Fictions as Truth


For the Obama administration narrative to be accurate about the swap of five Taliban/al-Qaeda-related kingpins for Sgt. Bergdahl, we are asked to believe the following:

1. Sgt. Bergdahl was in ill health; thus the need for alacrity. Surely we will expect to see him in an enfeebled state on his return to the U.S.

2. Sgt. Bergdahl was in grave and sudden danger from his captors; thus the need for alacrity. We expect to see proof of that on his return to the U.S.

3. The five Taliban detainees will be under guard in Qatar for a year. We expect in June 2015 to know that they are still there in Qatar.

4. The five Taliban detainees don’t really pose a grave threat to U.S. troops, given that we will be gone from Afghanistan in 2016. We expect not to hear that any of the five are reengaged in the war effort to kill Americans between 2015-16.

5. Sgt. Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction.” We expect to have confirmation of that fact once his intelligence file is released and more evidence is adduced that all of his platoon-mates were wrong (or perhaps vindictive and partisan) in stating that he voluntarily left their unit -- deserted -- to meet up with the Taliban.

6. Sgt. Bergdahl was captured on the “field of battle”; we expect to have confirmation that he was taken unwillingly by the enemy amid a clash of arms.

7. Sgt. Bergdahl was not a collaborator. We expect to learn confirmation of the fact that he did not disclose information to his captors.

8. Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers in his platoon are either partisan operatives or sorely misinformed, and we will shortly learn that their accounts of Bergdahl’s disappearance were erroneous.

9. The U.S. has traditionally negotiated to bring home even deserters, and did so frequently, for example, both during and after the Korean War when GIs crossed into North Korea.

10. The timing of the swap amid the VA scandal and the press conference with the Bergdahl family were not predicated on political considerations.

11. There is no law stopping the president from releasing terrorists from Guantanamo, only legal fictions promulgated by right-wing critics of the president.

12. The five Taliban terrorists are now old outliers, rusty, and mostly irrelevant to the war in Afghanistan.