Alea iacta est… the Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and we have the results for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.
“Treason doth never prosper, what’s the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it Treason” – Sir John Harrington
“Nemo umquam sapiens proditori credendum putavit” (“No man of wisdom has ever believed a traitor should be trusted”) – Cicero
“If He play, being young and unskilful, for shekels of silver and gold, Take His money, my son, praising Allah. The fool was meant to be sold, – Hafez, circa 14th century
The big story this week concerned the sudden swap of five senior and very dangerous Taliban commanders for one Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S., soldier whom as it turns out, had some peculiar views about his country, at the very least deserted and very possibly did more than that. This week’s winner, Joshuapundit’s ‘The Horror That Is America’ – Ransoming Bowe Bergdahl, is my take on this transaction and how the Obama Administration attempted to sell it to the American people – and even more what it says about our Commander-in-Chief and his team. Here’s a slice:
President Obama staged a convenient photo-op in the Rose garden with the parents of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier captured by the Taliban under suspicious circumstances and released in exchange for five senior Taliban commanders held in Club Gitmo. The event was stilted and strange for a number of reasons.
It was absolutely astounding to hear this president say that ‘we leave no man behind’ in view of what happened in Benghazi…and of course, with the revelation of the VA ‘death lists’, I’d say those wounded vets were definitely left behind.
Then there was the lingering fallout from the fact that once again, this president blatantly broke the law, which called for the president to inform Congress 30 days before any pending transfer of jihadis from Gitmo. Even Obama loyalists like the New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin and California Democrat Dianne Feinstein were shocked and critical over this. And members of the president’s own team who voiced any opposition to the way this deal was being conducted were simply told to shut up and salute.
But the president’s behavior aside, Robert Bergdahl, Bowe Bergdahl’s father was absolutely bizarre.
After the usual remarks, Bergdahl said his son had supposedly lost the ability to speak English and recited”“Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim.” That phrase, from the Qu’ran translates as “In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Compassionate.”
Either Bergdahl has converted to Islam or is simply unknowing, but uttering that phrase is a profession of belief in the Muslim faith. Was that supposed to be a message to his son, who mentioned in Taliban propaganda films that he was ‘exploring Islam?’
Since the words are Arabic, not Pashto, the language his son’s Taliban captors would have been speaking, it somehow doesn’t gel with the idea of a father trying to communicate with a son who has supposedly lost the ability to speak his native language in a mere 5 years.
Bergdahl senior apparently also has some interesting views on America, not that he isn’t entitled. Here’s a tweet he tried to delete:
Why would anyone be working to free the sort of murderers held at in Club Gitmo if they had, shall we say, a positive view of America? And since he obviously doesn’t hold the Taliban or other jihadis responsible for ‘the death of every Afghan child’ because he wants them all freed, it’s obvious he blames America for their deaths….and is calling for Allah to take revenge.
Bowe Bergdahl himself apparently has some interesting views on his service and his country.
Shortly before the Taliban got their hands on him, he said in an e-mail to his father:
“I am sorry for everything here,” he wrote. “These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid.”
Bergdahl also complained about fellow soldiers. The battalion commander was a “conceited old fool,” he said, and the only “decent” sergeants, planning to leave the platoon “as soon as they can,” told the privates — Bergdahl then among them — “to do the same.”
“I am ashamed to be an American. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools,” he concluded. “I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting.”
His father’s reply? “OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!”
OK…it’s a soldier’s prerogative to gripe from time to time. But ‘I’m ashamed to be an American’ and ‘The horror that is America is disgusting’? Obviously we have someone who was raised with certain views and given his father’s outbursts, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
Three days after that e-mail exchange, Bowe Bergdahl left camp on his own without authorization accompanied by two Afghans whom he had befriended, according to the original report. The Taliban said Bergdahl was intoxicated when they captured him,something the Army denied although since they weren’t present at the scene, one wonders how they would know.
What Bergdahl did is commonly known as desertion, and a number of his fellow soldiers see it exactly that way.
