If President Barack Obama hoped his deal with the Taliban to bring back Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl would be a political boon in the midst of the VA scandal, he is in for a big surprise.
Soon after Obama revealed that Bergdahl was to be released, we learned the president agreed to release five of the most hardcore Taliban fighters from America’s terrorist detention facility in Guantanamo Bay in exchange.
“While not as well known as Guantanamo inmates like 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Taliban 5 were some of the worst outlaws in the U.S. war on terror,” Eli Lake and Josh Rogin report in The Daily Beast, noting a Pentagon “dossier” that deemed all five “a high risk to launch attacks against the United States and its allies if they were liberated.”
Negotiating with terrorists is a dangerous and inadvisable policy under most circumstances. The long-term bad often outweighs whatever short-term good. While it is great to see the return of a captured soldier, giving into terrorist demands to get them back provides greater incentive for terrorists to go out and capture more American soldiers in the hopes of making future lopsided deals.
Perhaps Obama hoped that seeing a captured American serviceman return home would overwhelm any American outrage over the deal. But then we learned that Bergdahl was taken into Taliban captivity only after allegedly deserting his fellow troops.
“The sense of pride expressed by officials of the Obama administration at the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is not shared by many of those who served with him, veterans and soldiers who call him a deserter whose ‘selfish act’ ended up costing the lives of better men,” CNN’s Jake Tapper reports.
“At least six soldiers were killed in subsequent searches for Bergdahl,” Tapper added.
To say the least, this complicates the president’s narrative.
And the story doesn’t end here. Get ready for the Bergdahl primetime interview with Barbara Walters or Brian Williams or whoever does these things nowadays. It may take weeks or months, but it will happen, you can be assured of that. What will he say in the interview? If the emails he sent to his parents before he was captured by the Taliban in 2009 are any indication, he will have some scathing words for the country that just gave up five vicious terrorists in order to bring him back.
“The future is too good to waste on lies,” he wrote in an email to his parents before his capture in 2009. “And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their ideas and I am ashamed to even be American. The horror of the self-righteous arrogance that they thrive in. It is all revolting.”
If his father joins him for the interview, you can expect a lot of Noam Chomsky-esque, left-wing America bashing as well, if his tweets are any guide.
And this is probably the best the Obama administration can hope for at this point. It may get much worse.
There is a lot we do not know, but what if turns out that Bergdahl was not only a deserter, but a traitor who actively aided the Taliban in attacking American troops?
In his piece, Tapper seems to subtly allude to the possibility.
“[M]any soldiers in his platoon said attacks seemed to increase against the United States in Paktika province in the days and weeks following his disappearance,” Tapper wrote, seeming to suggest that Bergdahl may have provided information to the Taliban that aided them in their attacks against American troops.
Fox News confirmed that Bergdahl’s conduct both before and after his capture has been the subject of a classified investigation.
A “Defense Department source confirmed to Fox News that many within the intelligence community harbor serious outstanding concerns not only that Bergdahl may have been a deserter but that he may have been an active collaborator with the enemy,” Fox News’ James Rosen reports.
If it turns out that Bergdahl did indeed collaborate with the enemy, Obama just gave up five of the worst terrorists in American custody for the return of a traitor we will now have to put on trial. And the president authorized this without notifying Congress, which even his supporters in the legal community say violates U.S. law. So much for President Obama’s “Don’t Do Stupid Shit” foreign policy doctrine.
There is also a very real possibility that despite the almost meaningless safeguards the Obama administration put in place, the terrorists the president just released will return to the battlefield to plan and plot against Americans. What if they are responsible for a future attack on the U.S.?
The Bergdahl deal already appears to be a disaster for America and political catastrophe for the Obama administration. Don’t be surprised if the Bergdahlzi hearings come to a theater — or a C-SPAN channel — near you in the not-to-distant future.