Secretary of Defense: After 5 Years, We Acted “Quickly” to Bring Bowe Bergdahl Home

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


obama bergdahl

Secretary of Defense Hagel appears a bit confused by the word “quickly”. After 5 years and multiple releases of Taliban commanders and Gitmo terrorists, this isn’t quickly.

But I wonder what the time overlap between the decision to make the deal and the VA scandal was. Would Bergdahl still be held captive if Obama’s poll numbers weren’t taking a beating over the abuse of vets?

The United States found “an opening” and acted quickly to save U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s life, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday.

“We believed that the information we had, the intelligence we had, was such that Sgt. Bergdahl’s safety and health were both in jeopardy and in particular his health deteriorating,” Hagel said. “It was our judgment that if we could find an opening and move very quickly with that opening, that we needed to get him out of there essentially to save his life. I know President Obama feels very strongly about that, I do as well.”

Obama, flanked by Bergdahl’s parents at the White House on Saturday, praised the diplomatic officials and troops who helped secure Bergdahl’s release.

“While Bowe was gone, he was never forgotten,” the President said.

So we’re not even pretending that this isn’t a photo op. What exactly is Obama taking credit for here? Releasing Taliban commanders for a US POW after 5 years?

It might be necessary, but you don’t do the end zone dance for it.

Mr. Hagel provided few details of how the renewed talks with the Taliban came together, though he repeatedly credited and thanked the Qatar government.

The Qatari regime is entangled with Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorists around the world. But at least Hagel knows who his masters are.

Also unclear is how Bergdahl fell into the hands of the Afghan militants. When a reporter asked if Bergdahl had deserted, Hagel didn’t answer directly.

“Our first priority is assuring his well-being and his health and getting him reunited with his family,” he said. “Other circumstances that may develop, they will be dealt with later.”

In 2012, Rolling Stone magazine quoted emails Bergdahl is said to have sent to his parents that suggest he was disillusioned with America’s mission in Afghanistan, had lost faith in the U.S. Army and was considering desertion. Bergdahl told his parents he was “ashamed to even be American.” The Associated Press could not independently authenticate the emails.

We’re not discussing it because it undermines the narrative. Rolling Stone is anti-American. Some of the material in the emails is the usual grousing, some is uglier, but Bergdahl may have been suffering from PTSD at that point. By that account he didn’t fit in, he was part of a dysfunctional unit and his father was a bad influence on him.

And the Gitmo prisoners Obama released

Although the five men have each been in prison for at least a decade, many believe they still have significant influence within the Taliban because of their contributions during the group’s formative years. The last time a high-level Taliban official was released from Guantanamo, in 2007, the detainee, Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir, returned to Afghanistan and took the reins as the organization’s director of military operations.

Like Zakir, the five detainees released Saturday and handed to the Qatari government had formal government jobs when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001.

The detainees were among the most senior Afghans still held at the prison:

•Abdul Haq Wasiq, who served as the Taliban deputy minister of intelligence,

•Mullah Norullah Nori, a senior Taliban commander in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif when the Taliban fought U.S. forces in late 2001

•Khairullah Khairkhwa, who served in various Taliban positions including interior minister and had direct ties to Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden

•Mohammed Nabi, who served as chief of security for the Taliban in Qalat, Afghanistan, and later worked as a radio operator for the Taliban’s communications office in Kabul

•Mohammad Fazl, whom Human Rights Watch says could be prosecuted for war crimes for presiding over the mass killing of Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan in 2000 and 2001 as the Taliban sought to consolidate their control over the country.

But VA scandal management is a messy business.

 

  • VL123

    And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse….

  • Ban Liberals

    A CROCK!

    News is leaking out that the soldier was a possible deserter and traitor, and was AWOL when ‘captured.’ AND HE WAS A MUSLIM CONVERT!

    And tweets by his daddy, apparently are sympathetic — TO THE ENEMY!

