MSNBC host Rachel Maddow made a startling comparison while attempting to justify her unequivocal support of the trade of five dangerous Taliban prisoners for likely Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl, equating his dishonorable behavior with Army Pvt. Jessica Lynch’s wrong turn during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Maddow opened her show Tuesday night with a rambling segment missed by almost all other media outlets, in which the liberal television host made the argument that Lynch’s wrong turn into an Iraqi ambush made her a “bad” soldier not so different from Bergdahl and still, certainly, deserving of rescue — something soldiers who served with Bergdahl have claimed he was not worthy of.
“Jessica Lynch did not go down shooting,” Maddow explained. “There was not a bloody firefight and stabbing. She was not ‘fighting to the death’ . . . It turns out that the group of vehicles that Jessica Lynch and her company were in, they were supposed to take a detour around the city of Nasiriyah.”
“But they didn’t,” she continued. “They took a wrong turn, or a few wrong turns. And they ended up right in the city center. They were supposed to go around the city and not go through it at all. They ended up wrong turn after wrong turn, right in the city center, undefended, in territory where the U.S. Army knew there were likely to be attacks or ambushes. And they just drove right into it.”
“Should that rescue not have happened? Should Jessica Lynch have been left there?” Maddow asked, addressing critics of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s trade by directly equating an honest mistake — not even made by Pvt. Lynch — to the deliberate desertion and possible enemy collaboration of Bergdahl.
“Seriously, is that what we think about these things now?” she continued, noting that the “heroics that the Pentagon made up didn’t really happen.”
“Maybe the U.S. special forces who rescued her and the other Americans held in that hospital, maybe shouldn’t have bothered,” she continued. “After all, maybe it was sort of their own screw-up that got them ambushed and hurt and captured in the first place.”
“Is that how we think about these things now?” Maddow continued. “Because that kind of a case — that obscenity of a case that maybe some Americans might deserve to be left behind — that is the new cause celebre on the American Right right now.”
“That the American POW Bowe Bergdahl, he did not deserve to be freed,” the MSNBC host concluded. “That the U.S. government working to free him — succeeding in freeing him — that was a shame somehow, because sure he was an American soldier, but he was a bad one.”
Maddow did not once mention the trade of five highly-dangerous Taliban prisoners for Bergdahl — nor did she explain how one could possibly equate making a mistake in a fluid and dangerous combat situation with the deliberate desertion and possible treasonous intent of Bergdahl in the summer of 2009.