Bowe Bergdahl Drama Widens By The Day


Why is it that anything closely related to The Obama White House quickly turns into a controversy or a debacle? It is a lot like a series of Saturday Night Live skits, the British TV show Fawlty Towers, or Monty Python.

President Obama seems to have aligned himself with advisors who can’t put a coherent story together, incapable of even working through critical thinking to get anything right. It is as though a bunch of clowns, comedians and bipolar lunatics are in charge of The White House.

If it wasn’t already bad enough, the ongoing saga of the recovery of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl took a particularly weird turn when his father turned up at the White House for the announcement by president Obama in the Rose Garden.

Bowe Bergdahl may have freaked out when he saw his father, looking a lot like one of his Taliban captors, speaking in arabic from the Rose Garden. As Bergdahl senior uttered those words, Barack Obama smiled. He knew exactly what those words meant. Why Bergdahl senior would speak in arabic to his American son is a mystery, but it may have sent the younger Bergdahl into a tailspin, because he is now refusing calls from his parents.

That ridiculous episode from his father didn’t do the younger man any favors. Many Americans are stunned that non-arabic Americans are now speaking in arabic, that their president is swapping captured Taliban commanders for deserters, and the president is ignoring even more laws than he did before.

Nothing makes rational sense anymore.

As part of the coverup to stop anyone finding out what is really going on with the younger Bergdahl, an “unnamed U.S. official” said doctors are moving cautiously with Bergdahl due to the rising national furor he will face when he returns home.

All of the foregoing could easily be a Monty Python script, but true life can sometimes be more weird than outlandish comedy.

Speaking the day after the Rose Garden announcement, White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Bowe Bergdahl had served with “honor and distinction.” Members of Bergdahl’s old squad disagreed – they said he deserted, and left a note to prove it. Americans, even those on the left are questioning Ms. Rice’s credibility, if not her sanity.

Bergdahl was held captive for almost five years by the Taliban-connected Haqqani network, and it is reported that he escaped more than once, only to be recaptured each time. Whether this is true or not, is unknown. Also, it is as yet unknown whether he was initially captured or if we willfully joined them after deserting his post.

If all the initial reports we heard are true, Bergdahl walked away from his post in Afghanistan in 2009. We were told he was quickly seized and taken into captivity by the Taliban. It has also been reported that it was not the first time he had walked off the base, but previously, he had returned. A 2012 Rolling Stone article quoted Bergdahl telling his parents in emails that he was “ashamed to be an American.” His mental state is unknown – perhaps he was unstable then.

And the comedy of errors continues.

Democrats in Congress are usually onside with president Obama, and completely opposed to anything Republicans do or say, but there has been overwhelming political fallout from the Bergdahl release. Members of Congress have not complained about recovering Bergdahl, because, no matter what he has done, it is much better to have him back than leaving him in the hands of the Taliban.

Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have, however, criticized Obama for releasing five high-level Taliban commanders from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The law, which Obama signed himself, states that he must consult Congress before any detainees are released. One of the biggest surprises is that major criticism is coming from Diane Feinstein, a senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The White House gave weak excuses for not informing Congress. The White House said Bergdahl’s “health and safety was at risk,” making 30 days’ notice impossible. A more likely reason is that they knew Congress would not agree to release those five Taliban in exchange for him, but the old “do what you want and apologize later” trick was used.

Note to the Obama Administration: congratulations, you have successfully brought warring Democrats and Republicans together.

It is unknown whether Bergdahl senior’s appearance in the Rose Garden, looking and sounding like a Taliban fighter, had any effect on the people of their hometown in Hailey, Idaho, who canceled the planned welcome-home celebration, but it was definitely canceled.

Bergdahl’s doctors in Germany apparently are worried that all of this is having a negative psychological impact on him.

As controversy swirls around, more stories are coming out and soon, it may be impossible to separate fact from fiction. There are rumors that Bergdahl was locked up in a shark cage, that he was tortured, and that he tried to escape, but was unsuccessful. None of the stories have been verified. We don’t even know where these stories or leaks are coming from.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, apparently refuted claims of torture, telling The Associated Press on Friday that Bergdahl was kept under “good conditions.”

Bowe Bergdahl may have been better off with the Taliban, because a lot more people now want to assail him with questions, and possibly more. If Bergdahl was in a fragile mental state in captivity, president Obama appears to have made it much worse for him now.

The magic lure of a photo-op in The Rose Garden was just too hard to resist.

Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. His BS in journalism from University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.

Dwight has 30 years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. A native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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