The Bergdahl implosion
The Bergdahl scandal is developing so fast that it’s hard to keep up with the flood of news. It’s unusual to have a flood of news in an Obama scandal. Usually it’s just Fox News and a few dogged reporters speaking up, while everyone else waits for White House talking points, or looks for something else they can move on to. That’s not happening here.
Today’s big development is Team Obama’s decision to turn on military veterans, with a White House aide outrageously slandering the men who served with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl as “swift boaters.” To a liberal, “swift boating” means dishonestly attacking someone at the behest of partisan Republican puppet masters. (Sane Americans with memories that go back further than last Christmas will recall that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth accurately criticized presidential candidate John Kerry for fabricating details of his Vietnam experience, successfully forcing Kerry to retract those stories, and ultimately contributing to his loss in the election. But liberals starting chanting that the Swift Boat Veterans were “discredited” ten seconds after they spoke up, and they think they can reshape history by chanting it like a magic spell for the rest of eternity.)
“There’s some fighting words there,” observed NBC’s Chuck Todd about the use of “swift boating” language from the White House. It was a pretty rough segment for Team Obama, including clips from the Taliban’s propaganda video of Bergdahl’s release… which destroyed pretty much the last remaining Obama lie about the prisoner swap, because he supposedly had to break the law and make the trade in a blind rush because of Bergdahl’s failing health, and he’s obviously in decent shape in this clip.
There are also some comments from the mother of one of the men killed while searching for Bergdahl, who complains the recovered deserter is “getting the royal treatment, and our kids came home – the ones of us who lost their sons – they came home in the baggage part of an airplane.”
I guess she’s just a “swift boater” too, as is the entire population of the Afghan village that reports a dazed Bergdahl wandering through their hamlet, looking for the Taliban. (“We think he probably was high after smoking hashish,” ventured one of these mountain-dwelling GOP hatchet men. “Why would an American want to find the Taliban?”)
Obama’s army of Pajama Boys emerged from their mom’s basements to bang out a frenzy of articles castigating every vet who doesn’t toe the Obama line as a lying tool of the Republican Party, which has got to be making Obama’s spin team nervous as each spittle-flecked update from Media Matters slithers into their in-boxes. This whole deal was supposed to distract America from the VA scandal, not reinforce the narrative that Obama is a lawless incompetent who views American troops as political pawns, and will turn on them with all the hellish power of his enemy-destroying repression machine if they cross him. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of the vets who busted the White House on Bergdahl have the very first IRS audits of their lives on the way.
Another Afghanistan veteran, retired Army Specialist Josh Fuller, stepped forward to corroborate Sgt. Evan Buetow’s bombshell CNN interview from Tuesday, describing evidence that Bergdahl was collaborating with the enemy after deserting his post. “The ambushes we use, the certain tactics we use, the Taliban was picking up on those things,” Fuller said on Fox & Friends. “You could tell it was from somebody on the inside that had that info.”
Fuller also said he and others who served with Bergdahl were instructed to lie about his disappearance, concealing the fact that he intentionally abandoned his post. That’s just what a swift-boater would say!
It’s not just troops in the field who got rough treatment from the Administration and its faithful drones on the left side of the Internet. Obama bypassed military commanders and the intelligence community to make his reckless prisoner trade, ignoring dire warnings about the threat level of the five Taliban commanders he released. One Defense Department official said it was “like handing over five 4-star generals of the Taliban.” Nate Beeler summed up Obama’s negotiating skills with a brilliant editorial cartoon:
A Pentagon official told Time Magazine that when Obama over-ruled these warnings from the military and intelligence communities, it 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.’” Nice. Wasn’t Benghazi a big enough victory over the advice of military and intel experts for the Obama Administration?
Fox News drops the first confirmed word of a cash payment, which was reportedly considered “as late as December 2013.” Something tells me that’s not the last we’ll hear of ransom loot in addition to the Taliban prisoners handed over, since Bergdahl’s actual captors, the Haqqani network, just weren’t that interested in the Taliban Five.
