Friday, June 06, 2014

Damned If You Do ...

(Cartoon by Kevin Siers published in the Charlotte Observer 6/5/14 and featured at McClatchy DC.  Click on image to enlarge and then please return.)

There are times I actually feel sorry for President Obama.  He keeps getting blindsided by controversy.  Usually, the controversy is exacerbated (if not directly caused) by his administration's bungling and/or opacity, but he should have learned by now that presidenting-while-black is all the excuse his detractors need.  He needs to show some sense.

Still, this latest fiasco involving the swap of five Taliban prisoners being held in Gitmo for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is a bit over the line, even by this country's low standards.  For an allegedly Christian nation, this place seems to be suffering a severe shortage in compassion. 

From McClatchy DC:

From military forums across the country, a groundswell of anger is rising over the Obama administration’s silence on perhaps the most controversial question surrounding the deal that freed Bergdahl in exchange for five senior Taliban members: Was he a deserter? ...

Military-related blogs, Twitter accounts and Facebook pages were filled with screeds from commenters accusing Bergdahl of being a “traitor” or a Taliban “collaborator.” The online publication The Daily Beast published a nearly 2,000-word first-person account by a former Army infantry officer who said he was privy to details of Bergdahl’s disappearance and who stated flatly that “he was a deserter, and soldiers from his own unit died trying to track him down.” ...
Michael Waltz, who as an Army major commanded U.S. Special Forces in eastern Afghanistan at the time Bergdahl disappeared, said the sergeant deserted and shouldn’t have been accorded POW status.

“He just walked off after guard duty and wandered into the nearby village,” Waltz told McClatchy in an interview Monday. “This guy needs to be held accountable when the time is right, of course. Every American deserves to come home. I’m happy for his family. But he needs to be held accountable.”   [Emphasis added]

Ironically, Major Waltz was being more sensible than he realized when he noted that every American deserves to come home.  EVERY American.  If there are claims he deserted or collaborated, then let the military justice system investigate and try him.  Here.

And as for the kvetching about the release of the five Taliban prisoners as part of the deal, I say, "put a cork in it."  I want all the prisoners and "detainees" released from that hell hole and Guantanamo Bay closed . ALL of them.  It's time to return to our obligations under international law and to use diplomacy rather than bomb-carrying drones.


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