    See:

    http://pamelageller.com/2014/05/name-god-gracious-merciful-bergdahl-said-arabic.html/

  • Steeloak

    If Obama thought this act would help shore up his poll numbers, I can only ask – What the heck was he thinking? This has all the makings of a major PR disaster for the regime!

    • Daniel Greenfield

      He knows people don’t pay much attention

      • JackSpratt

        Exactly, we have a very disengaged electorate today.

    • The March Hare

      I hope so, but I have many doubts.

  • Jakareh

    Taliban should always be executed upon capture as they are not protected by the Geneva Convention, and this soldier should have been freed by a raid.

    • BS77

      How soon before other Americans or Europeans are kidnapped and held in horrible conditions until another deal can be made?

    • Bastiat

      How are members of the Taliban not protected by the Geneva Conventions?

      • Jakareh

        For one, they don’t fight in uniform.

        • Bastiat

          Really? Before the U.S. invaded in 2001, the Taliban was the government in Afghanistan. Nation-states are covered by the Geneva Conventions.

          • Jakareh

            Obviously, you’re a liberal or some other kind of louse who sympathizes with the Taliban, but that aside, neither the U.S. nor the rest of the community of nations recognized the Taliban as a legitimate government. So, yeah, really.

          • Bastiat

            So the U.S. supported the Mubarak regime, and considered it to be legitimate. Why was the Taliban any less legitimate? Also, I am neither a liberal, nor a Taliban sympathizer, so stop the libel.

          • Jakareh

            By Muslim standards, the Mubarak regime was very moderate, and it was universally recognized as the legitimate government of Egypt. If you think it was anything like the Taliban, you’re very ill-informed.

            You’ve displayed a pattern of sympathy for the Taliban in your interactions with me and with others, including by stating falsehoods that are favorable to them. That makes you a sympathizer whether you like the label or not.

            And the Taliban was never a nation state by any accepted definition of the term but an unrecognized regime ruling over a multinational state.

  • fpm

    The only probable explanation is that one American is worth 5 Islam terrorists and One Israeli is worth one hundred PLO terrorists.

  • pupsncats

    It doesn’t matter why Bergdale was in the hands of the terrorists. What matters is our government has once again betrayed us. It should be clear by now that Obama is on the side of our enemies. It should be clear by now that Obama’s interests are not only destroying what little is left of our Constitutional Republic, but American’s lives as well. It should be clear by now that Obama’s intent is to make certain the Islamic terrorists are in control and Americans will be stripped of all ability to defend ourselves against them. If this man isn’t a traitor, who ever has been?

  • JackSpratt

    The democommies don’t do ANYTHING that isn’t calculated politically.

  • onecornpone

    What an utter and complete fiasco! We can only hope the GITMO detainees get ‘dronned’ soon. There seems to be absolutely nothing that is not for sale under our Current Occupant’s leadership. Isn’t he openly mocking us to our faces?

  • Webb Cook

    As a lifelong Nebraskan, I apologize to you all for this pitiful tool Hagel. He’s right down there with Ben “Nebraska Kickback” Nelson who cast the deciding vote on Obamacare. Bob Kerrey has also brought us nothing but shame and disgrace. I once shook Hagel’s hand and as I asked him to work to repeal all gun control laws he jumped back from me like he was spring-loaded and started sputtering that there were a lot of things we need to do. None of these three have any conscience or morals. They will do literally anything to get ahead. They’re pukes.

  • truebearing

    Daniel, you could have stopped at: “Secretary of Defense Hagel appears a bit confused” The man is a moron.

    If Hagel took a laxative, and waited five years to see results, would he say that product worked “quickly?”

    Obama has been looking for an excuse to release the Muslim terrorist at Guantanamo. Former generals, among others, think that Benghazi was a botched scheme to get Ambassador Stevens kidnapped so that Obama could release the “Blind Sheik” in a prisoner swap. Now he has traded five high value terrorists for a possible deserter, giving terrorists worldwide the signal that we will negotiate with terrorists and we will gladly accept being on the losing end of the deal. I wonder when some idiot from Code Pink will get “abducted” and Obama will be forced to release Khalid Sheik Mohammed in a swap.

