1~ THERE IS AT PRESENT NO PROOF BERGDAHL DESERTED.
There are 2 different stories being told by 2 different groups of his comrades on that outpost.
One group swears he was always itching for a fight with the Taliban and may have gone off looking for one. This group says he was a good dependable "go-getter".
The other group says he was arrogant, standoffish and expressed disenchantment with the U.S. government for killing innocent children and deserted his post.
Several on that outpost had been reprimanded and/or replaced PRIOR to Bergdahl's disappearance. .
2~ NEITHER THE TALIBAN IN AFGHANISTAN NOR THE GOVERNMENT OF QATAR, THE 2 ENTITIES THAT THE U.S. NEGOTIATED THE PRISONER EXCHANGE WITH, ARE LISTED AS "TERRORISTS".
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT RONALD REAGAN CALLED THE TALIBAN "FREEDOM FIGHTERS" AND SENT THEM ARMS TO FIGHT THE SOVIETS. HE EVEN DEDICATED A SPACE MISSION TO THEM!
A new State Department report designating terrorist organizations notably excludes one group: the Taliban.
3~ IT IS NOT, I REPEAT, NOT THE PRESIDENT WHO IS TO NOTIFY CONGRESS OF A PRISONER EXCHANGE. IT IS THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE.
Current law, signed by Obama in December, stipulates that the defense secretary must notify relevant congressional committees at least 30 days
before transferring anyone from Guantanamo Bay and provide assurances
that those released would not be in a position to again threaten the
United States or its interests.
THE IDIOTS IN CONGRESS PASSED THAT BILL THEMSELVES! DIDN'T THEY READ ANY OF IT?
MANY LEGAL EXPERTS AGREE THAT THE SIGNING STATEMENT OBAMA ADDED TO THAT BILL ALLOWED THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH TO EXERCISE THE RIGHT TO SO NEGOTIATE A PRISONER EXCHANGE WITHOUT INFORMING CONGRESS.
Writing about the law last year, Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution said it put the administration "in a position to move detainees out of Guantanamo as long as it is willing to be politically accountable for the problems they create and as long as they don't bring them to the United States."
Under the law, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel can authorize such a transfer if he "determines that actions have or will be taken that
substantially mitigate the risk that the individual will engage in
activity that threatens the United States or U.S. persons or interests,"
or if the transfer "is in the national security interest of the United
States," Hayden said.
New York Times: Military Officials Agree U.S. Should Prioritize Return Of American Prisoners. The Times highlighted
military officials explaining the importance of the U.S.'s
long-standing commitment to the idea that no man or woman should ever be
left behind. The General formerly in charge of military operations in
Afghanistan called this absolute principle "more important than a
paycheck or a medal":The New York Times, 6/3/14]
4~ CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS HAVE BEEN BRIEFED ON A POSSIBLE PRISONER EXCHANGE FOR BERGDAHL FOR OVER 5 YEARS! THEY WERE TOLD LATE LAST YEAR THAT IT WOULD LIKELY COME SOON. EVEN BOEHNER WON'T DENY THAT!
AND, THE GOP HAS PUSHED FOR BERGDAHL'S RELEASE SINCE OBAMA TOOK OFFICE! THEY CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS, BUT WITH ELECTIONS AHEAD OF SOME, THEY WANT TO LOOK "TOUGH"...IF ONLY THEY COULD.
"We received a detailed classified notification from the Secretary of Defense that satisfies the many substantive certification requirements of the National Defense Authorization Act," said a statement by Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Noting that Obama "put Congress on notice" last December that he intended to act quickly in such cases, "members of Congress should not be surprised that he acted as he did in the circumstances that existed."
5~ TOP BUSH ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS HAVE SAID BUSH WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME THING OBAMA DID, THAT OTHER PRESIDENTS HAVE NEGOTIATED SIMILAR HOSTAGE EXCHANGES ,AND A FEW GOP MEMBERS OF CONGRESS HAVE SHAMED THEIR OWN FOR CHANGING THEIR TUNE FROM WANTING BERGDAHL RELEASED "WITH ALL DUE HASTE".
Former Bush Defense Official Charles Stimson: Any President Would Negotiate With Taliban. USA Today reported that President George W. Bush's former Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for Detainee Affairs Charles Stimson dismissed critics of the negotiations, saying any Republican or Democratic president has done and would do the same:
Under President George W. Bush, Stimson helped coordinate the Pentagon's detainee operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other places around the world. He said presidential administrations of both political parties routinely have been forced to deal with terrorist groups for "information, supplies, personnel -- a lot of different topics."
Facing a deadline like that, Stimson said, any president -- Republican or Democrat -- could have made the same decision.
