By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – I suppose now is as good a time as any to start a prediction list of who might be on the receiving end of the coming Obama pardons.  As you may have heard, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has already tossed his name in the ring for a presidential pardon:

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the former American prisoner of war in Afghanistan who was freed in a 2014 swap for five Taliban detainees, has asked President Obama to pardon him before leaving the White House to President-elect Donald J. Trump, who has called the soldier “a no-good traitor who should have been executed.”

After the presidential election, Sergeant Bergdahl’s legal team submitted copies of a clemency application to the White House, the Justice Department and the Pentagon, according to White House and Justice Department officials.

Bergdahl’s desertion trial is scheduled for mid-April, an event he would certainly rather avoid – just like staying on duty during his tenure in Afghanistan.  Recall that Sgt. Bergdahl left his post in Afghanistan in 2009 leaving behind evidence that he was dissatisfied with American policy in Afghanistan. He was captured and held prisoner for five years until the Obama administration traded five high-level Taliban prisoners for him.

During Bergdahl’s captivity, at least six American lives were lost in the search for him. Despite the recent claim by the New York Times to report honestly, their article this weekend indicates that no lives were lost looking for Bergdahl, but the families of these six soldiers might beg to differ. Interviews with family members and fellow soldiers all confirm that finding Bergdahl was always part of their mission. Staff Sgt. Michael Murphrey was killed in September 2009 . His sister Krisa says: “Some say that he was not on a rescue mission, that he was on a humanitarian mission. And then some say that, sure it wasn’t a rescue mission, per se, but Bergdahl was always the secondary mission,” she told Reuters.

After Bergdahl walked off his post, his regiment searched diligently for him. Rather than rest between missions, they were searching for him. And some lost their lives because of it.

Now, Bergdahl’s legal team says he can’t get a fair trial under a Trump administration and so if no pardon comes, they will petition for dismissal of the case.

We can expect Bergdahl to be rehabilitated by our main stream media and it won’t surprise me one iota when the Obama pardon comes. All you have to do is remember this picture to see it coming.

bergdahl

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT — “The Obama administration has been caught off guard…”

Fill in the blank.

The most recent version is that the Obama administration has been caught off guard by the escalation of violence in Iraq:

The Obama administration has been caught off guard by the worsening situation in Iraq, and Senator Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) is pointing to the failures of the president’s intelligence team as the reason.

I’m not real sure how they could be caught off guard by this situation unless the intelligence team is busy catapulting cows across the great divide or something.  Pretty much everyone could see this one coming.

The administration was also recently caught “off guard” by the Bowe Berghdahl backlash:

The White House has been caught off guard by the negative reaction to the deal that freed Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the last American prisoner of war in Afghanistan.

It has been particularly surprised by criticism of Bergdahl, who is accused of walking away from his unit shortly before being abducted by the Taliban.

Again, what?  How could they not see that backlash coming?  A five-for-one prisoner swap using Gitmo terrorists?  Nah.  No worries.  Go for it.

Team Obama was also caught off guard on the VA scandal:

The White House tried Tuesday to douse flames of criticism over allegations that dozens of veterans have died because of gross mismanagement at Veterans Affairs hospitals.

President Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough, met frustrated Democrats on Capitol Hill who are outraged by reports of secret waiting lists used by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

And they were caught off guard by the NSA scandal, by Fast and Furious, by the failure of the Obamacare rollout, and by the Benghazi outrage.

Say what you will about this administration, but it does not instill a feeling of well being or of safety.  The legacy of this administration is one of corruption, of ineptitude, and of dishonesty.  We are considerably weaker that we were when this man was elected.

It will only get worse; I do not see this administration taking any steps whatsoever to ensure they are not caught “off guard” again; I don’t see any signs that this administration cares about being ON guard.

Like the fox guarding the hen house, I’d say.

Getting caught off guard is not an effective leadership strategy.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

If he can win the war on terror and turn the economy around he’ll be a winner in my book.

