Comments about ‘Michael Gerson: White House Bergdahl mess: 'We will fight you as long as you fight us'’

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Published: Monday, June 9 2014 7:10 p.m. MDT

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Gene Poole

Will we ever know the truth about this "swap" and if money exchanged hands. Bergdahl's minders are known for wanting cash payments as part of a "deal". If that finally comes out officially, then political heads will roll - maybe. With all that has gone on with this imperial presidency, I kind of doubt it. I'm not for or against either party. I support the Constitution of The United States of America. I feel that what has been going on is in direct conflict with the oaths of office many Federal government officials took when they were sworn into office. The President of the United States must impeccably obey all laws of the United States - period. If he willfully disobeyed any law, even a misdemeanor, it is an impeachable offense. No matter his "purity" of intention. Swapping the only POW in the Afghan war for five KNOWN terrorists is questionable at best and unconscionable at least. The comment was made in the article about value of the trade. How do you count the men who died searching for this "soldier"? What is their value? BTW, if money changed hands, it is an act of treason. Just sayin.

Virginia Beach, VA

“It would be difficult, even if intended and planned, to cram more hubris, incompetence and mendacity into a humane and sympathetic act.”

No. It would be difficult to cram more mendacity and simple-mindedness into a column than the one that Gerson writes, although both George Will and Charles Krauthammer are strong competitors.

Contrary to Gerson’s long winded version of events, the whole Bergdalgh affair boils down to the fact that Republicans insist that one American soldier is not worth five Taliban.

True patriots, like President Obama, disagree.

He knows that one American service member is worth a lot more . . . Much more than five miserable Taliban thugs.

But of course, “Conservatives” like Gerson, don’t think that highly of American military personnel.

American Fork, UT

So, what is it that would make you people happy? If the administration had made it known, and for the most part it wasn't known, that this guy was still in captivity but they didn't like the proposed deal you'd have been all over them. Also, what then is the end game for the Gitmo facility and it's 'residents'? We got some use and value out of five of them; are we to pay to house the rest of them for their entire lives? That conversation needs to be had, too.

Mark B
Eureka, CA

Whether Bergdale comes home, is dumped on the street in Germany or takes a bus back to Afghanistan, Gene will find a way to blame Obama, with all the "treason" hype continuing. He has also shown that his understanding of both history and the Constitution is at best incomplete.

Cedar Hills, UT

Obama tried a careless and ill advised prisioner swap - he failed to notify congress 30 days prior - he lied about the soldier saying he served with honor when in fact he deserted and sought out the Taliban. All of this just to gain some cheap political points. Now when those soldiers who bravely and honorably served called Bergdahl a deserter and probably a traitor the White House trashed our own soldiers just to save face.

This is typical Obama - incompetent and inept and now trashing our bravest and best just to save his own ...you know what. What a disgrace this man continues to be.

Durham, NC

"The Bergdahl case reveals a disturbing gap between the White House and military culture."

Ah, very true. And this is why the military is not a democracy. What the rank and file think.... at the end of the day doesn't matter. They are not given the choice of which wars to go fight. They are not given a vote on if the hill is worth taking. They have absolutely no say in is something justified, or not. Theirs is to obey orders given by those who have been entrusted with those decisions.

Looping back to the beginning of this piece, which states that the Israeli's consider those they give up in swaps as enemies. I am pretty comfortable feeling that these 5 are too still considered enemies of the US, and should they leave their now safe haven, and attempt to re-enter the fight, they too will have the same fate that many other Taliban commanders have had as of recent.... they may long for the days of safety in Cuba, rather than having to keep an eye skyward waiting for an unfriendly shadow to appear. As prisoners they had rights, and protection they now don't enjoy.

high school fan
Huntington, UT

It is simply amazing to me no matter how much our president chooses not to follow the law that there is those that will still go to bat for him over and over.
I have just one simple question, Is there anything that President Obama could do that would elicit from you a negative comment about him? It appears not from the many posts.

el cajon, CA

I am amazed beyond expression. The commenters here who excuse Obama have got to be White House employees. There is no other reasonable explanation for anyone siding with Obama on this one.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Ending wars is as difficult as fighting them.

Durham, NC

high school fan - perhaps it is because some of us have been around to realize this isn't some stupid sport of conservatives versus liberals, that not one side is all good, and the other is all evil, that in the course of our history all of our Presidents have done due to circumstances that raise eyebrows, and that we will never have a president that is perfect. It possibly because we see statements like "how much our president chooses not to follow the law " by people who obviously don't understand the law...

