The Top 8 White House Bergdahl Lies – Joseph Miller
It’s been just over a week since Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released in exchange for five senior Taliban leaders held in Guantanamo Bay, and so far the Obama administration is averaging nearly a lie a day. Here are the top eight administration claims, laid out and debunked in full.
LIE #1: BERGDAHL WAS VERY SICK
Bergdahl’s health was not rapidly deteriorating, as the administration claimed. Reports have leaked that the only medical problems Bergdahl is suffering from are “gum and skin disorders” associated with poor hygiene.
The video of Sgt. Bergdahl’s handover to American forces that was released by the Taliban shows Sgt. Bergdahl looking relatively healthy. In the tape, he is seen walking into the company of U.S. special operations forces and then climbing into the aircraft without assistance. The video also shows him lucid and communicating with his captors. We know from previous reporting that he was able to write down the letters “SF” with a question mark on paper once inside the helicopter, as a way of asking his rescuers if they were special forces. This proved that his fine motor skills were intact, and that he was aware of his surroundings.
It has also been reported that one of the few exchange between Bergdahl’s rescuers and his captors was a question about his health. The Taliban said he was not sick. Finally, reports from Landsthul Regional Medical Center in Germany state that Sgt. Bergdahl has been in stable condition.
LIE #2: THE TALIBAN THREATENED TO KILL BERGDAHL
To further justify its decision not to inform Congress (in violation of the law), administration officials claimed that there was a threat to kill Bergdahl if details of the prisoner swap were released. But Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has stated that there is no credible information indicating that there was a threat to Berghdal’s life.
LIE #3: THE ADMINISTRATION INFORMED CONGRESS ABOUT THE SWAP
Reports from Capitol Hill have informed us that the administration last discussed the possibility of a prisoner transfer with members of Congress several years ago. At that time, there was bipartisan and bicameral opposition to the idea. The law requires that the administration notify Congress 30 days prior to the release of any detainee from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The administration has admitted that it engaged in negotiations to secure the deal that set Bergdahl free for over a week prior to the swap. During that week, the administration never informed Congress – and only notified congressional leaders after the deal had been reached, after the detainees from Guantanamo were released, and after Berghdal was in American custody.
It appears that the administration chose to willfully violate the law by not informing Congress, as we now know that there was no credible threat to Bergdahl’s life, he wasn’t ill, and the administration was negotiating for over a week with his captors.
LIE #4: THE U.S. DIDN’T NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS
The president’s national security adviser, Ambassador Susan Rice of Benghazi infamy, returned to the Sunday morning talk show circuit last weekend to defend the Obama administration’s decision to release the terrorists. When CNN’s Candy Crowley asked, “Point blank, did the U.S. negotiate with terrorists?” Ambassador Rice said no.
She claimed that by negotiating through the government of Qatar, the United States didn’t negotiate with terrorists. The problem is that the government of Qatar wasn’t holding Sgt. Bergdahl captive – the Haqqani Network was. The Obama administration officially designated the Haqqani Network a terrorist group in 2012.
LIE #5: BERGDAHL SERVED WITH HONOR AND DISTINCTION
On ABC’s “This Week,” Rice said that Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction.” By all accounts his service was not honorable, but was in fact distinct: Bergdahl has the distinction of being the only American soldier to desert his post in Afghanistan and walk into the arms of the enemy.
Statements about him being a traitor, however, are premature. There is not yet a clear indication as to why he deserted his post, or if he aided the enemy. Claims that he trained the Taliban in explosives are hard to believe, because as a private first class infantryman in the Army, Bergdahl would have had little to no explosives training other than basic familiarization, which every soldier receives.
But there is plenty of reason to be plenty suspicious. It’s been said that Bergdahl mailed home his personal items two weeks before he walked off his post – something completely abnormal in a combat zone. It has also been said that he left behind his weapon, body armor and helmet, only taking a compass with him. Additionally, reports in the press stated that Afghan villagers have said Bergdahl wandered around asking to meet with Taliban.
Only time will tell if these claims are true, but it is becoming pretty clear based on the testimony of his former platoon mates, and the Army’s preliminary investigation into the incident, that Bergdahl did in fact desert his post.
LIE #6: THE RELEASE OF THE TERRORISTS POSES LITTLE OR NO RISK TO THE U.S.
Just days after being released from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba family members of one of the five detainees released by the United States told NBC news that the former Taliban commander, Mullah Norullah Nori, planned to return to the fight in Afghanistan. Nori is a former Taliban Provincial Governor and is said to be responsible for the Shia Muslim genocide in Western Afghanistan prior to 9/11. The attacks he ordered against his own countrymen resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians who were slaughtered for practicing a different form of Islam than the Taliban.
LIE #7: THE FIVE TERRORISTS RELEASED FROM GUANTANAMO BAY WILL BE UNDER U.S. MONITORING
U.S. officials have publicly stated that the United States will be actively monitoring the released terrorists while they remain in Qatar for one year. The administration claimed that the terrorists would remain in Qatari custody for at least one year before being permitted to travel outside that country. Qatari government officials, however, said that the deal that was reached did not allow for U.S. monitoring of the detainees, and that they would be free to move about the country while they remained in Qatar.
The Qataris did say that they would be monitoring the detainees while they remained as guests in their country. This is not comforting, though, because Qatar has failed to do so at least twice in the past – despite guarantees made to the U.S. government.
In 1996, the United States believed that Qatari intelligence officials were monitoring the movements of Khalid Sheik Mohammad while he was in their country. He was able to evade their monitoring efforts and went on to mastermind the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Another terrorist the Qataris were supposed to be watching after his release from Guantanamo Bay Cuba, Jarallah al-Marri, also managed to leave Qatar and was arrested in London in 2009.
LIE #8: THIS WAS THE “LAST, BEST CHANCE” TO BRING BERGDAHL HOME
I don’t know what crystal ball the administration was using to make this claim, but there is no indication that this is true.
To date, the Taliban have failed to engage in any meaningful peace talks with the U.S. or the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban have said that they will not negotiate as long as foreign troops remain in Afghanistan. With the U.S. and her coalition allies scheduled to leave Afghanistan at the end of this year, it is quite plausible that resolving the status of Bergdahl and the five terrorists that were just released from Guantanamo Bay could have helped secure a larger peace agreement. That is pure speculation, but is no more speculative than the administration’s claim that this was the last, best chance to secure Bergdahl’s release. What is their speculation based on?
Bergdahl was release May 31. In the days since, the administration has pushed the narrative that he was ill; his life was threatened; Congress was informed; this was not a negotiation with terrorists; he served with honor and distinction; the released Taliban leaders are not a threat; the Gitmo Five will be monitored by the U.S.; and this was the “last, best chance” to bring Bergdahl home. Every single one of these statements has been shown to be false – to be a lie.
So which is it, Mr. President? We’d all like to know.
Joseph Miller is the pen name for a senior Department of Defense official with a background in U.S. special operations and combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has worked in strategic planning.
Click HERE For Rest Of Story