Several members of the administration have essentially maligned Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s platoon mates, saying they are lying, have joined a GOP effort to attack Obama, or are even “psychopaths.” Now The New York Times has joined that effort and attempted to shore up the White House narrative that Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers were screw ups who shouldn’t be trusted.
Ever since President Obama ignored a law that he should inform Congress 30 days before taking the sort of actions he did in the Bergdahl case, his administration has been trying to create a more favorable narrative to shield Obama from the disaster that this prisoner exchange has become.
In one case, on June 3, State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf essentially said that Bergdahl’s platoon mates are not a credible source on information about what happened in the months prior to his deserting his post.
When Fox News reporter Lucas Tomlinson noted that Bergdahl’s “squad mates have the best indication what happened that night,” Harf replied, “I don’t think that that’s the case.”
Harf insisted only Bergdahl is “the person who knows best” about what really happened the day he disappeared and ended up in the hands of the Taliban.
Then, a day later, on June 4, NBC News’ Chuck Todd reported that several White House aides were again attacking the credibility of a large number of Bergdahl’s platoon by accusing them of “swift boating” Bergdahl and Obama over the exchange.
This all prompted Obama administration underling Brandon Friedman, the deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, to go to Twitter and insist that Bergdahl’s platoon was filled with “psychopaths.”
“Here’s the thing about Bergdahl and the Jump-to-Conclusions mats,” Friedman Tweeted on June 4, “What if his platoon was long on psychopaths and short on leadership?”
After calling our soldiers “psychopaths,” Friedman mysteriously deleted his Twitter bio scrubbing his connection to the administration.
The press has engaged in several different efforts to shore up the administration’s attacks against anyone questioning Bergdahl’s true status when he was captured and on June 7, The New York Times also launched an effort to create cover for Obama.
The Times published a long report relying on the happy memories that at least two soldiers had of Sgt. Bergdahl.
One soldier said that Bergdahl was a “good soldier,” and another felt he was a wonderful fellow who was just so upset that the Amy wasn’t “a kind of Peace Corps.”
The Times went on to claim that the platoon were misfits, that they repeatedly got in trouble with its officers. The piece even went so far to claim that Bergdahl was merely “joking” when he wrote home to tell his father the story, later proven false, that he saw an Afghan child run over and killed by a U.S. Army vehicle.
Strangely, the paper also thought it was important to note that Bergdahl’s post “was meant to keep people out, not to keep people in,” as if his deserting the post was somehow not that big of a deal based on this bit of info.
The paper’s point seemed to be to cast aspersions on everyone in Bergdal’s platoon but Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl himself.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org