BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray has found someone to scapegoat in the latest controversy swamping the Obama administration. Gray doesn’t blame Bowe Bergdahl for allegedly deserting his watch in Afghanistan, an action that allegedly led directly to the deaths of at least six American soldiers. Gray doesn’t blame Obama for breaking a couple of laws in this whole thing, or for sending five top-level, hardcore Taliban terrorists back out into the wild. Gray doesn’t blame Obama for putting a price on the head of every single American serving anywhere where the Taliban and its allies operate, by negotiating with terrorists for Bergdahl’s release.
WASHINGTON — A former Bush Administration official hired, then resigned, as Mitt Romney’s foreign policy spokesman played a key role in publicizing critics of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the released prisoner of war.
The involvement of Richard Grenell, who once served as a key aide to Bush-era U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton and later worked for Romney’s 2012 campaign, comes as the Bergdahl release has turned into an increasingly vicious partisan issue.
The New York Times reported that “Republican strategists” had arranged an interview for them with men who served in Afghanistan with Bergdahl, who was released after five years of imprisonment by the Taliban in a controversial prisoner swap deal. In the article, the men express their anger at Bergdahl for leaving the base, causing other soldiers to risk their lives looking for him.
The same soldiers also did interviews with The Weekly Standard, the Daily Mail, theWall Street Journal, and Fox News.
And the objection to all this is…what, exactly, Ms. Gray? Bergdahl was about to get a hero’s welcome from the president of the United States. POTUS put on a little Rose Garden show to tout the Bergdahl swap — a swap in which he knowingly released five war criminals for one low-level troop who wrote terrible things about his country, at the very least. Obama stood next to Bergdahl’s father, who tweeted and deleted that he wants to get every terrorist sprung from Gitmo. Kind of an odd thing to say, from a guy whose kid had been held by terrorists for five years. The other stuff Bob Bergdahl said in that ceremony was even more disturbing and odd. Capping all that, Obama’s mouthpiece Susan Rice said that Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction.” Do either of those words actually mean anything to anyone in this administration?
But the soldiers who served with Bergdahl — and kept right on serving after he allegedly deserted, and might have defected — had a very different story. They say Bergdahl deserted and got better soldiers than him killed looking for him. Not being specialists in public relations, they probably didn’t know how to go about getting their stories out. Enter Richard Grenell, the accomplished foreign policy and public relations specialist. All he did was connect the soldiers with people who would tell their story.
Why is this a problem? Grenell happens to be gay. Is that your problem with his role in all this, Rosie Gray?