Here is the Republican response to the deal reached by the Obama administration to trade five Taliban prisoners in Gitmo for the lone American prisoner of war in Afghanistan, Army Sgt Bowe Bergdahl……
“Trading five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl’s release may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans. Our terrorist adversaries now have a strong incentive to capture Americans. That incentive will put our forces in Afghanistan and around the world at even greater risk,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. McKeon (R-Calif.) and the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, James M. Inhofe (Okla.), said in a joint statement.
Politicizing tragedy in foreign countries is what Republicans always do. Simply consider their 2 year exploitation of 4 dead Americans in the Benghazi tragedy….all for political purposes. So, it comes as no surprise that Republicans would openly criticize Obama’s decision to swap prisoners. If Obama encouraged world peace, Republicans would instantly accuse him of surrendering to enemies…..so, no surprise that Republicans did not greet the welcome news of Bergdahl’s release as a positive accomplishment.
But then, Republicans have been fighting for 2 solid years to prevent the Obama administration from negotiating a deal for the release of our lone prisoner of war in Afghanistan. This excerpt is from a must-read article written two years ago exclusively focusing on Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl…..
“The Hill is giving State and the White House shit,” says one senior administration source. “The political consequences are being used as leverage in the policy debate.” According to White House sources, Marc Grossman, who replaced Richard Holbrooke as special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, was given a direct warning by the president’s opponents in Congress about trading Bowe for five Taliban prisoners during an election year. “They keep telling me it’s going to be Obama’s Willie Horton moment,” Grossman warned the White House. The threat was as ugly as it was clear: The president’s political enemies were prepared to use the release of violent prisoners to paint Obama as a Dukakis-like appeaser, just as Republicans did to the former Massachusetts governor during the 1988 campaign. In response, a White House official advised Grossman that he should ignore the politics of the swap and concentrate solely on the policy.
“Frankly, we don’t give a shit why he left,” says one White House official. “He’s an American soldier. We want to bring him home.”
Take special note of this sentence……“The political consequences are being used as leverage in the policy debate.” Rather than acknowledging that the release of U.S. Sgt Bergdahl from captivity was the vital issue at hand TWO YEARS AGO, Republicans threatened President Obama with political extortion payback if such a negotiation for release was accomplished. Republicans threatened Obama TWO YEARS AGO….that if he traded prisoners to gain Bergdahl’s release, they would relentlessly punish him, and Democrats, by saturating corporate media with negative ads accusing him of “negotiating with evil terrorists.”
Umm….been there, done that….
Those in the Pentagon who oppose the prisoner exchange have insisted that the deal would send the wrong message to America’s enemies. “The Pentagon is making the argument that American soldiers would become targets for kidnapping,” says a senior administration official. “We pushed back on that. They already are – the Taliban and Al Qaeda have been using their resources to kidnap Americans for years.” Prisoner exchanges take place at the ground level all the time in Afghanistan, and Gen. David Petraeus, now the head of the CIA, has pointed out in discussions about Bowe that U.S. forces made distasteful swaps in Iraq – including one involving Qais Khazali, a Shiite extremist who orchestrated the kidnapping and execution of four U.S. soldiers in Karbala in 2007. Even a hard-line Israeli nationalist like Benjamin Netanyahu has recognized the value of a single soldier: In October, the prime minister agreed to free 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli corporal who had been held captive by Hamas for five years. The move was overwhelmingly supported by the majority of Israelis. “The Israelis really care about the value of one life,” says a senior U.S. official. “Does the American public?”
Republicans are oh-so-upset about Obama’s prisoner exchange deal…..upset about a prisoner exchange deal that their favorite General, Petreaus…..their favorite ally…Israel, and their favorite president….Ronaldus Maximus…..also struck through, you know, “negotiating with terrorists.”
No, the whining and bitching from Republicans over a prisoner transfer has not a leg to stand upon……but reality thinking has nothing to do with their objections.
It is Obama who negotiated the prisoner exchange. THAT is the only reason for today’s Republican whining.
Take note here how dearly Republicans value the life of even one single prisoner. They see the negotiated release of that U.S. soldier as something they can use to bale political hay…..just like how they regarded the deaths of 4 Americans in Benghazi.
That’s how much they “support the troops.”