Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s attorney, Eugene Fidell, has apparently been retained to launch a hyper-partisan political campaign against Fox News. The Army has not charged Bergdahl with anything. According to some news reports, the Army hasn’t even begun investigating Bergdahl. Nonetheless, one of Fidell’s first media appearances was with the Huffington Post where he vilified Fox News for vilifying his client:
“It’s very unfortunate that Fox News has an opportunity to use this case in an effort to stir up the base, use this in an effort to vilify my client, who everybody knows has gone through a terrible five-year long captivity among the bloodthirsty and ruthless Taliban, and use this case as a lever to bludgeon President Obama,” Fidell said.
Although Bergdahl’s release from the Taliban was at first celebrated, the wave of public opinion quickly changed when news of Bergdahl’s past as a “deserter” surfaced.
What makes Fidell’s representation so bizarre is that he appears to be using his client as a way to grab hold of media attention in order to grind his own personal left-wing political ax. Nothing else really explains this behavior.
Fox News certainly wasn’t the only news outlet reporting on the Army’s suspicion that Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban after deserting his post in Afghanistan. Even, uhm, The Huffington Post did.
If Mr. Fidell is at all familiar with The Google, he’ll find that plenty of non-Fox News outlets — CNN, CBS, MSNBC and numerous others — reported on the desertion charges leveled by the Army and a handful of Bergdah’s fellow soldiers. For a full week it seemed, every time you turned on CNN you could find a veteran who served with Bergdahl accusing him of desertion, or worse.
Fidell launching a partisan witch hunt against Fox News might win him some love from the Huffington Post and eventually result in a well-paid talking head gig at a CNN or MSNBC, but there is no way this kind of grandstanding will serve his client well. If Bergdahl is eventually charged, he will have to worry about a military court martial, not the court of public opinion.
Moreover, all of this is the fault of the very same Obama Administration Fidell seems primarily interested in representing and defending. After all, it was Obama’s top national Security Adviser Susan Rice who took to the Sunday shows to mislead the American people about the story behind Bergdahl’s capture. The media pushback that followed was to correct the White House’s lies.
John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC