Last Updated:October 22 @ 11:43 am

Five Terrorists For a 'Deserter'?

By Larry Elder

larry_elderThe Washington Times reports that the Pentagon pretty much knew the whereabouts of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in recent years. So why didn't they rescue him?

Quoting a former intelligence official, the Times said: "Military commanders were loath to risk their people to save this guy. They were loath to pick him up and, because of that hesitancy, we wind up trading five Taliban guys for him. The mentality was, 'We're not going to lose more of our own guys on this.'"

The Times also quoted an anonymous "high-level congressional aide": "Joint Special Operations Command always had the rescue mission on the table and it was entirely under their ownership, but the big question centered on whether Bergdahl was somebody you risk lives for when you still have time and space to maneuver diplomatically. ... The prisoner swap was being built up as the only option that was available. But there's been knowledge of the general vicinity of where Bergdahl was, down to how many guys were guarding him."

The congressional aide, wrote the Times, also said that military officials in Afghanistan had been pushing for a stronger deal, but they were "superseded" by the State Department and the White House. The intelligence official said "the administration wanted to close the door on this no matter what the price was."

While Bergdahl was in captivity, the military barred soldiers from discussing him, possibly because of the questionable circumstances under which Bergdahl was captured, and also to avoid making him an even bigger ransom tool of political value.

Now that he's been released, members of Bergdahl's unit who have spoken out call him a "deserter."

One posted this comment in the Army Times: "Bergdahl had been acting a little strange, telling people he wanted to 'walk the earth' and kept a little journal talking about how he was meant for better things. No one thought anything about it. He was a little 'out there.' Next morning he's gone. ... He left his weapon, his kit, and other sensitive items. He only took some water, a compass and a knife.

"We find some Afghan kids shortly after who saw an American walking north asking about where the Taliban are. ... We come to realize that (Bergdahl) deserted his post, snuck out of camp and sought out Taliban ... to join them."

He then talks about the soldiers killed or wounded in the search for Bergdahl: "PFC Matthew Michael Martinek, SSG Kurt Robert Curtiss, SSG Clayton Bowen, PFC Morris Walker, SSG Michael Murphy, 2LT Darryn Andrews, were all KIA from our unit who died looking for Bergdahl. ... Fighting increased. IEDs and enemy ambushes increased. The Taliban knew that we were looking for him in high numbers and our movements were predictable. Because of Bergdahl, more men were out in danger, and more attacks on friendly camps and positions were conducted while we were out looking for him."

Another soldier from Bergdahl's battalion, Nathan Bradley Bethea, writes it's "time to speak the truth." In a piece for "The Daily Beast" in which he, too, calls Bergdahl a "deserter," Bethea says: "Bergdahl failed to show for the morning roll call. The soldiers in 2nd platoon Blackfoot Company discovered his rifle, helmet, body armor and web gear in a neat stack. He had, however, taken his compass. His fellow soldiers later mentioned his stated desire to walk from Afghanistan to India."

The five terrorists released from Guantanamo in exchange for Bergdahl are said to be "the worst of the worst." They were all high-level Taliban, and included two deputy ministers, two Taliban governors and a head of security -- with at least four involved in heroin trafficking and/or drug wars and/or mass murders.

How does the Bergdahl deal affect our enemies? At the very least, they know we will negotiate with terrorists, despite what we say. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says, however, that we did not negotiate with terrorists. The country of Qatar negotiated. Cue the laugh track.

As for President Obama's Rose Garden celebration flanked by Bergdahl's parents, he may come to regret it. Many in the military believe that Bergdahl should face military justice, and may even end up getting court-martialed.

Just days before Bergdahl's father tweeted the following message: "I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, ameen (sic)!" Of even more interest, however, is a person to whom the tweet was directed. He is Abdulqahar Balkhi, with the radical Muslim website Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan, Voice Of Jihad. The site promotes Shariah law and features body parts of "infidels."

Try pairing Bowe Bergdahl's alleged desertion and his anti-American comments with national security adviser Susan Rice's assertion that "he served the United States with honor and distinction."

