I just can’t wrap my head around the logic behind the Bowe Bergdahl release, maybe nobody can. Maybe that’s the point. Read:
But officials in the Pentagon and intelligence communities had successfully fought off release of the five men in the past, officials tell TIME. “This was out of the norm,” says one official familiar with the debate over the dangers of releasing the five Taliban officials. “There was never the conversation.” Obama’s move was an ultimate victory for those at the White House and the State Department who had previously argued the military should “suck it up and salute,” says the official familiar with the debate.
Obama has broad authority under Article II of the U.S. Constitution to order the prisoner exchange as commander in chief of America’s armed forces. The lengths to which he went to bring it about show how determined he was to resolve the lingering issue of America’s only prisoner of war in Afghanistan.
We traded five high-value targets for one soldier, who, if the allegations are true, deserted, renounced his citizenship, got six of his fellow soldiers killed trying to kind him, and quite possibly collaborated with the enemy.
Meanwhile, our “friends” in Qatar are already allowing the released Taliban the freedom to wander around the country. It’s safe to assume it won’t be long before they’re back to doing what terrorists do, as even our president himself has admitted.
But what did the White House think would happen? What did they think would be worth overriding all those internal objections? Why did they feel one deserter was worth five top-level Taliban?
Ralph Peters says the White House was “blindsided” by the reaction. Here he is in NRO:
The president, too, appears stunned. He has so little understanding of (or interest in) the values and traditions of our troops that he and his advisers really believed that those in uniform would erupt into public joy at the news of Bergdahl’s release — as D.C. frat kids did when Osama bin Laden’s death was trumpeted.
This is exactly why an executive has people he needs to listen to, to avoid stepping in such giant piles of his own doo. Instead, Obama put his hands over his ears and shouted LALALALALALALA while arranging the release of five of the most dangerous killers in the world in exchange for a deserter. If Obama was blindsided, it’s because he chose to be willfully and inexcusably blind.
Did Obama think Bergdahl would get a hero’s welcome and that would be the end of it, that nobody would look into how or why he left his unit? Was he brought home to face trial? If so, why did the White House call him a “war hero”?
This is all so full of self-defeating stupid that it can’t be possible that the president overrode so many in his own administration to get it done.
And yet he did. He increased the risk to Americans abroad and here at home. He made himself look desperate on the world stage — and one doesn’t hesitate to add the word “again.” He made himself look like the most boneheaded “horrible boss” to the Army and to the intelligence community. He sent out Susan Rice once more to sell the media on another transparent lie.
And for what? All he seems to have gotten out of this is yet another scandal, larded on top of all the others. It’s as though he were playing Russian Roulette with a fully-loaded pistol — no good could ever come out of it.
I’m at a loss. How about you?