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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

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August 22, 2014 - 12:36 pm

White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz was asked at today’s press briefing why the administration was unwilling to negotiate with terrorists in James Foley’s case, yet traded five Taliban for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

“I think, again, what the president made clear at the time of the Guantanamo transfer was that his commitment to the men and women that serve overseas is a bedrock one, that we will leave no man or woman behind. That’s what he was keeping faith with, and that’s something that’s unshakeable for him,” Schultz said.

“As we’ve made previously clear, the administration determined that it was lawful to proceed with a transfer in order to protect the life of a U.S. servicemember held captive and in danger for almost five years, notwithstanding that Congress did not receive the 30 days’ notice. Again, we disagree with GAO’s conclusion and we reject the implication that the administration acted unlawfully.”

A brother and sister of the slain journalist told Katie Couric that the U.S. could have done more to free Foley, including considering a $100 million ransom demand made by ISIS before his death. But Michael Foley also appeared to reference the Bergdahl swap.

“We are sitting on prisoners for example in Guantanamo. It doesn’t have to be financial,” he said. “There’s ways to do it… I just feel strongly that more can be done, moving forward.”

Before Schultz delivered the regular briefing, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes delivered probably the strongest administration assessment of Foley’s beheading, calling it a “terrorist attack.”

“When you see somebody killed in such a horrific way, that represents a terrorist attack. That represents a terrorist attack against our country and against an American citizen, and I think all of us have the Foley family in our thoughts and prayers,” Rhodes said.

“The fact of the matter is, we’ve actually seen, you know, ISIL seek to advance too close to our facilities, certainly for our own comfort. And so the president’s decision to take military action a number of weeks ago was out of direct concern that if they were able to get into Erbil, that they could pose a threat to our personnel and our consulate there. So, we have seen them posing a threat to our interests in the region, to our personnel and facilities in the region, and clearly, the brutal execution of Jim Foley represented an affront, an attack, not just on him, but he’s an American and we see that as an attack on our country when one of our own is killed like that.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran 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 is an NPR contributor and 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   
Greetings:

Actually, I didn't have much of a problem with President Obama releasing the five Talibunnies. I just think he did it from the wrong altitude.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'd venture to say that the purpose of the Bergdahl swap was not to free a servicemember but to free some Gitmo inmates. Gesture of goodwill toward our "moderate" Muslim allies.

The spokesman was, as usual, almost incoherent.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
What helps ISIS more, getting a ransom for Foley or chopping off his head?

What helps the Taliban more, hanging onto Bergdorf or the release of 5 generals?

Obama's decisions are very consistent.

The only thing that makes his decisions seem inconsistent is that people, for some reason, persist in assuming that obama views the world like an American rather than a terrorist.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (24)
All Comments   (24)
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The explanation is obvious:
Bergdahl converted to Islam in captivity and Foley didn't.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Right to the point, Yoro.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
it's quite simple really.
bergdahl walked away from fellow soldiers and gave inside information to islamists that got some fellow soldiers killed. bozo likes islamists (no matter what he says. they're "his kind of people'.). it was a great excuse to release five more terrorist to go back to terrorizing.
foley was a white photo journalist who was publishing pictures of what was actually happening on the ground - not a good image.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Basically it was a matter of value selection. 1. Bergdahl was a deserting soldier: Deserting anti war soldiers should be rewarded and given amnesty and a new lease on life by trading them for the enemy's war criminals in charge; it's sort of like the previous amnesties for the Vietnam era draft dodgers and illegal aliens. 2. An ex soldier getting beheaded while still on the payroll is bad for public relations, upsets the Generals and troops, and violates the amnesty imperative popular with democrats. 3. A dead free lance journalist is one less journalist reporting bad stuff. Politicians hate bad journalists and bad stuff that contradicts the narrative. 4. The journalist's parents seemed to be those old fashion dangerous middle Americans, genuinely shocked by the brutality, and probably the Foley's were not going vote democratic anyway. 5. Bergdahl's parents seemed to be harmless hippies from the sixties still into Flower Power, the Summer of Love, the Year of the Monkey, and so out of place in Montana. 6. On the other hand, maybe Bergdahl's parents were very political, former SDS members and bomb makers in the seventies, and voted for Obama and so were just simply simpatico? 7. Apparently the Berghdal trade was illegal and violated existing laws: hey, for this president laws are meant to be broken.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe it had to do with the difference in the belief systems of Bergdahl's family vs Foley's family.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
So, I guess the White House policy is: If it is convenient for Obama to get all emotionally involved to save the life of a military person, that doesn't necessarily mean that Obama is going to get emotionally worked-up and turned-on to save the life of some regular American schmuck.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama did the deal for Bergdahl because he was sure that it would make him big points with the fly-over bumpkins because Soldier. He was shocked to learn that we really only wanted the traitor back so we can try him, convict him and then shoot him. Obama looked like the fool he is on that one.

Foley was never on the table for these guys. Neither is the other hostage, who appears to have committed the unpardonable sin of digging into the Bengazi murders and the official response by Barry, Hillary and the rest of the administration fustercluck operatives. Had he properly supported the Obama narrative, like the rest of the US journolistas, he would be a candidate for salvation, but he, alas, is outside the pale.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
I can interpret every White House explanation of what they do as politically examined and determined; in other words, they act according to what they think the polls will say.

Am I wrong? If so, explain why.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Which men and women who serve overseas is he committed to: the American fighting ones or the Islamic jihadis? In the Bergdahl case, he had the Taliban fighters to trade, but he may not actually have the ISIS ones to set free yet.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Do those morons even speak English? It's all nosensical weasel words and serve to comfort no one except those who think the administration should say "something" to address all this horror.

Wankers. Every. Last. One.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama, is no different then the rest of the Muslin community, he does not value a human like...period. They need to stop sending him out to explain why his tee times are so more important.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
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