As a result of this deal, military and civilian personnel posted in dangerous places now have an even bigger price tag on their heads. Nations publicly say they will not negotiate with terrorists. But they do. The question, as always, is whether the benefit outweighs the costs.

This deal stinks.

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Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com. Follow Larry on Twitter @larryelder. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2014 LAURENCE A. ELDER

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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37 Comments

  1. mightyjinComment by mightyjin
    June 5, 2014 @ 7:01 am

    Larry you are right, this deal stinks. The American people need to know the truth, not just the sound bites spouted by the talking heads of the liberal media, Democrats in Congress and White House. Let me just say that we should trust the military justice system to follow proper procedure, formalized by the Uniformed Code of Military Justice to ensure that PFC Bergdahl receives a fair and impartial trial; he deserves that and he will get it. Our military commanders are bound by that same UCMJ NOT to be unduly influenced by their superiors in this regard. I trust this system to work properly. I just hope that PFC Bergdahl didn’t help the enemy in any material way to fight American forces becuse such actions would be considered treasonous. I will keep an open mind where he is concerned, but it doesn’t look good from what I’ve heard thus far. I’d welcome the opportunity to be called back to active duty to serve on his court martial. Of all of the entities I still trust in this country, the US military is certainly one. God Bless America.
    JM
    LTC, US Army (Ret)

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      June 5, 2014 @ 7:09 am

      Thanks to Obama this is no longer your father’s Democrat Party, nor is it your father’s military justice. With the new regime you never trust, but always verify because our military concepts of justice and honor have been FUNdeMENTALLY changed at the highest level of Demander-In-Chief who will do anything, threaten the military careers of anybody to underhandedly abuse the powers of his office for personal and Party gain, in order to get his way and FUNdeMENTALLY change the core values of the corp that is now delegated to Democrat Party enhancement performance exercises before accomplishing duty, honor and security of the country. Every interaction with Muslims this President engages with, reveals the subliminal power and influence of the religious indoctrination received by him at an early age in Indonesia that always trumps his ability to act in the best interests of America.

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    • MaxComment by Max
      June 5, 2014 @ 10:22 am

      Ret USAF/TSgt here, based upon the news articles I’ve seen
      his character and actions are highly questionable, but before
      I leap to judgement I would have to review his military
      records from start to present. Are there any actions he
      has committed that would indicate that he deserted from his
      unit? Did his commander have any notations in the record that
      would indicated there were witnesses to his action and if so
      was it documented IAW military regulations. Until he is
      formally charged and we can see what the charges are it is hard
      to say what should happen. Those who knew him had made statements in the press but were the charged formally documented? The fact that we exchanged 5 high value tangos
      for 1 American soldier is commendable in some ways unless
      he disgraced the uniform and deserted his unit in a combat
      zone. To many political ramifications and questions left
      open and unanswered at this time.

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    • refurb001Comment by refurb001
      June 5, 2014 @ 10:29 am

      We gave up four deadly taliban fighters to bring back this deserter? How many AMERICAN lives was he responsible for terminating? Did he provide military sensitive information? We did all this for a deserter. I thought military code for a deserter was death by hanging……

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    • cxComment by genesal
      June 5, 2014 @ 10:55 am

      Actually Congress has been compromised, SCOTUS has been compromised and the WH has been compromised as well as the NSA, IRS, Border Patrol, our Borders and others so I do not have the confidence some have that the Military would do the ‘right’ thing. While in Nam a soldier lost his M16, they were going to charge him UCMJ and then charge him reimbursement for the weapon. He said, I’ll pay when you get the Pueblo back, which you lost.

      …. and it is five Tallybuns not four.

      zerObama has tainted the Military Echelon so heavily that I don’t trust them to do anything resembling justice. What will we do if they leave Qatar and join the fray? Capture them and let them go? Think the logical, think the Constitution and then you’ll know the opposite will happen in this New Socialist Republic.

      Oh by the way we’ve been secretely meeting with Hamas. Something about throwing Israel under the bus, I suppose.