DaTechGuy on Barack Obama January 20th 2009

Seldom, if ever, in the history of the world has a prince been more enthusiastically acclaimed on his -accession or had an easier task offered him of gratifying the modest wishes of his people…what a splendid chance he had of being remembered in history as “Caligula the Good”, or “Caligula the Wise”, or “Caligula the Saviour”! But it is idle to write in this way. For if he had been the sort of man that the people took him for, he would never have survived his brothers or been chosen by Tiberius as his successor. Claudius, remember what scorn old Athenodorus had for such impossible contingencies’, he used to say, “If the Wooden Horse of Troy had foaled, horses to-day would cost far less to feed.”

Robert Graves I Claudius 1934

One of the things we used to hear from some of our fellows on the right is we would have to wait for the election of a Democrat for the left to take national security seriously.

If nothing else the last few years has cured us of this rosy assumption.

To be sure some there were some changes as Megan McArdle noted back in 2011

Have you noticed all the huge antiwar demonstrations in the last twelve months?  Yeah, me neither.  It turns out that a lot of the energy for the movement seems to have been provided by Democrats who are a lot less worried about wars conducted by Democratic presidents. 

But along with an unwillingness to fund the anti-war movement came an unwillingness to protect US soldiers in battle as Mark Steyn noted in Oct of 2012 just after the Benghazi attack:

We also learned that, in those first moments of the attack, a request for military back-up was made by U.S. staff on the ground but was denied by Washington. It had planes and Special Forces less than 500 miles away in southern Italy – or about the same distance as Washington to Boston. They could have been there in less than two hours. Yet the commander-in-chief declined to give the order. So Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods fought all night against overwhelming odds, and died on a rooftop in a benighted jihadist hell hole while Obama retired early to rest up before his big Vegas campaign stop. “Within minutes of the first bullet being fired, the White House knew these heroes would be slaughtered if immediate air support was denied,” said Ty Woods’ father, Charles. “In less than an hour, the perimeters could have been secured, and American lives could have been saved. After seven hours fighting numerically superior forces, my son’s life was sacrificed because of the White House’s decision.”

The day Barack Obama was sworn I wrote a post ranking George Bush in the ranks of presidents (14th) and said this about the newly sworn in President:

President Elect Obama has the potential to end up anywhere on his list.  The trick is not to under rate him due to unreal expectations or overrate him due to his unique place in history.  Lets hope he earns high ratings due to high performance.  As of today it will come down to the economy and the war on terror but who knows what tomorrow will bring?  If he is really bad then he has the potential to help propel GWB much higher on the list.

It will be fun to find out.

I was very wrong about that last sentence.

We’ve already had an emphatic answer to the economy question and if Benghazi didn’t provide the answer the release of Bengdahl did.

You have the violation of law

and the White House flip flop:

On June 21, 2013, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney unequivocally assured reporters at that day’s White House Press Briefing that President Obama “would not make any decisions about transfer of any detainees without consulting Congress and without doing so in accordance with U.S. law.”

Then you have the nature of the people released people like:

Khairullah Khairkhwa is the most senior ex-Guantanamo prisoner who comes from “the fraternity of original Taleban who launched the movement in 1994,” according the Afghanistan Analysts Network. He surrendered to President Hamid Karzai’s brother just before he was captured in January 2002. His most prominent position was as governor of Herat Province from 1999 to 2001. He served in various Taliban positions including interior minister and had direct ties to Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden.

Old line Democrats like Diane Feinstein are shocked by this deal and pols, particularly those running in red states are doing their best to run from this stuff and some in media even on MSNBC have expressed surprise that this deal has taken place and the willingness to keep offering new  explanations until one works.

All of this has produced shock and outrage and interesting spin for the last week plus, but while the administration has bungled this entire fiasco there is really only one place we should point as the source of all of this outrage…

…ourselves.

