Hoping to wipe yet another scandal off the front pages (this time involving the VA) Obama has traded five terrorists held at Guantanimo Bay for American Soldier Bowe Bergdahl. There are many questions about Bergdahl’s capture by the Taliban, with his squad mates claiming he deserted and sought out the Taliban.
Regardless, the is no upside in this for the US. The Taliban is crowing of their victory. Mullah Omar is welcoming back what he claims are five of his most effective lieutenants. US soldiers are now seen as valuable bargaining chips by the enemy. And in return the US gets a guy who likely went AWOL if he didn’t completely go over to the other side and act as a traitor. We have already lost two soldiers in the effort to find him once he wandered off. If a single additional American soldier loses his life due to these five terrorists being released then there will be no way to paint that as anything other than a fiasco of epic proportions. I cannot imagine what this does to the morale of our soldiers.
And as usual, Obama went about it all in a lawless manner by failing to inform Congress of his intent as required. It would have been a trivial matter to have complied with the law and instead he chose to violate it hoping to have a big PR boost with a surprise announcement. Unfortunately, Berdahl’s father ruined even that for him by expressing sympathy for the terrorists in Guantanimo and stating his intention to keep working to see them all freed.
Which in the end might be part of why Obama put such a high priority on getting Bergdahl back. Bowe and his father look at the US Army and the war in Afghanistan the same way Obama does. Obama famously accused the US of just “air raiding” villages and Bergdahl’s father blamed the US for all of the children it has killed while failing to acknowledge that there are two sides to a conflict and only one of them is trying to limit civilian casualties. So if Obama has to expend the lives of a few soldiers who hate him to get back one of the few who would be sympathetic to him then it is only a part of the same cronyism and partisanship that is the hallmark of his administration.
But I think the biggest reason his action is that Guantanimo drives the left absolutely crazy. Every move they have made to close it has been countered and one of the few ways they have left to get rid of it is to empty it out through releases and exchanges. And if it costs the lives of American soldiers then what is that compared to making the base happy?