Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson for the State Department, told The Daily Beast Thursday, “The State Department conveyed the administration’s concerns regarding the release of this prisoner to the government of Israel, while recognizing the victim was a dual national of Israel and the United States.”
Harf said the Israeli side “acknowledged our views, but it was ultimately their decision to determine which prisoners to release. This is a very difficult situation for all involved, and further highlights the importance of making these negotiations successful.”
"Throughout the fall of 2011 and the winter of 2012 the United States conducted peace negotiations with the Taliban, and widely leaked was that a key sticking point was the ongoing detention of Fazl and four other senior Taliban, Norullah Noori, Khirullah Khairkhwa, Abdul Haq Wasiq and Mohammed Nabi. Negotiations hinged around sending the five men directly to Doha, Qatar, where they would be allowed to set up an official office for the Taliban."
When these capering lunatics stand in front of the nation, the world, and without a single shred of decency, without the tiniest modicum of self-conscious shame, without any apparent awareness of their own boundless hypocrisy, and loudly protest the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from the clutches of our sworn enemies, I have to say no more.
And Bergdahl has neither admitted his guilt nor proclaimed his innocence as yet. There’s been no Article 32 hearing, no trial, no court martial. The military and the intelligence agencies haven’t even begun his debriefing. All we know for certain is that an American soldier was taken captive by the enemy, held for years, and returned as part of a prisoner exchange. That’s it. That’s what we know. We don’t know what events led to his capture, not all of them, not yet. We don’t know the details of his captivity. We don’t know the particulars of his release beyond the broad details that have been published in the press.
Nevertheless, Bergdahl has been condemned by the popular media, by social networks, by pundits and politicians, not because they know more about the situation than you or I do, but solely because they hate the president. If Obama was behind Bergdahl’s release, then Bergdahl is a traitor, Q.E.D. because the president must never, ever, be allowed even the slightest acknowledgement of patriotism.
This condemnation isn’t about Bergdahl, it’s about Obama.
Certainly, some of Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers say he deserted. That he was disillusioned with the war, with America, that he left his guard post and walked away into the desert in some foolish and quixotic attempt to reach China. They say that men, good men, real heroes, died searching for Bergdahl after he disappeared.
And those soldiers, they’d probably know, wouldn’t they?
Last time I checked, the punishment specified for violation of UCMJ Article 85 (or Article 86 depending on Bergdahl’s intentions) isn’t to throw him to our enemies!
Ultimately, Bergdahl will have to face his accusers, and if the allegations of desertion are proven true then he will answer for the crime of desertion as specified under the Uniform Code of Military Justice – which technically could include the death penalty since the desertion is alleged to have occurred during time of war and in the face of the enemy. Far more likely, of course, if Bergdahl is convicted of desertion he’ll probably get little more than a bad conduct discharge and forfeiture of any benefits. It’s unlikely that he’d see prison time – and, really, how would that even be a punishment compared to what he’s already been through? Likely he won’t ever face a hearing and he’ll be administratively separated from the service at the Army’s earliest possible convenience.
But, and here’s the thing so pay attention, even if Bergdahl is tried and found guilty of desertion, even if he’s found guilty of treason as some would have it, he’ll go to prison – we won’t give him back to the Taliban.
There is no crime so great that leaving him in the hands of our enemies is the indicated punishment.
He was, he is, one of ours. Period.
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