    This swap will turn out to be another abuse of our military, and it is as intended.

    • hiernonymous

      “Former generals, among others, think that Benghazi was a botched scheme to get Ambassador Stevens kidnapped so that Obama could release the “Blind Sheik” in a prisoner swap.”

      Presumably you mean ADM Lyons, who retired some 25 years before the events in question, and who else?

      • truebearing

        USAF General Robert Lovell has hinted at it. I was sure Vallely was of the same opinion, but I can’t verify it.
        There are a lot of people who believe a fake kidnapping and swap was the game. It’s never been my theory, but this Taliban swap has me wondering. Obama tends to follow patterns as he enables islamists are the world.

        If you want answers to what happened in Benghazi, then direct them at the Obfuscator-In-Chief and Hillary. Their story has more holes in it than Bin Laden did after the SEALs took him out… the same SEALs Obama betrayed by sharing classified information with movie directors to make himself look like the hero.

        • hiernonymous

          Lovell has said nothing remotely like what you implied. He’s yet former DDI at Africom who thought “something” should have been attempted, though he, like all others who have expressed that opinion, could not suggest anything specific that should have been tried that wasn’t. But “something.” He has not suggested that Benghazi was a prisoner swap. Vallely is claiming that Stevens’ purpose in Benghazi was negotiating an arms deal with Libyan rebels and Mark Turi, who is now being “silenced” by the government. You’re confusing conspiracy theories.

          Lyons is a bit of a strange old coot working with AIM, and I rather guessed that your use of the plural with “generals” was an attempt to inflate one aging conspiracy theorist to the voice of the military establishment.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Nobody every explained why we could not buzz them with a flight of F16s if literally nothing else was available.

            Are you seriously suggesting that we reached the extent of our capabilities that night to react to the attack?

          • truebearing

            ” “We didn’t know how long this would last when we became aware of the distress nor did we completely understand what we had in front of us, be it a kidnapping, rescue, recovery, protracted hostile engagement or any or all of the above.”

            He added, “But what we did know quite early on was that this was a hostile action. This was no demonstration gone terrible awry.””

            He didn’t suggest a prisoner swap, but he did suggest it could have been a kidnapping.

            Like I said, the kidnapping/prisoner swap was never my first choice in theories, but I’d trust Lyons infinitely more than I’d trust the Pathological Liar-In-Chief, or you.

            The Muslim video ruse is all anyone needs as evidence of a cover-up by Obama and Hillary. Obama’s impending presidential election and Hillary’s lust for power in 2016 are all the motives anyone needs to explain the need for a cover-up. The continued stonewalling, including preventing victims from testifying seal the deal. A crime, or crimes, were committed by Obama and Hillary, and they are pulling out all of the stops to keep it quiet.

            My theory is that Stevens was hung out to dry by the administration for becoming a political liability. They used him to run weapons to the Islamists, then set him up, or allowed him to be silenced, but either way, Obama and Hillary were complicit in Stevens death. Woods and Doherty died because they were true heroes who wouldn’t let fellow Americans be butchered — despite an order to stand down — without trying to save them. They risked their lives where Obama and Hillary wouldn’t even risk their miserable political careers.

            But back to the implications of swapping five of the worst islamist terrorists on the planet for a deserter…precedent setting and bad news to all Americans and our allies.

        • hiernonymous

          “What is significant is that Obama just sent a clear, unmistakable signal to terrorists all over the world that the US will reward kidnappers.”

          The message this soldier received was that the U.S. will bring me home. It’s not a message that I would expect to have occurred to or to resonate with you.

  • AndyTexan

    The Taliban demanded the release of their leaders held at Gitmo in order to open negotiations for our surrender. So they are feigning a prisoner swap (for an American islamic convert deserter no less). O’s perfidy is perfectly clear. Change we can believe in for sure.

  • haywood jablowme

    this guy hates america,,,,,,,,,,phuk him,,,,,,,,,,,