Barack Obama’s history, media not withstanding,  is not a secret.  This highlights something we’re posted on before and was the subject of Pam Geller’s first book

Geller looks at the president’s past, his upbringing, his influences and the crowd that he has spent his time with on the path that took him to the White House.  She makes the case that in all of these cases he has been steered and mentored in a direction that is contrary to basic American philosophy.

Given the influences, the professors, the radicals and the Marxists he has surrounded himself with.  People who have a world view that America is the chief problem of the world rather than the last best hope of it. It frankly would be a wonder if he had a different philosophy than what he does.

It’a philosophy that allows him to sit back and let die Americans who actually fight the enemy.

Why would Obama and Biden do such a thing? Because to launch a military operation against an al-Qaida affiliate on the anniversary of 9/11 would have exposed the hollowness of their boast through convention week and the days thereafter – that Osama was dead, and al-Qaida was finished. And so Ty Woods, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith and Chris Stevens were left to die, and a decision taken to blame an entirely irrelevant video and, as Secretary Clinton threatened, “have that person arrested.” And, in the weeks that followed, the government of the United States lied to its own citizens as thoroughly and energetically as any totalitarian state, complete with the midnight knock-on-the-door from not-so-secret policemen sent to haul the designated fall guy into custody.

We are outraged over Barack Obama’s action but as we’ve said here many times, If you start from the idea they are marxists, it make perfect sense.

During the Iraq war Glenn Reynolds often quipped about the left:  They’re not anti-war, they’re just on the other side.

Perhaps we should have not assumed that the acquisition or the retention of electoral power would change this.

*********************************************

Olimometer 2.52

This blog exists as a full-time endeavor thanks to your support. The only check I draw to pay for this coverage and all that is done is what you choose to provide.

For a full month I ask a fixed amount $1465.

With the exception of January, 2014 remains a very lean year for our blog fiscally, If we can draw a mere $50 a day that will be reversed.

If you think this coverage and what we do here is worth your support please consider hitting DaTipJar below and help keep the bills paid.

Naturally once our monthly goal is made these solicitations will disappear till the next month but once we get 61 more subscribers  at $20 a month the goal will be covered for a full year and this pitch will disappear until 2015.

Consider the lineup you get for this price, in addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit)  on Sunday Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly Fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

 

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.

Greg Sargent of The Plum line is in disbelief

He’s referring to this piece at the daily beast

Three former administration officials who were involved in the process told The Daily Beast that Clinton was worried about the ability to enforce the deal and disinclined to trust the Taliban or the Haqqani network in Pakistan, which held Bergdahl until this weekend. Clinton was so concerned, the former officials added, that she may not have even signed off if the negotiations had succeeded.

“She was heavily involved from the beginning, she was very skeptical of the arrangement, she was very wary of it,” one former administration official said. “If we had come to some agreement she perhaps would have backed it, but we never got to that point.”

Hillary’s people are being very cautious, as are almost all democrats in congress even those where were cheering on Saturday

I want you to go over to The Weekly Standard for John McCormack’s and Mike Warren’s work on this, but here’s a taste:

“You know, I think, um, let me hold off on that,” said Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

“All I’ve heard is what I’ve read in the press,” said Vermont’s senior senator Pat Leahy.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, who crowed about the deal on the Sunday shows, is now very interested in the intel briefing she’s to receive tomorrow. That’d be the briefing she should have gotten some 32 days before she went on the Sunday shows to make grand pronouncements with no information. 

Meanwhile at the White House they have unkind words for the soldiers who served with Bergdahl:

According to Todd, a frustrated White House that was expecting joyous news-cycles out of the Bergdahl release is apparently attempting to smear veterans who served with Sergeant Bergdahl as liars.

This, despite the fact that all the objective documentation we’ve seen so far (including a military investigation) backs the claim that Bergdahl abandoned his post and was not “taken in battle” or “served honorably” as National Security Advisers Susan Rice falsely claimed Sunday on ABC’s This Week.