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    • johnwainComment by johnwain
      June 5, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

      Why is he doing this? He is trying to write history. How he ended both wars and brought back the last soilder being held. Years from now, no one will remember the truth. And it is backfiring because he is not thinking ahead how to protect this country. ObamaCare is the same, a place in history. Even tho the VA Hospitals are a good example of Socialized Medicine. He does not care, who gets hurt, all he wants is to write history on how great he is.

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    • mightyjinComment by mightyjin
      June 5, 2014 @ 7:29 pm

      The response from this president is one from a man who has never served anything but himself his entire life, never served in the military, in an Infantry unit, nor served in combat. He thought that negotiating with terrorists to get a deserter back home will garner him political favor. Those that have served know better. Unfortunately, he’s playing the odds and the odds are in his favor. Our moral courage in the military is unshakable; we have to treat PFC Bergdahl properly, see that he gets a fair trial and real justice. The US military are the ones with the guns; it can be no other way. Our military leaders will not be swayed by this corrupt president; our ethos goes beyond what power that man thinks he can wield over us. PFC Bergdahl’s fate will be overseen by men of character and conscience, not charlatans. What happens to this president as a result of his bargaining with the devil remains to be seen; but the history books will call him what he truly is; corrupt. I believe that PFC Bergdahl has committed crimes against the US military by abandoning his post during combat, and may have colluded with the enemy. If so, he should spend the rest of his life in prison. God Bless America.

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  2. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    June 5, 2014 @ 7:02 am

    Will you people quit calling this a prisoner swap! Every swap meet I’ve attended I always came back with something of equal value. Call it what it was, a sell out where Obama and company did the selling, and either he or his party probably got the money either in the form of hardened cash or political currency,,,just follow the money. We could have got Bergdahl back years ago by paying a ransom in money, not a 5 to one swap of one questionable deserter of mediocrity for 5 hardened terrorists. But remember that Liberal coveters never give out their money, but only re-distribute money and power to themselves. Just follow the money and see whose bank account got richer. This whole thing could just be another act of what Obama does best and prefers to do 24/7 over actually spending time leading. i.e.,,,,,,raise money for his party either through hidden bribe kickbacks under the table Chicago style, or political currency stolen via media dog and pony show Democrat Party and Presidential image enhancement campaigning to purchase votes with the spent lifeblood of American military strength. . Why else is Reid and the rest just mumbling about this uncovered American betrayal.

    Why don’t they just be honest and all grow beards like Bergdahl’s father and start quoting the Koran? Compare wrong way Corrigan Sgt.Tahmooresi who still sits in Jail in Mexico only because he has no value for party fund raising, or political P.R capital, and might upset the radical anti-gun faction of the Democrat Party. Soft walking President Reagan who carried a big stick would have had him released in 48 hours at no cost to the taxpayers. Where’s the justice, where’s the leadership, where’s the beef? Where’s the money? Where is my Country?

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    • johnwainComment by johnwain
      June 5, 2014 @ 12:35 pm

      Sgt.Tahmooresi who still sits in Jail in Mexico.

      180,000 signture petition was handed to the Mexican Consulate yesterday. Raised by Gretta on Fox. All that was needed was 100,000 signtures to have our Stste Department say something. But no,Obama and his State Department still has not responded.

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  3. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    June 5, 2014 @ 8:52 am

    Thus failure always follows when you try to put a mere token into the a vibrant American political machine which requires real currency in order to function. When elected we thought we were getting something of value but when put into action revealed themselves of the value of slugs. Go to the laudromat and put in a slug and you will see what I mean. Everything just remains dirty.

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    • refurb001Comment by refurb001
      June 5, 2014 @ 10:32 am

      The demoncrapic party has become All SLUGS. I bet Putin is laughing his bxlls off at obamy and this country!

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  4. steven LComment by steven L
    June 5, 2014 @ 8:56 am

    This is like showing the middle finger to white America with the support of the Democrats!

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  5. pistol packing mamaComment by txgoatlady
    June 5, 2014 @ 9:28 am

    A JAG lawyer guest on Fox yesterday said that Bergdahl would probably never be prosecuted because of unlawful command influence. Since the commander in chief (the highest office in the military) has already called the guy a hero who served honorably, it makes it more difficult for his subordinates to prosecute the guy for desertion, etc.

