Free Markets, Free People

Apparently we do negotiate with terrorists

I know Americans are torn by the Bergdahl story.  Face it, given how poorly things are going, they desperately want a “feel good” story.  The Bergdahl repatriation is one where you want to celebrate it, but as the facts come out, you can’t find it in yourself to do so.  The guy wasn’t a POW, he deserted and sought out the enemy with the apparent desire to join them.

The administration just as desperately wanted a distraction from all it’s ongoing failures and scandals.  But this story and its ending are anything but that.  In fact, it stinks to high heaven.

First there’s the way it was done by the administration, which strongly supports the hypothesis that this was done in haste to change the subject and redirect the focus of the news cycle.  The subject they were trying to change was their abject failure with the VA.  How better to distract from that than repatriating an American soldier and rescuing him from the clutches of the Taliban?  Paint him as a hero and take a bow.  Let a sympathetic media take it from there.

Except this guy isn’t a hero.  He wasn’t “captured”, he deliberately set out to find those who eventually grabbed him and kept him.  Since 2010 the Army has determined that this guy deserted his post in time of war.  But of course that didn’t stop the Baghdad Bob of this administration, Susan Rice, from heading out to the talk shows soon after the deal was made, and telling us how this deserter had served with “honor and distinction”.

What the administration hadn’t counted on was former soldiers from his unit coming forward and telling the real story. They apparently didn’t know about the 6 soldiers killed in attempts to find and rescue him.  The backlash from their attempt to whitewash who this guy was has been overwhelming. And, as usual, points to a clueless administration again bungling it’s attempt at distraction.

But that’s only one part of the story.  How about the trade itself?  What did it accomplish?

Well for the US, another in a long line of stupid failures.  Why “stupid”. Because, as usual, it was ill-conceived plan and a self-inflicted wound.  We got back a PFC that deserted (yeah, I know he was promoted while in captivity, but in reality he’s a PFC) and they got this:

  • A senior Taliban military commander
  • Their deputy minister of intelligence
  • Their army chief of staff
  • Their governor of the Herat province and former interior minister
  • and a senior Taliban figure and security official.

Not only that, the Taliban (aka “the enemy”) got a propaganda coup of unrivaled proportion as “NightWatch” lays it out for us:

The mainstream media have covered the increased risk of hostage-taking as the direct and foreseeable result of the hostage exchange. This was not a prisoner of war exchange.

Two points not mentioned in most mainstream commentary are noteworthy. This exchange invests Omar and his Islamic Emirate with stature that neither had when the Taliban ruled in Afghanistan. It negotiated as an equal with the US and got the better deal. That sets a precedent for potential deals with other NATO members. It is a powerful disincentive for Pakistan to rein in Omar and his cohorts.

The second point is the release of the five Taliban leaders will boost Taliban morale; help improve their organizational and fighting skills and enhance their operations. It might have a ripple effect on the now divided Pakistani Taliban.

The timing could hardly be worse for Allied forces. As NATO draws down its forces, the Taliban get an influx of experienced leaders, undermining years of effort to degrade the leadership. These were men Mullah Omar trusted in the early days of Taliban rule. He now has a seasoned core around which to build a reinvigorated administration and movement.

We, as a nation, have constantly stressed the Taliban is a terror organization.  Both Democrats and Republicans. And we’ve also made it a firm rule that we don’t negotiate with them because it does exactly what NightWatch notes this has done.  If the Taliban want to empty Guantanamo, they now know how to do it – capture American soldiers. The price and precedent have been set.  One can imagine all sorts of scenarios where enterprising Afghans will try to kidnap American soldiers for money from the Taliban. And the Taliban will then expect to trade them for more terrorists.  5 for 1 seems to be the going rate.  But with this crew, they’re likely to be able to get an even better deal.

Yes, Afghanistan, which is a deeply hostile place to our soldiers now, just got more dangerous for them.  Meanwhile, troop levels will be drawn down to all time lows.  Yup, nothing could go wrong with that.  Thanks Mr. “Commander-in-Chief”.

I’d like to say the American people are terribly ill served by this abomination of an administration, but that’s just not the case.  The majority of them have elected this boob twice.  What you see is what you get.  You wanted it, you got it – how do you like what you elected?

For the adults in the room who saw through this empty suit and the propaganda machine behind him from the beginning, you will also recognize the terrible damage this man and his administration have done to our national security and foreign relations.  It will take decades to recover from this debacle of a White House.

