Republicans have shown they there is no limit to their Obama hate by warping the freeing of a captured soldier in Afghanistan into an allegation that the president negotiates with terrorists.
On ABC’s This Week, Ted Cruz accused the president of negotiating with terrorists and putting more lives at risk, “It’s not the only way. We can go in and use military force, as needed, to rescue our fallen compatriots. But, look, Sergeant Bergdahl was fighting to capture these terrorists. Can you imagine what he would say to his fallen comrades who lost their lives to stop these people who were responsible, either directly or indirectly, for threatening or taking U.S. civilian lives. I mean, that’s why we sent our soldiers there. And the idea that we’re now making trades, what does that do for every single soldier stationed abroad? It says the reason why the U.S. has had the policy for decades of not negotiating with terrorists is because once you start doing it, every other terrorist has an incentive to capture more soldiers.”
Video of Ted Cruz on ABC’s This Week:
On CBS’ Face The Nation, Sen. John McCain said, “I understand the great story and happiness of the Bergdahl family and friends. And we’re all grateful that he has returned. I think there are legitimate questions about these individuals who have been released. And the conditions understand which they will be released. These are the hardest of the hard core. These are the highest high-risk people. And others that we have released have gone back into the fight. That’s been documented. And it’s disturbing to me that the Taliban are the ones that named the people to be released. So all I can say is that we need to more information about the conditions of where they’re going to be and how. But it is disturbing that these individuals would have the ability to reenter the fight. And they are big, high-level people, possibly responsible for the deaths of thousands.”
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) said, “This fundamental shift in U.S. policy signals to terrorists around the world a greater incentive to take U.S. hostages. Further, I have little confidence in the security assurances regarding the movement and activities of the now-released Taliban leaders and I have even less confidence in this administration’s willingness to ensure they are enforced. I believe this decision will threaten the lives of American soldiers for years to come.”
Republicans can’t allow President Obama to be responsible for anything good that happens. If a Republican president had made this same deal to rescue a captive soldier, they would be proclaim this a great day for America.
Interestingly, the Obama administration has turned the Bush era justification for handling detainees on its ear. Defense Secretary Hagel argued on Meet The Press that President Obama had the authority to make a deal for the captured solider under his commander-in-chief powers laid out in Article II of the Constitution. Hagel also said that Sgt. Bergdahl’s health was in decline, “We believed that the information we had, the intelligence we had, was such that Sgt. Bergdahl’s safety and health were in jeopardy. In particular his health was deteriorating. It was our judgment that if we could find an opening and move very quickly, we needed to get him out of there, essentially to save his life.”
The Republican reaction to this good news has been disgraceful, and another example of the fact that the GOP can only see issues in the most partisan of terms. This is more sleazy, and un-American behavior from a party that refuses to get behind the president even when he successfully brings a captured soldier home without a shot being fired.
Just like with the VA, the health and welfare of Sgt. Bergdahl doesn’t seem to matter to Republicans. Their only answer to every question is to gin up a partisan scandal. It’s getting old fast, and it is also why Democrats will continue to win elections for years to come.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association