the old Party of Harry Truman; he loved his country, the Constitution and the People. If there are any Truman Democrats even left in this consortium of inept criminals they'd better get out now before the stench of the yellow stripe permeating from this bunch will affix to them permanently. Join the TParty, the party of Reagan and Truman, vote out all Democrat traitors.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
While I totally disagree with the swap due to the fact that any American death from the released men negates the whole point of the swap, and the additional danger posed to our citizens abroad, at least he finally sounds Presidential rather than petulent.

I think he's an awful president, but he still represents my country and having him whine and moan like a bratty teenager is just embarrassing.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
The man is a complete and utter fraud and he rose to power using fraudulent documents. He is a FRAUD in CHIEF not a Commander in Chief. Those West Point cadets pegged him, they know he is a FRAUD.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"..... he still represents my country....."

What country are you talking about (because it certainly is not the US)?
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama's script writers should steal one of those Pulitzers from the Washington Post.

Classic spin. Each sentence.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sez Obama: “But this is what happens at the end of wars."

I was not aware that hostilities had ceased.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
but B.O. told us that in the 21st century, this is how we end wars, we just say the war is over, leave, and then blame the next person for being dragged back into the mess that was left over.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Note also that Obama said that "....this is what we learned after VietNam...".........as if he could speak with any authority.

Classic bullsh*ter offhanded dismissal of the subject.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
“But this is what happens at the end of wars. That was true for George Washington; that was true for Abraham Lincoln; that was true for FDR"


None of whom were president when their wars ended. But nobody ever went to Obama for history lessons.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
technically Lincoln may have been president at the end of the war, but at the time of his death, there were still rebel forces that had to be tracked down, but then this is what Moochelle called for, the rewriting of history.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
“The questions about this particular soldier’s conduct are separate from our effort to recover ANY U.S. service member in enemy captivity. This was likely the last, best opportunity to free him,” Dempsey wrote. “As for the circumstances of his capture, when he is able to provide them, we’ll learn the facts. Like any American, he is innocent until proven guilty. Our Army’s leaders will not look away from misconduct if it occurred.”
General Dempsey has stated a valid position here.
As for Obama not carrying out the swap if he thought it threatened our national interest: I think he and I define "the national interest" very differently and I can't tell if he's actively working against it or if he's stupid enough to believe he's working for it.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
As the evidence continues to roll in, especially from his fellow soldiers it seems we swapped FIVE Taliban for ONE Taliban. Susan Rice lied again when she declared that Bergdahl served his country "honorably." Anyone willing to bet that this kid gets a DISHONORABLE discharge unless this Fraud in Chief grants him a pardon.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
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