7:11 AM, Jun 19, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Tom Cotton, speaking yesterday on the Bowe Bergdahl-Taliban swap:
"Five years ago today, I was a captain in the United States Army in Laghman Province, so I think I will take the prerogative to speak on behalf of the soldiers who served in Afghanistan," said Cotton.
“I find it offensive and insulting that this administration, up to and including the president, would cite the principle of leaving no man behind to justify this action. Every day in Ranger School, we recited the Ranger Creed that I will never leave a fallen comrade. You know who didn’t leave a fallen comrade? Cody Full, Darryn Andrews, or all the soldiers who went after him in the weeks and months after his disappearance, knowing that he had deserted. When we made those promises to each other, we didn’t promise that we would exchange five stone-cold Taliban killers for each other, nor would any soldier want that to happen. Would we exchange Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken said directly to me that we would not.
“Finally, I want to say something to the anonymous sources in the president’s administration who are disparaging the service of Second Platoon and Blackfoot Company. Show yourself, speaking your own name, have the courage of your convictions. If you don’t, shut up, stand back, and thank these men for their service.”
The Taliban Five are even worse than you’ve heard. Jun 23, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 39 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
One of the five senior Taliban leaders transferred to Qatar in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl played a key role in al Qaeda’s plans leading up to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Mohammad Fazl, who served as the Taliban’s army chief of staff and deputy defense minister prior to his detention at Guantánamo, did not have a hand in planning the actual 9/11 hijackings. Along with a notorious al Qaeda leader, however, Fazl did help coordinate a military offensive against the enemies of the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan the day before.
1:39 PM, Jun 12, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
NBC reports that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will return to America tonight:
He's expected to be moved to an Army base in Texas.
7:37 AM, Jun 11, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Hillary Clinton says the Taliban 5, released more than a week ago by President Obama, are "not a threat to the United States."
But Hagel says Obama "made the ultimate decision."9:22 PM, Jun 9, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The last question asked at Monday night's closed-door briefing of members of the House of Representatives was a simple one: Who made the decision to transfer five top Taliban officials held at Guantanamo Bay to Qatar in exchange for the return of the Taliban's lone American POW, Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl?
According to Buck McKeon, the chairman of the House Armed Services committee, the Obama administration's briefers told the gathered House members that the person responsible for the decision to make the deal was not President Obama but Chuck Hagel, the secretary of defense.
2:43 PM, Jun 9, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A spokeswoman for the State Department referred to the Taliban operatives released from Guantanamo Bay as part of the deal to retrieve Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl as "gentlemen." In a Monday afternoon appearance with Andrew Mitchell on MSNBC, Marie Harf, the deputy spokesperson at State and an alumna of the Obama campaign, argued with Mitchell over the question of whether or not Congress should have ben notified about the exchange before it occured.
12:49 PM, Jun 8, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
In an interview with CNN, Secretary of State John Kerry is careful not to say that Bowe Bergdahl served with "honor and distinction."
CNN's Elise Labott asks Kerry, "Some people say Bowe Bergdahl is being swiftboated. Do you agree with that? Did he serve with honor and distinction, as National Security Advisor Rice said?"
Three years ago, Obama went to court to keep a Taliban leader at Gitmo. Now he's out.11:00 AM, Jun 7, 2014 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
While some top Obama administration officials are downplaying threats posed the five senior Taliban officials released from Guantanamo in the prisoner exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, not long ago the administration went to court to prevent one of those men from going free.
3:00 PM, Jun 6, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
National Security Adviser Susan Rice is sticking by her praise for Sgt. Bergdahl. Sort of.
When asked by CNN about her praise for Bergdahl, whom she said served the U.S. with "honor and distinction," she suggested she was talking about his decision to join the military.
7:29 AM, Jun 6, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Time magazine is reporting that during an interview about the deal to trade Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo, when "[a]sked whether the Taliban would be inspired by the exchange to kidnap others, a commander laughed.
Jun 16, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 38 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
“Regardless of the circumstances, whatever those circumstances may turn out to be, we still get an American soldier back if he’s held in captivity. Period. Full stop. We don’t condition that. That’s what every mom and dad who sees a son or daughter sent over into [a] war theater should expect not just from their commander in chief but the United States of America. . . . The United States has always had a pretty sacred rule.
Jun 16, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 38 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
President Barack Obama and his advisers have long sought to release the five most dangerous Taliban commanders held in U.S. custody at Guantánamo. Bipartisan opposition scuttled a possible deal in 2012 because of a consensus that the “Taliban Five,” as they’ve come to be known, posed too great a threat. Even Senate Democrats were unwilling to go along with the administration’s plans then. But last week the president had the Taliban Five transferred to Qatar.
10:35 PM, Jun 5, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
It's no surprise New York Times editorials reflexively defend President Obama, but the decision to refocus the blame on Bowe Bergdahl's fellow soldiers for his apparent desertion is pretty astonishing. And yet, here we have the Times is fretting about "The Rush to Demonize Sgt. Bergdahl":
1:54 PM, Jun 5, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Harry Reid on when the White House notified Congress of the Bergdahl-Taliban swap: "What difference does it make?"
A reporter asked, "How come it seems that you were the only one who got a heads-up the day before?"
Senate majority leader Reid answered, "I'm not sure I'm the only one. I mean, this is making a big deal over nothing. The whole deal, is it Friday or Saturday? What difference does it make? What difference does it make?"