Obama Shames Republicans As He Refuses to Apologize for Freeing Bowe Bergdahl

obama-bergdahl-no-apologies

The president was asked about the Bergdahl controversy at a joint press conference in Brussels, and he made the Republicans look like unpatriotic fools with his answer.

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President Obama said:

I’m never surprised by controversies that are whipped up in Washington. That’s par for the course, but I’ll repeat what I said two days ago. We have a basic principle. We do not leave anybody wearing the American uniform behind. We had a prisoner of war whose health had deteriorated and we were deeply concerned about it, and we saw an opportunity and we seized it, and I make no apologies for that.

We had discussed with Congress the possibility that something like this might occur, but because of nature of the folks that we were dealing with, and the fragile nature of these negotiations we thought it was important to go ahead and do what we did and we are now explaining to Congress the details of how we moved forward, but this basic principle that we don’t leave anyone behind, and this basic recognition that often means prisoner exchanges with enemies is not unique to my administration. It dates back to the beginning of our republic.

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And with respect to how we announced it, I think it is important to understand that this is not some distraction. This is not some political football. You have a couple of parents whose kid volunteered to fight in some distant land, and weren’t sure whether they’d ever see again. As Commander In Chief of the United States Armed Forces, I am responsible for those kids, and I get letters from parents that say if you are in fact sending my child off to war, make sure that child is being taken care of. And I write too many letters to folks who, unfortunately, don’t see their children again after fighting a war.

I make absolutely no apologies for making sure that we get back a young man to his parents, and that the American people understand that this is somebody’s child, and that we don’t condition whether or not we make the effort to try to get them back.

The president shouldn’t apologize, The circumstances to do not matter. Sgt. Bergdahl is still a US citizen who was wearing his country’s uniform. This means that we as a nation have a duty to bring him home.
If he did anything wrong, he should be punished here, not left to die in the hands of the enemy. These basic principles have been around for as long as the republic itself. None of this is new. What President Obama did is not unique in US history.

Republicans are trying to whip up a scandal, because they can’t win with their agenda, so the only option they have strategically is to drag their opponents through the mud. What is different about the Bergdahl situation is that they have chosen also to smear a soldier and his family.

None of the Republican behavior has been proper, appropriate, or in the least bit patriotic. By attacking Bergdahl and his family, Republicans are demonstrating that they can’t be trusted to support the troops that they sent into war.

President Obama was 100% correct. There is no apology necessary for bringing a prisoner of war home. Republicans should be apologizing to Sgt. Bergdahl’s family for their deplorable political attacks.

By standing tall, the president is destroying what was left of the myth that Republicans care about and support the troops and their families.

44 Replies to “Obama Shames Republicans As He Refuses to Apologize for Freeing Bowe Bergdahl”

  1. “What is different about the Bergdahl situation is that they have chosen also to smear a soldier and his family.”

    conservatives: no soul, no shame, no decency, no patriotism. Partisanship only!

  2. The Republican reaction to the prisoner swap proves Obama was right to cut Congress out of the negotiations. If he’d tried to get congressional approval for the swap Bergdahl would have died of old age in an Afghan cave while the Republicans milked the “controversy” for all the political value it had.

  3. He was not a deserter, and he fought to get back to his unit, he escaped a couple of times
    and was recaptured, it is all in the articles written about him a few years ago.

  4. Republicans on his left, republicans on his right, republicans in front of him and republicans behind him. Obama has them right where he wants them.

    I believe he is acting to try to provoke the repubs into a war with him. He knows how they are and he is setting back and pushing their buttons. You go Mr. President.

  5. “We had discussed with Congress the possibility that something like this might occur, but because of nature of the folks that we were dealing with,
    —————————
    Oh! He must mean the Taliban, right?

    Because my first thought was congress.

  6. Here’s some facts that the media & GOP cover-up:
    1. Bergdahl was known to leave base on more occasion & had com back — in fact his fellow soldiers fail to report it at the time: http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140603/NEWS05/106030078/Sources-Bergdahl-may-walked-off-base-more-than-once
    http;//www.cbsnews.com/news/bergdahl-had-left-his-post-at-least-once-before-investigation-found/

    Which means that it would be impossible to prove desertion under UCMJ Article 85:
    http://www.ucmj.us/sub-chapter-10-puntive-articles/885-article-85-desertion

    READ MORE:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/05/1304556/-The-GOP-is-Heading-for-a-World-of-Hurt-on-Bergdahl-here-s-why

  7. Instead of folks we deal with he should have said fools and follow up with “Hey Lindsey can you hear me now”

  8. The traitorous Right’s crazed compulsion to brand everything the President does as terrible, means that they must crucify Bergdahl. If they admit to the tiniest scrap of humanity or tradition or ethics, they would look bad for protesting his safe return. So he must be deemed a deserter, a traitor, a collaborator, worthy only of death. This justifies their horrifying and un-American behavior regarding his release.

