The Conversation

New White House Spin: Bergdahl Swap Was Chuck Hagel's Call

On May 31,  Obama triumphantly announced the recovery of Bowe Bergdahl, expecting accolades from a grateful nation because *ahem- ahem* "the United States of America does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind."

That Rose Garden announcement - the first of many missteps taken by the White House  -  has since been described a "sickening spectacle",  "phenomenally idiotic" and a "fiasco" and bipartisan anger about the deal is becoming more pronounced with every dopey lie the Regime tells to explain their decision.

Diane Dimond writes at RCP that Obama has a very real military problem on his hands because they have lost all respect for him.

But now, with the scandal in full bloom, after the administration’s smokescreen about what triggered the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and after the president’s tepidly received speech at West Point announcing diplomacy will replace military responses henceforth, the time for silence is over.

Now career military personnel are speaking out through gritted teeth, insisting they speak for active-duty personnel who cannot talk without being punished. They are speaking about injustice, ineptitude and impeachment.

One such person speaking out through gritted teeth, is retired United States Army Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters, who was on Fox News, last night, explaining why the military is so upset about the trade.

"They’re not angry that Bowe Bergdahl was freed. They’re angry at the price that was paid. They’re angry because the administration tried to portray a deserter as a war hero. They’re angry because of the pandering to the Bergdahl family – giving them access and privileges that the families of our dead and wounded warriors never got. They’re angry about being blindsided by this trade because the intelligence community, the Pentagon, the relevant committees in congress all agreed that these five terrorist chieftains were vastly too dangerous to ever be freed.”

Now that Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, and the US military are seething in anger at him, Obama has decided to throw his Secretary of Defense under the bus.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel – not President Obama – executed the administration’s final call to proceed with the prisoner exchange of five ranking Taliban detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, administration officials told Congress today in a classified briefing today.

“They indicated [it was] Secretary Hagel [who made the final call],” House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon, R-California, told reporters following the briefing Monday evening. “It was the president of the United States that came out [in the Rose Garden] with the Bergdahls and took all the credit and now that there’s been a little pushback he’s moving away from it and it’s Secretary Hagel?”

No.  Nice try, but the Commander in Chief is "the Decider" as another, infinitely more competent and trustworthy Commander in Chief once put it. 

Chuck Hagel, thought to be to the left of even Obama on foreign policy, was hired on to be Obama's "yes man," which is why Senate Republicans tried to block his confirmation.

“There’s a the left lane in politics, and a middle lane," Senator Lindsey Graham said of his former colleague. And "there’s the Chuck Hagel Lane. He’s in a league of his own, guys”

According to Hagel, he recommended the deal - but the Decider decided:

Hagel himself told Meet the Press that the decision process went the other direction — that Hagel recommended the deal, but that Obama had to make the final decision.

But if we've learned anything from the last five and a half years of non-stop scandals and fiascoes, it's that the buck NEVER stops with this president.

It's pretty crowded under Obama's bus - but there's always room for one more. 


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