The Union Recorder

Z_CNHI News Service

June 13, 2014

Obama: Don't listen to those who knew Bergdahl best

For several weeks now, since President Barack Obama held a Rose Garden event to brag about his exchange of five Taliban terrorist leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the patronizing elite of the left have scolded conservatives and a few fellow Democrats for a hateful “rush to judgment.”

Critics are not supposed to listen to, or place any credibility in, multiple members of Bergdahl’s unit, who have declared publicly that the former prisoner of war is a deserter.

We’re not supposed to draw any conclusions about anything, they tell us, until “all of the facts are known.” After all, Bergdahl hasn’t been charged, never mind convicted, of desertion.

OK, fair enough. People aren’t supposed to be convicted on hearsay or before a trial on the merits. But it isn't fair enough when the Obama administration itself makes violating that supposed obligation its standard operating procedure.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice went on the Sunday talk shows in the days after Bergdahl’s release to declare that he had served with “honor and distinction.” That is a blatant rush to judgment, as well. How does she know, if all the facts are not yet known?

This, of course, is a pattern for Rice. She went on the talk shows shortly after the terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, that killed four Americans including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, to declare the attack was simply a demonstration against an anti-Muslim video that somehow got out of hand. That was an obvious rush to judgment - or a deliberate diversion - given that the administration was forced to admit later that the attack was planned and had nothing to do with the video.

Rice later “clarified” her declaration on Bergdahl, claiming that anyone who joins the military deserves the “honor and distinction” label (except, apparently, those who insist that Bergdahl deserted.) Which makes serving in the U.S. armed forces sound a little bit like youth soccer: Everybody who shows up gets a trophy.

The judgment of Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers is similar. After a number of them – who unlike everybody in the administration actually have first-hand knowledge of the situation – said Bergdahl deserted, a flack for the Department of Housing and Urban Development suggested in a tweet that the unit was “long on psychopaths and short on leadership.” Gee, could that smear be a “rush to judgment” before all the facts are known?

It’s the same about Bergdahl’s condition. Immediately after his release, when critics contended that he was anything but a hero and that exchanging him for a Taliban “dream team” was not in the interest of U.S. security, the president’s team insisted that Bergdahl’s condition was so fragile that he might not have survived had he not been rescued.

Really? Apparently the administration didn’t plan on the Taliban releasing a video of the exchange. If Bergdahl was at any physical risk, he hid it well.

At which point, the narrative suddenly shifted. The risk was not to his medical condition but that his Taliban captors might injure or kill him. They had to make the deal quickly and not tell Congress, as the law requires, or the Taliban might have cut his throat.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who didn’t hesitate to further his own political career more than 40 years ago by accusing his fellow soldiers in Vietnam of war crimes, said it would have been “offensive and incomprehensible” to leave Bergdahl in the hands of the Taliban when they might torture him or “cut off his head.”

This about a POW who had been in enemy hands for the better part of five years. All of a sudden he was at risk of  torture or having his head cut off? Did the moderate Taliban just import a crew of hard-liners a couple of months ago to guard Bergdahl?

Besides all of the administration's rushing to judgment, which is condemned when anybody else does it, there is the standard tactic of Obama and his team of accusing anyone who questions what they do of “politicizing” it. In this case, critics are accused of making poor Bergdahl a “political football.” This, the president said with a sorrowful shake of his head in an interview, was just another one of those controversies “whipped up in Washington.”

Actually, that’s true, but not in the way the president intended. It was indeed whipped up in Washington - by Obama, who was trying to gain political mileage out of the exchange with a Rose Garden event featuring Bergdahl’s parents, who just happened to be in the area.

It was after some people started questioning Bergdahl’s credentials as a hero captured on the battlefield that it suddenly became unseemly to “politicize” it.

Finally, there has been plenty of handwringing on the left about the “hate” directed toward Bergdahl who, they say, simply opposed what they believe to be an unwinnable war.

They have a point. Bergdahl should not be labeled something that has not been proven. But, if it is proven, military desertion is worth some context. At one time in our history there were similar efforts to find and bring back deserters – but only so they could be hanged, shot or imprisoned.

Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at t.armerding@verizon.net

1
Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • HallofFameBraves.jpg Hall of Fame adds businesslike Braves, Frank Thomas, managers La Russa and Torre

    Atlanta Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and their manager, Bobby Cox, dominated much of baseball during the 1990s. This weekend they went into the Hall of Fame together.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brother sues W.Va. senator over business loan

    U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin's brother claims he's owed $1.7 million that he loaned to keep a family carpet out of bankruptcy in the 1980s.

    July 25, 2014

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Inequality crisis shot with factual problems, hypocrisy

    President Obama, various media and political liberals say inequality, of all things, is the defining issue of our times. Yet this message is delivered by multimillionaires and a president who jets from tee time to stump speech on the taxpayer's dime.
     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Poll
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1" Trailer is Here! Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years