There’s so much excrement hitting the fan on the Bergdahl thing, right now, I can bearly keep up. It just keeps getting worse.
I have to release some tabs, or my computer is going to crash, so here we go, in no particular order:
Ralph Peters, NRO: Obama and the Mockery of Honor:
If a soldier who volunteered to serve in the military rapes or murders someone while in uniform, has he served honorably? Has Bradley Manning, who voluntarily joined the military and then betrayed his country by turning over hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks, served honorably? Did Benedict Arnold, another volunteer, serve with “honor and distinction”?
According to the logic of our national-security adviser, Susan Rice, they all did. Merely because they volunteered in the first place. Lieutenant Calley of My Lai Massacre fame? “Honor and distinction.”
Ms. Rice is aggressively stupid, immaculately clueless, and a disgrace to our system of government, but one does have to admire her tenacity. Late last week, Rice tried to extract herself from her effort to sell Private Bowe Bergdahl as a hero who served, as she had put in on ABC’s This Week, “with honor and distinction.” (The rank of private is correct, in that his promotions were phony.) In her attempted walkback, Rice claimed that anyone who ever signed on the dotted line had served honorably: “What I was referring to was the fact that this was a young man who volunteered to serve his country in uniform at a time of war. That, in and of itself, is a very honorable thing.”
If this administration cannot embrace our military, might it not at least stop insulting those in uniform? No soldier is finally judged to have served “with honor and distinction” until his or her service is complete. There’s a glaringly obvious reason for that.
Washington Times: Bergdahl’s parents got rare access to insiders; data for sympathizer of Gitmo detainees:
The Obama administration gave the parents of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl extraordinary insider access to the military’s hunt for their son by having them take part in a series of secure video conferences with senior commanders as well as White House and State Department officials.
A former government official involved in American hostage issues said he had never heard of giving a family such access and questioned whether sensitive information could have been conveyed to Robert and Jani Bergdahl and somehow leaked out. A family spokesman said he knows of no such breach.
Mediaite: Bowe Bergdahl Reportedly Declines to Speak with His Family:
According to one U.S. official. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has declined to speak with his family by phone after five years in the captivity of Taliban forces.
The report, which came Sunday from Wall Street Journal, also quotes the unnamed official as saying that doctors at a U.S. military hospital in Germany are treating Bergdahl slowly due to the firestorm of controversy surrounding his name stateside.
IJR: POW, Deserter or Traitor? Military Back Pay & Special Compensation for Bergdahl May Lead to Big Sum:
Alleged deserter Bowe Bergdahl may receive compensation by the U.S. military for being held in captivity by the Taliban for five years, depending on how his status is classified.
(“Alleged” deserter my ass. The only thing “alleged” about this guy is his “Sgt.” rank.)
If Bergdahl is deemed to have been a “POW” and receives military backpay for his time of service, he could claim more than $300,000 from U.S. taxpayers.
Military.com breaks down the possible compensation scenarios:
Service members designated by the Defense Department as “captive, missing or missing in action” are entitled to receive back pay and allowances, officials said. Any additional pay and allowances earned such as promotions or special entitlements are not issued until they are officially recovered or classified as deceased.
Based on service length and known pay rates, Bergdahl’s back pay and hostile fire pay would be about $150,000.
If he is designated as a “Captive or Prisoner of War,” Bergdahl could also receive special compensation that would total about $148,000. The $148,000 would include Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS), and station per diem over the past five years. This figure does not include interest these payments would have earned over the past five years.
AoSHQ: State Department Refuses to Say if Cash Payoff Was Part of Bergdahl Hostage Deal:
A State Department spokeswoman on Monday would not say whether any cash ransom was paid for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.The question came in the midst of a flurry of questions about the circumstances surrounding the deal. A high-level intelligence officer familiar with the years-long hunt for Bergdahl told the Washington Free Beacon last week that a ransom was almost surely paid.
“I have not heard anything about cash, I’m happy to check,” said State spokeswoman Marie Harf when asked about the prospect at Monday’s press briefing.