"Anyone who says otherwise ... hasn't been involved in these kinds of negotiations." [SOURCE: USA Today, 6/2/14]
John Bellinger, former legal adviser to Department of State under George Bush, defended the Obama administration's move, saying "these particular detainees I think could never have been tried in federal court." He insisted that the Bush administration "would have made the same decision." Bellinger noted that the Bush administration "returned something like 500 detainees from Guantanamo."
"In other words, and I have heard this from various sources, the government will HAVE to release these prisoners once the war in Afghanistan is officially over. "
"There's little that's actually new here," said Mitchell Reiss, who worked in the State Department under President George W. Bush and served as national security adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. "It may be new to certain individuals. Whether it's new or not is not as important as whether it's sound policy and promotes national security. That's the ground where there's a more legitimate debate."
In his book, Negotiating with Evil, Reiss wrote that America actually has a detailed history of negotiating with terrorists and rogue regimes that support terrorist activity.
After the North Koreans captured the U.S.S. Pueblo in 1968, President Lyndon Johnson apologized for spying as part of negotiations to secure the release of 83 American prisoners.
· In 1970, President Richard Nixon pressured Israel, Switzerland, West Germany and Britain to release Palestinian prisoners after two airlines were hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
· During the Iran hostage crisis of 1979 to 1981, President Jimmy Carter agreed to unfreeze $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets after more than a year of negotiations with the Iranian revolutionaries.
· In perhaps the most famous swap, after seven Americans were captured in Beirut, Lebanon, President Ronald Reagan agreed to send missiles to Iran in what became known as the Iran-Contra scandal.
· President Bill Clinton's administration sat down with Hamas in attempts to negotiate peace with Israel. His administration also worked directly with the Taliban nearly two decades ago on several occasions to see if the group would hand over Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders.
Reiss also noted that President George W. Bush engaged in negotiations with Iran and North Korea even after decreeing them part of the "Axis of Evil." [SOURCE:PolitiFact, 6/1/14]
On Special Report, Charles Krauthammer defended President Obama’s power to release the detainees without telling Congress. He said the spirit of the law was to prevent the president from emptying Guantanamo.
Krauthammer said, “The one area where the president holds the upper hand in those disputes is in matters of war and peace, he’s commander in chief. And I think a prisoner exchange is in the province of the presidency.”
Krauthammer said a country has two “iron clad” obligations.
The first is if there’s a soldier being held prisoner, you get him back. The second obligation he outlined is, “If you desert your unit, you are subject to military discipline. I would say you free him, and then you try him.”
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell Laid The Groundwork For Taliban Negotiations. Serving under President Bush in 2002, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell designated the Afghan Taliban an organization authorized for select legal negotiations, unlike the terror group Al Qaeda, as Newsweek pointed out:
By making this distinction -- a position ultimately adopted by Bush -- then the United States would be preserving its ability to credibly declare captured American soldiers to be prisoners of war. The recommendation, Powell wrote, "maintains POW status for U.S. forces ... and generally supports the U.S. objective of ensuring its forces are accorded protection under the [Geneva] Conventions."
Without allowing for negotiations with the Taliban, all captured American forces would immediately be sent down a legal black hole under which no means exists -- other than the commitment of more soldiers in what might prove to be a fruitless rescue attempt -- for their rescue. [SOURCE: Newsweek, 6/3/14]
6~ WE ARE NOT AT WAR WITH AFGHANISTAN. WE HAVE NEVER DECLARED A WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST...NOT AGAINST ANY NATION. WE HAVE SENT TROOPS TO UNDECLARED WARS.
7~ ACCORDING TO GENEVA CONVENTION, WHEN WARS END, ALL POWs ARE TO BE REPATRIATED. WARRING FORCES ARE EXPECTED TO TRADE POWs IMMEDIATELY.
ALL WHO ARE IN GUANTANAMO WILL HAVE TO BE SENT "HOME" BY THE TIME WE LEAVE AFGHANISTAN FOREVER IN 2016.
KARZAI HIMSELF HAS DEMANDED THIS!
NONE OF THE 5 TALIBAN RELEASED WERE FACING TRIAL FOR ANY CRIME.
THERE WAS NO REASON TO FURTHER DETAIN THEM IF WE WERE NOT GOING TO CHARGE THEM.
When wars end, prisoners taken into custody must be released. These five Guantanamo detainees were almost all members of the Taliban, according to the biographies of the five detainees that the Afghan Analysts Network compiled in 2012. None were facing charges in either military or civilian courts for their actions. It remains an open question whether the end of U.S. involvement in the armed conflict in Afghanistan requires that all Guantanamo Bay detainees must be released. But there is no doubt that Taliban detainees captured in Afghanistan must be released because the armed conflict against the Taliban will be over. [Center For American Progress, 6/2/14]
Military Code Of Conduct: U.S. Govt. "Will Use Any Practical Means To Contact, Support And Gain Release" Of POWs. A Department of Defense military code of conduct and ethics dating back to 1954 states that the U.S. government has an explicit obligation and responsibility to "stand by" POWs and that the government "will use every practical means to contact, support and gain release for you and for all other prisoners of war" (emphasis added):
As a member of the armed forces of the United States, you are protecting your nation. It is your duty to oppose all enemies of the United States in combat or, if a captive, in a prisoner of war compound. Your behavior is guided by the Code of Conduct, which has evolved from the heroic lives, experiences and deeds of Americans from the Revolutionary War to the Southeast Asian Conflict.
