EXTRA: WAIT FOR IT

Wait
For It

By

Leonard
Zwelling

      This post by Jake Tapper on CNN’s web site
on Monday June 2 creates a whole lot of ambiguity about the latest “hero” of
the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The recently freed Bowe Bergdahl may or may
not really deserve the laudatory attention he has received after being freed by
the Taliban. Many questions about his disappearance 5 years ago still remain
unanswered. Is he a true American hero or like the boy in the runaway
balloon—not really there?

http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/01/us/bergdahl-deserter-or-hero/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

      As with so many stories in the news or
floating through the Cloud, this one needs a lot more fleshing out before we
can be sure the government’s decision to release 5 terrorists from Guantanamo
in exchange for Bergdahl was a good idea. If it was and he is a true hero,
great. More power to you Mr. President. But if he is a deserter and if he is an
anti-American grouser and if some of his comrades died trying to find him, then
he deserves a court martial and the country an apology. We might also want to
add a few drones to the fleet to catch up with the 5 guys we let go on false
pretenses.

      In the end, couldn’t this have all been
checked out BEFORE we made the deal? Defense Secretary Hagel’s hedging around
the issue when questioned suggests that was not done. How about a little good
old fashioned American kicking the tires before buying the clunker?

      About the prisoner swap, questions are
being raised:

1. Will it set a precedent?

2. Bad? We will negotiate
with terrorists.

3. Good? We actually can
engage in meaningful dialogue with the enemies of America.

4. Should we do extensive
due diligence before declaring a freed soldier a hero?

The answer to the last one is easy. Yes!

It is not so much that we would not have made the
exchange if this American citizen had really deserted, but that the price might
have been considerably less (one for one?) had it turned out that Mr. Bergdahl
was not all that keen about the country trying to save him, as is suggested in
the Tapper piece. Further, might the latest American hero by more like Woody
Harrelson in Wag the Dog than Woody Harrelson in The Messenger?

As with so much in this ultra-amped up digital
age, the story is way ahead of the facts. I hope this guy is the real deal, but
if he isn’t, I hope that this too can be substantiated and we don’t wind up in
the all too prevalent truth purgatory of uncertainty. That’s where the
Malaysian airplane is.

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