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    • cxComment by genesal
      June 5, 2014 @ 11:01 am

      Agreed, but I think it’ll affect the elections more than the Dimwhits want or be able to handle.

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    • pistol packing mamaComment by txgoatlady
      June 5, 2014 @ 1:49 pm

      From your lips to God’s ear. I notice that even the Democrats aren’t scrambling to give Obama cover on this issue. They already told him not to release these guys the last time he asked them. If his intent was to draw attention away from the VA scandal, I think he miscalculated the negative response. He might have gotten more mileage trading the terrorists for the pregnant lady held prisoner in Sudan than for a deserter.

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  6. mike2616Comment by mike2616
    June 5, 2014 @ 9:56 am

    They have sic after ameen which is wwrong – ameen=Ameen is often said after a supplication (dua) with the spiritual meaning: “O Allah, respond to (or answer) what I/we have said”. So his father was praying to Allah with fellow muslim obama at his side.

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  7. southernpatriotComment by southernpatriot
    June 5, 2014 @ 10:11 am

    The best explanation may be: The Administration may have thought this would be met with joy at getting a soldier back, and that all the soldiers they made to sign confidentiality agreements not to speak about the Berghahl would not do so, so they would be in the clear.

    The five worst terrorists at Guantanamo is another story. The motivation behind this is likely to get the worst out of Guantanamo so that the detention facility could be shut down. With any other detainees being considered minor compared to these leaders, it will be easy to release the others and shut down the camp.

    If this administration were not so arrogant and condescending, “ricing” (lying) about just about everything, and had spoken with Congressional leaders as required under law, and then had not “riced” the families of soldiers who served with Bergahl and lost their loved ones attempting to rescue him, things would not be at this point now. Obama and his administration brought this all on themselves.

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  8. JDZComment by JDZ
    June 5, 2014 @ 10:14 am

    Why didn’t Obama just send all of the terrorists in Guantanamo back in exchange for this deserter? The same logic applies as it is a matter of degree isn’t it? Give them the five most experienced and senior officers, which the Taliban never in their dreams thought they would get back, to now really go after Americans with vengeance was stupid…so why not just get it over with and let them all go? That allows Obama to meet one of his first political promises of closing Guantanamo which is more important to him then raising the risks of more Americans being killed by these hardened terrorists.

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    • refurb001Comment by refurb001
      June 5, 2014 @ 10:37 am

      How about putting the Traitor in Chief in Guantanamo with Michael or michelle whichever.

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    • ConnieComment by connie57
      June 6, 2014 @ 2:54 pm

      It is Obama’s fondest wish to repatriate all of the remaining prisoners at Guantanamo. Trouble is, their home countries refuse to take them back, because they are known to be such hard core terrorists.

      Yes, the five who were exchanged for Bergdahl were the worst of the worst. They are the ones the Taliban most wanted to get back, so that when the Americans are gone from Afghanistan in 2017, the Taliban can reconquer Afghanistan and turn it into a safe haven for Al Qaeda once again. Their original leader, Osama bin Laden, is dead; but some other leader can take his place — perhaps one of the five just released.

      I hope Congress can block Obama from freeing the rest of the prisoners at Guantanamo. They are all far too dangerous to be at large.

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  9. abulizzComment by abulizz
    June 5, 2014 @ 10:34 am

    It is always great to save an American from our enemies. However, the timing as well as the weakness shown by our administration when it comes to Foreign Affairs matters, made this an extremely bad deal. This unfortunately is going to confirm that the US is not capable these days to lead the world. We are loosing our morale compass and it is hard for our friends to trust our words and actions.

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  10. ggfilthyComment by ggfilthy
    June 5, 2014 @ 10:55 am

    The entire world is laughing at the USA in regards to this. Just when the world thinks Obama could NOT do anything more stupid…He take it as a personal challenge and tops it!
    My gut feeling is we just imported and sanctioned a home grown terrorist…and unleashed 5 more into the world. I think Obama is creating so much scandal and chaos it’s a full time job just to keep up with it all.

