Retired four-star Army General Jack Keane claimed that senior military leaders are “outraged” over President Obama’s decision to trumpet the trade of likely Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl for five dangerous Taliban in a Rose Garden celebration last Saturday.
Keane spoke Sunday with Fox News’ Chris Wallace about the political implications of the prisoner transfer, with the general becoming the latest to contradict National Security Advisor Susan Rice’s assertion that the returned Army Sgt. “served with honor and distinction.”
“The fact that a citizen volunteers — becomes a soldier, becomes a paratrooper, goes to combat as a result of that, has an unblemished record, is a very good soldier — and then deserts his post, that trumps all previous behavior,” he explained. “So that is a distinction in itself, and he has to be held accountable for that.”
“And how have the military leaders you’ve talked to this week — I know you’re close touch with a lot of folks, still, at the Pentagon — how do they view the way this week has rolled out?” Wallace asked.
“They’re outraged that the president, at the Rose Garden ceremony, was actually promoting an event in terms of public relations,” Keane declared. “And then taking his family — who by the way, the military had advised to maintain a very low profile, and they had maintained a low profile for years.”
“And then to put them in front of the cameras like that and begin a celebration, I think that created not only anguish among those who were his teammates and those who may’ve lost his lives in rescuing him,” the general explained, “but senior military leaders looked at that and just shook their head and said, ‘Why are we doing something like that?'”