It was at least the third time since last week that State has refused to confirm or deny that any cash changed hands.
This woman, Marie Larf, seems to be the White Susan Rice, except even dumber and more preposterous. She’ll claim anything on camera. And even when you catch her lying (as Andrea Mitchell, of all people, did in that clip), she just pretends that that was the point that she was trying to make all along.
Weasel Zippers: Nauseating: Obama State Department Refers To Taliban 5 As “Gentlemen”…
Via Weekly Standard:
A spokeswoman for the State Department referred to the Taliban operatives released from Guantanamo Bay as part of the deal to retrieve Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl as “gentlemen.” In a Monday afternoon appearance with Andrew Mitchell on MSNBC, Marie Harf, the deputy spokesperson at State and an alumna of the Obama campaign, argued with Mitchell over the question of whether or not Congress should have ben notified about the exchange before it occured. [...]
Rick Moran, PJ Media: Wife of Soldier Wounded While Looking for Bergdahl Asks ‘Which Guy Is the Hero’?
The wife of a soldier who was wounded and paralyzed while on a mission to find Bowe Bergdahl is asking, in a Facebook post, “Which guy is the hero”?
Shannon Allen, wife of Sgt. 1st Class Mark Allen, wrote “Meet my husband, injuries directly brought to you by the actions of this traitor. He can’t give an account of what went down, because he can no longer speak. Now, which guy is a ‘hero’ again?!? Sick.”
Bergdahl’s family gets an invite to the White House to appear at a Rose Garden press avail with the president. What did Mrs. Allen and the other family members of those who fell looking for Bergdahl get?
They are non-people. They have been disappeared because their presence is inconvenient and unwanted. They don’t play into the narrative the White House would like the American people to believe: Sgt. Bergdahl served with honor and distinction; he’s a confused victim of circumstance who was near death when President Obama swooped in and rescued him. The price was high, but hey! We don’t leave anyone behind so shut up and sit down.
Meanwhile, the families quietly grieve over their loss — a loss not incurred as a result of combat that advanced America’s war effort, but in an attempt to bring one wayward soldier home who may have deserted his post and thrown in with the enemy.
IBD: Obama Gave Material Assistance To Our Taliban Enemy:
As former congressman and Afghanistan veteran Allen West points out, President Obama signed into law only months ago the National Defense Authorization Act, which makes it a crime to offer or provide any material support to terrorist groups. It makes no exception as to who and under which circumstances.
The Taliban is considered a non-state terrorist group to which Obama has returned five of the worst terrorists held at Guantanamo. They are not foot soldiers and this exchange was not at the end of a war, when prisoner swaps often happen. They are four-star general equivalents who will return to the battlefield to target and kill Americans again. If that’s not material assistance, what is?
“Is there the possibility of some of them trying to return to activities that are detrimental to us? Absolutely,” Obama said during a news conference in Poland.
But fear not, he said, because “we will be keeping eyes on them.” Oh, good, we can always risk more American lives on top of those already lost capturing them the first time.
“This is aiding and abetting the enemy, which goes along with the collusion of this administration with Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organizations and supplying weapons and arms to Islamists,” West wrote in the Washington Post.
NY Post: How the Taliban got their hands on modern US missiles:
The Obama administration isn’t only giving the Taliban back its commanders — it’s giving them weapons.
Miliary records and sources reveal that on July 25, 2012, Taliban fighters in Kunar province successfully targeted a US Army CH-47 helicopter with a new generation Stinger missile.
They thought they had a surefire kill. But instead of bursting into flames, the Chinook just disappeared into the darkness as the American pilot recovered control of the aircraft and brought it to the ground in a hard landing.
The assault team jumped out the open doors and ran clear in case it exploded. Less than 30 seconds later, the Taliban gunner and his comrade erupted into flames as an American gunship overhead locked onto their position and opened fire.