My own take is that Bergdahl was likely a career flake who probably never intended to desert, but merely intended to go AWOL. He went off with some Afghans he trusted with the idea of scoring drugs and/or sex. Instead, they apparently sold him to the Taliban while he was ‘relaxing’, which would square with the Taliban’s account that he was intoxicated when they picked him up (note the word I’m using, ‘intoxicated’ as opposed to ‘drunk’. Booze is difficult to find in Muslim rural Afghanistan except in areas like military bases or Kabul where westerners hang out,while dope is easy to score).
At the every least, he was obviously AWOL, and his tale about being captured while ‘lagging behind on patrol’ was exploded as sheer BS early on.
Aside from that, apparently there were casualties that were incurred searching for him. Men died because Bowe Bergdahl decided to bug out.
It seems pretty obvious Bowe Bergdahl did not ‘serve with honor and distinction’ nor was he ‘captured on the battlefield’ as President Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan ‘It Was The Video, The Video’ Rice insisted to the talking heads at ABC. Although perhaps that’s how the team in the White House considers it, given what appears to be their conception of ‘honor and distinction’. Especially since Bergdahl’s being cut loose got some Gitmo jihadis freed and knocked the VA scandal out of the headlines for awhile.
Six soldiers whom did not desert lost their lives searching for him. ‘Honor and distinction?’
What he did not only led to American casualties but the freeing of five dangerous men, and it put a price on the head of every American in Afghanistan now that the Taliban has seen that kidnapping is such a successful tactic.
Much, much more at the link.
In our non-Council category, the winner was Andrew McCarthy/The Corner – The Taliban Swap and “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey. As always, McCarthy gets to the heart of the matter… all the Constitutional arguments aside, what we have here is a Commander-in-Chief who released five top level enemy commanders in exchange for one questionable soldier, while hostilities are ongoing and American lives are at risk. Do read it.
Here are this week’s full results. Only Rhymes With Right was unable to vote this week, and only Rhymes With Right was affected by the 2/3 vote penalty:
- *First place with 5 votes! – Joshuapundit – ‘The Horror That Is America’ – Ransoming Bowe Bergdahl
- Second place with 1 2/3 votes – The Noisy Room – War Is Peace, Citizens Are The Enemy
- Third place with 1 1/3 vote – The Right Planet – The Strange Case Of Bowe Bergdahl
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – The Razor – Guess I’m a Racist Too
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – The Independent Sentinel – Destroying the US to Slow the Rise of the Oceans and Heal the Planet
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – Liberty’s Spirit – Trigger Warnings, Honest Realities and Stupid Celebrity Tricks
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Jütland
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Nice Deb – Video: Obama Receives Only Tepid Applause at West Point
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Simply Jews – IRS TAG BOLO-es Z Street
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Colossus of Rhodey – Child-like comicbook creators just can’t decide
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Glittering Eye – Schedules Without Milestones
- *First place with 2 1/3 votes! – Andrew McCarthy/The Corner – The Taliban Swap and “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey
- Second place with 2 votes – Melanie Phillips/Commentary – ‘Jesus Was a Palestinian’: The Return of Christian Anti-Semitism submitted by Joshuapundit
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Sultan Knish – Twilight Of The Family submitted by The Independent Sentinel
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – American Thinker – The Greatest Murder Machine in History submitted by The Right Planet
- Fourth place with 1 1/3 votes – Stephen Hayes/The Weekly Standard – Hillary’s Failed Benghazi Spin submitted by Liberty’s Spirit
- Fifth place *t* with 1 vote – Capitalist Preservation – If Voting Once is Nice, Voting Twice is…? submitted by Simply Jews
- Fifth place *t* with 1 vote- Josh Rogin/The Daily Beast – Bergdahl Deal Could Be First Step to Emptying Gitmo submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Paul Bedard/Washington Examiner – Dinesh D’Souza’s ‘America’ warns Hillary Clinton will ‘finish off’ the country submitted by The Noisy Room
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Sense Of Events – The Constitutional problems with the Bergdahl-Taliban swap submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Truth Revolt – Feinstein: Obama Violated Law In Gitmo Deal submitted by VA Right!
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Victor Davis Hanson – The New Regressives submitted by The Watcher
- Seventh place with 1/3 vote – I Own The World – The Smile submitted by Bookworm Room
See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!