Ralph Peters thinks the disconnect is a function of culture:

But compassion, please! The president and all the president’s men and women are not alone. Our media elite — where it’s a rare bird who bothered to serve in uniform — instantly became experts on military justice. Of earnest mien and blithe assumption, one talking head after another announced that “we always try to rescue our troops, even deserters.”…

…This is a fundamental culture clash. Team Obama and its base cannot comprehend the values still cherished by those young Americans “so dumb” they joined the Army instead of going to prep school and then to Harvard. Values such as duty, honor, country, physical courage, and loyalty to your brothers and sisters in arms have no place in Obama World. (Military people don’t necessarily all like each other, but they know they can depend on each other in battle — the sacred trust Bergdahl violated.)

I’m seeing some incredible defenses of  the president, people who didn’t think it was worth helping out Americans under fire at Benghazi are now screaming no American left behind not even deserters.

But none of those people making that case are running for re-election in anything but a deep blue district and that’s the bottom line, we’ll see more of the same and worse from this president because he knows that he will not have to face the voters ever again and that the House will not impeach the first black president of the united states.

But as for the rest of the Democrat party, the ones who actually have to face voters outside of deep blue enclaves?  They are as likely to come out in favor of this deal as the Chinese are likely to hold a public ceremony at Tiananmen Square today to commemorate those slaughtered by the state 25 years ago today.

Those Democrats know how to count.

by baldilocks

It’s a fascinating thing to watch a significant section of the Fundamental Transformation takes place. That section is the United States Armed Force. All the rage—and I do mean rage—right now is the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.  Bergdahl was allegedly being held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan. His “release” was reciprocated in that five Taliban leaders, who had been detainees at Guantanamo, were released to the authorities in Qatar. But there’s something about Bowe.

“We were at OP Mest, Paktika Province, Afghanistan. It was a small outpost where B Co 1-501st INF (Airbone) ran operations out of, just an Infantry platoon and ANA counterparts there. The place was an Afghan graveyard. Bergdahl had been acting a little strange, telling people he wanted to “walk the earth” and kept a little journal talking about how he was meant for better things. No one thought anything about it. He was a little “out there”. Next morning he’s gone. We search everywhere, and can’t find him. He left his weapon, his kit, and other sensitive items. He only took some water, a compass and a knife. We find some afghan kids shortly after who saw an american walking north asking about where the taliban are. We get hits on our voice intercepter that Taliban has him, and we were close. We come to realize that the kid deserted his post, snuck out of camp and sought out Taliban… to join them. We were in a defensive position at OP Mest, where your focus is to keep people out. He knew where the blind spots were to slip out and that’s what he did. It was supposed to be a 4-day mission but turned into several months of active searching. Everyone was spun up to find this guy. News outlets all over the country were putting out false information. It was hard to see, especially when we knew the truth about what happened and we lost good men trying to find him. PFC Matthew Michael Martinek, Staff Sgt. Kurt Robert Curtiss, SSG Clayton Bowen, PFC Morris Walker, SSG Michael Murphrey, 2LT Darryn Andrews, were all KIA from our unit who died looking for Bergdahl. Many others from various units were wounded or killed while actively looking for Bergdahl. Fighting Increased. IEDs and enemy ambushes increased. The Taliban knew that we were looking for him in high numbers and our movements were predictable. Because of Bergdahl, more men were out in danger, and more attacks on friendly camps and positions were conducted while we were out looking for him. His actions impacted the region more than anyone wants to admit. There is also no way to know what he told the Taliban: Our movements, locations, tactics, weak points on vehicles and other things for the enemy to exploit are just a few possibilities. The Government knows full well that he deserted. It looks bad and is a good propaganda piece for the Taliban. They refuse to acknowledge it.

(The interesting content excuses the lack of paragraph breaks.)

