8 things the White House did to spark controversy in the Bergdahl Affair

Obama War Stats

Commentary on Obama War Stats

Once again the country is in a stew caused by actions taken by the White House. President Barack Obama and his staff are at the center of the controversy sparked by unanswered questions, questionable information, and even personal attacks on men who served alongside Bergdahl in war.

The White House did at least 8 things that sparked controversy:

─Holding a bizarre ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House, including Bergdahl’s parents, despite knowing Americans would be troubled by the circumstances of Bergdahl’s last departure from his post. We now know Bergdahl had left his post before. Was he disciplined?

─Sending National Security Adviser Susan Rice to Sunday talk shows where she declared Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction.” That claim has not been supported by facts known at present, including firsthand accounts from men who served alongside Bergdahl.

─The White House’s “ham-handed” manner in handling the Bergdahl Affair. This included refusing to follow notification requirements in a law that would not have passed without support from Democrat Sen. Harry Reid (Nev.) in the Senate and Obama in the White House. Even a leading legal scholar who is most assuredly not a right winger took issue with this latest decision to break federal law.

─White House recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate government group in the negotiations, with staff justifying the deal as having been conducted via the government of Qatar. That one detainee who was freed is suspected of international war crimes—the killing of more than 1,000 Muslims—makes the situation even more troublesome. Why did the White House decide to omit the government of Afghanistan in the deal-making?

─The fueling of conspiracy theories, from rumors about the U.S. including monetary payment in the deal to the conspicuous eye-blinking of Bergdahl in the Taliban film released.

─The U.S. Army’s two promotions of Bergdahl in his questionable absence, with military officials claiming it was due to time served, even promoting him to sergeant which is a leadership position. An energetic debate is warranted if this is the case, considering the circumstances including the soldier repeatedly leaving his post.

─In months ahead of Berghdal’s last act of leaving his post, policy had begun to change as a result of Obama’s first election. By May, 2010, criticism surfaced regarding Obama’s decision to force troops to patrol without chambering rounds in their weapons. Under Obama, troop deaths increased substantially. No media have ever delved into how Obama’s changed policies affected troop morale or the outcome of the war.

─The ongoing lack of transparency and obsessive secrecy in the Obama administration, something that has even been pointed out by leftwing media. Misleading the public on Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal, Benghazi, and now the Bergdahl affair has led to more divisiveness among the American people.

Bamyan Caves Afghanistan

Featured Photo: Bamyan caves in Afghanistan, a historic treasure, were dynamited by the Taliban in 2001 as the group was being forced from power for harboring Islamists who attacked the United States, killing thousands of civilians. (Image: CIA World Fact Book)

The watchdog group Judicial Watch has repeatedly been forced to file FOIA requests to obtain information that should have automatically been public.

If material does not directly impact national security, that material should be public because it is the property of the U.S. people.

Why do the president and his staff continue to ignite political controversy by  breaking federal laws, refusing to be honest with the public, and running the country like a political campaign? The initial Pentagon report on Bergdahl, now several years old, should be released with national security information redacted if necessary.

Even Democrats in the Senate, such as Sen. Joe Manchin (Va.) have questioned this deal. That, combined with remarks by legal scholar Jonathan Turley, suggests an aggressive effort should be mounted to disclose the truth to Americans. Admittedly, that may not be possible with this White House.

PolitiFact disclosed allegations about Bergdahl:

“A Pentagon investigation concluded in 2010 that the evidence was “incontrovertible” that he walked away from his unit, a former Pentagon official who has read it told the Associated Press.”

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Featured Photo: Bamyan caves in Afghanistan, a historic treasure, were dynamited by the Taliban in 2001 as the group was being forced from power for harboring rogue Islamists who attacked the United States, killing thousands of civilians. (Image: CIA World Fact Book)

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/June 6, 2014)

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About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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