Dan Liljenquist: 'Don't do stupid stuff' is not a policy, it is a justification


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  • ronnie sandy, utah
    June 7, 2014 1:52 p.m.

    @ Live From the Swamp

    Are you kidding? Suffice it to say there is absolutely no comparison between the leaders of the Third Reich and the Taliban. Where is your real knowledge of history?

  • woolybruce Idaho Falls, ID
    June 7, 2014 11:44 a.m.

    The last time the United States negotiated with terrorism, including for the exchange of prisoners, Ronald Reagan was President. So based on the assessment of this article, does the same characterization of the Obama foreign policy also apply to Reagan's foreign policy? If not why? Is it because Reagan was a Republican and Obama a Democrat? Republicans are entitled to negotiate with terrorists and Democrats are not?

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 6, 2014 8:51 a.m.

    VST -

    "This Administration has released five of the most hardened anti-American Taliban killers"

    The war is winding down, and POW's WILL be released.

    The United States released thousands of the most hardened Nazi anti-American killers after World War II.

    Was that thousands of times worse than trading 5 POW's for Bergadahl?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 6, 2014 7:56 a.m.

    "This Administration has released five of the most hardened anti-American Taliban killers, who are also wanted by the international criminal court for their murderous brutality."

    This is how the five are described, what are they charged with?

    Show me in the constitution (an arbiter of our values), or international law where you are imprisoned for 13 years because you are described as a criminal.

    It doesn't mean the description is wrong it just means it's not a legal standing to incarcerate someone once the war is over.

    In addition, "most hardened anti-American Taliban killers". Anti-American, seriously? We invaded their country, we blew it up, we killed their men, women, and children. Remember they had nothing to do with 9/11.

    You all seem to forget We supported the Taliban when Russia invaded Afghanistan (see Charley Wilsons war). My bet Russians considered them anti-Russian terrorists. Now the shoes on the other foot.

    They're Afghans, and always have been. They aren't part of some large international ant-American cabal.

    They resist those who invade. That doesn't make them good guys, it only makes them Afghanistan's problem.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    June 5, 2014 4:59 p.m.

    I don't think that making Sarah Palin and the Duck Dynasty guy the stars of your nationwide "Leadership Conference" makes anyone look too smart.

  • truth in all its forms henderson, NV
    June 5, 2014 3:05 p.m.

    Obama would be wise to follow his own advice and stop doing stupid stuff.

  • Big J Bountiful, UT
    June 5, 2014 3:03 p.m.

    This whole thing makes me very angry. This is not a republican vs. democrat thing. All American’s should be outraged about this swap.

    It is never acceptable to release terrorists. Period!

    To add insult to injury, we swapped five evil people for one. Our prize, at the very least a deserter and at the worst a traitor. Those on this page trying to justify anything here should be ashamed. The end of this current presidential term cannot come soon enough.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    June 5, 2014 1:29 p.m.

    I repeat an earlier commnet --

    It takes alot of nerve for those have NEVER served in the Military,
    to be commenting and complaining about a guy who actually ponied up, and did.

    IMHO -- that's the worse type of hypocrite.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 5, 2014 1:24 p.m.

    "Don't do stupid stuff" should be the moderating philosophy not only behind foreign policy but also behind the recent appeal by Utah on the same sex marriage ruling.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    June 5, 2014 12:47 p.m.

    Republicans talking out of both sides of mouth:
    John McCain (R) told CNN months ago, "let's exchange prisoners for our American fighting man.”
    Sen. Jim Inhofe (R) "We must make every effort to bring this captured soldier home to his family.”
    Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) "Bring him home! Bring him home!"
    Republican Reps. Lee Terry, Mark Amodei, Joni Ernst--all "so happy" Bergdahl is coming home.
    Not any more. This stuff is all erased from blogs.
    Orwellian hypocrites.

  • ljeppson Salt Lake City, UT
    June 5, 2014 12:03 p.m.

    I'll bet that this is as much about shutting down Gitmo as it is about Bergdahl.

  • Live From the Swamp Holladay, UT
    June 5, 2014 11:57 a.m.


    Yes, yes, we exchange prisoners at the end of a war. Oh, wait! Did we release monsters like Hermann Goehring at the end of World War II? No. We tried them and put them down like rabid animals. That should have happened here.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 5, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    Ah Dan . . . Not doing stupid stuff is reasonable. It is certainly NOT a sophomoric, frat-boy attitude. It is simply an application of common sense.

    You should try it. In fact the Republican Party should try it.

    It’s all about hope and change.

    I hope Republicans stop doing stupid stuff . . . Like mocking the concept of not doing stupid stuff.

    It’s a change that make sense.

    I'm glad I could help.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    June 5, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    Let me get this straight...

    Dan is implying --

    President Obama's foreign policy of arranging an American POW that was captured during the BUSH Administration...
    is Stupid Stuff.

    BUT --
    Invading 2 countries,
    killing 6,000 Americans,
    and 100's of thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis,
    costing America $4 Trillion,
    and not even getting the guy you said was responsible for it -- Osama Bin Laden --
    is supposed to be considered SMART stuff?


  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 5, 2014 11:06 a.m.

    Obama's latest statement: "It was important for people to understand that this is not some abstraction, this is not a political football, you have a couple of parents whose kid volunteered to fight in a distant land, who they hadn't seen in five years and weren't sure whether they'd ever see again."

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    June 5, 2014 11:01 a.m.