Did the administration make another mistake? Consider the following about the military and its veterans:

  • The scrapping of the Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell policy
  • The VA scandal
  • The designation of returning veterans as prospective terrorists
  • The resignation of top generals
  • The firing of top generals on charges that seem…well…made up.

Regardless of one’s opinion on any of these topics, it cannot be denied that the combination of these things have and will Fundamentally Transform the general character of the U.S. military, and subsequently, the nation it defends. As promised. Sleep well.

UPDATE: The mother of 2LT Darryn Andrews:

“It gets really hurtful when I think, this guy was worth my son’s life? My son who was patriotic? Who was a true soldier? Who defended his country with his life?” (…) “That guy was worth that? I don’t think so.”

“I bet you anything there were soldiers killed or wounded capturing those five guys[.]” (…)“So what does that do for their sacrifice? They sacrificed for nothing, because they turned right around and let them go.”2ltDarrynAndrews

baldilocksJuliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

Why would Obama and Biden do such a thing? Because to launch a military operation against an al-Qaida affiliate on the anniversary of 9/11 would have exposed the hollowness of their boast through convention week and the days thereafter – that Osama was dead, and al-Qaida was finished. And so Ty Woods, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith and Chris Stevens were left to die, and a decision taken to blame an entirely irrelevant video and, as Secretary Clinton threatened, “have that person arrested.” And, in the weeks that followed, the government of the United States lied to its own citizens as thoroughly and energetically as any totalitarian state, complete with the midnight knock-on-the-door from not-so-secret policemen sent to haul the designated fall guy into custody.

Mark Steyn Oct 2012

Today on Morning Joe the discussion of the Taliban prisoner swap led the news.  Joe Scarborough was not there so Mika Brzezinski and was clearly not comfortable with the subject leaving it to uber partisans Al Hunt & Eugene Robinson to defend the president.

However for all the discomfort of the moment and the problem that headaches that this move is making in the end this has been a mission accomplished moment for Barack Obama.

Not because he got that last US serviceman (no matter what his loyalties)

Not because this removed prisoners from Gitmo which has been his desire since day one.

No to understand how complete his victory is you must look here.

That link goes to the web site Memeorandum, an aggregate site for news articles for 6:15 AM EST today Tuesday June 3rd.

There are 39 stories and hundreds of sub links to stories.

Not a single one concerns the Veterans Administration scandal.

The VA scandal cut across party lines including his base, that is a scandal that this administration could not win.

This prisoner exchange is different.  His base which never liked the army anyways and wanted Gitmo closed will stick with him on this prisoner release, they’ll be uncomfortable for a bit in public but they’ll be there.

Barack Obama’s administration has replaced a scandal he can’t handle politically with one he can.

That was and is the goal, and that’s why he’s won because for Obama  the war against his political enemies will always trump the safety of the US .

Update:  There is now a single VA piece, by Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit weekly USA Today column, I’m shocked SHOCKED.

Update 2:  forget the Steyn link

Olimometer 2.52

This blog exists as a full-time endeavor thanks to your support. The only check I draw to pay for this coverage and all that is done is what you choose to provide.

For a full month I ask a fixed amount $1465.

With the exception of January, 2014 remains a very lean year for our blog fiscally, If we can draw a mere $50 a day that will be reversed.

If you think this coverage and what we do here is worth your support please consider hitting DaTipJar below and help keep the bills paid.

Naturally once our monthly goal is made these solicitations will disappear till the next month but once we get 61 more subscribers  at $20 a month the goal will be covered for a full year and this pitch will disappear until 2015.

Consider the lineup you get for this price, in addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit)  on Sunday Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly Fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

 

Today via Glenn we see Jake Tapper continue to be a member of the  journalist community rather than the “journo-list” community:

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 Sergeant Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl’s platoon when he went missing on June 30, 2009. “Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”

This is the man that we just traded 5 Taliban leaders for, and let’s not forget his father now deleted tweet.

bowe

along with a few other still out there.