And then there’s the economy, and VA, and Benghazi, and the IRS scandal and the NSA, Fast and Furious, executive orders, EPA …


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65 Responses to Apparently we do negotiate with terrorists

  • What you see is what you get.  You wanted it, you got it – how do you like what you elected?

    —ask ’em that when the next attack in a blue city goes down that’s orchestrated or aided by these cretins.

  • A big, fat pet peeve and important appeal to use words and terms correctly…
    Berghdal was NOT a “POW” he was a hostage.  Not even a “prisoner”.  A HOSTAGE.
    The pirates we held and hold in GITMO are not “POWs”.  That term has a meaning, and they do not fit in any definition of POW.  They are much better described as “pirates”.
    This cluster FLUCK was NOT a “prisoner exchange”.  That does violence to the language.  We gave up five of the most dangerous people on earth for a hostage…who had volunteered to BE a hostage by his conduct.

    • “who had volunteered to BE a hostage by his conduct”
      Made me think of those human shield jackasses that went to Baghdad in Gulf 2.

      • Yep.  And there is no other way to put it.  He walked out into the night to GET found.  He was not beginning a hike to Idaho.

        • Well, you know, his buddies were making fun of the women stoning, prisoner torturing & beheading, dog murdering locals.
          He was going to go and be nice to them.

        • Next question…did he really want to come home? Or did the Taliban tell him “we traded you – sorry!”
          When the Pashto guy warns him “Don’t come back to Afghanistan…”
          Was that for propaganda consumption?
          Or warning a crazy sympathizer not to try to come back.
          “We used you – get used to it.”

    • And the Asshat in Chief still has Rasmussen showing a 52% approval rating and a Gallup rating of 43%.
      shrug – we’re getting what we deserve.

    • “…who had volunteered to BE a hostage by his conduct.”

      An absolutely devastating formulation — obliterates the entire narrative.

  • He did try to escape in 2011, and he had been going on hunger strikes.
    I’ll be very interested to hear about his experiences.
    If he comes out to the media as anti-American Islamist convert, there will be an uproar.
    If he repents his desertion and details the horrors, then there will be a minor backlash against attacks on him.
    Notice how there is very little coming out of the Pentagon?
    Hillary is now saying she would not approve the deal.
    Those hint at not good answers. But who knows.
    Obama has been the person who has played this the most correctly : just keep saying “we don’t leave a man behind. period.”
    That’s defensible as long as the Taliban 5 behave.

    • Obama has been the person who has played this the most correctly
      I heartily disagree.  Remember, he didn’t NEED to do the whole Rose Garden trip. But he could not hep it.  He had to do the victory lap…and WITHOUT any of the survivors of the people Berghdal got killed.

      • I meant verbally, but good point.
        The rose garden trip with the mullah of Idaho did look weird.

        • Wow.  You’re STILL listening to what he says…!?!?!  You are TOUGH.

          • Actually, I only see his “soundbite” on Yahoo news headlines. But that is what most LIV see.

  • Goddamn. When even McQ will turn into an America-hating shitter-on-the-troops just to get a dig in at Obama, there can be no doubt whatsoever that the terrorists have won.

    • C’mon, criticizing this trade is fair criticism.
      Obama has a history of doing this deals that have great initial optics that later turn out poorly:
      Russia re-set, followed up by mocking guy who said Russia was our main geopolitical adversary.
      Libya – helps the “pro-Western” rebels who turn out to be Islamists who kill our ambassador.
      Syria – says there is a red-line and then backs off.
      Iraq – doesn’t want our troops there, so refuses to get a SOFA deal.
      This deal with the Haqqani and Taliban may turn out to be great…or turn out to be horrible – regardless of Bergdahl.
      Also, remember two of the Taliban 5 are UN war criminals for killing thousands of Shia. This is like handing over Himmler.
      We also were considering an all cash deal (totally normal to pay for hostage’s ransoms, er, POW’s right?)
      I think your analysis could still come to be correct, if Bergdahl is low-key or regrets his actions, shows he tried to escape, etc. and the Taliban live up to their deal.
      If we find out he helped them plan IED attacks, or he’s converted to Islam, or the Taliban 5 skate back home in a few months, then it was not such a good deal.
      We’ll see.

      • My advice to Obama: reign in your people who are lying. Admit that its a complex case.
        My advice to GOP: let the soldiers and the media do the talking.
        McCain can be allowed to some criticizing, too, but don’t go full hog.
        Bergdahl may turn out to be more sympathetic than he is now.
        Even so, he should still receive some symbolic punishment or more than symbolic.

        • “My advice to Obama: reign in your people who are lying.”
          In other words, do as I say, not as I do.
          You don’t actually think that after 5 years he doesn’t know or doesn’t approve of what his people do, do you?