    You seem to believe that the only terrorism is in Afghanistan, and that once we leave they will leave us alone. Do you not realize that terrorist factions are all over the middle east, and likely the world? Look at Benghazi. Look at American embassys in various places that have been attacked. Look at all the other countries that have had terrorist attacks happen. We have been at war with terrorists for decades now, not just after 911. Since the 1970s we have had airplanes hijacked by terrorists. It was the major 911 attack that brought American heads out of the sand. Kind of like Dec. 7, 1941 did. To think or believe that we in the West are now safe from terror plots and attacks is just asking for another 911. Hard to believe any American can forget 2001 so soon.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 5, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    So what are the solutions? if we have been negotiating for five years with little success and if his health was deteriorating we are now in a difficult situation. Allowing him to die in captivity would have been a far worse scenario and would have sent a far worse message to our fighting men and women. He may not have been a war hero but he, nonetheless, was a man in uniform.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 5, 2014 10:25 a.m.

    SCfan, the war on terror may be a justification for the war on Afghanistan, but we are in fact "at war" with the country of Afghanistan, and that war is ending.

    The Taliban are local Afghanistan focused terrorists who's aim is to control Afghanistan. They did not nor will they likely ever execute terrorists plots against the United States proper.

    The "war" on terror is not a legal construct it is a marketing phrase, not to be confused with wars on countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, or Libya.

    We have no legal or moral standing to retain the uncharged Guantanamo prisoners when we end the Afghanistan war simply because they have done nothing against the United States except in response to our invasion of their country.

    Will they continue their terror of Afghanistan after their return, probably, but that's Afghanistan's problem. The same problem they had before we invaded.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    June 5, 2014 10:24 a.m.

    We are and will be in a war with terrorists as long as we are targeted by them, either here in the U.S. or our interests in other places. That is a fact we can't ignore. Sometimes it may go hot, sometimes it may seem to have gone cold. Nevertheless, it will continue after we leave Afghanistan. What would it take to make people understand that? Another 911? Is that what liberals need to justify military and intelligence organizations? An attack every few years? I say lets keep our guard up and not have another 911 on our own soil or elsewhere if possible. As for the cost, it needs to come from income taxes paid by people who work. What we need are more employed people with higher paying jobs. Not exactly a legacy Obama will leave behind.

    I don't remember the Republican Party or anyone for that matter making a big deal about Bergdhal. I wonder where Irony Guy is getting this from. It ain't Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly as far as I know. And I don't know of any politician who has fronted it either.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    June 5, 2014 10:15 a.m.

    Well, that didn't appease veterans upset of the VA waiting list.
    What will Obama try now? Let's hope he does some research on the problem this time.
    Boneheaded decisions are becoming Obama's trademark.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 5, 2014 9:38 a.m.

    @ SCfan

    So basically you're suggesting that we're at a state of perpetual war, huh?

    Has any country survived that?

    Why must we always be at war?

    Finally, how can we finance this perpetual war when people like you refuse to raise taxes? Wars are expensive, ya know! Can't wage endless wars without raising taxes!

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    June 5, 2014 9:13 a.m.


    The war is over? The war in Afghanistan may be winding down, but the war on terror is still going on and likely will for as long as the religion of Islam exists. You cannot equate prisoner exchanges at the end of a war between countries as the same as this. This is a new war, not against a particular country, but against a worldwide ideology. As I said one that will go on for the forseeable future and we have just returned 5 of their starting lineup back onto the battlefield.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    June 5, 2014 9:06 a.m.

    Thus goes the great conservative flip-flop. Only months ago Bergdahl was the poster boy of the Republican party. Once Obama tries to help, suddenly Bergdahl is a traitor.Big Republicans are now literally erasing from their blogs their former pleas for Bergdahl. Pardon me, Dan, if I don't see thundering hypocrisy at work here. Please don't use your column to insult us like this again. I have too much respect for you.

  • Red San Antonia, TX
    June 5, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    We have no idea what kind of secret deals are really going on. They are secret.

    Secret deals by people with a clear track record of lying to us. It really can't be good.

    Enjoy America while it is still semi-normal because their are conspiring men out there who are bent on destroying it.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    June 5, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    History is a serious flaw of conservatives, they just can't get it in their heads that actual history doesn't match what they've been told by drop-outs on the radio, or in this case Dan, who consistently gets it wrong too.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 5, 2014 7:44 a.m.

    "The Obama administration’s actions in the Bergdahl saga are inexplicable, inexcusable. The President, by trying so hard not to do “stupid stuff”, has backed us into a devastating and dangerous foreign policy reversal"

    That is just plain uninformed (as usual) Dan. We have exchanged prisoner at the end of every war. It's also a fact that we would have to release these guys anyway in the not to distant future. They have never been charged with anything, so our rational to hold them has been the war itself.

    The war is over, despite what folks like Chris Matthews say. We may have advisors and an embassy but the war is done, and so is the rational for holding people without charges indefinitely.

    So Dan this doesn't change in any way long standing policy of prisoner exchanges at the end of wars.

    You are wrong..again.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    June 5, 2014 7:36 a.m.

    You gotta hand it to Bergdahl: he does know how to get on the President's good side.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    June 5, 2014 7:10 a.m.

    I wasn't aware that we knew where Bergdhal was, but the Army just didn't want to risk more lives for a derserter. And, I heard last night that we may have also paid millions of dollars along with the release of terrorist leaders, to get back Bergdhal. So what part of don't do stupid stuff did the Obama administration not understand? And, this on the heels of Obama having released many illegal crimminals back into American society just a few days ago. Apparantly the domestic policy of don't do stupid stuff is in play here too. My only hope and prayer for this country and its voters is don't do stupid voting again. 8 years of Obama is almost more than this country can take and Hillary is no answer to the mess we need to clean up when this guy finally leaves office.