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  11. empdComment by empd
    June 5, 2014 @ 11:20 am

    I keep coming back to the thought that this Trojan Horse in the Oval Office did what a good Muslim would do: took care of his own.

    The behavior of the parents, particularly the father, with his perfect Pashto, and complete obeisance to Islam is extremely troubling. It is hard to imagine this whole gig was accidental or coincidental.

    It is puzzling that the deserter was not decapitated and his head impaled as a PR stunt typical of their psychopathic hatreds.

    It is hard to imagine that this was not scripted several years ago, even before the traitor enlisted.

    Like all the other false flags this administration has played out for We the People, the only word that belongs with these conspiracies is CRIMINAL.

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  12. buckyComment by bucky
    June 5, 2014 @ 11:43 am

    Sad to say, he will never be tried or convicted. This administration will sully ,the dead, those who have spoken up and those who will be killed or injured because of the actions of our president ,trading back stone cold killers to our enemy Our troops will be in more danger than ever . Remember Seal team 6. This administration has no qualms about placing our troops in danger, if it fits their goals. We all need to remember the young soldiers that even in knowing , gave their lives for a comrade in arms. They and their families deserve the respect and honors, that they will not get from our President.

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  13. hoosier46Comment by hoosier46
    June 5, 2014 @ 11:52 am

    Let’s all face the facts. Obama was looking for an excuse to free the Guantanamo prisoners to fulfill his 2008 campaign pledge not to try them in a military trial. This was not an exchange. it was a RELEASE of prisoners. Yes, they will be back on the battle field within weeks if not hours. Obama does not care about putting our troops in danger. This should be obvious to anyone with any military experience (or anyone who has even read anything about military history). Furthermore, it is highly likely that the deserter will never face trial because his family gave support to Obama’s public image.

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  14. JDZComment by JDZ
    June 5, 2014 @ 12:21 pm

    If this President is not brought up on charges for breaking existing laws or at least impeached, then no President in the future will ever be impeached for anything. Obama has lied to the American people over and over again, which in itself, is grounds for impeachment in my mind, let alone the pick and choose approach to law enforcement, the myriad of ongoing scandals within this administration, and stupid and poor judgement calls like this prisoner deal which Obama broke the law requiring a 30 day notification to Congress of the deal.

    What does it take to deal with this corrupt administration? What does it take to shut these people down? The runaway EPA, for example, which continues to bypass Congress is killing our economy and apparently there is no way to stop them from doing whatever they want regardless of cost or impact on the American people.

    Obama is such a dismal disappointment and destructive force, and is too egocentric or narcissistic to recognize it is just not working. He actually believes he is doing good things and everyone opposing his policies are either too ignorant or biased, racist, radical, or whatever to see that his way is the best for them, when the contrary is the reality that he refuses to accept.

    He should not have been a candidate for President in 2008, not elected in 2008, and definitely not re-elected in 2012, but that is all water under the bridge.

    What happens next is key to our future as a country. How can we get this under control?

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  15. fm1826Comment by fm1826
    June 5, 2014 @ 1:02 pm

    Failed stimulus $trillion
    Fast & Furious
    Obamacare
    Dodd Frank
    “You didn’t build that”
    IRS
    Benghazi
    VA
    Outing CIA in Afghanistan
    Freeing high-ranking terrorists while the global terror war rages
    The list of destructive acts is of course much longer than this.
    Obama is a human wrecking ball swinging right at the USA.

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  16. ltparComment by ltpar
    June 5, 2014 @ 1:21 pm

    The intelligence official said “the administration wanted to close the door on this no matter what the price was.”

    Another great decision by the Obama White House. They “close the door” on four loyal Americans in Benghazi, leaving them to die. Meanwhile, in this case, they engineer a trade of an American deserter and enemy collaborator for five of the worst terrorists in the world. At best, this is gross malfeasance and at worst “Treason.” Don’t blame me, I voted for the American.

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  17. ltuserComment by ltuser
    June 5, 2014 @ 2:21 pm

    I was just reminded that we here in the US was all over the Brits for sending back that Lockerby bomber to Libya, but we let go 5 taliban higher ups, KNOWING they will eventually sneak away from the **** surveilance of the Quatar police and rejoin the fight.

