Kerry Defends Bergdahl Swap: Dismisses Released Prisoners’ Threats
June 8, 2014 - 10:22 am
A pathetic interview given by our secretary of state on CNN this morning full of smug comments about the terrorists the administration released, and a whiny defense of the swap against critics.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said threats by the five freed Taliban prisoners swapped for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl to return to war and kill Americans are “a lot of baloney.”
Defending the swap that secured the release of the last American prisoner of war in Afghanistan, Kerry said the movements of the five Taliban prisoners released to Qatar will be closely monitored.
“No one should doubt the capacity of America to protect Americans,” Kerry said from France in a taped interview for CNN’s “State of the Union” program today.
Bergdahl, held captive for almost five years, was released May 31 in exchange for five Taliban prisoners held by the U.S. at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba. The deal requires the five men remain in Qatar for at least a year.
“They’re not the only ones keeping an eye on them,” Kerry said of the Qataris, while declining to elaborate.
“We have proven what we are capable of doing with al-Qaeda,” he said.
The threats by the Taliban prisoners to resume fighting in Afghanistan and kill Americans amount to propaganda, Kerry said. “They’ll say whatever they want to stir the waters,” he said.
With the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan coming to an end and most troops to be withdrawn by the end of 2016, opportunities for Taliban to kidnap Americans will dwindle, Kerry said.
Whether or not Bergdahl deserted his post in eastern Afghanistan, as some of his former fellow soldiers claim, “it would have been offensive and incomprehensible to consciously leave an American behind,” Kerry said.
Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican and former Vietnam prisoner of war, criticized the deal on the same program.
The five Taliban prisoners “were evaluated and judged as too great a risk to release,” McCain said.
Does he really believe all this? “No one should doubt the capacity of America to protect Americans.” Ambassador Stevens was unavailable for comment. “They’re not the only ones keeping an eye on them.” The perpetrators of the Benghazi attack on our diplomats are available for comment except we don’t know where they are.
As far as Bergdhal himself is concerned, Secretary Kerry can’t quite finesse the obvious and ends up contradicting himself:
Labott interviewed Kerry on Sunday from a ritzy French chateau, with soft piano music ringing gently in the background. She asked the secretary whether he agreed with National Security Advisor Susan Rice’s contention last week that Army Sgt. and likely deserter Bowe Bergdahl “served with honor and distinction.”
“There’s plenty of time for people to sort through what happened, what didn’t happen,” Kerry said. “I don’t know all the facts.”
“Sounds like you’re not sure he served with honor and distinction,” Labott mused.
“No, no no, that’s what I’m saying. That’s not what I’m saying, Elise,” Kerry pushed back, calling it “offensive and incomprehensible to consciously leave an American behind, no matter what.”
“No, no no, that’s what I’m saying. That’s not what I’m saying…”
The bottom line: John Kerry is not a very bright fellow.