It’s not often that the Boston Globe’s news coverage is worthy of praise, but their acquisition of John Allen Jr. to cover the Vatican is producing some of the most informative and professional coverage the Globe has even seen

Can it really just be diplomatic happenstance that the date set this week for the prayer summit bringing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres together with Pope Francis at the Vatican is a day of particular moment on the Christian calendar?

The June 8 gathering, to which Francis invited the two leaders during his recent trip to the Middle East, will coincide with the Christian feast of Pentecost, when the Bible reports that the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples after Jesus had ascended to Heaven, transforming them from a timid bunch cowering in an upper room into the most fearless missionaries the world has ever seen.

Perhaps in private, Francis is hoping for a similar miracle this time around.

Those paragraphs show a real understanding of not only the Catholic faith but of this pope. An understanding the secular media doesn’t have.

Moreover this piece notes that while in a secular that dismisses prayer (but somehow embraced a generic “spiritually”) as a meaningless thing. No matter what the faith The function of prayer is meaningful to the believers:

Jews and Muslims have their own sensitivities about praying with followers of other religions, while for Catholics, Pope John Paul II’s 1986 prayer summit in Assisi, Italy, the birthplace of St. Francis, opened a debate about the limits of interfaith prayer that has never really ended.

It will be fascinating to see what kind of ritual organizers invent, and whether it includes joint prayer or rather separate prayers in the same space.

That’s an insight that Globe readers should be grateful for, moreover he put the entire event into proper perspective:

At the level of realpolitik, it’s not yet clear if the pope’s brand of politics can move the ball, but perhaps that’s not the right test for a distinctly religious actor.

“I realize political credibility is important in this world,” said American Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, “but it’s more important to be faithful to God. … He’s counting on the Lord, and you can’t tell the pope that’s not the right thing to do.”

McCarrick, a veteran diplomatic troubleshooter, spoke to the Globe in Jerusalem during the papal visit.

The pope, he said, “is not putting himself out on a limb, he’s putting himself up on the Cross, and that’s what he’s called to do.”

In any event, he’s certainly doing it in his own unique way.

This is only a small sample of a large piece that covers a lot more ground than the upcoming event of the 8th. (The Anchoress notes a rather significant part that deserves more of my attention at a later date) but for now let me recommend that you avail yourself of Mr. Allen’s insight and perhaps drop the Globe a line commending them on their move.

Perhaps you can show more appreciation than their commentators do.

You don’t need a formal announcement that you’re running for president when you have this:

Not even the vice president supported the trade of the Taliban 5 for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. According to a new report, Vice President Joe Biden remained “neutral on the prisoner swap.”

“While Vice President Joe Biden was neutral on the prisoner swap,” Reuters reveals, “Obama and two top White House advisers, then-national security adviser Thomas Donilon and his deputy Denis McDonough, were all in favor, one official said. Donilon resigned a year ago, but McDonough went on to become Obama’s chief of staff.”

Yeah this guy is running for President in 2016

By A.P. Dillon

Army Sargeant Bow Berghdahl, held by the Taliban since 2009, was recently released. A rather timely release given the President’s drop in the polls and his administration being hit by one scandal after another. The VA scandal has this administration on the hot seat and it’s just getting worse.

A senior Obama administration official told Al Jazeera that talks to secure the release of Bergdahl resumed only recently, but were part of long-standing efforts to facilitate reconciliation with the Taliban.

“Since May 2011 the recovery of Sgt. Bergdahl has been a central element of reconciliation efforts,” the official said, adding: “Several weeks ago, an opportunity arose to resume talks on Sgt. Bergdahl, and we seized it.  This was an opportunity that only recently became possible.” – America Al Jazeera 5/31/14

‘Recently became possible.’ Sure.  This administration loves deflection, the cynic in me believes this trade is more of the same. I tend to agree with Ann Althouse’s assessment of this attempt to distract turned PR nightmare.

I’m sure some are happy to have him back and he and his family suffered a horrible ordeal. Perhaps an ordeal of Bergdahl’s own making. Sympathies might run higher had Bergdahl done his job and not deserted his unit. His fellow soldiers call Bergdahl a deserter and rightly so.

(CNN) — The sense of pride expressed by officials of the Obama administration at the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is not shared by many of those who served with him — veterans and soldiers who call him a deserter whose “selfish act” ended up costing the lives of better men.

