California Democrat Slams Republicans On Their Criticism Of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s Release

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On Saturday, President Obama announced that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had been released by the Taliban and secured by American troops in Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border.  Bergdahl had been held captive by the Taliban for nearly five years and was the last American prisoner of war in the Afghan war. The President made his announcement alongside Bergdahl’s parents on Saturday in the Rose Garden. In order to secure Sgt. Bergdahl’s release, the White House agreed to release five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay. The prisoners were handed over to officials in Qatar. The five people released from Gitmo will be subjected to travel bans and security restrictions.

Naturally, Republican lawmakers went out of their way to criticize the President over this deal and made it seem like Obama was negotiating with terrorists in securing the release of an American soldier. Instead of expressing pride and gratitude in the way that the nation’s Commander-In-Chief brought home the last remaining prisoner in a decade-plus war, Republicans took to the airwaves on Saturday and Sunday and complained that the President was placing the nation’s security at risk. Our own Jason Easley pointed out how Republicans might have hit an all-time low by using the Sunday shows as a forum to claim that Obama made a deal with terrorists and placed the country’s soldiers at risk by doing so.

On Sunday afternoon, Democratic Congressional candidate James Kimber, who is running against Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) in California’s 50th District, contacted me to express his disgust with the tactics that Republicans are using to undermine the President. Below are Kimber’s own words regarding this disgraceful situation:

 

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Like many, I was elated when I heard President Obama announce the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Knowing he was finally freed and to see the smiles on the faces of his parents really made my day. Sadly, that feeling for me was short lived, and like the old saying “no good deed goes unpunished.” I’ve almost come to accept how the GOP objects to virtually anything this President does, but I’m truly appalled at the latest objections from the GOP over the President’s actions to free a captured U.S. soldier.

It’s absolutely disingenuous when members of the GOP such as Rep. Mike Rogers make statements such as “This fundamental shift in U.S. policy signals to terrorists around the world a greater incentive to take U.S. hostages” or Rep. Howard McKeon “Our terrorists adversaries now have a strong incentive to capture Americans. ”

It’s completely disingenuous or plain ignorance to make statements such as these. There has always been a risk of capture or kidnapping of Americans around the world. I wonder if either remembers the kidnapping of American missionaries Gracia and Martin Burnham back in May 2001 (pre 9/11) by rebel group Abu Sayyaf that was linked to al Qaida. Or what about other soldier captured that weren’t treated as Sgt. Bergdahl. In 2004 Army Spc. Maupin was captured and a video was broadcast showing his execution by the insurgents. In 2006 insurgents captured Pfc. Menchaca and Pfc. Tucker. When the bodies were ultimately found they showed signs of torture and mutilation. In 2007 a group calling themselves the Islamic State of Iraq announces they have captured three U.S. soldiers and releases a video. One year later their remains are discovered and positively identified.

The five detainees from GITMO that were released in exchange for Sgt. Bergdahl had been set for release more than two years ago. But I have no illusions that we will lose contact of these individuals once released. Undoubtedly they will likely be under surveillance for quite some time if not indefinite. But to say this is going to put our Americans at great risk is simply disingenuous.

I will end with this last thought. Rep. Duncan Hunter who served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan while reported as terming the release of Sgt. Bergdahl as “fantastic” also expressed concerns about negotiating with the Taliban. My question is if Mr. Hunter had been captured during one of his combat tours, how long would his father, Congressman Hunter, have waited to get his son back? Would his father have questioned negotiating with the Taliban for the release of five detainees to get his son back?

 

I don’t think any of us could have said it better. It is absolutely heinous that we have Republicans complaining about this transfer to secure Sgt. Bergdahl’s freedom. Even worse, they are publicly stating that the President has placed this country and its soldiers’ lives at risk by making this deal. Just when you think Republicans in Washington can’t get any lower, they turn around and surprise you, showing a new level of cravenness.

28 Replies to “California Democrat Slams Republicans On Their Criticism Of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s Release”

  1. this administration could hand out gold bars to everyone, and the cons would say the prez was uppity….

    i would love to have dinner with susan rice sometime. the conversation would be amazing. really smart lady…

  2. James Kimber speaks eloquently for those of us who are beyond disgusted with the morally bankrupt and empathetically challenged Republican politicians trying to use this exchange as a political football. It’s further proof that they see soldiers and veterans as nothing more than pawns to be used at the convenience of warmongers like them. It apparently doesn’t matter that this young man’s health was declining and that he needed to be brought home for the sake of his health. All that mattered to them was that they saw another opening for their endless, pointless criticism of this president. To that end, they made what can only be called treasonous statements by saying he was helping terrorists. As despicable as they have exposed themselves to be, I doubt I’ll be surprised if they sink even lower.

