2:09 PM, Mar 25, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier held captive in Afghanistan by Taliban-affiliated terrorists for nearly five years, will be charged with desertion. Bergdahl was returned to the United States last year in exchange for five Taliban commanders being held at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Raf Sanchez at the Telegraph reports on Twitter:
In a 2014 issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, senior writer Stephen F. Hayes documented how the Obama administration's justification of the prisoner swap, including the insistence that Bergdahl was a "hero" fell apart quickly:
Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction”? “That’s not true,” Specialist Cody Full told The Weekly Standard. “He was a deserter. There’s no question in the minds of anyone in our platoon.”
Bergdahl’s rapidly declining health required immediate intervention to save his life? In a video of the hand-over released by the Taliban, Bergdahl appeared gaunt but walked without apparent difficulty to the waiting helicopter. Doctors at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany said he was having nutritional issues but listed him in “stable” condition. And, according to the Wall Street Journal, the video that generated the sense of urgency was filmed in December 2013, six months before the “emergency” prisoner exchange.
In the days following the announcement of the exchange, the public scrutiny of three aspects of the deal—Bergdahl’s disappearance, his health, and the threat posed by the release of the Guantánamo detainees—left Obama back where he started. His trip to Europe for a meeting of the G-7 was overshadowed by questions about the deal, and Obama found himself, once again, reacting to a crisis of his own making.
Read the whole thing here.
Members of Bergdahl's platoon also spoke out against the characterization of their fellow soldier as someone who served with honor and distinction:
In an appearance on ABC's This Week on Sunday, National Security Adviser Susan Rice claimed that Bergdahl "wasn't simply a hostage, he was an American prisoner of war, taken on the battlefield." She added: "He served the United States with honor and distinction."
"That's not true," says Specialist Cody Full, who served in the same platoon as Bergdahl, and whose tweets over the weekend as @CodyFNfootball offered an early firsthand account of Bergdahl's departure. "He was not a hero. What he did was not honorable. He knowingly deserted and put thousands of people in danger because he did. We swore to an oath and we upheld ours. He did not."
"He walked off—and 'walked off' is a nice way to put it," says Specialist Josh Cornelison, the medic in Bergdahl's platoon. "He was accounted for late that afternoon. He very specifically planned to walk out in the middle of the night."
"He was a deserter," says Specialist Full. "There's no question in the minds of anyone in our platoon."
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.
Hagel’s pathetic testimony on the Bergdahl swap.Jun 23, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 39 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
As the Obama administration’s case for the Bowe Bergdahl-Taliban prisoner exchange further unraveled last week, the geo-political implications of the deal became clearer. They’re not pretty.
In the hours before Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel clicked on the microphone to testify about the swap on June 11, Obama administration officials told reporters to expect a forceful defense of the exchange and an aggressive refutation of the criticism that has attended it.
Hosted by Michael Graham.6:55 PM, Jun 9, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on his recent story about how many White House statements about the Bergdahl/Taliban 5 swap have been contradicted either by facts or by testimony.
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.
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.
5:46 PM, Jun 4, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Congressman Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas and U.S. Senate candidate, told Neil Cavuto of Fox News Wednesday afternoon that the decision to exchange five Taliban operatives from Guantanamo Bay for the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has put the remaining American troops in Afghanistan in "greater danger."
1:22 PM, Jun 2, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Six American soldiers died in their search for Bowe Bergdahl, the Army sergeant freed by the Taliban in exchange for five Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Time magazine's Mark Thompson provides the names, photos, and stories of the men who did not return from their mission: staff sergeant Clayton Bowen, private first class Morris Walker, staff sergeant Kurt Curtiss, second lieutenant Darryn Andrews, staff sergeant Michael Murphrey, and private first class Matthew Martinek.
9:10 AM, Jun 21, 2013 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Shortly after opening its political office in Doha, Qatar earlier this week, the Taliban floated the idea of exchanging U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been in captivity since 2009, for the top five Taliban leaders in U.S. custody at Guantanamo. The offer, which has been a longstanding Taliban demand, was first reported by the Associated Press.
‹‹ More Recent