Comments about ‘In our opinion: Vexing questions raised after Bergdahl prisoner exchange’

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Published: Tuesday, June 3 2014 11:55 a.m. MDT

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JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Admittedly, I dont know all the details, but on the surface, I dont get it?

I dont get the wisdom of a 5 for 1 swap.
I dont get the wisdom of trading 5 highly dangerous individuals for Bergdahl
I dont get the concept of "we cant leave a man on the battlefiels"

Basically, it would seem to me that this exchange will lead to more captured American soldiers.

I dont get it.

louie
Cottonwood Heights, UT

and if he died in captivity what then would have been said about the Obama Administration?

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

Don't I remember something about trading arms to Iran for hostages?

Nate
Pleasant Grove, UT

Obama is just giving you what you voted for. He can't close down Guantanamo without either holding military tribunals or releasing dangerous prisoners. The court trial on American soil didn't quite work out.

Think before you vote.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Do you get the wisdom holding hundreds in prison without charging them with any crime - what so ever?

Which sets a more problematic long term problem for America... the holding of people with out charges for a decade, or saving a young man from being held prisoner for 5 years.

What I find most vexing here is we this same crowd holds Israel up as the poster child of how to deal with terrorist, and yet they have many times exchanged prisoners. Do we only get it when they do it, but not when we do?

Have we forgotten about Francis Gary Powers? Or going way back to 1864, the Belle Plain prisoner exchange. This is absolutely nothing new.

"I don't get the concept of "we cant leave a man on the battlefield"?

Obviously you didn't serve, and you don't remember Vietnam.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

Here's some ideas Joe.

5 for 1..they only had one of ours and we have a boatful of theirs. One who was in failing health and one for whom the window of opportunity was closing rapidly. Let me ask the question again how many Afghans are worth one American on the free market (not being facetious)?

Trading 5 dangerous individuals for one. First of all these are Taliban leaders. The Taliban is a terrorist organization but not an international terrorist organization. Their purpose is to control one of the most backward, and tribal countries in the world.

They have shot and killed Americans because we came in and shot and killed them. Now we are leaving. This has been played out over and over again in Afghanistan for the past 500 years, always with the same result.

The country is always pretty much the same collection of warring tribes and Kabul when the invader leaves regardless of the invaders intent. Doesn't matter whether you wanted to conquer Afghanistan, turn it in to a democracy, or run off Al Qaeda, it ends the same way.

We cant leave a man on the battlefields, ask a soldier about the importance of loyalty.
"

Esquire
Springville, UT

Have you forgotten Iran-Contra, one of Reagan's scandals? Israel has had prisoner exchanges. This is hardly unique. Besides, even if he did desert, the Army will deal with it. Better to clean up this mess rather than leave the guy there to be used as a propaganda tool of the Taliban, whether willingly or unwillingly. In the end, if I thought the Republicans had an ounce of good intent, I might give their arguments more credibility. They don't and I won't. Let the Army sort it out.

Jim1027
St. George, UT

This is definitely one of your best editorials. I'm glad you're not worried about being politically correct today.

This is just another reason why Mitt Romney should be our Commander-in-Chief.

What will Obama say when it is revealed he was a collaborater?

I see nothing!
Casa Grande, AZ

No man left behind... unless it could be viewed as a good political move for democrats - then let the guy die over there. That's the republican line now?

Oh we're not saying.... we're just saying. And it goes on.

And then there's the FACT that republicans have made it illegal to shut down Guantanamo and then criticize Obama for not shutting down Guantanamo. Must be nice to have it all different ways. Honesty sure doesn't get in the way.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I wish the DN editorial board had spent 1/100th the time considering supporting the invasion of 2 Middle Eastern countries, 13 years or war, $4 trillion, 6,000 american lives, and 75,000 Americans wounded --

As they have over this 1 POW exchange...

Utah Soldier
Bountiful, UT

As an American Soldier, I am grateful for the return of one of my own. Prisoner exchanges are a common event in a war.

That being said, however, it is going to get real ugly as SGT Bergdahl's actions are investigated. Despite the fact that his actions have been discussed ever since he went missing, it will be viewed as a partisan political way to get back at the President for the swap.

