Monday, June 2, 2014

Take No Prisoners

Maybe I’m getting cynical in my middle age, but this response to the release of the only known P.O.W. in Afghanistan does not surprise me at all.

Amid jubilation Saturday over the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from captivity by the Taliban, senior Republicans on Capitol Hill said they were troubled by the means by which it was accomplished, which was a deal to release five Afghan detainees from the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Top Republicans on the Senate and House armed services committees went so far as to accuse President Obama of having broken the law, which requires the administration to notify Congress before any transfers from Guantanamo are carried out.

“Trading five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl’s release may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans. Our terrorist adversaries now have a strong incentive to capture Americans. That incentive will put our forces in Afghanistan and around the world at even greater risk,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. McKeon (R-Calif.) and the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, James M. Inhofe (Okla.), said in a joint statement.

Not to be outdone, John Bolton, the man who never saw a war he didn’t like, said the exchange was “despicable.”  And he should know all about being despicable.

It takes an enormous amount of gall for the Republicans to complain about anyone breaking the law in terms of executing war, and for those of us who remember when members of an administration run by their sainted Ronald Reagan engaged in illegal activities and traded arms with a sworn enemy to secure the release of hostages, it is especially ripe.

I sincerely hope that the Republicans try to run on this as a campaign issue in the fall.  I would like Mr. McKeon, Mr. Inhofe, and Mr. Bolton to tell the family of Sgt. Bergdahl and the people of Haley, Idaho, where they’ve been tirelessly working to get him released, that it was wrong for him to be released and that he should still be rotting away in some basement in Afghanistan.  I’d like them to stand up in the middle of the city and proclaim their point of view… and then watch as the townspeople collect the tar and feathers.

6 barks and woofs on “Take No Prisoners

  1. I’m waiting for a brave teabagger to actually say out loud that we should send Sgt. Bergdahl back.

    I am also amazed at how when describing the release of five detainees from the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba the reports completely ignore the whole “legality” of detaining people into perpetuity. No problems there…

    • Google some dude named “Todd Kincannon” and see what spews forth. I’m not providing a link because ick.

  2. I really hope they forget about this before election season. I am delighted we got the guy back — being parent of soldiers and such. But Bergdahl IS problematical — he is very unpopular with some of this own Army comrades in arms because of the suspicion that he was deserting when captured. There was much bitterness that OTHER military lives were endangered in the intense search for him. The REthuglicans could play that particular tune well to the military voteres — who for some inexplicable reason lean in their direction ANYway.

    • So: if he’s under suspicion, hold the board of enquiry, and if there’s sufficient evidence, hold the court martial; if the board of enquiry turns up nothing, exonerate him. If he’s guilty, lock him up, and if not let him go. Leaving him with the Taliban to rot in a cell in Waziristan doesn’t do anything to answer the question.

      But for FSM’s sake don’t let this be forgotten – if for no other reason than we’re hearing from the Teahad that it’s better to leave a US citizen incarcerated by a foreign-power/enemy-combatant-cell than to negotiate his release according to the treaties and international agreements the US forged ten years ago to guide the US toward an end to engagement in Afghanistan. This is the direct opposite of the Support The Troops whinge we’ve heard from these blowhards since 9/12/01, and if they’re going to behave like this then they deserve all the political/social blowback they will get and more.

  3. I am speaking strictly as a mom here. I would be so happy to have my child back. The politicians can say whatever they like, but the parents of this soldier must be overjoyed. It is so easy to criticize.

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