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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

GOP flunks Bergdahl lesson: How it revealed total ignorance about prisoner swaps

The right is up in arms over exchanging prisoners with the enemy. They clearly know nothing about American history

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Corky

 

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America is exchanging prisoners with the enemy! It's an outrage! That's been a constant refrain of GOP critics since President Obama traded five Guantanamo Bay captives for U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl, who was released by the Taliban on May 31.

But the most basic history lesson reveals that there's really nothing new -- or outrageous -- about wartime prisoner exchange, as Bergdahl's own Republican congressman has acknowledged.

"If you look historically, at the end of any conflict, you have a swap of prisoners," Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) told a local radio station last week. "So I would suggest that anybody who's being hyper-critical about this, they should look at the history. This has happened before."

He's right. Prisoner exchange dates to the founding of the United States, when Americans traded war captives with their British foes. And it has persisted since then, for a very good reason: it's humane. On the cruel and brutal sea of war, prison exchange remains a beacon of compassion and benevolence.

Let's look at the history

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"As GOP critics correctly note, there's no guarantee that the freed Taliban prisoners won't take up arms against the United States and its allies. But, aside from the fact they were scheduled for release in 2015 anyway, that's a danger in all such exchanges, going back to the birth of the republic. And it's a risk we need to take, to protect the people who have signed up to protect us.

I'll let others be the judge of Bowe Bergdahl, who has to live with the choices he made. But at least we know that he will live, thanks to the choice that our president made. It was in the best American tradition. And it was exactly right."

#1 | Posted by Corky at 2014-06-10 11:40 AM | Reply | Flag:

related:

Senator: Bergdahl Deal Sealed Day Before Swap

(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration only finalized the exchange of the last remaining U.S. prisoner of war in Afghanistan for five Taliban detainees at Guantanamo a day before the June 1 swap, a top Democratic lawmaker said Tuesday. He said American officials didn't learn the pickup location Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl until an hour ahead of time.

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2-ranked Democrat, presented the timeline as an explanation for why President Barack Obama didn't inform Congress 30 days before the deal. Republicans and some Democrats have sharply criticized the president for failing to notify them and claim he broke the law. Obama says he acted legally.

"They knew a day ahead of time the transfer was going to take place," Durbin told reporters in the Capitol, where military officials briefed the Senate Armed Services Committee behind closed doors. "They knew an hour ahead of time where it was going to take place."

time.com

#2 | Posted by Corky at 2014-06-10 11:58 AM | Reply | Flag:

Maybe the Democrat Clown car should stop circling the White House and figure out if the Gitmo detainee's are POW's or international terrorists before you concern yourselves what Republicans think. We have a history of prisoner exchanges with POWS not terrorists. Please make up your minds!

Obama wants to try Gitmo prisoners in U.S.

President Obama has not given up the idea of trying terrorist suspects now housed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in United States courts.

"The executive branch must have the authority to determine when and where to prosecute Guantanamo detainees, based on the facts and circumstances of each case and our national security interests," Obama wrote in a signing statement attached Thursday to a new defense authorization bill.

www.usatoday.com

#3 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-06-10 12:23 PM | Reply | Flag:

#3

lol, December, 2013.

Nothing like being a well-informed rwinger.... oh wait, Oxymoron Alert!

#4 | Posted by Corky at 2014-06-10 12:42 PM | Reply | Flag:

#4 | POSTED BY CORKY

Has the signing statement been with drawn? No, so the the article is still germaine.

Nothing like being a Ill-informed lwinger.... oh wait, Oxymoron Alert!

#5 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-06-10 12:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

#5

Has new job at Deflections R' Us.

#6 | Posted by Corky at 2014-06-10 12:55 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Nothing like being a well-informed rwinger.... oh wait, Oxymoron Alert!"

Corky thinks if you call someone a "rwinger" or a "puritopian" he's won the debate.

#7 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-06-10 01:57 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 2

Nulli thinks... oh damn.... nowhere to go with that.