The next day, an explosive ordnance disposal team arrived to pick through the wreckage and found unexploded pieces of a missile casing that could only belong to a Stinger missile.
Ben Barrack, Shoebat: CIA Director Accused Of Converting To Islam Pushed For Release Of Taliban Commanders:
According to the Daily Beast, Brennan – along with another interesting figure – have been pushing for the release of these five Taliban terrorist commanders since at least 2011:
For years, CIA Director John Brennan and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough were part of a small group of Obama administration officials who believed that five relatively high-ranking Taliban commanders could be released under certain conditions with manageable risk of harm to American interests. For years, senior defense and intelligence officials disagreed—and were poised to block a potential trade for the Taliban five and American hostage Bowe Bergdahl.
By 2014, many of the skeptics had left the Obama administration; Brennan, McDonough, and their allies assumed new roles at the very top of the Obama administration; and the White House and its allies at State were able to convince their replacements to sign off on the deal.
“All of us on the National Security team were unanimous in supporting and recommending that we take this opportunity,” National Security Advisor Susan Rice told CNN Friday. But for years, that was not the case and Brennan and McDonough were opposed to other senior officials.
Allen West: Bergdahl’s platoon survived Taliban attacks: will they survive Obama’s? (VIDEO):
The Obama administration appears to have a terrorist “hands off” list that permits individuals with extremist ties to enter the country, according to internal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documents obtained by a United States Senator.
It’s unimaginable that any government would do this, but it seems like the Obama administration is constantly breaking new ground. The disturbing details of this secret initiative were made public this week by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, who has obtained DHS electronic mail discussing what could be a terrorist “hands off” list. The exchange includes a 2012 email chain between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) asking whether to admit an individual with ties to various terrorist groups. The individual had scheduled an upcoming flight into the U.S., according to an announcement issued by the senator.
The person was believed to be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and a close associate and supporter Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, according to the mail exchange obtained by Grassley’s office. The terrorist suspect had also been in secondary inspection “several dozen times of the past several years,” the agency emails reveal, but had not undergone a secondary inspection since 2010. This seems to imply that the suspect has been on the U.S. government’s radar for some time.
It gets better. The DHS emails also reveal that this particular terrorism suspect has actually taken legal action against the U.S., presumably because authorities violated the hands off policy. The subject “has sued CBP twice in the past and that he’s one of the several hands off passengers nationwide,” according to the DHS emails obtained by Senator Grassley’s office. The documents go on to say that the terrorist’s records were removed and that the DHS Secretary (at the time Janet Napolitano) was involved in the matter.
Watcher of Weasels: Forum: Should Bowe Bergdahl Be Tried For Desertion? Will He Be?
This week’s question:Should Bowe Bergdahl Be Tried For Desertion? Will He Be?
Robert Avrech, Seraphic Secret: Bode Bergdahl should have a fair trial — and then he should face a firing squad. Will this happen? Nope. Obama will make sure this ghastly excuse for an American will never have to answer for his treason.
GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Absolutely. Maybe even other charges too.
Yet for now – right now – we don’t know that he was a deserter yet. We only know that he was AWOL.
An earlier Pentagon report says he had a habit of wandering off base in CONUS and the Stan.
Now this may indeed mean he’s a goob or a doofus yet it doesn’t prove he was a deserter.
Which is hopefully what serious charges will prove or unprove.
A trial may ferret out the diff betwixt desertion and defection.
The distinction is important. If he’s a defector — joined the enemy to fight against his country — then he deserves deserves killing, the way we kill other enemies in the field, the way we killed Anwar al-Awlaki, an American who had openly joined al-Qaeda.
The Latest at The Conversation:
Victims of Taliban Atrocities Horrified By Bergdahl Prisoner Swap
The worst aspect of the Bergdahl deal
Cash for Bergdahl
Report: WH Orchestrated Campaign Of Threats and Intimidation Against Soldiers And Officers To Keep Quiet About Bergdahl
Cruz Introduces Bill To Temporarily Freeze All Guantanamo Bay Releases (Video)