    If Bergdahl had died in captivity last weekend instead of being released, he would be an American Hero, and the President would be on the receiving end of the same hypocritical rage he is now.

    What terrible, awful people the rabid rights are.

  9. I’m telling you when all the facts come out this is going to some kind of army scandal. It makes no sense that the guys he served with are saying that people died searching for him and there are no reports of deaths. A very simple thing to find out. Their stories are just TO similar as though they have been coached. You can ask any 2 or 3 people about another person and every one of them will give a different opinion in how they see that person.

    Something just does not smell right about this ordeal. Time will tell.

  10. I heard on NPR this morning that the military did an in depth investigation in 2010 (I think it was). One of the things they found is that he had “wandered” off base a couple of times before, once during training for Afghanistan, and once in Afghanistan.

  11. As I understand it, President Obama tried to obtain Bowe Bergdahl’s release in 2012 but the republican shut him down.

  12. My understanding of him is that he was powerfully naive in thinking he was there to help the Afghan people. He was homeschooled, wandered his home area freely alone and loving nature, and he was probably NOT a great candidate for the military because of his singular isolation and independence. However, being naive is not a crime of any sort at all.

    Had he ‘defected’ don’t the GOP and naysayers think he’d have been paraded on TV and used as a propaganda weapon against the U.S.? What made his return so important is that apparently intelligence indicated his failing health made him a candidate for death – a burden on the Taliban, a risk they did not need.

    I have no idea if he did something actionable, but I do know he is a human being and one of our kids. The president did the right thing. I hope this turns out well for Bergdahl and his family.

  13. There is obviously one source that disseminates all the daily Right Wing talking points and propaganda. All the websites and Fox News sing the same tune on every so-called scandal. It is the same thing on Right Wing talk radio across the country. Within two days, Bergdahl’s release went from a great accomplishment to a scandal, and a national Right Wing lynch mob was whipped into a frenzy against him- and his dad, too. It is both despicable and impressive how well-coordinated the Right Wing propaganda machine is. They get all their useful idiots to goosestep in unison on any issue they promote.

  14. Apparently he’s in very poor health. If he dies before he gets a chance to come home the Republicans are going to look like the really mean spirited inhuman heels they are.

  15. It wont turn out well for the family. The dogs, the morally corrupt, the holier than thou pro life pro war fake Christians in other words the American Taliban/ Conservatives being egged on by the greatest propaganda machine since Goebbels and the Nazis have made this their jihad. The truth will not make a difference to them but I still have faith in the American people who are disgusted by these POS antics. Yeah that includes John McCain, Diane Feinstein and a special shoutout to that cowardly racist in the closet Lindsey Graham

  16. I just received an email from Townhall which stated “the criminal case against Obama” I sent back a reply: Fuck you! I love the President.

  17. Business as usual in DC. Whiney hypocrite Republicans oppose a hostage exchange because it wasn’t done by a Rep. Pres. If Pres. Obama took a position in favor of breathing, Reps would hold their breath til they all dropped dead. Wish he would. The worst is that King of hypocrites, the senile McCain, who was released as a Vietnam POW in a prisoner exchange. Now there’s a soldier that should have been left behind. Besmirching this young man’s reputation on rumor & conjecture proves that GOPers are so low they have to jump up to get down. Welcome home one of our soldiers & feel for his parents. Then shut the eff up.

  18. Both Democrats and Republicans are speaking against this…. It is definitely bipartisan at the moment. However, Republicans love to beat a dead horse.

    I am currently on the fence with this. I am completely for bringing our soldiers home. However, we should have followed our law to do so. I think if President Obama would have went to congress and discussed the reasoning before hand, then he could of used executive order when they said no… he would look like a hero now.

    We have known the exact location for some time. Why didnt we pull a raid like we did with Osama Bin Laden?

  19. The congress knew all about it. It was discussed in 2011 and 2012. The GOP was all for bringing him home until he was brought home

  20. One democrat was craven enough to put her 2 cents in. Diane Feinstein. Now if you know of others please let us know so we can deal with them on our terms. Are you that naïve to think this pack of dogs aka republican party would have kept their mouths shut so this could have happened. Where the eff you been for the past 6 years Rip Van Wrinkle?

  21. To further that statement Elizabeth, that is why he cannot be tried for desertion. It has to be proven that he intended to stay away permanently, and since he returned before, that would be difficult to prove.

    An article from DailyKos which DJ gave a link to has some very interesting information about the unit he was serving with, it’s worth looking up.