#8 | Posted by Corky at 2014-06-10 02:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

I'm glad Bergdahl is free from his Taliban captors. I just wish Obama hadn't ruined his life here at home by treating him as some kind of hero then have Susan Rice lie again and claim he served with honor and distinction b/c he knew he got a crappy deal and thought this welcome home rose garden ceremony would steal the narrative that he released 5 highly ranked Taliban officials.

#9 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-06-10 02:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

#9 | POSTED BY DALTON

Granted spiking the football in the Rose Garden was not the smart move to make. But let's not kid ourselves. The furor of this issue is FAR beyond that in which it warrants. I'm just glad people are finally getting over the false notion that the five traded for Bergdahl are the most dangerous humans on the planet. If they were, that would have meant they had committed a crime. To which they would have been charged. But they didn't and they weren't. Even more so, they were going to be released within the year anyways (just like all the other detainees that are not going to be charged with a crime).

At least we are just at the point of being angry over spiking the football in the Rose Garden. We can all agree about that. But how crucial a mistake was it? Not a big one, IMO. Faux outrage at the POTUS that everyone wants to be outraged at.

#10 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-06-10 02:10 PM | Reply | Flag:

Obama: I'll give you a Babe Ruth rookie card and a 4 Jeter rookie cards for that busted up 2013 Coco Crisp card!
People: that was a bad trade.

Obamabots: You guys think trading baseball cards never happens!

Building a narrative on strawmen and what some fringe people have said and pretending that those are the majority arguments is silly. You lemmings know damn well what went down isn't popular, and you know the reasons why. You probably even agree, but for some strange reason you're willing to splay yourselves publicly in the mistaken belief you're protecting somebody. It should embarrass you.

#11 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2014-06-10 02:17 PM | Reply | Flag:

#11 | POSTED BY 101CHAIRBORNE

How in the ---- do you equate five Taliban (non-terrorist) detainees who can't be charged with crimes as Babe Ruth and Derek Jeter rookie cards?

Let me ask you something, 101, what do you think was going to happen to the exact five Taliban detainees had Bergdahl not deserted his post?

I'll give you a hint - it has nothing to do with bars, cement, or punishment and everything to do with repatriation.

#12 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-06-10 02:22 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

This was handled poorly because of a lack of vision. First, the administration needed to casually mention to someone from CAIR that we have 5 guys at GITMO that have been brainwashed by the CIA so that we can release them back into the Muslim population as deep cover assassins...

Then, on the flip side, the administration tells MSNBC "off the record" that we're trading 5 GITMO prisoners infected with a horrible, genetically engineered disease for Bergdahl so that he can be tried for desertion and executed.

Then they sit back and wait to see which version surfaces first. Bergdahl won't want to come back, nobody will want the GITMO 5 and we'll ferret out the spies.

Win/Win/Win.

#13 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-06-10 02:40 PM | Reply | Flag:

#13 | POSTED BY MUSTANG

Maybe that's exactly what is going on and Obama's spiking of the football in the Rose Garden was a actually a actuality a celebratory prediction. The world is simply naive to Obama's ultimate plan.

HAHAHA! We can only hope.

#14 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-06-10 02:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

Damn I messed that one up bad.

#15 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-06-10 02:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

#15 Yes, yes you did, actuality..a..actual...actuati
on...for sure.

#16 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-06-10 03:05 PM | Reply | Flag:

"As GOP critics correctly note, there's no guarantee that the freed Taliban prisoners won't take up arms against the United States and its allies. But, aside from the fact they were scheduled for release in 2015 anyway, that's a danger in all such exchanges, going back to the birth of the republic. And it's a risk we need to take, to protect the people who have signed up to protect us."

#17 | Posted by Corky at 2014-06-10 03:11 PM | Reply | Flag:

#17 | POSTED BY CORKY

Any idea where Salon got the information regarding their 2015 release? I've been looking for a WH quote or memo indicating this exact point.