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  18. ac0522Comment by ac0522
    June 5, 2014 @ 2:35 pm

    I’ve come to believe that we need to employ the tactics taught by Obama to his Acorn disciples.

    We need to recruit a permanent group of volunteers to march, follow, heckle & interrupt speeches of self-serving sinister politicians like Harry Reid. We need to picket the DOJ & the Capitol to show we will not put up with it’s runaway lawlessness.

    Mainly we need to march in force on our state legislatures to demand a convention of the states so we can start to put an end to the absolute tyranny & totalitarian rule that Obama, most of the Democrat party and the Supreme Court is foisting on us at breakneck speed.

    I’m sick & tired of hearing that I only have two choices, either voluntarily live under the rule of a few elitist pseudo-intellectual Marxist con artists or they will force me to do so.

    Our nation would not exist if we were willing to accept tyranny & unjust rule by anyone or any group, native or foreigner.

    We do not & should not sit quietly by while our govt sets loose known war criminals to kill thousands more people around the world.

    We should not sit quietly by while a seditious govt abuses it’s power to allow millions of illegal aliens to set up their own foreign nation within our nation.

    We should not sit quietly by & let a few people on the Supreme Court dictate that we must allow marriage & financial subsidies for people who indulge in biologically abnormal & physically unhealthy practices of anal sex & the swallowing of semen or vaginal fluid.

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  19. gileyComment by giley
    June 5, 2014 @ 2:56 pm

    The Obama criminal administration continues. Ignored Constitutional law, favored Taliban killers in trade for a treasonous soldier and made sympathetic Taliban display in front of the White House for all Americans to see

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  20. CarolComment by Carol
    June 5, 2014 @ 4:15 pm

    He is out of his mind doing this and saying this about these men and he is the commander in chief.

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  21. peletierComment by peletier
    June 5, 2014 @ 5:39 pm

    The exchange of a deserter and traitor for 5 Taliban Murderer Terrorists, can only happen in the sick mind of Barack Obama!

    He has placed All Americans at risk to be kidnapped by Terrorists… Brilliant!

    King Liar has gone wild, and no one can stop him! He OD in misusing Presidential Powers… at the expense of our Nation.

    GOD PROTECT AMERICA!

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  22. bowler1hatComment by bowler1hat
    June 5, 2014 @ 9:54 pm

    I just can’t believe it. Obama has been on an apology tour since 2007, but I can only say the “official” should be 1962 daysm but whatever day he said he ‘makes no apologies’ for collaborating with Bergdahl’s work associates of the past five years put the brakes on that. Now his only tours he still has intact are his ‘campaign’ tour; his pissy menial jobs recovery tour; his “you didn’t do that”; favoritism of of Islam over Christianity; Benghazi cover-up tour; regulate pay increases while killing jobs tour; Fast and Furious coverup tour and lying through the life and eventual death of America tour.

    Where is the balance point in this fiasco? Considering the culture of evil that these vile monsters come from, these five are capable of commanding a battalion of terrorists and we got an unreliable water boy, just like the Islam born ‘leader from behind’ that approved the slap in to face of America! The balance point is in hell!

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  23. oldsaltydawgComment by oldsaltydawg
    June 6, 2014 @ 11:32 am

    Now we see why common core math is being taught. ****** is a traitor and needs to go the same is true of those who are not doing every thing they can to get ****** out and Hanged for his TREASON which acts pile up by the second. This could also be called 5 TERRORISTS for another TERRORIST(******).

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  24. ltuserComment by ltuser
    June 6, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

    On Fox today at lunch they mentioned one of the contracted intelligence units had tracked Mr Bergdahl and had recorded him shooting an AK with his ‘captors’ during target practice. Does that sound to anyone like what a prisoner does?

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  25. chugalugalugComment by chugalugalug
    June 6, 2014 @ 5:57 pm

    The trade was OK!……..BUT! a LOBOTOMY should be done on each terrorist BEFORE the trade was made…….that would have made the trade OK.

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