Cash for Bergdahl
That Washington Free Beacon post you mentioned is significant news, because it adds a lot of weight to the speculation that the Obama Administration is lying about the exact terms of Bergdahl's release. That's been on my radar screen since hours after Bergdahl's release was announced, ever since author Brad Thor brought it up. He noted that the Administration and its media lapdogs were going out of their way to downplay the role of the Haqqani network, and its distinct differences from the Taliban.
The intelligence source cited by the Free Beacon is saying the exact same thing: these Haqqani bastards don't really like the Taliban all that much, and they're not terribly interested in prisoner exchanges, which is even more significant when four of the five traded for Bergdahl have nothing to do with the Haqqanis at all. These guys want money. Not a single shred of intel revealed over the past week leads any longtime observer of these gangsters to conclude they suddenly lost interest in the $1 million or more they've been demanding for their hostage. (Which, for anyone still keeping score, would be another body blow to the White House talking point that Bergdahl was a POW, and we arranged for his release by trading prisoners with a legitimate government run by legal combatants.)
It's extremely telling that the Obama State Department refuses to flatly deny that a ransom was paid - this Administration normally has no problem issuing swift denials that turn out to be total fabrications. I suspect that means money was indeed involved, and it'll be confirmed so quickly that the Administration sees little short-term P.R. gain in lying about it. I'll probably turn out to be some third-party cash transfer, as Oliver North theorized, rather than a check written directly by the U.S. government. Either the Taliban or Team Obama, or both, leaned on somebody to pay off Bergdahl's Haqqani captors.
Which means this will all end up with a bunch of Obama flacks running around the Sunday shows, splitting hairs with atom-smasher precision to argue that we didn't just finance a terrorist network, on top of everything else wrong with this deal.
Update: I see that Congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX) has written a letter to the President, asking for clarification on whether direct or third-party cash payments were involved in securing Bergdahl's release.
Stockman also wants to know if Bergdahl's exchange was "discussed with, or shared with, anyone on the White House's political staff." I suspect he's looking for the sort of smoking-gun email that Judicial Watch recently uncovered with respect to the White House political team coordinating the false "video protest" narrative of the Benghazi attack. If the usual standards of Obama "transparency" are maintained, we'll learn about White House political manipulation of the Bergdahl exchange sometime in 2017, after a Freedom of Information act lawsuit has been filed.