#18 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-06-10 03:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

RSTY

"A much smaller number are members of the Taliban, and they pose an additional challenge, particularly for a president purporting to embrace the rule of law -- the U.S. will lack a law of war basis for their continued detention beyond 2014."

www.usatoday.com

Interestingly, the article argues that the biggest impediment to closing Gitmo, other then the GOP, has been what to do with these Taliban prisoners.

#19 | Posted by Corky at 2014-06-10 03:21 PM | Reply | Flag:

#19 | POSTED BY CORKY

Much obliged.

#20 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-06-10 08:46 PM | Reply | Flag:

de nada

#21 | Posted by Corky at 2014-06-10 08:50 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Maybe the Democrat Clown car should stop circling the White House and figure out if the Gitmo detainee's are POW's or international terrorists before you concern yourselves what Republicans think. We have a history of prisoner exchanges with POWS not terrorists. Please make up your minds!

Obama wants to try Gitmo prisoners in U.S."

#5 | POSTED BY PANEOCON

Most in Gitmo haven't been proven to be guilty of anything. POWs or terrorists? Gitmo doesn't know!

So yeah they should be tried by a real justice system that can actually get answers. The federal courts have a much better record and conviction rate than the military commissions.

Bush released over 500 from Gitmo. 500! What did the US get out of that deal?

#22 | Posted by Derek_Wildstar at 2014-06-10 10:21 PM | Reply | Flag:

Rsty, I would argue that the reason Obama spiked the football in the rose garden is b/c he knew this was a crap deal and lied to make Bergdahl sound like a hero to help soften the criticism.

#23 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-06-11 09:54 AM | Reply | Flag:

Yeah Derek and you guys called bush the worst president ever. So, it's not a very high bar for obama to reach.

#24 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-06-11 09:54 AM | Reply | Flag:

#24 He's 1/100th of the way there.

#25 | Posted by 726 at 2014-06-11 01:34 PM | Reply | Flag:

-Obama spiked the football in the rose garden

This is what the wingnuts are really upset about... Obama welcoming the last American prisoner of these warts home after he served 5 years as a prisoner who during that time tried to escape and fought off his captors.

Having his parents to the WH was just too much for them.... as is anything that doesn't make the President look bad.

#26 | Posted by Corky at 2014-06-11 01:38 PM | Reply | Flag:

these wars, lol

#27 | Posted by Corky at 2014-06-11 01:38 PM | Reply | Flag:

#23 | POSTED BY DALTON

I have a hard time buying that. Obama killed two birds with one stone in this deal. He was probably so proud of himself, he overzealously celebrated the deal while forgetting/ignoring how Bergdahl got himself into this mess in the first place.

I'll even argue it killed three birds with one stone: 1) brought soldier home after five years in captivity; 2) got rid of five Gitmo detainees that he couldn't do anything with anyways; and 3) reopened the legitimate discussion of closing Gitmo entirely.

Far too many things for Obama to not be ecstatic about, considering the cluster ---- Afghanistan has become -- even under his watch.

#28 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-06-11 01:41 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Obama welcoming the last American prisoner of these warts home after he served 5 years as a prisoner who during that time tried to escape and fought off his captors.

Yup, that's pretty much it. Well, that and the notion that Obama was celebrating a soldier who (possibly) abandoned his post.

Having his parents to the WH was just too much for them.... as is anything that doesn't make the President look bad.
#26 | POSTED BY CORKY

Honestly, that's what I believe to be most important here. Another reason to make Obama look bad. Don't get me wrong, I believe it was a miscalculated risk in throwing a celebration. You apparently disagree, but the crux of the matter is that it is truly insignificant. At most, right wingers would win the justification for questioning Obama's moral compass. It's just a really, really insignificant example. The (over)reaction far outweighs the gravity of the situation, which exposes their true intent: they are simply biased against the POTUS.

#29 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-06-11 01:55 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

#29

NWorthier and NWorthier.

