Most of the time, Barack Obama is terrible at bringing people together. Yet, there have still been a select few times in the history of the Obama presidency in which the man demonstrates his uncanny ability to unite members of all political stripes against his own stupidity. The Bowe Bergdahl disaster is one of those times. Put simply, Obama broke the law by not consulting with Congress on the move, and he weakened America (even more) by letting a handful of Gitmo thugs run free. Oh yeah, and EVERYONE knows it.
Flip on any cable news outlet today and you’re likely to see Righties, Lefties, news anchors and otherwise lambasting the so-called “prisoner exchange” that saw us giving up five terrorists for one American whose own loyalties may have already been compromised. Obama has already dispatched his paid liars, from Jay Carney to Susan Rice, giving them the sole instruction to trumpet the terrorist trade. But while the administration attempts to put a positive face on the deal, I’d imagine that Team Obama is secretly regretting their decision to cut Congress out of this one. Why do I say that? Because they probably weren’t expecting this level of push-back from politicians and the media alike. As you can see above, even CNN’s legal scholars are convinced Obama broke the law. Check out what Jeffrey Toobin said for more on that score. Maybe if the White House wasn’t so worried about getting the media to talk about something other than the VA scandal, it might have handled this one with a little more care…but probably not.
Apart from a few outliers like Jonathan Alter, most analysts have concluded that this was one crappy deal, and that the Taliban essentially ate Obama’s lunch. Think of it this way: if we really got the better end of the bargain here, then why did we have to release FIVE terrorists in order to get one guy back? Weak sauce, man. Wouldn’t it be a greater show of strength to have a true 1:1 prisoner exchange, if we were even going to do this at all? Might I add that Obama released five specific terrorists of the Taliban’s choosing? I can only surmise there was a strategic reason they selected these particular individuals for release, and it can’t possibly spell good news. It’s almost as if the Taliban was creating an outrageous wish-list of hostage demands that they never expected an American president to agree to. Actually, that’s exactly what happened. Kind of like when Al Pacino’s bank-robbing character in “Dog Day Afternoon” ordered the police to deliver him a private getaway jet.
So what have we gotten from all of this? So far, it would seem like the answer is a whole lot of nothing. CNN even interviewed a soldier who served with Bergdahl who believes the guy is at best a deserter, and at worst a traitor. The retiring Jay Carney was also pressed on that yesterday and, predictably, wouldn’t offer up an answer one way or the other:
Ditto for the question of how we can be assured that the Gitmo Five won’t be a threat to the United States in the future:
Chuck Hagel’s spokesman over at the Pentagon did little to offer any sort of reassurances either:
There are many phrases one might use to describe this situation, but perhaps the most apt term is the word that starts with “cluster” and ends with “uck.” Ask yourself one question: do you feel safer today than you did before the Bergdahl news broke?
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