fresh voices from the front lines of change







The safe release of an American POW is usually a cause for celebration. But there will be no yellow ribbons on the right for Army Sgt. Bowe Berghdal, who was released after being held by the Taliban for five years.

Sgt. Bergdahl was the last American held by the Taliban. Stories of his June 2009 abduction vary. In a video released by his captors, Bergdahl said he was captured when he fell behind on patrol. The Taliban claim that Bergdahl was captured after getting drunk and wandering off base. Other sources, including some of his fellow soldiers, claim Bergdahl deserted his post.

The White House, believing that Bergdahl’s “safety and health were both in jeopardy,” after a video of Bergdahl surfaced in January showed that his health was deteriorating, acted swiftly to secure his release. Bergdahl was freed in exchange for the release of five Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Not every one is celebrating. Republicans criticized the deal that freed Bergdahl, claiming that it amounted to “negotiating with terrorists." Of course, the US has negotiated for the release of hostages throughout its history. Iran-Contra scandal, anyone?

Former Bush administration official John Bellinger said that George W. Bush would have made the same decision as Obama. Maybe that’s because Dubya negotiated with Sunni insurgents in Iraq, working with and even paying people who had killed American soldiers in the Iraq war.

Maybe it’s just wrong because Obama did it.

Things just got uglier from there:

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff tweeted in response to Bergdahl’s release, "It is our ethos that we never leave a fallen comrade. Welcome home SGT Bowe Bergdahl.” President Obama, in a statement on Bergdahl’s release said, “Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield.”

Perhaps right-wingers are just ticked off that they missed a chance to argue for leaving some American soldiers behind. Maybe they just can’t come out and say that they believe Bowe Bergdahl should have died in captivity. Or maybe Bergdahl has become the right’s new Benghazi, since their old obsession turned into a laughing stock and a ratings bomb.

Here’s the rest of the worst in wingnuttia this week.

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