Obama’s motive for the urgent swap of deserter Bowe Bergdahl for the Taliban Dream Team is simple: he wanted desperately to get America’s attention off the disastrous VA scandal.
Boy, did he.
The problem, of course, is that nothing about this latest hubristic act of stupendously misguided illegality has worked out as Obama planned. For one, he’s not being allowed to skate on the statutory requirement that he give Congress 30 days notice for such exchanges. Even wingerleft legal types like Jeffrey Toobin and Jonathan Turley have condemned his actions as flagrantly unlawful rather than praising them as innovative and humanitarian.
Bowe Bergdahl is not a hero. He is a deserter who deserves a court martial rather than a parade. The outrage directed against Mr. Obama for this foolish and juvenile stunt has been swift, loud and long. The American people know that the president has only exchanged one enemy of the United States for five.
Six soldiers lost their lives trying to “rescue” Bergdahl, and their families are naturally furious that the president is treating Bergdahl and his family as political royalty while their ultimate sacrifice goes unnoticed and unrewarded.
Bergdahl is now in a “reintegration” program in Germany, where I expect he will remain for a long, long time, out of sight until he is out of mind. Obama will be able to use the excuse that his suffering at the hands of the Taliban was much more extensive than thought, therapy will be extensive, and we don’t want to thrust him into society until we are convinced he’s healthy, etc. Bergdahl is about to find out just how long a compassionate reintegration program can last.
Obama likely had a second motive, a clumsy, left-footed attempt to snag some of Ronald Reagan’s glory through a pale imitation of one of his triumphs, the return of 52 American hostages from 444 days of Iranian captivity on the day of his inauguration.
This was to be Obama’s Reaganesque, foreign policy moment, where he demonstrated his skill and awe-inspiring leadership by bringing an American out of captivity and returning him to freedom.
But we now know that not only was Bergdahl a deserter, he was also a traitor, who taught bomb-making and ambush skills to his “captors,” after converting to Islam and taking on the name Abdullah.
So rather than this moment reminding Americans of Reagan liberating the Iranian hostages, it looks more like Barney Fife rescuing Benedict Arnold.
And while we are on the subject of not leaving any American behind, how about not leaving Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmoressi behind? How about a swap to set him free from the hellhole of a Mexican prison where he has been languishing for months? As long as we’re in the business of swapping bad actors for Americans, how about swapping five illegal alien criminals – we have at least 36,000 to spare – for a patriotic Marine instead of a man who sold out his country?
Andy McCarthy made the point yesterday that the president’s release of the five Guantanamo Bay bad guys is an impeachable offense all by itself, and Jonathan Turley observed that this act is just another in a long and sordid list of illegal acts by this president, added to the top of what Turley calls an already existing “pile” of unlawful deeds.
Now what do we call a man who has a “pile” of illegal deeds on his rap sheet? We call him a criminal.
At some point, perhaps sooner than later, the American people may reach their threshold of tolerance for unlawful behavior from our chief executive and simply insist that the constitutional remedy of impeachment be pursued. It can’t happen a moment too soon.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.