Federal Government

Bergdahl Deal Has Potential For Controversy

Just about anyone has to feel good about the release of Hailey’s Bowe Bergdahl.

The young soldier was captive of the Taliban in Afghanistan for nearly five years and the subject of countless prayers, yellow ribbons, and pleas from his parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl.

However, his release and eventual return to what we assume will be civilian life will be the subject of strong debates among those who question the circumstances of his capture. “Hero or villain?” will be the question as the national media join the discussion.

The delicate issue for the military and Obama is ride the wave of euphoria about the release and deflect questions of HOW Bowe was captured — without his weapon. It will be an interesting story to follow.

U.S. Senator James Risch is on the senate intelligence committee and he indicated during an interview with the legacy media that President Obama and his administration had breached a deal with congress to give 30 days warning before any prisoners would be released from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba.
Bergdahl was traded for five enemy combatants and administration officials say secrecy was needed to save the soldier.

Then there is the issue of negotiating for freedom — in essence paying a ransom. It has long been USA policy to stand tough and not negotiate for fear of encouraging other kidnappings.

Bob Bergdahl has talked about son Bowe’s quest to “help the people of Afghanistan,” but he carefully avoided using the term “fighting.” The articulate parent held a press conference at Gowen Field Sunday, but answered no questions. His massive beard is a concession to the Afghan culture and he revealed he had also learned the language as well.

While it would be nice for Bowe to return to the adoration of all Americans, we suspect the homecoming may be somewhat muted, despite the good photo-op for a big July Fourth Parade. We still have a month to go for the parade scenario to work out.

Former TWA pilot B. Christian Zimmerman of Cascade was held hostage in Lebanon by Muslim Terrorists aboard flight 847 in June 1985. His release was timed to get him home in time for a July Fourth parade down Cascade’s Main Street. He is now an ordained Lutheran minister preaching in Ontario.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. The local media’s almost complete avoidance of the circumstances of his capture is shameful. When did a reporter’s job become deciding to spin a story? The local coverage if his release has been cheer leading only from the beginning. I don’t know what the circumstances were, but I do know that he will be answering some serious questions. And I also know the our local media would much rather have a feel-good story than report all of the facts.

  2. Luke 15:32

    “It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

  3. BoiseCitizen
    Jun 2, 2014, 8:32 am

    Listening to the anguish on the right, about negotiating with terrorists, is laughable. Two words: IRAN-CONTRA.

    When it is in the governments interest they will negotiate. As for the 5 who were traded out of Gitmo, we are to believe, according to the GOP, that the most powerful spy agency in the world, (NSA), will NOT be able to keep tabs on them and their whereabouts and communications. Good golly, we got Sgt. Bergdahl back isn’t that good enough?

  4. The US doesn’t negotiate until it does which happens all the time.

  5. Problem is most people have not had military experience and do no realize the implications of leaving one’s post.

    Bowe is a deserter. That’s lower than whale (poop).

    Col Jessop said it:
    We use words like “honor”, “code”, “loyalty”. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said “thank you”, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!

  6. Checks and Balances.
    Isn’t that what the Boise Guardian is about? Always ensuring the city doesn’t break the law about bonds?

    Congress has checks and balances over the President and the President has checks and balances over Congress.

    President Obama ignored the applicable check- Congressional approval- that’s the law.

  7. GPS tag all of them… let them go… then get the whole family a few days later.

  8. Is there actually a law requiring the commander-in-chief to request congressional approval of a prisoner-of-war exchange?

    Likely, it’ll be a while before Sgt. Bergdahl is returned to his Homeland.

    I suspect those in charge are aware of the parallels with the popular Showtime series and will not want to repeat the fictional errors.

    EDITOR NOTE–Not sure about the law, but as it was explained to us, the requirement to notify congress related to release of enemy combatants from Gitmo rather than exchanges or deals. Obama had promised to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, but reneged.

  9. I do not agree with the current US policy for the recovery of low-importance combatants.

    We will not know what/why/how. He might have been under orders to leave base… we will never know.

    Obama needed attention off of the VA scandal, so they did the deal they could have done years ago… Hmmm.


  10. He “reneged” because nobody would allow him to do anything else with the prisoners. No other prison in the U.S. wanted them.

    EDITOR NOTE–Not quite so simple. If they were brought to USA, the courts would not have allowed them to be imprisoned without a conviction.
    Hence, keeping the “enemy combatants” off shore. If they were called POWs they would have had rights granted under the Geneva Convention as well.
    It is all a horrible mess begun by Bush and carried on by Obama.

  11. In 2008, Obama cut a deal with the ABA (American Bar Association) to bring them to NYC for trail. This would have been a huge boondoggle for the lawyers and media with non-stop OJ Simpson-type action. Problem is the evidence is such that most of them would be set free and apply for citizenship. So Obama, after actually seeing what a bunch of intelligent anti-American thugs were held in Cuba, asked his media friends to bury the issue. All we can hope for now is these guys will be killed as spies by their psychopath clans when they return home.

  12. Easterner…really…..really quoting a movie like it’s something profound and straight from the bible…there is no honor anymore…especially in the marines… If you want to beat up on obummer… be my guest… I will join in but, use something that applies… not a speech that Jack made in a movie a hundred years ago.

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