          • My new nutshell for explaining Obamic actions….
            “Never attribute to stupidity that which can be adequately explained by malice”.

            Until someone shows me different…

    • You’re just trolling now.
      NOBODY BUT Pres. ScamWOW and the Obami are “shitting on the troops”.

    • Well, yeah, they did win – but that happened years ago.
      The nascent police state they triggered is just finally getting really obvious is all.

    • The troops know who is shitting on them. That is why they are speaking out, and the response is more shit from the administration: claiming the troops are “swiftboating” the deserter.

    • One more time with feeling?   Since that was an obvious (and out of date) talking point.

      Its actually out of respect for the troops that Bergdahl abandoned and later risked their lives and by some reports died trying to find this guy and later reported refinement of enemy attacks caused more effective attacks, that the Bergdahl deal deserves more screwtiny. 

      • What really makes it an out of date talking point is the fact that the epicenter of the pushback on the deserter is coming from the troops themselves. It isn’t driven by the GOP. The GOP did call into question the trade (including such known right wingers as Feinstein), the part about giving up five high level Taliban without approval from Congress. But the actual swiftboating of our fine little hero is coming from the troops. Obama can’t spin fast enough to make this lie work.

  • My Pet Jawa has the Dad’s YouTube video channel…check out who he likes…
    Jimmy Carter and Al Alwaki.

  • Susan Rice is asking for a mulligan on the Sunday talk show comments.
    Sometimes the words, they come out of mouth, but the words don’t mean what we think they mean.

      Kinda seems to be a common malady at State.  No spokesperson for a middling company is this stupid and unprofessional.  NONE.

      • “No spokesperson for a middling company is this stupid and unprofessional.  NONE.”
        Well, not for very long anyway   🙂
        Susan on the other hand – ACE of Spades points out she’s Ron Burgundy and will read whatever they give her to read, which is probably exactly why she has the job.

  • The only way to count this as a win is to televise PFC Bergdahl’s hanging for desertion after his court martial, “pour encourager les autres”.

    • Heh. Though they may not have been aware that he had left his post at the time.
      It does show the “damned if you don’t” flip side very clearly.
      I go back and forth on this trade. In the end, it probably won’t matter.
      Its also a bad distraction from the VA, but its also a shiny human interest story, so it will be the story for a while.
      I wonder if any in the media are relieved to bash the president on this instead of VA?

  • The sad part is that in my opinion, and I’m not trying to start a ruckus, but malibu is getting away with far more malice than you guys are accusing him of. Let’s face it, Americans are some of the most decent, kind and reasonable people on earth, at least until recently when libs went from being Dems to socialists. I think that because you can’t imagine anyone as evil and as vindictive as mal i bu, you’ve missed his primary reason for his setting free the Taliban murderers and many of the other, recent, over the top, cowardly, dishonorable, malice filled actions of this administration. The freeing of Hispanic criminal illegals was another dangerous and unbelievable insult to our cultural values and assault on the structure of our society. Malibu displays on his best days, a depraved indifference towards the humanistic, conservative American, and his white hot, racist, near murderous rage and contempt is often poorly concealed against certain demographics i.e. whites, Christians, Jews, etc. besides hating the basic, core decency of America.  It is somewhat a green eyed vengeance for the failures of his socialist religion but one that is also pragmatic because to ever be successful they have to destroy our society. But still it is mostly his character flaws and not a quest to inflict his religion on an unsuspecting people.
    Malibu has a huge number of ugly character flaws besides his relentless compulsion to seek power through a childish and already proven not to work political philosophy. He has distinguished himself all time, easily being in the top five most racist presidents of all time. Considering Andrew Johnson was constantly obsessed with his hatred of blacks and a distant second was Woodrow Wilson who felt eugenics was the answer to the black question.. he’s had to beat some incredible competition to place so high  He’s simply attacking our society at its core base values, hoping to demoralize the citizens by constantly bringing into question the values and mores of our society. Yeah malibu is a savage, slimy pig, a smart ass, malevolent, dangerous child intent on destroying anything that has defined and made America decent. He’s using all the strategies the communists have always used. Its just another way to propagandize and destabilize the American people and Malibu is pure enough evil that he will release people who kill his countrymen to inflict a political philosophy that he doesn’t probably really care that much about. My vote is that he enjoys being an evil piece of garbage and is inflicting as much pain as he can, in the ugliest way possible, using standard agitprop tactics of socialists. He’s arming the government and preparing civil servants to attack citizens and yet it is so illogical, no one will believe it until it happens. Myself included.

  • Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Brandon Friedman, has been tweeting that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl may deserve “sympathy” because of the possibility that “his platoon was long on psychopaths and short on leadership.”

    If that were the case, he argues, “the soldiers in his platoon would have all the more reason to smear him publicly now.”
    Wow. These pukes know no shame whatsoever.

    • What is simpler?
      (a) One guy deserts/goes AWOL/whatever
      (b) Many other guys are psychopaths APART from one guy and additionally their leaders are not leaders
      Paging Dr Occam to triage…

      • But Dr. Occam and the characteristic…indeed, necessary…MAGIC THINKING of the Collective are always at war.

    • O.o
      Oh, wait, I’m supposed to accept this as normal and equal, just different, aren’t I.

  • And Lindsey Graham forgets his place in the Senate.
    Like Harry Reid is going to allow that word to be uttered on Senate floor.
    In other news Lindsey Graham threatens John Dillinger despite Dillinger’s apology for bank robbery – “If he robs one more bank, just one more!  We’ll really get serious, I mean it!”

  • Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey argues in the Washington Post that the Obama administration’s release of five top Taliban commanders is the spadework needed to make good on the president’s vow to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. As he observes, Obama amateurishly made that commitment on his first full day in office without any apparent plan for how to carry it out.
    Can anything be done about this? Judge Mukasey is not optimistic, pointing out that there are only three ways now left to Congress to address presidential maladministration. The power of the purse, he observes, is unavailing to “undo the damage that has been wrought,” and the effectiveness of oversight authority “presupposes the capacity for embarrassment” on the part of an administration that appears shameless. The third avenue, Judge Mukasey observes, “is impeachment, which cannot be seriously undertaken absent a national consensus for it.”
    —————–Andy McCarty @ TheCorner
    The point Mukasey makes is that now the lefty lawyers can all line up to say…
    1. we DO negotiate with terrorists, and
    2. their guy is nowhere NEAR as bad as the guys we just set free, AND
    3.  Baracula has said and signaled the war on terror is over.  SO…..

    • I think the risk there for Dems is losing elections. Obama may not run again, but he wants Dems to win.
      It is one thing to be able to win elections, another to be able to impeach POTUS. The GOP can take the Senate and still not want to impeach, for good reason. But Obama can destroy Dem election chances.
      So far Obama has had a complacent media, but all this has been adding up. Obamacare will continue to roll out, jobs will remain weak, the debt high, etc., and at some point the 20 somethings will come to realize that voting for POTUS is about more then gay marriage.

  • See it’s results that matter.   If your intentions are good and pure then feel free to do what you like if following procedures might stop you or slow you down.
    “We had discussed with Congress the possibility that something like this might occur but because of the nature of the folks that we were dealing with and the fragile nature of these negotiations, we felt it was important to do what we did,” he said.

    Read more:

    So anything they want to do that’s outside of the law, not a problem, so long as they feel it’s important and ‘can’t wait’ for the wheels of government to turn.

    Like I don’t know, protecting us from global warming through regulation?
    Allowing a couple million illegals to enter the country?
    and so on, and so on.

    “we can’t wait’, all the justification he needs, right, I mean, as long as they think it’s important and all.

    • Well, duh….
      “The fierce urgency of (fill in the blank).” Trumps EVERYTHING…!!!

  • One more point on why this might not have been a good deal:
    Are we still negotiating with the Taliban for peace talks?
    If so, handing over their wish list of guys probably removes a bargaining chip.
    This is like Obama’s Iran talks…give them Billions for nothing hard.
    Not smart.
    If there is a video of Bergdahl looking sick, I could see rushing a deal, but you give up a lot of negotiating power.

    • “Not Smart”
      Or, fiendlishly smart perhaps.   After all, he’s DOING it, again, and again, and again.
      I see where Rags comes from on this – there are too many really numbskull moves going on if you keep trying to find a way to believe the goal is the betterment of the country, you know, a sensible goal for a President to have.
      If, on the other hand, you assume that Obama just does whatever he freaking wants, which would take us wherever his pointy little head thinks we should go, then it doesn’t have to be what we might consider a sensible goal, it only has to be HIS goal.
      And he knows how this will work – so far it has – he pissed off the people who he’s already pissed off, he did what he wanted, his defenders are swarming to defend him, and nothing will happen to him other than we make MORE frowny faces.
      So what.   He’s the kid that does whatever he damn pleases at the price of enduring some parental ranting and threats they’ll never actually carry out.
      Lindsey Graham “Oh!  don’t do that again or we’ll spank you Barack!”
      Diane Feinstein “Oh! Barack!  I’m very disappointed in you!”
      Average Right Wing Pundit   “Sputter sputter!  Illegal!  Broke the law!   Impeachment!”
      Average left wing supporter “Batshit Crazy right wingers, everything is a scandal and an investigation”
      I suspect he’s playing the country the same way he played his mother and grandparents while he was growing up.

