Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Online Only

June 13, 2014

Obama: Don't listen to those who knew Bergdahl best

For several weeks now, since President Barack Obama held a Rose Garden event to brag about his exchange of five Taliban terrorist leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the patronizing elite of the left have scolded conservatives and a few fellow Democrats for a hateful “rush to judgment.”

Critics are not supposed to listen to, or place any credibility in, multiple members of Bergdahl’s unit, who have declared publicly that the former prisoner of war is a deserter.

We’re not supposed to draw any conclusions about anything, they tell us, until “all of the facts are known.” After all, Bergdahl hasn’t been charged, never mind convicted, of desertion.

OK, fair enough. People aren’t supposed to be convicted on hearsay or before a trial on the merits. But it isn't fair enough when the Obama administration itself makes violating that supposed obligation its standard operating procedure.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice went on the Sunday talk shows in the days after Bergdahl’s release to declare that he had served with “honor and distinction.” That is a blatant rush to judgment, as well. How does she know, if all the facts are not yet known?

This, of course, is a pattern for Rice. She went on the talk shows shortly after the terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, that killed four Americans including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, to declare the attack was simply a demonstration against an anti-Muslim video that somehow got out of hand. That was an obvious rush to judgment - or a deliberate diversion - given that the administration was forced to admit later that the attack was planned and had nothing to do with the video.

Rice later “clarified” her declaration on Bergdahl, claiming that anyone who joins the military deserves the “honor and distinction” label (except, apparently, those who insist that Bergdahl deserted.) Which makes serving in the U.S. armed forces sound a little bit like youth soccer: Everybody who shows up gets a trophy.

The judgment of Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers is similar. After a number of them – who unlike everybody in the administration actually have first-hand knowledge of the situation – said Bergdahl deserted, a flack for the Department of Housing and Urban Development suggested in a tweet that the unit was “long on psychopaths and short on leadership.” Gee, could that smear be a “rush to judgment” before all the facts are known?

It’s the same about Bergdahl’s condition. Immediately after his release, when critics contended that he was anything but a hero and that exchanging him for a Taliban “dream team” was not in the interest of U.S. security, the president’s team insisted that Bergdahl’s condition was so fragile that he might not have survived had he not been rescued.

Really? Apparently the administration didn’t plan on the Taliban releasing a video of the exchange. If Bergdahl was at any physical risk, he hid it well.

At which point, the narrative suddenly shifted. The risk was not to his medical condition but that his Taliban captors might injure or kill him. They had to make the deal quickly and not tell Congress, as the law requires, or the Taliban might have cut his throat.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who didn’t hesitate to further his own political career more than 40 years ago by accusing his fellow soldiers in Vietnam of war crimes, said it would have been “offensive and incomprehensible” to leave Bergdahl in the hands of the Taliban when they might torture him or “cut off his head.”

This about a POW who had been in enemy hands for the better part of five years. All of a sudden he was at risk of  torture or having his head cut off? Did the moderate Taliban just import a crew of hard-liners a couple of months ago to guard Bergdahl?

Besides all of the administration's rushing to judgment, which is condemned when anybody else does it, there is the standard tactic of Obama and his team of accusing anyone who questions what they do of “politicizing” it. In this case, critics are accused of making poor Bergdahl a “political football.” This, the president said with a sorrowful shake of his head in an interview, was just another one of those controversies “whipped up in Washington.”

Actually, that’s true, but not in the way the president intended. It was indeed whipped up in Washington - by Obama, who was trying to gain political mileage out of the exchange with a Rose Garden event featuring Bergdahl’s parents, who just happened to be in the area.

It was after some people started questioning Bergdahl’s credentials as a hero captured on the battlefield that it suddenly became unseemly to “politicize” it.

Finally, there has been plenty of handwringing on the left about the “hate” directed toward Bergdahl who, they say, simply opposed what they believe to be an unwinnable war.

They have a point. Bergdahl should not be labeled something that has not been proven. But, if it is proven, military desertion is worth some context. At one time in our history there were similar efforts to find and bring back deserters – but only so they could be hanged, shot or imprisoned.

Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at t.armerding@verizon.net

1
Text Only
Online Only
  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rodden, Danny.jpg Sheriff accused of lying about relationship with prostitute

    The sheriff of Clark County, Ind., faces an eight-count federal indictment that accuses him of lying about paying a prostitute for a sex act and giving her a badge so that she could claim a discount rate at a hotel.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 29, 2014

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

Featured Ads
Mineral Wells Index


Click on a photo to visit our SmugMug page

Front page
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Must Read