Lots of GOP hypocrisy on POW Bergdahl’s release
Well, this is choice. For months — years, even — Republicans have been demanding that President Obama do something to get POW Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl released from his five-year captivity with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Senators and representatives frequently demanded action, then quickly changed their minds when they saw a political exploitation opportunity, according to a story in the Huffington Post.
A May 22 press release from the office of Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R, N.H.) read, “As part of ongoing efforts to urge the Department of Defense to do all it can to find Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl and bring him home safely, Senator Ayotte worked successfully to include a provision in the bill that presses Pakistan to fully cooperate in the search for Sgt. Bergdahl.”
Sen. John McCain (R, Ariz.), an ex-POW himself, told Anderson Cooper of CNN in February that he thought a Bergdahl-Taliban prisoner swap was a great idea. He even mentioned the details of five members of the Taliban.
“Well, at that time the proposal was that they would release — Taliban, some of them really hard-core, particularly five really hard-core Taliban leaders, as a confidence-building measure. Now this idea is for an exchange of prisoners for our American fighting man. I would be inclined to support such a thing depending on a lot of the details.”
Sounds a lot like what actually happened, doesn’t it? And it sounds like an awful lot of members of Congress had been told that a plan was in the works, doesn’t it? Months before, in fact. A lot more than the 30 days they’ve been screaming about.
Several members of Congress posted immediate tweets on the day of the release praising the fact that Bergdahl was out of Taliban hands. Of course, they hadn’t gotten the memo that this was a new way to be outraged — OUTRAGED — about Obama. At least three Republicans — two House member and a Senate hopeful — had to scrub websites and Twitter accounts, according to the website Talking Points Memo.
For instance, Rep. Lee Terry (R, Neb.) put out a statement and Facebook post about Bergdahl’s release before scrubbing them both. “A grateful nation welcomes the news of the return of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. I have the pleasure of regularly speaking with our nation’s active duty military and veterans and I know that there is nothing more solemn than the pledge to never leave one of their own behind on the field of battle.” Terry called Bergdahl a “national hero.” Of course, the words “never leave one of their own behind” echo what the president said when defending the prisoner swap. Can’t have that, can we?
Rep. Mark Amodei (R, Nev.) also trumpeted Bergdahl’s release. “Best news I’ve heard in a long time! #standwithbowe” Amodei tweeted. The tweet was deleted 15 hours later.
The newly minted GOP candidate for Senate from Iowa, Joni Ernst, whom many are referring to as the “Sarah Palin from Iowa,” tweeted the news and offered her “thoughts & prayers” to Bergdahl’s family. Twenty-five minutes later, the tweet disappeared.
Nope. I guess now Bergdahl must be a traitor. Especially since GOP operatives started setting up interviews with various news organizations featuring some members of Bergdahl’s old unit, calling him a deserter and claiming that men died trying to rescue him — a claim not borne out by Defense Dept. data of when Bergdahl disappeared and when those soldiers died.
He’s got to be bad news. Just look at his father’s beard! Bob Bergdahl, Bowe’s father, grew a beard that he said was in solidarity with his son. The idiots on Fox and Friends complained that he looked like a member of the Taliban. “Are you out of razors?” asked Brian Kilmeade. Guess scraggly beards are only OK on the Duck Dynasty guys, huh?
Probably the most disgusting reaction came from Fox News talking head Oliver North, the admitted go-to guy in the Iran-contra “arms for hostages” deal in the 1980s. He demanded that the media ask Obama if there were any financial transaction as part of this deal. “Was there a ransom paid? Did the government of the United States, either directly or indirectly, finance a terrorist organization?”
Hey, if anyone knows about financing a terrorist organization, it’s Oliver North. He was the one who siphoned off money the U.S. made selling missiles to Iran and diverting it to a group trying to overthrow a democratically elected president in Nicaragua.
Look, if the Defense Dept. wants to investigate the circumstances of his disappearance from his unit, fine. But keep the fake outrage to yourself, please.