It is not a stretch to say that the Obama administration has seen their concocted “feel good” story about “POW” Bowe Bergdahl implode, as his platoon – after five years of painful silence – has defied nondisclosure agreements they were forced to sign regarding the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl’s disappearance.
Instead of being angered at the muzzling of Bergdahl’s platoon, some of Obama’s more radical lapdogs have opted to attack the brave men who were first-hand witnesses to Bergdahl’s betrayal. While some in the press and the Obama administration have attacked these soldiers directly by opining that they were “long on psychopaths and short on leadership,” or by accusing them of “swift-boating,” for example, others have opted for the more politically safe path of attacking those who have empowered these men to tell their stories.
The GOP “operative” smear
Although the members of Bergdahl’s platoon are clearly the most qualified to tell the tale, just their mere presence seems to upset the delicate sensibilities of the radical left. The new spin is that Republican “strategists” or “operatives” are in cahoots with Bergdahl’s platoon.
- This phrase from a New York Times article was seized upon by the radical left: “Republican strategists.”
- Steve Benin from MSNBC used the phrase as his title, “‘An interview … arranged by Republican strategists’”
- Headline from Buzzfeed: “Republican Strategist Helped Organize Bergdahl Critics”
- On CNN’s Crossfire, former “Green Energy Czar” Van Jones said that “Republican operatives” were conducting an “orchestrated smear campaign” against Bowe Bergdahl.
- Gawker’s Adam Weinstein wrote, “several of the soldiers have agreed to participate in a GOP-run dog-and-pony show, swift-boat style, for electoral advantage.”
- An editorial at the New York Times laments, “Republican operatives have arranged for soldiers in his unit to tell reporters that he was a deserter who cost the lives of several soldiers searching for him.”
- Headline at the Huffington Post: “GOP Strategists Are Arranging Media Interviews To Attack Bowe Bergdahl”
- Headline at Media Matters: “Fox News Contributor Behind PR Campaign For Soldiers Critical Of Bowe Bergdahl”
- Headline at Talking Points Memo: “GOP Strategists Arranged Interviews With Angry Members Of Bergdahl’s Platoon”
- In one particularly offensive blog post from Bob Cesca titled “Bergdhazi” (Howard Portnoy called this one); the author asks,
“Is Bergdahl a distraction from Benghazi, or is Benghazi a distraction from Bergdahl? What is the hottest fake scandal at the moment?”
The comments on Cesca’s “article” reveal the mindset of the radical left. One person writes, “I wouldn’t want to depend on any one of these ‘servicemen’ to have my back. They disgrace their uniforms.” Another concurs, saying, “Wouldn’t surprise me to find that those platoon members lovingly stroke the scripture passages engraved on their weapons.” Yet another says, “If the President had only been the right party and skin color he would have been on the Today Show within 48 hours, book deal inked, movie rights sold, and have a set of Super Bowl tickets!”
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) June 3, 2014
Richard Grennell and Brad Chase of Capitol Media Partners have been assisting Bergdahl’s platoon.
But even if the members of Bergdahl’s platoon were assisted by “Republican Operatives,”
The Taliban Five
Adding to the controversy was the exchange for the so-called “Taliban Five,” a move that the administration had been considering even without the use of Bowe Bergdahl as a bargaining chip. In March 2012, the AP reported,
“The U.S. is considering transferring the five from the prison in Cuba to a presumably less restrictive custody in Qatar as an incentive for the Taliban to enter negotiations—though Washington has not yet outright agreed to the step, and some in Congress oppose it.” [emphasis added]
One of the prisoners, Mullah Norullah Nori, “was a Taliban governor in two provinces Northern Afghanistan, where he has been accused of ordering the massacre of thousands of Shiite Muslims.” He was one of those released on May 31. The idea at the time was to release the prisoners in order to convince Taliban leaders to negotiate. The Taliban leaders “agreed to set up a political office in Qatar” for that purpose, but they ended up committing terror attacks on the presidential palace and the CIA office in lieu of meeting with James Dobbins, special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, as reported in June of last year. Interestingly, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki denied that those talks would be taking place. Dobbins, for his part, practically gloated a few months earlier on Twitter:
He was likely eating his words in June, however, as Lebanese newspaper the Daily Star, reported,
“The strike [the attack the presidential palace and the CIA office] also came during a visit to Kabul by U.S. envoy James Dobbins after a dispute over the Taliban opening an office in Qatar as a first step toward peace talks ending 12 years of war.”
The Obama Administration excluded Congress in the recent “prisoner exchange” decision, which was required by law. Many excuses followed, but none were likely, as opposition to the release of the high-ranking Taliban members by some members of Congress was no secret.