  3. “The five detainees from GITMO that were released in exchange for Sgt. Bergdahl had been set for release more than two years ago.”

    So we got our guy back for 5 bums we were going to let go anyway. What’s not to like there?

    “Undoubtedly they will likely be under surveillance for quite some time if not indefinite”

    Can you say, drone strike?

  4. When the president takes decisive action in any matter he is labeled as a dictator. When he shows good judgement and doesn’t invade some country or bomb russia then he is labeled as pathetic and weak. It’s simply sickening.

  5. Hate is a strong emotion and I try not to hate anyone but in this case I hate republicans. For to long Democrats have treated them with respect they neither earned or deserve. These people would leave their own mother behind if it means they can act like assholes and make a dollar doing it

  6. They will sink lower for sure and it will probably be tomorrow. There is no reason to believe they will break stride. It is expected of them and they’re sure to please their ignorant base.

  7. If President Obama had refused to negotiate and Sgt. Bergdahl died, Republicans would attack Obama for not doing everything possible to gain Bergdahl’s release.

    What I find particularly galling is McCain’s reaction. As a former prisoner of war who knows probably better than anyone in Congress what Sgt. Bergdahl suffered, McCain should have been pleased with President Obama’s decision. Instead, McCain allowed his blind hatred for Obama to taint what should have been a happy occasion for all Americans.

  8. This is just more proof of the
    sheer genius of Barack Obama.
    For weeks we have heard the GOP
    mantra of how he doesn’t care about Veterans. How everyone who serves
    our Country must be taken care of!
    (and I agree) The POTUS must have
    been thinking, again, please proceed…
    because behind the scenes he is
    negotiating the release of a POW
    who has been held for 5yrs.
    He is always 10 steps ahead of them!
    He just lets them paint themselves
    into a corner, and they never disappoint.
    Now they are in a a quandary.
    Support the soldier AND criticize the
    POTUS for his actions. hmmm, what to do?

    President Obama is a student of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.” Sun Tzu

  9. Well, look. The IRS was not a scandal (unless you consider that they really do NOT vet conservative political groups and still allow them tax exempt status.) The NSA scandal is that the GOP ever supported the Patriot Act and Bush’s warrantless wiretapping. Did they expect to remain in power forever? Benghazi? Nope. No matter what Preibus prays for every night, Sec. Clinton was not at fault and did not lie. So now they have to criticize this…they are still trying to convince their dwindling base that Obama is the Devil Incarnate, that health care is evil, that taxes are going up, that the sky is purple and rainbows will only come back when they take over the entire government and turn us into Saudi Arabia. Please proceed, GOP. You are nothing if not entertaining.

  10. Nothing exemplifies hatred for our nation, its people, its military, and its veterans more than the republican party. They are unfit to govern, or serve in our government in any capacity. They’re not even fit to be Americans.

  11. 25% of our population is bat shit crazy. I think reality trumps ideology every time. There was a time when Bob Dole was a very strong republican leader, tough but ethical. He has no use for the current republican party which has been taken over by the far right.

  12. It just goes to show you there is nothing the President can do that would please Republicans. If soldier was one of those Republicans son, i wonder whether they would be bitchin. They need to know everything in life is not political. The President is not running for reelection so all they have to do is just do their damn job.

  13. Unfortunately the more info about the story comes out, the worse it looks. it appears that former soldiers that served with Bergdahl are claiming that the guy deserted and might have wanted to join the taliban. The father has been going crazy in twiter and the whole story is looking pretty bad

  14. How odd… I seem to recall Ronald Reagan negotiating with terrorists in Iran for the release of an entire *embassy* full of people. I thought the modern “Conservative’s” by-word was “If Reagan did it, it was great for the U.S. of A.”

  15. The right will be implementing all negative stories until they individually drop dead or are thrown out of office. They are such creeps in every action. They spend little time doing the people’s business and just collect their checks. Trained monkeys would do better than this lot of Republicans. The tea party and Libraterians are even worse. They are self serving idiots kissing wealthy donors butts.
    The Pres. Did right by this soldier and his family. If the Pres. Brought Jesus to this earth,they would complain and find fault that it isn’t their Jesus. They do nothing but complain. Whiny children with power. They need to be treated like the immature,badly behaving people they are. Their mamas failed horribly. If it were their child they would be screaming for his release. Nothing but crazy idiots.