Unfortunately, had the political parties been reversed, I feel that the political bickering would be similar.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"Unfortunately, had the political parties been reversed, I feel that the political bickering would be similar."

True That.

People look at EVERYTHING through partisan glasses. They go into any and every issue looking to either support their beloved party or to bash the evil other one.

Both parties do and have done virtually the same thing. It is so humorous to watch the hairs people split to somehow make what their party did, totally different.

E Sam
Provo, UT

You could have saved a lot of column inches if you had simply written the only thing that should have been written: "Welcome home, soldier, and we thank you for your service."

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

@E Sam
Provo, UT
You could have saved a lot of column inches if you had simply written the only thing that should have been written: "Welcome home, soldier, and we thank you for your service."

9:23 a.m. June 3, 2014

========

Impossible to do for the "We hate all things Obama" crowd.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If releasing 5 highly dangerous prisoners is what it takes to get him back... that's what it takes.

I agree with the philosophy that we don't leave our people behind (IF) we can get them back. Sometimes you can't.

But there's something fishy here. 5 highly dangerous prisoners for one marine who apparently walked off his post... Just seems way out of proportion.

I can see doing that for a marine captured in battle, but not for one who walked over to their side evidently intending to get caught.

We also need to get to the bottom of his father's tweets in support of the prisoners at Gitmo. According to the Washington Post, he tweeted, "I'm still working for the release of all the Guantanimo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child Ameen"...

If his family turns out to be Taliban sympathizers... and good soldiers gave their lives searching for a deserter... it won't be pretty.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

What is the penalty for desertion? Soldiers are telling us that the Sargent deserted and that at least six soldiers were killed because of that desertion. It seems strange that a President would violate the Constitution to reward a soldier who left his unit, but our President is a master at deflection. When the heat is on him for the deaths in the VA, he diverts attention.

Strider303
Salt Lake City, UT

He left his unit, comrades and security of the compound on his own. Sounds like desertion to me.

No, we don't want to leave anyone behind, but we have. There are aircrew members from the Korean and Vietnam wars that are unaccounted for, some probably transported to the Soviet Union. Our government chose not to pursue their release.

The question remains that this man willfully left his unit, in a combat situation. Risked the lives of other soldiers in search operations.

I don't agree with the swap, it enables a hardened enemy. It is another clumsy foreign policy decision by an administration who is woefully inept in their various roles.

If the negotiations have been going on for several years, what is Hilliary's role in this?

"What difference does it make?" Just sayin'

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Then there's the little legal issue of... it's the law that they have to notify Congress first. The Administration didn't.

I know. Many Presidents (including Reagan) also conducted covert operations, and made deals without notifying the media (and probably Congress). It goes on. We just have to assume that what we get is worth what we expend to get it.

The question is... what did we get in this case... a deserter? Or a hero?
And for what? I've heard that at least 6 good marines were killed in operations conducted to find him and get him back. Now we put 5 very dangerous people back on the war field to kill more Afghan women and children (and Americans if we don't get out fast).

The question is... what did we get... and at what price?

If we gave up 5 Taliban supporters and 6 marine's lives, to get one deserter and a Taliban sympathizer back... it wsn't a good deal (IMO).

I guess we will find out eventually.

Remember all the investigations and grief Reagan and those involved in HIS covert opps (intended to get back US prisoners of war) got when discovered...

Shawnm750
West Jordan, UT

@louie - He put himself in that situation when he walked away from his post. He wasn't captured while performing his duties as a soldier, but during an act of desertion. Perhaps he was misguided or even suffering from some mental condition that prompted him to do what he did. Or maybe he really just decided he was done serving. Regardless, he found himself in those circumstances as the result of his own actions. And, let's not forget about his fellow soldiers that put themselves in harms way to find him, some of whom lost their own lives looking for him.

So to answer your question: "...and if he died in captivity what then would have been said about the Obama Administration?" In my opinion, the administration would've been sending a message that the U.S. isn't going to hand over terrorists to get back deserters.

I know his family is glad to have him back, but I'm the families of the soldiers who died while looking for him would've loved to have them back as well...

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

We should have just left him because that's what we, the most moral and religiously correct country on earth does.

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