Obama's Bergdahl Folly

The decision by President Obama to trade five Taliban Guantanamo Bay prisoners in exchange for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been a complete and utter disaster. President Obama and National Security Advisor Susan Rice have been trying their best to convince the American people that Bergdahl was a war hero held captive in Afghanistan for five years. Although Ms. Rice said Bergdahl served “honorably” on yet another disastrous Sunday show performance, the reality is the complete opposite. 

In an interview with CNN, Sgt. Matt Vierkant, who served with Bergdahl, said, “I was pissed off then, and I am even more so now with everything going on. Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war, and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.” Sgt. Vierkant is not the only former comrade of Bergdahl to share the same views. Now, I do believe that the United States Government should do everything in its power to bring home our POWs – but one has to ask the question: was Bergdahl a true POW? 

While it is too soon to paint him as a traitor, we have found that he had indeed intended to denounce his American citizenship while over in Afghanistan. Although there is still much more to be uncovered – each day that has passed since Bergdahl’s release has brought new terrifying revelations and more questions as to why he left his unit.

Many top Congressional leaders, including those from the other side of the aisle, are demanding answers. As Senator Dianne Feinstein put it, “It's very disappointing that there was not a level of trust sufficient to justify alerting us.” The fact that the Obama Administration thinks it can simply be excused stating this entire debacle was “an oversight” is inconceivable. Obama’s latest allegation is that he did not inform Congress because the Taliban threatened to kill Bergdahl if any information was released regarding the prisoner trade. Not only does this not make sense because the Taliban could have killed Bergdahl at any time, but it is simply insulting that this Administration would want us to believe this is the reason they overrode Congress entirely.

So now you have to ask: exactly what was President Obama’s thought process? He bypassed Congress and released a man with a questionable background in order to release five Guantanamo Bay prisoners – why would he do this? Was it because of the bad press from the VA scandal and his political advisors wanted a positive story? Or were they focused on a bigger target – closing Guantanamo Bay? I think it is the latter.

President Obama and his Administration continue to put campaign promises over National Security interests. As President Obama continues down a path to bring an end to the war in Afghanistan, he has put his personal political interests above that of our nation’s. Obama’s presidential term, thankfully, is finite. The war against radical Islam is not, and those in the Taliban and Al-Qaeda understand that their greatest weapon is time. They know that we are going to leave Afghanistan, for all intents and purposes, by the end of this year. So what is the Taliban lacking after thirteen years of war? Leadership. The five Taliban detainees released by President Obama were all leaders within the Taliban prior to September 11, 2001. It is not out of the realm of possibilities that one of those five might be the head of a Taliban insurgency in a few years time, after American military forces have completely left Afghanistan.

In an interview with Time magazine, Taliban leaders reaffirmed everyone’s greatest fears resulting from this fiasco. “This is a historic moment for us. Today our enemy for the first time officially recognized our status,” said one Taliban commander. What Obama amazingly does not understand, or chooses to ignore, is the fact that we are indeed still at war with radical Islam. This naïve trade of prisoners has placed America on even more unstable ground, and now, more than ever, we are in a very weak position in the eyes of our greatest enemies.

It is clear Obama was trying to regain popular support by bringing home a “hero,” but instead, he has potentially made the most fatal mistake of his presidency to-date. Later in the Time magazine interview, the Taliban commander continued, “Our talks finally proved successful for the prisoners’ swap,” says the commander. “We returned our valued guest to his people and in return, they freed our five heroes held in Guantanamo Bay since 2002.”

That’s right, Mr. President. You released some heroes alright – heroes to one of the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world.


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