  22. He has done a good job of having the GOP so confused they don’t know which way to go.They are so confused.

  23. Well, well who would have thunk it
    Senators Admit Leaving Classified Briefing On Bowe Bergdahl Early
    Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), ranking member on the Select Committee on Intelligence, appeared on Fox News to criticize the administration while the briefing was still underway.
    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who criticized President Obama for breaking the law, skipped the briefing entirely.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/05/1304754/-Senators-Admit-Leaving-Classified-Bergdahl-Briefing-Early

  24. This Canadian do so love your President. He’s the smartest one in the room at all times. America should be so proud esp. after the 8 years of the buffoon embarrassing your Country and making America a laughing stock around the world.
    Good for you Mr. President, tell it like it is and call out these unpatriotic anti American politicans/media whores, they hypocrites.

  25. I don’t think Diane Feinstein ever liked PO, I guess her girl didn’t win and she has never gotten over it, plus PO is not kissing Israel or Netanyahu’s ass as would Hillary and other Dems.

  26. As always our president handles with grace and dignity, the constant republican/tea-party insanity. I can only imagine what the rest of the world must think of our country- and am saddened and ashamed at the same time of what has happened to our country. To have McCain say anything bad about the release of this soldier is not only the most hypocritical but also the most evil- since several vietcong were released for his release and we can’t forget that Reagan traded weapons for the release of American lives. I keep wondering when the majority of American citizens will see the truth about this party of no and vote them out of office.

  27. You need to read the NY Times this morning. He’s in good health. That was a ruse by the liar in chief and his mouthpiece, Rice.

  28. You see it works like this wingnut. Now we know you are one of the lying liars who repeats lies so I am here to help
    Bergdahl Says He Was Tortured By Taliban Captors
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/bergdahl-torture-taliban-captors

    You see how easy that was. I made a statement and provided a link so unlike you I didn’t pull it out of my ass. And since that story wasn’t picked up by any sites and I really doubt you pay for the NY TIMES I would have to say, well I will hold judgement

  29. Why have officials within the administration criticized soldiers with first person knowledge that soldier abandoned his post and his comrades in a war zone? Some referred to them as “psychopaths.” If the White House believed the soldier’s health was in danger or deteriorating, why wouldn’t they demand that the Red Cross send in officials as they had done during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam? If the White House wants to swap POW’s after the hostilities of war are over, that is legitimate. Such was the case after peace agreements between legitimate nation-states ended WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, etc. Prisoner exchanges had occurred during the Civil War, but Lincoln stopped them when it was discovered that the Confederacy was abusing Northern POW’s. Have the hostilities ended in Afghanistan? Have Al Qaeda and the Taliban surrendered and sworn off world-wide jihad against America? I might even swallow this exchange if the government of Afghanistan mediated the swap. Was he worth i…

  30. The release of POW’s after the hostilities have ended and the peace settlements agreed upon is perfectly legitimate. This was the case after WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. The Paris Peace Agreement of 1973 ended America’s involvement in Vietnam. John McCain and the other POW’s released by North Vietnam were honored in 1974 by President Nixon, before he resigned his presidency. If the White House was concerned about the soldier’s health, why didn’t they appeal to the Red Cross, which checked on POW’s in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam? Also, why attack U.S. soldiers with first person knowledge of the soldier’s desertion? Was Bergdahl worth Mullah Omar’s War Cabinet? They will party for a year in Qatar, then plan to kill Americans. At least one of them is wanted for war crimes by the U.N.; why didn’t we turn him over to the Hague for prosecution?

  31. What officials inside the administration criticized the decision? The red cross? The red cross is neutral that is why they are able to operate and even though the main Taliban has promised them safety because of that neutrality there was a bombing at the agency’s Jalalabad offices by a rouge Taliban outfit.Some referred to them as “psychopaths.” I am hoping you are not referring to these men? Most of 5 freed Taliban prisoners have less than hard-core pasts http://www.latimes.com/world/afghanistan-pakistan/la-fg-taliban-prisoners-20140606-story.html#page=1 I am not going to comment on the legitimate nation states because I see you haven’t been paying attention. Finally you ask was he worth it? How dare you play politics with a soldiers life. When you get off the couch serve your country get captured then you ask yourself, are you worth it. Just sickening what this country has become

  32. LOL

    My my, its not hard to tell where you get your stuff

    I think you should wait to get some truth before you protest.

    Mullah Omar’s War Cabinet. Too rich

  33. The majority of Americans have voted TWICE on who’s policies they wanted and it was NOT Repubs!!! You are correct, Pres Obama has handled these idiots with more grace then he should.
    We ALL have to vote in this the most important midterm EVER this November then. Hillary will take care of 2016 as she is the most qualified person on or off anyone’s list.

  34. John McCain has totally lost it. Can someone please explain this Palinese to me.

    Here is him trying to sell to the brain dead that the released Taliban was behind 911. Now as crazy and just out right lying that meme is here is what caught my attention.

    McCain also suggested there were other prisoners the U.S. could’ve exchanged for Bergdahl.

    “I believe there are other prisoners, some of whom we have already released, that we could have released in exchange,”
    Read more
    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/208599-mccain-released-prisoners-responsible-for-9-11

    W THE DOUBLE F does that even mean? OY

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