President Barack Obama is hiding information about his decision to trade five top Taliban leaders for a single American deserter.
Obama’s deputies are trying to draw a curtain over the exchange, chiefly by sticking to a narrow set of talking points — a “sacred rule,” the soldier’s health, the Pentagon’s approval, etc.
But the hidden information could worsen his massive P.R. problem and nudge millions of worried swing-voters into the anti-Obama column, just five months before the critical November election.
It seems clear that Obama broke a law requiring that he inform Congress before he released jihadis from Guantanamo. He clearly shredded the credibility of his top national security aide, Susan Rice, who declared that the deserter served with “honor and distinction,” and that he and his aides also incorrectly claimed Bergdahl was in poor health.
But those are relatively minor scandals compared to the emerging elements of what is becoming a very unpopular traitor-for-terrorists swap in the eyes of the public.
What did the Haqqani terror network get out of the deal?
Sergeant Bowe Bergdal deserted his post in June 2009 and was immediately held by the Haqqani network, not by the Taliban’s jihadi army. Yet Obama released five Taliban people — not Haqqani people — in exchange for Bergdahl. So what price persuaded the Haqqani network to give away their prized prisoner to benefit the Taliban? There’s several possibilities, mostly of them bad for the Obama.