Over the weekend, you may have heard, the United States secured the release of its only POW from the ridiculously long war in Afghanistan. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held by the Taliban since he apparently wandered away from his base in June of 2009, was swapped for five senior Taliban commanders at Guantanamo Bay. The five men were transferred to Qatar, where they will be monitored by the Qatari government and placed under a one-year travel ban. Hooray, you might have thought to yourself, this kid who never should have been in Afghanistan in the first place gets to come home.
Stupid liberal, don’t you know that Emir Hussein Obama of the Sultanate of Kenya has only made the world more dangerous for America now?
Yep, the wingnuts – and by wingnuts we mean the entire Republican Party – spent the weekend complaining that by securing this exchange, Obama has ensured that it is now “open season” on Americans around the world. Because up until now, militants the world over have presumably been terrified of attacking American targets for fear of what we might do to them in return.
Walrus moustache John Bolton called it “despicable” that Obama would negotiate with terrorists, as if POW exchanges are not negotiated at the end of every war ever. Sen. John McCain, whom one would think would be sympathetic to a soldier held as a prisoner of war for five years in who-knows-what kind of circumstances, was more concerned with the release of the five “hardened terrorists” from Gitmo, because now there are only 149 prisoners being held with no timetable for their release from their already-insanely-long incarcerations, and that is just too few to satisfy Walnuts’ unquenchable thirst for blood.
And Sen. Ted Cruz told George Stephanopoulos he would never have negotiated, but would instead have used military force to go in and rescue Bergdahl, an option the military, having thousands and thousands of soldiers in Afghanistan, must have never ever considered in Ted Cruz’s brain. Bergdahl has apparently been held in the wild and remote mountains around the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, an area nearly impossible to search, which is why so many Islamic militants like to hide out there. Presumably Sen. Ted Cruz, despite having been too busy with the Princeton debate team to ever serve in the military, has some secret knowledge of how such a military rescue could have been enacted that all of our generals haven’t thought of.
The wingnuts were also very upset because Obama may have violated a law stating that the administration must give Congress 30 days’ notice before transferring any prisoners from Gitmo. This is a law to which Obama attached a signing statement saying he believes it violates his constitutional authority as Commander-In-Chief and that he planned on ignoring it. Plus the last time the administration thought it had a deal to exchange Bergdahl for five Taliban prisoners, the Republicans found ways to block it for seemingly no other reason than that they are dicks. This time the administration made damn sure news of the exchange didn’t leak ahead of time so that the GOP couldn’t sabotage it. Which they would have, because as mentioned, they are dicks.
There is also talk that Bergdahl is a deserter who went AWOL from his base after becoming disillusioned by the war. Which, if true, is something for the military to sort out at a later date. However he came to be off-base when he was captured, it seems he was held against his will for the last five years. We say give him a day or two before you start screaming for the court-martial.
Anyway, welcome home, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl! Good luck getting all the medical and psychological care you will need from our dysfunctional VA system!
Follow Gary on Twitter. He thinks some American somewhere will one day pay the price at the hands of militants for Gitmo even if we close it tomorrow and ship all the prisoners home.