Contrast this with Benghazi where two Seals held off attackers for hours waiting for help from this administration and died waiting and fighting.

So here’s he bottom line:

If you are a soldier who apparently deserts & whose family wants Gitmo closed and emptied, this administration will trade our worst enemies to get you back.

If you are Navy Seals who choose to fight to hold off our enemies we’ll leave you to die.

That is Barack Obama and the administration that serves him, that is what we have become.

Langdon Towne: You can’t just leave a man!
Major Rogers: He knew the risks, and he knows you’d like to help him.

Northwest Passage 1940

We’re most of us liars, we’re ‘arf of us thieves, an’ the rest are as rank as can be,
But once in a while we can finish in style (which I ‘ope it won’t ‘appen to me).

Rudyard Kipling: Soldier an’ Sailor Too

One of the casualties of the conservative retreat in the culture war has been the loss of common sense among many in the country.

While there are likely those on the left who are on the Taliban’s side who are  delighted at this turn of events, as little as a single generation ago the decision to trade five top Taliban leaders for a sgt would have been unthinkable and politically impossible.

Even today any WW 2 vet or the son of one like myself or any student of Military History would understand why President Obama’s decision to release the Taliban Army chief of staff & four other top leaders  for a single US POW is incompetent at best and traitorous at worst.

But given where we are today and the inviolate nature of the presidency of Barack Obama I’m sure there are more than a few people on the left, the young, the naive and the poorly educated, who don’t understand why this is a bad idea.

So for their benefit let’s go to something that such people might be able to understand, pop culture, namely Star Trek TNG and the episode Thine One Self.

The primary plot concerns Commander Data’s (Brent Spiner)  memory loss while in a pre-industrial society but the secondary plot involves Lt. Commander Deanna Troi (Maria Sirtis) the ship’s counselor.  She reports back to the ship after an absence in the overnight watch and  finds Dr. Crusher (Gates McFaddenn) in command on the bridge:

Lt. Cmdr Troi:   … Beverly, you don’t usually stand a watch on the Bridge even when Data’s not here.

Dr. Crusher:   I volunteered tonight. I like to put in a little Bridge time now and then, stay on top of operations, tactical procedures. The truth is, I like it. It’s not every doctor who gets to command a starship, even if it is the night shift. 

Lt. Cmdr Troi:   May I ask you a personal question? Why did you decide to become a Commander? I mean, you didn’t need the rank in order to be Chief Medical Officer, so why put yourself through all the extra work? 

Dr. Crusher:  Oh, I don’t know. I never even thought about my rank for a long time. It seemed pretty trivial compared to being a doctor. But then, about eight years ago, I started to feel like I wanted to stretch myself a little. 

After that conversation Troi approaches Commander Riker (Jonathan Frakes) saying she would like to take the bridge officer’s test. Riker is her former lover and they have an on and off relationship but make it clear this will not be easy

Cmdr Riker: Deanna, if you take the Bridge Officer’s test, you’ll have my complete support. But as First Officer, I’ll be the one judging your performance, and you should know I am a pretty tough judge.
Lt. Cmdr Troi: And I’m a pretty good student.

Troi’s confidence in her abilities is put to the test in a Holodeck simulation, the anti-matter containment units are failing she tries every trick she knows to reverse the process or eject the storage unit to know avail. The simulated Enterprise explodes.

Cmdr Riker: Congratulations. You just destroyed the Enterprise.

Lt Cmdr Troi: Thank you for the encouragement.

Cmdr Riker: Don’t feel bad. You passed everything else. Diplomatic law, first contact procedures, Bridge operations. The Engineering qualification’s one of the toughest parts of the test.

Lt Cmdr Troi: So what did I do wrong?

Cmdr Riker: I’m afraid I can’t tell you that.

Lt Cmdr Troi: Why not? What kind of a test is this?

Cmdr Riker: It’s the kind of a test that you’ll have to take again if you want to be a Bridge Officer. Only next time, the problem won’t be so easy, so I suggest you study up on your emergency procedures.