#30 | Posted by Corky at 2014-06-11 01:58 PM | Reply | Flag:

Rsty, do you think the soldiers that served with Bergdahl are just biased against the president? Is the Army biased b/c of their 2010 report that Bergdahl simply left his post? Also, if it's no big deal why is the white house slandering the soldiers that did fulfill their comittment calling them "psychopaths" and swiftboaters for speaking out against the Rice comments that Bergdahl served with honor and distinction?

#31 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-06-11 02:33 PM | Reply | Flag:

Rsty, do you think the soldiers that served with Bergdahl are just biased against the president?

I think some of them are, most definitely. Most likely the most vocal. You think there are not soldiers in the military that weren't already biased against the POTUS prior to Bergdahl abandoning his post? You are aware that there are soldiers in his unit that are saying Bergdahl was a good soldier, right?

Is the Army biased b/c of their 2010 report that Bergdahl simply left his post?

No, but the Army's report is limited considering they didn't even question Bergdahl about him leaving his post.

Also, if it's no big deal why is the white house slandering the soldiers that did fulfill their comittment calling them "psychopaths" and swiftboaters for speaking out against the Rice comments that Bergdahl served with honor and distinction?
#31 | POSTED BY DALTON

I would imagine it has something to do with the soldiers' nondisclosure agreements that they violated in order to "tell the true story" when we are not aware of the true story as of yet. They are risking serious punishment for what reason? To prove Obama should not have spiked the football? Again, insignificant. I would hope those soldiers speaking out against Bergdahl and Obama at least supported Obama's move to bring Bergdahl back home. Especially if he committed a crime.

#32 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-06-11 02:42 PM | Reply | Flag:

#28 -- the 4th bird is all the intel that will be extracted (forcefully or otherwise) from Bergdahl.

#33 | Posted by GUNDERFUNK at 2014-06-11 03:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

Rsty, these soldiers that are speaking out are no longer in the Army so I doubt they can be punished. I don't think they are political b/c they never made a big deal about Bergdahl leaving until the president gave him a hero's welcome and Rice claimed he served with honor and distinction. I understand they said he was a good soldier up until the moment he left his post. The guys had missions to try and find Bergdahl even though they knew he left willingly. As far as them not telling the truth the Army believed them enough to draw a conclusion in 2010 and likely didn't close the case b/c they hadn't spoke to Bergdahl and he was in Taliban hands. So no reason to label him a deserter under those circumstances.

#34 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-06-11 04:59 PM | Reply | Flag:

-I don't think they are political;

No, they are just werking with GOP political consultants for the fun of it.

#35 | Posted by Corky at 2014-06-11 05:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Don't get me wrong, I believe it was a miscalculated risk in throwing a celebration."

That's as far as my interest goes in this.

#36 | Posted by eberly at 2014-06-11 05:18 PM | Reply | Flag:

U.S. Facilitated Ransom to Abu Sayyaf

March 25, 2002

The U.S. government facilitated a ransom payment to Al Qaeda-linked terrorists in the Philippines last week for the release of an American couple but the two have not been freed, Fox News has learned.

The ransom of up to $3 million was paid to Abu Sayyaf guerrillas who have been holding two American missionaries, Paul Burnham and his wife, Gracia, for the last 10 months.

Fox News

Gracia Burnham was rescued by US-trained Filipino soldiers, but Paul Burnham was killed in a firefight.

April, 2002

"No nation can negotiate with terrorists, for there is no way to make peace with those whose only goal is death."

- George W. Bush

#37 | Posted by Derek_Wildstar at 2014-06-11 06:35 PM | Reply | Flag:

Rsty, these soldiers that are speaking out are no longer in the Army so I doubt they can be punished.
-- DALTON

Many of Bergdahl's fellow troops -- from the seven or so who knew him best in his squad to the larger group that made up the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division -- told CNN that they signed nondisclosure agreements agreeing to never share any information about Bergdahl's disappearance and the efforts to recapture him. Some were willing to dismiss that document in hopes that the truth would come out about a soldier who they now fear is being hailed as a hero, while the men who lost their lives looking for him are ignored.
www.cnn.com

#38 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-06-12 03:46 PM | Reply | Flag:

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