Just as you have a responsibility to your country under the Code of Conduct, the United States government has an equal responsibility -- to keep faith with you and stand by you as you fight for your country. If you are unfortunate enough to become a prisoner of war, you may rest assured that your government will care for your dependents and will never forget you. Furthermore, the government will use every practical means to contact, support and gain release for you and for all other prisoners of war. [American Civil Liberties Union, accessed 6/2/14]
8~ WHEN THE GOP MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, ALMOST EVERY ONE OF THEM, WERE PUSHING OBAMA TO RESCUE OUR POW, MANY/MOST SCREAMED THAT HE WAS TOO WEAK A PRESIDENT TO GET OUR MAN OUT OF TALIBAN HANDS.
NOW THEY SAY IT IS A SIGN OF WEAKNESS THAT OBAMA DID GET HIM OUT AND THAT THE "TERRORISTS" WILL SEE ALL OF AMERICA AS WEAK BECAUSE OF THIS POW RESCUE.
IF NEGOTIATING RELEASE OF PRISONERS IS A SIGN OF WEAKNESS THEN EVERY PRESIDENT SINCE WORLD WAR 2 HAS BEEN WEAK!
HAVE THEY FORGOTTEN IRAN-CONTRA, THE REAGAN FIASCO THAT BACKFIRED ON THAT ADMINISTRATION?
I DON'T FEEL WEAK, I DON'T FEEL WEAK AT ALL!
As the gentleman who writes the STONEKETTLE BLOGS succinctly stated:
<<But what they conveniently fail to mention are those pictures of Cheney and Rumsfeld with Saddam Hussein, back when we were giving the murderous Iraqi despot money and guns in his war against Iran and which he later used to invade Kuwait. Or that part where we armed Osama bin Laden with Stinger missiles and all the guns he and the Mujahidin could carry into Afghanistan. Or that part where these people’s beloved patron saint, one Ronald Reagan, sold arms to our mortal enemies in Iran, a nation the US Congress and that very same President had publicly labeled a terrorist state, the very same terrorist rat b___ds who took our entire embassy staff hostage and held them for over a year. Or that part where that very same administration took the profits from that arms deal with terrorists and used it to finance still more terrorists in the jungles of Central America. And the really, really amusing part is that the same people who are right now shouting “we don’t negotiate with terrorists!” are some of the very same people, name for name, who were personally negotiating with terrorists in Iran, in Iraq, in Libya, in Afghanistan, in Colombia, in Nicaragua, in Somalia, and in Beirut.
We don’t negotiate with terrorists?
The staggering hypocrisy of John McCain continues unabated, the man is a disgrace to the uniform he once wore and the honor he swore to uphold. McCain, more than any other living American, should know what it’s like when governments value politics over their own citizens. Navy Lieutenant John McCain, if he still exists inside that wretched bitter old man, that John McCain more than any other should remember what it’s like to come home as a POW under a cloud of doubt and suspicion. But Vietnam was a long, long time ago and John McCain is a rich man now and more than willing to condemn others for his own sins.
What does it tell the terrorists?
This, this right here, is where we as a nation, need to say no more.
We need to stand up and say we’ve had enough. That not only are we sick and tired of being afraid of terrorists, but we’re even more tired of listening to the fearful cries of the other terrorists, the ones who practice being terrified as a political philosophy.
This madness, this crippling unreasoning fear, must be dragged into the heat of the sun and cauterized, before it kills us all.
What does it tell the terrorists?
Fourteen years we’ve been killing these ____, we’ve killed thousands of them, we’ve killed their families, we’ve destroyed their country, we rooted them out of their strongholds, we hunted down their leader and shot him in the head and dumped his body into the sea.
And for what? So we can still be afraid?
Why do we have the mightiest military in the world? In the history of the world, if we have to live in fear of what the ____ terrorists think?
What does Ted Cruz’s statement tell the US Military?
What does it tell the terrorists? Who cares. The real question is what does it tell America?
That under a Tea Party administration if you’re captured by terrorists, well ___ you, Soldier. We don’t negotiate with terrorists. Our vaunted principles, our inflexible ideology, our unbending politics and our sound-bite simple-minded doctrine is worth more than your life. We don’t negotiate with terrorists (even though we really do, don’t we? Pretty much all of the time). Besides, you’re probably a traitor anyway.