“I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on,” said former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl’s platoon when he went missing on June 30, 2009. “Bowe Bergdahldeserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”

Vierkant said Bergdahl needs to not only acknowledge his actions publicly but face a military trial for desertion under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

These fellow soldiers have good reason to question Bergdahl’s release and the subsequent recent Obama administration’s actions to secure that release.  They also likely question Bergdahl’s father’s behavior like this tweet:

Duress of a son missing or terrorist convert? Likely a bit of both, but I am sure it matters not when you’re standing next to the man who told the world our men in Benghazi died because of a YouTube video.

The Obama doctrine of negotiating with terrorists without conditions has come to pass. Then there’s this: Bergdahl’s team leader: Intercepted radio chatter said he sought talks with the Taliban

Deserter? Traitor? Both?

Nothing like this release comes without a price.

The price the Obama administration paid was five GITMO detainees. Many of them with direct ties to Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. All of them have high risk labels. None of these are garden variety detainees. Something about this trade doesn’t pass the smell test.

  1. Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa
  2. Mullah Mohammad Fazl
  3. Abdul Haq Wasiq
  4. Mullah Norullah Noori
  5. Mohammad Nabi Omari

The price of Bergdahl’s eventual release was much, much higher than just releasing five terrorists. It cost American lives. Bergdahl got to come back, but because of his actions, many soldiers tasked with finding him didn’t. If you haven’t read the piece at the Daily Beast yet, you should. It chronicles how Bergdahl took off and how multiple Americans lost their lives trying to bring him back. Some of those men are memorialized below.

Finally, take a moment to read Michelle Malkin’s article on this. It’s well worth your time.

If you enjoyed this article, you should really check out other pieces written by Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent Seven writers and maybe hit that tip jar!

AP DillonA.P. Dillon (Lady Liberty 1885), is a Conservative minded wife and mother living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A.P. Dillon founded the blog LadyLiberty1885.com in 2009. After the 2012 election, she added an Instapundit style blog called The ConMom Blog. Mrs. Dillon’s writing, in addition to Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent 7, can also be found at StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Non-political writing projects include science fiction novellas that are, as of yet, unpublished. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.

One of he few credible arguments for the re-election of Barack Obama over Mitt Romney in 2012 came 20 years earlier from a magazine article I had read at the time.  It was an interview with a  centurion journalist who had been covering the White House  back in the days of Coolidge.  He was asked about the upcoming election (George HW Bush vs Bill Clinton) and gave an answer that stuck with me.  It was something like this.

Bush?  2nd rate but I’ll vote for him, they’re both 2nd rate so why put a new 2nd rate man in when you’ve already got one with four years experience.

I can’t find it online nor can I remember the name of the reporter being interviewed but when I look at the Bergdahl deal it would seem that four years in the White House has taught these people nothing.

As I’ve already said even before we knew Bergdahl’s loyalty was iffy I think such a 5-1 deal was irresponsible at best and criminal at worst.  If it was up to me this wouldn’t have been done.

If I however was the person in charge of making this deal there is a way it could have been done without this firestorm.  Here is how I would have done it:

 

The Taliban Five would have been released one at a time over the course of say 12 -18 months.

Each of the men would have been let go under seemingly different circumstances.  One might have been released “at the request of the Afghan government as part of peace negotiations” another turned over to a third country like say Qatar which wanted him.  A third given to Pakistan for safe keeping and the last two given to the UN where they could have been quietly released on whatever grounds they chose to use.

In each case the administration would have had a public excuse for the move both diplomatic & security and all of the moves could have been framed as part of drawing down GITMO.  That would have been the argument and the case the administration could have made.

As for Bergdahl, after the 3rd or fourth transfer we could have had a third-party (say Saudi Arabia or Pakistan) “arrange” for the release and then give him for us.  It would have been done without fanfare and a story would have come out that due to both his desire of both him and the family and the fact that he is still active duty military he would not be made available.

Boom, same result, same deal, but no PR coup for our enemies, no PR disaster over his release, and if any of these guys got out of line before the others are released, they could have stopped.  Five small stories all below the fold and in the context of the President’s promise to close GITMO

Furthermore no need to send Susan Rice on another magical mystery tour pretending that a soldier whose loyalty into Sgt. York.  No provoking his fellow to speak out in outrage nor crushing a gold star mother with the realization that her son died to try to save a traitor.  Just a favor done for the US by a friend and an administration doing its job.

 

But who am I kidding, this wasn’t about making a calculated long-term risk to achieve US goals.  It was about providing a “victory” to an administration desperate to get the VA scandal off the front page in an election year.

It shows that while a 2nd rate President with 4 years experience is better than a 2nd rate candidate without it, apparently a 2nd rate candidate is far superior to a fourth-rate unqualified President with four years in office.

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