      • If, on the other hand, you assume that Obama just does whatever he freaking wants, which would take us wherever his pointy little head thinks we should go, then it doesn’t have to be what we might consider a sensible goal, it only has to be HIS goal.
        But, really, HOW IS THAT DIFFERENT THAN WHAT I SAY…??? Say I ascribe to Pres. ScamWOW “sincerity“? That simply means he sincerely HATES what America values.

        • It isn’t different – well, other than in how I said it.   🙂
          I keep thinking that can’t be what’s going on, but it happens again, and again, and again, and pretty soon it’s the only viable conclusion for the repeated “up yours” things Obama does.

      • Nah, he’s just desperate for results. If he could just get an Iran deal, for example, all other failures will be considered minor.
        He wants the POW off the table – so he makes this sweetheart deal.
        Actually, these sorts of strategies are not without merit, say if you were liquidating overstock and time was of the essence.

        • His biggest problem is that he assumes the other side is reasonable, and it was just Bush that caused the problems.
          It very shallow.

  • ““We think he probably was high after smoking hashish,” Manikhel said. “Why would an American want to find the Taliban?””
    He supposedly like to drink and smoke with Afghans. You know, he probably would have been much better off as part of a reconstruction team, or intel. Seems like he had some inter-cultural prowess.
    “I hope the U.S. can re-arrest the Talibs that they released.”
    If the villagers are saying this in good faith, then maybe Afghanistan has a chance. I’ve heard that the Taliban are not actually very popular.

  • Calling Susan Rice, Baghdad Bob is and insult to Baghdad Bob.  At least he lied with the purpose of benefitting his country.  Rice is lying to benefit her administration from fallout for action that hurt the country and in doing so is hurting the country more. 

  • On the plus side, now drones can blow them up.

    A Taliban commander is now saying this will drive them to get more captives. Gee, who would see that coming.

  • And here’s how the Senate follows the law, and protects both the separation of powers,  and protects their prerogatives to influence national policy and Executive branch activities
    Senator Clinton, I mean Reid wants to know what difference does it make!

    • When you’re THAT deep in filth and dementia…  Pretty much NOTHING makes a difference except whey to expect the next bag-man.

      • I’m beginning to wonder when Colonel Obama will declare himself President for Life.

        • I suppose after he disbands the military and calls all the various executive branch agency SWAT teams to duty.

    • Actually, Asshat Harry is right – Friday, Saturday, either way it wasn’t 30 days before the swap….so he’s right, What difference does it make, The Executive branch broke the law.
      I’m SURE that’s what he means of course.

  • Another senior Taliban commander who is close to the senior Taliban leadership based in Kandahar, Afghanistan and Quetta, Pakistan, and is close to the negotiations, describes scenes of intense jubilation among the Taliban leadership and their supporters. Candies and sweet pastries are being passed around, he says, speaking to TIME via telephone from the Kandahar area. Those close to the leadership and the detainees are feasting on “whole goats cooked in rice” — a special meal usually reserved for celebrations. “I cannot explain how our people are happy and excited over this unbelievable achievement.”
    Well, so it shouldn’t be a total loss…

    • Far closer to the point, the Taliban leadership declared to Time “This proves to the world the US recognizes the Taliban as a legitimate government and Army”.
      It isn’t bad enough B. Hussein 0bama Usurps our Republic, he undermines our allies and promotes our sworn enemies.
      I wonder what our fair weather  allies think of the Messiah now? Is that knife-in-the-back bothering you at all, chum? He can always readjust it.

  • Obama hasn’t learned anything since he gave up the missile defense shield in Eastern Europe.

    • Not to mention our space-based weapons systems.  I noted that he did that almost first crack off this shiny new bat.  I think it’s a safe bet the ChiComs did, too.

  • We also now have learned that the Pentagon wanted to include several American civilian captives of the Taliban in this deal.
    I guess we needed a really quick deal and couldn’t negotiate any more.

    • Nah, a soldier was supposed to provide magic armor against his fing mistreatment of the vets from VA.

    On the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the NYT goes scuba diving in a cesspool, blaming Bergdahl’s squad.
    “Disgust” cannot eclipse this.