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by
Stephen Green

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June 3, 2014 - 4:47 am

Eli Lake reports on the arm-twisting that went on behind the scenes between the White House and the intel community:

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. Leon Panetta, who was then the Secretary of Defense, declined to certify that the United States could mitigate the risk to national interests of releasing the Taliban commanders.

A lot has changed since 2012. To start, President Obama won reelection. Panetta is gone, and in his place is Chuck Hagel, a Republican former senator who has been much more in sync with Obama’s views on the war on terror than his predecessors.

But current U.S. intelligence and defense officials who spoke to The Daily Beast on Monday say the process for exchanging Taliban for Bergdahl this time was rushed and closely held, in some instances leaving little room for any push back against a policy clearly favored by the White House.

This White House gets what this White House wants.

Stephen Green began blogging at VodkaPundit.com in early 2002, and has served as PJMedia's Denver editor since 2008. He's one of the hosts on PJTV, and one-third of PJTV's Trifecta team with Scott Ott and Bill Whittle. Steve lives with his wife and sons in the hills and woods of Monument, Colorado, where he enjoys the occasional lovely adult beverage.
All Comments   (9)
All Comments   (9)
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As they say, be careful what you want. I have the feeling this isn't playing out quite as the White House expected.

Surprise visit to the troops--barely noticed. Announcement to the troops that Bergdahl's been released--met with a condemning silence. Address at West Point--"icy" reception and across the board criticism. Welcoming home a POW who "served his country with honor and distinction"--blowing up in his face as we speak. Perhaps he'll have better luck at Normandy.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
You forgot outing the CIA Station Chief as part of the "visit to the troops"!
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Most Transparent One owes his subjects an explanation for this 'policy' decision.

If I had grandchildren I would tell them of a time when there were these events called press conferences and the President would be asked difficult questions by skeptical reporters. And I would tell them that a true leader would relish a venue like Prime Minister's Questions. Picture Barry in that ! Such a small thug...
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Question to as Leon Panetta: If this prisoner exchange had occurred over his objection during his watch at either the CIA or Pentagon, would this had been sufficient reason for you to resign?

The fact that not a single person in the State, Pentagon nor CIA resigned in disgust over this tells you all you want to know about the integrity of all in those organizations.

Also, now it seems to make sense why Carney resigned on Friday. Obama wanted the excuse of not having a press secretary to then not have to talk to the press.

I am beginning to wonder whether the Taliban has dirt on Obama and is blackmailing him.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
If James Clapper had any self awareness, his public resignation would have been at the top of the news on Monday morning.

I don't give a damn how earnestly he may write about his "reservations" as part of any future memoirs. He now owns it. Opportunity knocked and moved on.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm sure Putin's KGB has the real dirt on Soetero's
Real birth certificate. That explains a lot.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Taliban doesn't need dirt on The One. He's doing fine on his own. :(
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
US constituencies simply could grit teeth, slam the table with their fists ... it is infuriating how this administration could simply execute/implement what it wants. What happened to impeachment provisions against seditious leaders of the land?
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
In fairness, the notion that the White House shouldn't get what the White House wants out of the executive branch headed by the President of the United States does appear rather weak. It's just a shame there's no notion of responsibility to go with it. But this is not a new criticism of presidents.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
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