What do you get when you trade five senior level Taliban officials for one American soldier who is a deserter and may have even collaborated with the enemy? This reads like the sort of question your fifth grader might face on a Common Core-issued math exam. And the answer is: a crap-load of controversy.
I’m really starting to wonder if the Obama administration can go more than a month without being embroiled in some sort of horrific scandal. I mean seriously. Is anyone advising this president? Is he making these decisions on his own? I’m leaning more toward the latter considering that most military analysts were against this decision from the start. (And rightly so.)
Like every other decision made by Obama, this was done purely for political reasons. In the wake of the recent Veterans Affairs scandal, the president has been accused of being unpatriotic and disrespectful of the military. So rescuing Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, an American soldier who has been held captive by the Taliban for over five years, would go a long way in reestablishing his patriotism in the eyes of the American people, right?
There’s just one problem. It’s not very patriotic to cough up the five most dangerous Taliban leaders in exchange for a soldier whose own fellow squadron members say was a deserter who [allegedly] sympathized with the Taliban. We’re talking about the terrorist organization responsible for 9/11 and the deaths of over 3,000 Americans. The president and his administration argue that Sgt. Bergdhal’s health was in such jeopardy that they were forced to make this decision quickly and therefore did not have time to give Congress the legally-required 30-day’s notice. (As if Obama consults Congress on anything anyway.) But after the release of the Taliban’s propaganda video, which shows the prisoner exchange and Bergdahl walking to the black hawk helicopter waiting to take him home, many are questioning whether Bergdahl was actually as sick as the administration claimed.
It’s not surprising that this whole thing has backfired on Obama. An overwhelming majority of Americans believe that this prisoner swap will put our soldiers at risk and could even pose a national security threat to the United States. (Duh.) While the administration says there were tight stipulations on the deal (including that the government of Qatar keep a close eyes on the five men), they seem blind to the fact that these terrorists are now roaming free and will likely return to Afghanistan in the next few months. (Nearly 30 percent of prisoners released from Gitmo return to the battlefield.)
As if all of that is not enough, Obama may soon find himself in legal trouble. FOX NEWS judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano recently told “Kelly File” host Megyn Kelly that Obama is guilty of providing material assistance to terrorists, a crime punishable by impeachment and even jail time. That’s quite an indictment. (I’ll believe it when I see it. Obama has weaseled his way out of unconstitutional actions before.)
And in spectacularly hilarious display of utter idiocy, Obama decided to send Ambassador Susan Rice out to the Sunday morning talk shows (because that worked out so well last time) to defend Bergdahl. Rice said Bergdahl had been “captured on the battlefield,” despite evidence that he was taken by the Taliban after he left his post and deserted. Rice also added that Bergdahl served in Afghanistan with “honor and distinction.” (Riiiiiiiiight.) The administration is now working overtime to walk that statement back. (Good luck with that.) Rice really needs to step down. How she continually allows herself to be used as a pawn by this administration is beyond my comprehension.
Furthermore, this deal with the Taliban would obviously have required negotiations, a process which the U.S. has always taken a strong stand against.
The prisoner exchange and Obama’s handing over of five of the most dangerous Taliban leaders in the world is yet another example of how out of touch he is with the American people and American values in general. While Americans do value our long-held promise to “leave no man behind,” one must ask whether Bergdahl ceased to be an American solider when he left his post and intentionally sought out the Taliban. We are glad to see Bergdahl returned to his family.
Interestingly, Bergdahl’s father seems to be quite the Muslim sympathizer. While standing next to the president in the Rose Garden, Robert Bergdahl (who has grown a Muslim-style beard) spoke in Arabic and Pashtu (also known as Afghani, the language of the Taliban) and praised Allah for the safe return of his son. Robert Bergdahl argues he did this because he believed his son would have difficulty understanding English after five years in the presence of the Taliban. (You just can’t make this stuff up, people.)
There are still countless unanswered questions. (Including why the administration didn't opt for this plan.) I personally believe Bergdahl should be court-martialed for his actions. I believe that the Rose Garden thing should never have been allowed to happen. It sends the wrong message and created a massive PR nightmare for the administration. (They seem to have lots of those.) And I believe the president should be legally scrutinized by Congress for [allegedly] negotiating with terrorists, using taxpayer money to retrieve Bergdahl (also illegal) and for providing material assistance to a terrorist organization.
The Taliban got exactly what they wanted out of this deal. And if you don’t believe that they’re laughing in our face right now, you’re either horribly uninformed, utterly naïve or just an idiot.