Adding to the cloud of dangerous incompetence surrounding this deal was the immediate announcement by the government of Qatar that, contrary to the President’s assurances, the Taliban Five won’t really be monitored or restrained at all – they’ll be “free to roam the Persian Gulf emirate” as they please, with “no U.S. officials involved in monitoring” them, according to the New York Daily News. Whoops, there goes another Obama talking point! I’m still looking for side bets on how long it takes for one or more of the Five to reappear in the Afghan theater. Of course, these “four-star generals” can exercise plenty of strategic and operational control from their un-monitored accomodations in Qatar.
The New York Daily News, by the way, is one of several media outlets that has grown quite sour on the President as the Bergdahl scandal exploded, publishing a scathing editorial on Wednesday that said the President “betrayed the highest obligation of his office – safeguarding national security – in trading five hard-core Taliban for the American serviceman who appears to have deserted in Afghanistan.” For good measure, they accused Obama of “irresponsible disregard for the lives he has endangered,” and called his Rose Garden announcement of the prisoner trade “a cynical act of theater.”
Then you’ve got NBC’s chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, musing that the Taliban has been more “forthcoming with information” than the Obama White House. There have even been rumblings of skepticism on MSNBC, the prize-winning Pomeranian of Obama lapdog media, which has until now steadfastly maintained that refusing to accept every syllable that tumbles from Barack Obama’s mouth is tantamount to putting on a white sheet and burning a cross on the White House lawn.
Most intriguingly, Obama’s gambit to knock the VA scandal out of the news cycle seems on the verge of touching off a full-blown civil war in the Democrat Party. Nervous Democrats who were already having sweaty nightmares about Obama’s cratering approval ratings don’t relish the thought of facing their voters and explaining this little circus. Hillary Clinton slipped a knife into Obama’s back while the President was in Poland, claiming she had “severe reservations” about the deal and “demanded stricter conditions for the release of the prisoners than what President Obama settled for last week,” according to the Daily Beast. How odd that she seemed fully on board with the plan, less than 24 hours previously! Well, if anyone can forget what their leader has said faster than an Obama supporter, it’s a Clinton supporter.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, raised eyebrows by agreeing with Republican Saxby Chambliss that Obama was “totally not following the law” when he bypassed Congress to make his “unilateral” Bergdahl trade. The only person on Capitol Hill who was warned of the deal in advance was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid… who isn’t exactly helping his Party project competence and keen wit by claiming he can’t remember exactly when he was told.
The White House, which three days ago was strutting about like masters of the universe and treating Congress like a vestigial organ of American government, is suddenly “apologizing” for its “oversight” in failing to comply with the law and give 30 days’ advance notice of the Taliban trade. That’s a sure sign they know this thing is spiraling out of control. The “shut up and salute” attitude confirms my suspicion that what really caught them off guard about the reaction to Bergdahl’s return – which they expected to be “euphoric” in America, not Taliban-infested Afghanistan – was the willingness of angry veterans and their families to speak up. Obama didn’t “forget” to obey the law – he broke it very deliberately, because he wanted sole credit for rescuing Bergdahl, and he knew sensible heads in Congress – not all of them Republican – would scuttle the deal when they got a look at who he was releasing back into the wild.
And the White House went overboard with their phony narrative about Bergdahl being a captured war hero dragged off the field of battle, instead of telling the truth about his desertion, because they were trying to set a media trap for Republicans who objected to the deal after the fact – a trap that would have blunt teeth if the American people understood that five senior slimebags in a murderous fascist government were swapped for a man who abandoned his post, leading to the deaths of good men in search operations. (The final insult leveled against veterans in this sorry affair is the laughable refusal of the Pentagon to confirm how many troops were injured and killed trying to find Bergdahl.) Obama couldn’t very well beat up on Republicans if the public agreed with their reservations about the deal, now could he? This was all about politics, not national security, and political theater only works when everything is exaggerated for dramatic effect.
Sgt. Bergdahl’s home town in Idaho just canceled his “Bowe is Back” welcome-home celebration, ostensibly “in the interest of public safety.” We might as well just rename the town Swiftboatville.