Now - please prepare to be used as a political tool by the GOP, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
And please prepare to be bashed by CNN
. Ignore great stories like this.
Soldiers at the sprawling Bagram Airfield, the main hub for US forces in Afghanistan, were surprised to learn when they woke on Sunday that Bergdahl had been treated at their base's hospital and was free of his captors.
Staff Sergeant Robert Mashburn, 28, heard the news from his wife in a Skype phone call.
"My wife told me that a soldier had been freed and I knew who it was,"said Mashburn, a member of the 101st Airborne.
That Bergdahl's release came at a price, with five senior Taliban figures allowed to leave the US prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, posed a difficult dilemma, he said.
"Letting them (Taliban militants) go, I don't want to see that happen. At the same time, I would do anything for that soldier, " he said. (snip)
"Whatever your beliefs, if you think we should be here or we shouldn't be here, we have someone, an American, in captivity and we've got to get him. I think everyone can agree on that," he said.
We live in a very sick world... A world where we do not dare question the idea of trading ARMS for hostages (Iran Contra), but have a collective outrage that we traded prisoners (from a place that should have been shut down years ago) for a soldier, a prisoner of war. Immediately after the announcement, Members of the GOP starting using words like illegal, against protocol and wrong
. We heard about how awful it was that we released 5 of the most terrible awful people in the world to gain the freedom of one of our soldiers.
These 5 people were so awful that they had never been charged with a crime. They have been there so long, we can't even find a crime to charge them with and even if we do, no one knows where and HOW to have a trial.
As for the Taliban, these 5 were so critical that clearly they stopped operating while they were held captive. (Do I need to add a sarcasm tag for this sentence?)
Let me make myself clear, we brought a prisoner of war home and alive. Under any other circumstance (read: a Republican president) this would be cause for joy and celebration. This administration? He's hated among the Republican party. He can do nothing good enough for them
Two Republican lawmakers on Saturday accused President Barack Obama of breaking the law by approving the release of five Afghan detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for a U.S. soldier believed held by Islamist insurgents for five years.
The White House agreed that actions were taken in spite of legal requirements and cited "unique and exigent circumstances" as justification.
In comments on Sunday morning news programs, Republicans were unanimous in saying the deal would embolden U.S. enemies to take other Americans hostage and that Obama had violated the law that requires that Congress be notified 30 days in advance of any release of Guantánamo detainees.
Obama advisers fired back by saying Republicans would be in full attack mode if the U.S. government had squandered an opportunity to gain Bergdahl’s release.
Speaking to reporters traveling with him in Asia, Hagel also left open the possibility that the circumstances of Bergdahl’s capture might one day be investigated, but said that was not the Pentagon’s first priority. Bergdahl was first noticed missing from his base in Afghanistan June 30, 2009, amid allegations that he left the base voluntarily.
“Sgt. Bergdahl is a member of the United States Army,” Hagel said. “He's a sergeant in the United States Army. Our first priority is assuring his well-being and his health and getting him reunited with his family. Other circumstances that may develop and questions, those will be dealt with later.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican and possible 2016 presidential candidate, said the United States had paid “a very dangerous price” for Bergdahl’s freedom.
“I do not think the way to deal with terrorists is through releasing other violent terrorists,” Cruz told ABC’s “This Week” program.
Suggesting that the United States could have used military force to rescue Bergdahl, Cruz said: “The reason why the U.S. has had the policy of not negotiating with terrorists is because once you start doing it, every other terrorist has an incentive to capture more soldiers.”
In other words, we should have either let one of the soldiers we sent to war die there or use more force to rescue him. This is the mindset of the GOP war hawks. If it wasn't clear to the entire nation before, it should be crystal clear now. U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and Sean Smith were killed in Benghazi and we have yet ANOTHER investigation, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is brought home alive and the GOP is outraged.
Meanwhile Colonel Oliver North is a free man and lauded by the Republican party, in spite of being arrested for selling military weapons to Iran
. The president at the time claimed he just had no idea what was happening.
The Democratic-controlled United States Congress issued its own report on November 18, 1987, stating that "If the president did not know what his national security advisers were doing, he should have". The congressional report wrote that the president bore "ultimate responsibility" for wrongdoing by his aides, and his administration exhibited "secrecy, deception and disdain for the law". It also read that "the central remaining question is the role of the President in the Iran–Contra affair. On this critical point, the shredding of documents by Poindexter, North and others, and the death of Casey, leave the record incomplete".
Here we are, 27 years later, and we know exactly what happened to secure the release of one of our soldiers and that isn't good enough.
When they say they will leave no soldier behind
, remember this, they don't mean it in the sense that most normal people do, they don't care if the soldier is alive or dead. They only care for more bloodshed.
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl would never have become a prisoner of war if we had not started this war to begin with. Some say freedom isn't free, but freedom coming at a cost does not always mean the price is more death. Like it or not, actions have consequences, and this time, the price of freedom meant releasing our prisoners of war to bring one home. Make no mistake, until those people in GITMO are charged with a crime, they are nothing more than prisoners of Bush's War on Terror. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was not forgotten.