Think about that.
Think about it real hard.
Think about it real hard, especially if you’re the parent of a soldier-age son or daughter.
The day we forget that, the day the fear of “what will the terrorists think” becomes more important to us than that sacred obligation, that’s the day America dies.
Whether or not Bowe Bergdahl is a hero or a deserter or just a hapless fool who screwed up under the enormous pressures of war, he’s still an American.
He’s one of ours.>>
THE GOP HAS CALLED FOR INVESTIGATION AFTER INVESTIGATION INTO EVERYTHING OBAMA HAS DONE SINCE HE TOOK OFFICE.
THE RAW VENOMOUS HATRED THEY HAVE FOR THIS PRESIDENT WILL HAVE THEM INVESTIGATING HOW MANY SHEETS OF TOILET PAPER OBAMA USED TO WIPE HIS BEHIND BEFORE THE MAN LEAVES OFFICE.
I AM NO FAN OF OBAMA'S, NOR WAS I A FAN OF RONALD REAGAN.
I THOUGHT JIMMY CARTER WAS A JOKE, AND I ALSO SAW GEORGE W. BUSH AS AN ILLITERATE BUFFOON.
EVERY SINGLE PRESIDENT WE HAVE ELECTED HAS LIED, LIED, LIED!
BUT THE REPUBLICAN MEMBERS OF THIS CONGRESS WILL SURELY GO DOWN IN THE HISTORY BOOKS AS THE MOST HATE-MONGERING, FEAR-SPREADING, LYING, HYPOCRITICAL, EGOTISTICAL, TWO-FACED, RACIST, TREASONOUS, BIGOTED, WALL STREET WHORES EVER TO SIT IN THOSE SEATS SINCE THERE WERE SEATS TO SIT IN!
THEY REALLY OUGHT TO WEAR KKK WHITE SHEETS TO WORK EACH DAY!
NO COURT IS GOING TO CONVICT OBAMA OF ONE BLOODY THING, JUST LIKE NO COURT (HERE) CONVICTED GEORGE W. BUSH OF ANYTHING.
THE GOP CONGRESS WILL BANKRUPT AMERICA TRYING TO HANG OBAMA.
IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.
WHY CAN'T THEY JUST LET GO OF THE FACT THAT A "BLACK" MAN BEAT THE SOCKS OFF THEIR CANDIDATES?
AND WHY CAN'T THEY STOP TRYING TO MAKE IT ILLEGAL FOR NON-REPUBLICANS TO VOTE?
AND WHY CAN'T THEY ALLOW IMMIGRATION, SUCH AS THEIR IMMIGRANT ANCESTORS
ENJOYED WHEN THEY ALL CAME HERE WITHOUT GREEN CARDS OR "PAPERS" THAT LEGITIMIZED THEIR COMING TO AMERICA?
WHY CAN'T THEY ALLOW WORKING MEN AND WOMEN TO MAKE LESS THAN 10% OF WHAT THEY'RE PAID (ABOUT $400 AN HOUR!), WHY BEGRUDGE THEM A LOUSY MINIMUM WAGE THAT CAN SUSTAIN LIFE?
WHY CAN'T THEY VOTE TO INCREASE VETERANS' BENEFITS?
WHY DID THEY VOTE TO STOP COMBAT PAY FOR OUR TROOPS WHO ARE IN FIREFIGHTS EVERY DAY?
WHY WON'T THEY INCREASE FUNDS AND SHIPMENTS OF ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY EQUIPMENT, SUFFICIENT WATER, AND BETTER FOOD FOR OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE EAST?
WHY DID THEY VOTE TO TAKE FOOD STAMPS AWAY FROM CHILDREN, THE ELDERLY, THE POOR, THE DISABLED?
THEY'VE ALREADY BEEN VOTED THE MOST DO-NOTHING CONGRESS IN OUR NATION'S HISTORY!
WHY AREN'T THEY DOING WHAT WE PAY THEM TO DO?
WE PAY THEM TO VOTE EXACTLY AS WE, THE PEOPLE, TELL THEM TO VOTE!
WE PAY THEM TO SERVE US, NOT WALL STREET, NOT THE BIG BANKERS!
THE BERGDAHL PRISONER EXCHANGE WILL STAND.
THEY WON'T HANG OBAMA WITH THIS ONE, EITHER.
BUT WE, THE PEOPLE WILL PAY THROUGH THE NOSE FOR YET ANOTHER INVESTIGATION...BECAUSE THE GOP CONGRESS HATES THAT "BLACK" PRESIDENT ENOUGH TO BANKRUPT ALL OF US TO CRUCIFY HIM.
THE DUMB BIGOTS WILL SIMPLY NOT GIVE UP ON THAT!