Republican Bergdahl Scandal Falls Apart as White House Discussed Swap With GOP in 2011

obama bergdahl

The Republican Obama scandal machine has been stopped before it could ever get started as it is being reported that the White House informed congressional Republicans on numerous occasions about the prisoner swap that brought Sgt. Bergdahl home.

The idea that Republicans had no knowledge of the prisoner swap that freed Sgt Bow Bergdahl was dealt a severe blow today.

The Washington Post reported:

Obama administration officials first discussed with senior House Republicans the possibility of swapping five terrorism detainees from the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in late November 2011, according to senior GOP aides.

The possible prisoner exchange was discussed again during a briefing on Jan. 31, 2012, after senior House Republicans sent two letters to the Obama administration seeking more information on the possibility of the swap, said the aides, who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.


The outlines of the proposed Bergdahl swap had been public since the spring of 2012. Several news organizations, including The Washington Post, had learned of the proposal much earlier but refrained from reporting on it at the request of the Pentagon, which argued that public disclosure that Bergdahl was a subject of a negotiation between the Taliban and the United States could put his life at risk.

Republicans are outraged that President Obama acted on information that they knew about for three years. It is also information that has been public knowledge for the last two years. It comes as no surprise that the man who is leading the media campaign to smear Sgt. Bergdahl is a former Bush administration official.

According to BuzzFeed, “A former Bush administration official who was hired, then resigned, as Mitt Romney’s foreign policy spokesman played a key role in publicizing critics of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the released prisoner of war. The involvement of Richard Grenell, who once served as a key aide to Bush-era U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton and later worked for Romney’s 2012 campaign, comes as the Bergdahl release has turned into an increasingly vicious partisan issue.”

John Boehner and House Republicans are calling for an investigation into something that they have known about for years, while a former Bush administration official is leading the media effort to build this partisan show into a full blown scandal. This behavior is straight out of the Republican scandal making playbook. They can’t run on Obamacare. Benghazi has been a bust, so they are turning their efforts towards portraying bringing a U.S. soldier home after five years of captivity as a bad thing.

This is another bogus scandal attempt that is going to blow up in the face of the Republican Party. Republicans could try to take President Obama to court for notifying them of the swap, but courts have ruled for decades that a president has broad powers as commander in chief.

By the GOP’s own definition, Bergdahl was a prisoner of war. President Obama had the constitutional authority as commander in chief to take the actions the action that he did.

Republicans are making it look to the American people like they oppose bringing an American soldier home. They are setting themselves up for another self-inflicted political disaster as their obsession with President Obama continues to destroy the Republican Party.

Jason Easley
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