Members of the right, fueled by Fox News, are in a frenzy about the secret swap of captured Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo.
In their rush to judgment, they are calling for the president’s impeachment, claiming Bergdahl to be a “deserter not worth rescuing” (Bill Kristol, Fox contributor) and demeaning the character of Bergdahl’s family.
They accuse the president of breaking the longstanding rule against “negotiating with terrorists,” and claim the freed Taliban prisoners will come to kill Americans.
True, Bergdahl deliberately left his outpost and was captured, but there is no definitive finding that he “deserted.” We can’t truly know his intent without talking to him. When he is well, the Army will do a comprehensive review and, if he’s guilty, will levy appropriate punishment. Must we convict someone in the court of public opinion?
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And yes, Americans do negotiate with terrorists. President Carter negotiated the release of hostages in Tehran, and Reagan traded arms for Americans. The released prisoners have been described as “the hardest and toughest of all” (Sen. John Mc-Cain). Yet, a Los Angeles Times article states that four of the five freed men are called “moderates.”
Let’s wait for facts and forgo partisan politics.