Lt Cmdr Troi: Well how do I know what to study if you won’t tell me what I did wrong?

Cmdr Riker: I don’t know. I’m afraid I can’t tell you that either.

Over time things don’t get better, Tori studies and studies but after destroying the ship multiple times in simulation Cmdr Riker visits her in her quarters as she continues to go over the technical manuals to tell her he is cancelling the rest of the test. Troi is not happy:

Cmdr Riker: Deanna, this is nothing personal. Not everyone is cut out to be a Bridge Officer. I don’t think this is for you.

Lt Cmdr Troi: Why? Because I’m not the most technically-minded person on the ship? I may have trouble telling the difference between a plasma conduit and a phase inducer, but there’s more to being a bridge officer than memorising technical manuals.

Cmdr Riker: That’s right, there is. You could spend the next month memorising all the technical manuals in the computer, I still don’t think you’d pass the test.

She pleads for more time to find the solution but Riker refuses.

Cmdr Riker: I can’t. As much as I care about you, my first duty is to the ship. I cannot let any Bridge Officer serve who’s not qualified. I’m sorry.

Troi is furious until suddenly it becomes clear

Lt Cmdr Troi: My first duty is to the ship. The ship!

She heads to the Holodeck and loads the test, As before simulated versions of Worf (Michael Dorn) and Chief Engineer Joredi LaForge (Levar Burton) appear and the ship is in danger

Lt. Worf: The control system for the primary containment field is not functioning.

Lt. Cmdr LaForge: Something’s severed the ODN conduit between here and the antimatter storage deck.

Lt Cmdr Troi: Geordi, could you repair the ODN conduit if you went into the crawlspace?

Lt. Worf: Sir, that crawlway is in a warp-plasma shaft. He would never survive the radiation.

Lt Cmdr Troi: I know that. Geordi, could you repair the conduit?

Lt. Cmdr LaForge:: Yeah, I think I could.

Lt Cmdr Troi: Then do it. That’s an order.

The Simulated Geordi goes off to his death to save the ship suddenly the real voice of Commander Riker is heard.

Cmdr Riker: End simulation. Something told me you wouldn’t let this go. Congratulations. You passed.

Lt Cmdr Troi:That’s what this was all about, wasn’t it? To see if I’d order someone to their death.

Cmdr Riker: That’s right.

Lt Cmdr Troi: I knew that was part of being in command and I thought I’d prepared for it, but when the moment came I hesitated. Maybe you were right. Maybe I’m not cut out for this.

Cmdr Riker: You did exactly what you had to do. You considered all your options, you tried every alternative, and then you made the hard choice. Come on, let’s get out of here, Commander.

My first duty is to the ship.

I’m sure the family and friends of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl are delighted at his release and Sgt Bergdahl himself is relieved to be free after all these years.  I do not for one minute begrudge him his freedom or his families happiness.  At least I didn’t until I saw this tweet (since deleted)

bowe

 

 

But the decision wasn’t Sgt. Bergdahl’s or his father’s  to make.  it was Barack Obama’s.  A man who twice spent a considerable amounts of time and money asking the American people for the privilege and the duty to make those tough decision for the good of our country.

The fictitious Lt. Commander Troi eventually learned her first duty is to her ship,   But for Barack Obama his first duty has always been to himself and his political benefit.

That is the man he is, that is the man he’s always been and our nation willingly put him in charge.

May God have mercy on us for doing so, because those Taliban commanders and their Al Qaeda allies will not.

 

P.S. Some of you might wonder why I didn’t use a Doctor Who reference like this clip from the Satan Pit which also illustrates the point.

While making the point that the Sgt. like Rose wasn’t a victim I don’t think it worked because the Doctor didn’t have command of Rose and was sacrificing himself in addition to her to stop the evil fro escaping. Plus this postscript gives me an excuse to use that clip anyways!

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