  16. Hello again! Thanks for your great post.

    Those who criticize any of our heroes must walk a mile in their shoes. A while ago I wrote that the GOP senator in my state, visited our local veterans home. She was given a tour and finally visited the group in our meeting room. She had Christmas cards for our service men and women which the veterans (and staff) were asked to sign. After the signing she commended and thanked the vets for their service.

    She returned to D.C. and voted AGAINST the Bill to increase Veterans. Hypocrite!

    GOP criticizing Dems since the tea party suckered them into their extreme agenda is their M.O. have NOTHING to offer their constituents and country but lies, trumped up “scandals”, racism, negativity in general and greed. This is not the GOP of the once-great Party. They lost whatever soul they had to the extremists.

    “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffer the loss of his soul.” (Matthew 16.26) “What could you trade your so…

  17. OH! Anne, why are you surprised by any thing the rethugs do? It’s in their nature to be liars & deceivers.
    Doesn’t any one remember it was the rethugs Shrub, Cheney, Condoleezzzza and the rest of the rethug company that first placed our military in danger by the torture of Prisoners we held. Using brutal inhuman interrogation tactics. We as a nation should be grateful we ever get any military back in one piece. Thanks to the rethugs!!!!!

  18. It is. The disconnect is because they are constantly rewriting Regans history in office to fit their narrative. Half of what they say he did, he did something else entirely, often in direct conflict with what they claim.

  19. I remember the Republicans commenting on the number of detainees released from Girmo by GWB. The Republicans said
    …….CRICKETS.

  20. I remember the Republicans commenting on the number of detainees released from Girmo by GWB. The Republicans said
    …….CRICKETS.

    I also remember hearing about these releases ……after it happened.

    I might also add that those released happened through negotiations for exchange for …..CRICKETS.

    I also have the recall of all the ‘secret’ negotiations like what was aired again on MSNBC just a week ago about why GWB & his cocriminal Cheney went into Iraq — OIL. All the secret meetings, some held in London so no one knew, with oil companies, etc. We always believed & said it was for oil but the GWB administration poo-poo’d that. Liars. It’s now 6 years after Bush is out of office and only now is it confirmed — not by government.

    There is also the matter which is a typical GOP thing – to destroy documents. That which GWB & Cheney did. Why I reference typical GOP — think of all the GOP Governors who have destroyed documents while Gov along with harddri…

  21. Thanks for pointing us to your resource.

    The whacky Right suffers from what we call the “Three D’s”- Dysfunctional,Delusional, and in Denial. They think they can alter their past comments by hitting a delete key. Look at McCain only weeks ago saying he would consider a swap…maybe at his age – it’s also amnesia…

    The GOP keeps trying to come up with new “talking points”, but in the end they only come up talking nonsense. Now they are willing to throw this poor family that has suffered 5 years under the bus for the sake of their own politicl ambition. Shame on them all.

    If Bergdahl comes home, they investigate and he did do wrong, then military courts will have to assign proper measure. But the right wing press is incorrigible trying to smear him before due process in a lame attempt to smear the President.

    This is what happens when the GOP no longer has a case against Obamacare…

  22. Huckeberry:

    And one more…..
    When he decides that we don’t need no boots on the ground in Libya to depose Khadaffi, but instead provided technical assistance to other nations to help the rag tag rebels there, (eventually mortally wounding Khadaffi with their own hands)-the republicans were screaming: HE IS LEADING FROM BEHIND!
    Same BS with the Ukraine. Obama rightly did not order troops to help the Ukranians fend off the Russians (WHY should he!) The Republicans lauded Putin as their guy, because he was “sticking it to Obama” OYR PRESIDENT! The disgusting Republican bottom feeders are disgusting to a man and woman!

  23. Willdye4U:

    Also, Obama and his people decided NOT to give these Congressmen a 30 Day “Heads-Up” precisely because they (The Republican blockade brigade) would have said: Let the “deserter” Rot in the cave the Afghans have him in. That’s right, they would have found 1000 and one excuses not to give Obama the green light. Bet your house on that, my friend. Because you can see them Republicans throwing hissyfits all over and saying NO, NO, NO leave him there.

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