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?"
"There’s plenty of time – Elise, there’s plenty of time for people to sort through what happened, what didn’t happen. I don’t know all the facts of what--" Kerry replies.
The reporter follows up, "It sounds like you’re not sure he served with honor and distinction."
"No, that’s not what I’m saying. That’s not what I’m saying, Elise. What I’m saying is there’s plenty of time for people to sort through that. What I know today is what the President of the United States knows: that it would have been offensive and incomprehensible to consciously leave an American behind, no matter what; to leave an American behind in the hands of the people who would torture him, cut off his head, do any number of things. And we would consciously choose to do that? That’s the other side of this equation. I don’t think anybody would think that is the appropriate thing to do," Kerry says, without ever saying that Bergdahl served with "honor and distinction."
"And it seems to me we have an ability – we know we have the ability – to be able to deal with people who want to threaten Americans or threaten the United States. And if that’s what they go back on their word to do, or if the Qataris don’t enforce what they have done, we have any number of avenues available to us to be able to deal with that."
National Security Adviser Susan Rice has said that Bergdahl served with "honor and distinction."