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Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban and held as a prisoner of war from 2009 until his release in May 2014.Photo: Getty Images
Even as he insists that no one else — not the Senate, not the Israelis, not any of our allies in the region — should have the least say in the matter.
Congress needs to take a long, hard look at the naïve exchange that won Bergdahl’s release after five years’ captivity in Afghanistan. And it needs to move fast to prevent a far more disastrous “trade” with Tehran.
The Army on Wednesday filed charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy against Berghdal — whom National Security Adviser Susan Rice claimed a year ago had been “captured on the battlefield” after serving “with honor and distinction.”
The White House, eager for a diplomatic victory, plainly didn’t even try to check the facts on Bergdahl’s capture.
For, from the moment he was freed, his ex-comrades were telling the world that he was a deserter who’d walked off his post. Moreover, they said, at least six US soldiers died trying to track Bergdahl down.
The five Taliban prisoners exchanged for Bergdahl (from left): Mohammad Nabi Omari, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Mullah Norullah Noori, Mullah Mohammad Fazl and Khirullah Said Wali KhairkhwaPhoto: Department of Defense
Obama answered those reports by insisting he would make “no apologies for bringing a soldier home to his parents.”
The serious charges could put Bergdahl behind bars for life. But the larger question remains the swap itself.
Notably, Obama went ahead with it without even notifying Congress — as the law clearly required him to do when freeing Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.
Which brings us back to his stated determination to end-run Congress on the Iran deal.
This president just doesn’t want to even hear anything that might get in the way of what he imagines to be triumphs.
Taliban leader Mullah Omar hailed the Bergdahl trade as his “big victory.” It gave him incentive to take more US hostages in hopes of springing more terrorists from Gitmo — making every American in uniform more vulnerable.
But if the president inks a deal that leaves the door open for Iran to go nuclear, it will be more than just Americans in uniform who are at risk.