On most issues, I am very conservative. I have actually done campaign work for Republicans in this state. But it is the nonsense ridicules attack - from birthers to crazy conspiracy theorist - that make trying to bring some level of sanity back to the conversation.

The latest attacks by conservatives, this time against this young mans parents, show how low this battle has gone. This president isn't perfect, and neither was any that came before him, and neither will any that follow. Lets lower the hysteria level just a tad, and discuss and debate policy, rather than hate.

Virginia Beach, VA

Gene Poole -

“BTW, if money changed hands, it is an act of treason. Just sayin.”

You mean like the guns for hostages arrangement Reagan made? The Reagan administration went on to make much more serious and lasting mistakes than that though, to the detriment of America and all Americans. So, his treasonous behavior there isn’t really worth mentioning, is it?

“Swapping the only POW in the Afghan war for five KNOWN terrorists is questionable at best . . . “
Is it really? If we were to imprison everyone in the world willing to martyr themselves to destroy America, then we might as well put prison walls around the entire Middle East .

Hey Patriot –

“-he failed to notify congress 30 days prior –“

So? It’s ridiculous to wait on Congress to get anything done. Congress has become infested with extremist anti-government Republicans of the Tea Party variety. You know? . . . Tea Party politicians whose followers wave Don’t-tread-on-me flags . . . like the one draped over those two murdered cops in Las Vegas.

Casey See

I am working in Argentina right now. Most of my team is from Europe and hadn't heard the news when I told them last week. Their first comment was, "Since when did the US start negotiating with terrorists?" Most of them support Obama, but they were shocked as this is something the US doesn't do. then they commented, now watch an increase in US soldiers being captured or attempted to be captured by terrorists because a precedent has been set.

The US now has sunk down to the level of every other country, which is, "When it is expedient, throw out our principles." This act has hurt the US more than any other act our current President has done in the eyes of the international community.

South Jordan, UT

And, what about the deafening silence from this Administration about other Americans held captive...one in uniform languishing in a Mexican prison. Why is no one in the press calling for/demanding their releases? Thank you for the details of this article that the left does not want spelled out so succinctly.

High school fan: Your comments are mine exactly!

Huntsville, UT

Bergdahl is an American soldier. He's one of ours even if he is later found guilty of desertion, he is still one of ours.

salt lake city, utah

"Now when those soldiers who bravely and honorably served called Bergdahl a deserter and probably a traitor the White House trashed our own soldiers just to save face. "

And just what did the White House say about those who called Berdahl a traitor? I believe it was nothing.

I think the question just what is the life of an American soldier worth is not just a good one but the relevant one. The Obama bashers freely make the value judgment that this was a bad deal, so make the value judgment and tell us what an American soldiers life is worth.

The Israeli's say their citizens are worth about anything, pure and simple but then they have a truly staunch conservative party not a Republican/Fox News election machine.

Mcallen, TX

It appears our political leaders have betrayed our country:

* releasing five terrorists who have killed/beheaded thousands of people.
* in 2013, 36,000 convicted criminals released from Americans prisons.
* giving away billions of Americas hard earned dollars.

With leaders like these, who needs enemies?

Springville, UT

So it's OK for Israel to make these kinds of exchanges, but we can't? And who cares about the political narrative in the wake. The President did the right thing. The right wing (most of the GOP) want to conduct a witch trial. Shame on them. Appalling. Conditional patriotism. Shame.

Casa Grande, AZ

The case is simplified by the fact that many conservatives were complaining that Obama had left Bergdahl behind just before the swap.

A May 22 press release from Ayotte's office read, "As part of ongoing efforts to urge the Department of Defense to do all it can to find Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl and bring him home safely, Senator Ayotte worked successfully to include a provision in the bill that presses Pakistan to fully cooperate in the search for SGT Bergdahl."

Rich Nuegent "Last year, on the fourth anniversary of Sgt. Bergdahl's capture, on the floor of the House of Representatives, I introduced a resolution in the House calling on the United States to do everything possible not to leave any members of the armed forces behind during the drawdown of Iraq and Afghanistan. "

Casa Grande, AZ

There are millions of terrorists that hate america in the middle east. Billions that sympathize with them. Now there are 3,000,005 terrorists. And less sympathizers every time we do the right thing.

I don't think letting 5 terrorists go home is going to hurt the cause much. It makes it harder for them to say we are the devil when we let them go home doesn't it?

Salt Lake City, UT

Because the guy in a prison in Mexico is in that prison for breaking a law.

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