A former chairman of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth defended Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers from a White House charge that they are unfairly “swiftboating” the former Taliban captive by coming forward to criticize him. Bergdahl’s questionable conduct, he suggests, is analogous to that of Secretary of State John Kerry, whom the group famously opposed in the 2004 presidential election.
“Those guys had friends who died in Afghanistan like we had friends who died in Vietnam, and to allow this kind of thing to occur really does tarnish the whole memory of all those people who gave their lives,” former co-chairman John O’Neill told National Review Online. “To allow a guy like this to be posed as a hero, like Kerry self-posing as a hero, is really an affront to everybody who died there, and that’s why those guys in his platoon have come forward and that’s why we came forward 40 years ago and ten years ago.”
The White House critique of Bergdahl was reported by NBC’s Chuck Todd. “They did not expect this backlash on Bergdahl himself,” Todd said on the Today Show. “I’ve had a few aides describe it to me as ‘we didn’t know that they were going to “swift boat” Bergdahl.’ . . . Obviously, they had no idea that there would be no member of Sergeant Bergdahl’s unit that would go public and praise him or support him.”