President Obama Trades Al Qaeda-Linked Taliban Leaders For Release of American Soldier

President_Barack_Obamaarticle-2644788-1E5CCBF900000578-994_634x541The release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only American soldier held captive in Afghanistan, has been a source of celebration but also concern in Washington. While the country has long insisted that it would not negotiate with terrorists, it seems like it has been doing precisely that for years in working out a trade that ultimately led to the release of five Taliban leaders. More importantly, federal law requires notice to Congress some 30 days before a release of a detainee from Guantanamo Bay — another federal provision that the White House appears to have simply ignored in a unilateral act. I am scheduled to discuss the case on CNN on Monday morning.

article-0-1E5D780000000578-963_634x473The circumstances of Bergdahl’s capture remain suspicious. He claimed in a videotape as a captive that he lagged behind a patrol and was captured. A friend who works closely with the military in Afghanistan says that that is highly unlikely given the protocols used on patrols. Fellow soldiers claim that Bergdahl was a deserter. My friend says that he was told that Bergdahl walked away from this base. He is quoted as saying that he was ashamed of being an American and disenchanted with the mission in Afghanistan. He was listed as missing in June 2009, three days after reportedly sending his parents an e-mail stating “I am ashamed to be an American” and “The horror that is America is disgusting.” Those sources say that he voluntarily left the mountain base. Worse yet, American soldiers were killed reportedly looking for Bergdahl, though there is still uncertainty about that claim.

That could put the President in a rough position. He declared that

“Sergeant Bergdahl has missed birthdays, and holidays and simple moments with family and friends which all of us take for granted. But while Bowe was gone, he was never forgotten”— not by his family or his hometown in Idaho, or the military. “And he wasn’t forgotten by his country, because the United States of America does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind.”

If Bergdahl is a deserter, there will be pressure to charge him, but the trade may become even less popular if he is sitting in a brig. [Update: when I appeared on CNN this morning, the network aired the following statement from one of his former platoon members, Sgt. Matt Vierkant: “I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on. Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”]

Critics are likely to demand answers about his actions and alleged dissection while detailing the threat of these five leaders as well as their alleged Al-Qaeda connections. On the other hand, the White House is insisting that, with troops leaving the country, they needed to get him out and had no choice but to relent to the demand for a trade. The White House could also argue that the status of these Gitmo detainees remains a problem and the country cannot hold them indefinitely — so that these five would have had to be returned to Afghanistan eventually unless we were to use the widely ridiculed tribunal system.

Then there is the question of negotiating with terrorists and failing to comply with federal law.

Congressional leaders have warned that such trades only increase the incentive to capture U.S. soldiers and citizens around the world. The Taliban do not represent a nation state and many accuse them of regularly engaging in acts that would be deemed terrorism by the United States. The Obama Administration may be in the curious position of now insisting that they are freedom fighters or a legitimate military force rather than terrorists.

The federal law adds the obligation to notify congressional committees at least 30 days before making any transfers of prisoners with explanations of the conditions and arrangements for such releases. No such notice was given. While President Obama denounced signing statements by George W. Bush as a Senator and as a candidate for the presidency, he issued such a signing statement when the law was passed to say that the condition was unconstitutional as an infringement upon his powers as commander in chief. He appears in clear violation of federal law. You may recall then candidate Barack Obama promising “I taught the Constitution for 10 years, I believe in the Constitution and I will obey the Constitution the of the United States. We’re not gonna use signing statements as a way to do an end-run around Congress, alright?”

I recently testified (here and here and here) and wrote a column on President Obama’s increasing circumvention of Congress in negating or suspending U.S. laws.

It is notable that Obama is again claiming near absolute executive power (and augmenting this claim with the use of the controversial signing statement tactic). He is claiming that Congress cannot limit — even with a notice requirement — his control over detainees at Gitmo. It is another glimpse into what I once called the “uber presidency” that has emerged under the last two presidents.

bergdahl-collageThe five men released are considered highly dangerous. Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa and Abdul Haq Wasiq are classified as a “high risk” to the United States. Two others, Mohammad Fazl and Mullah Norullah Mori, were present during the 2001 prison riot at Mazar-e Sharif when CIA paramilitary officer Johnny Micheal Spann was killed. Fazl is thought to be the Taliban “army chief of staff”) and a longtime al-Qaeda ally. Wasiq reportedly helped train al-Qaeda. Mullah Norullah Noori, a senior military commander also reportedly have ties with al-Qaeda. Khairullah Khairkhwa, a Taliban governor was also allegedly an al-Qaeda trainer. One is believed to be responsible for the deaths of scores of Shiites in acts of religious terror.

The agreement only reportedly includes a one-year travel ban – making it likely that these Taliban commanders will be back on the front lines.

The Administration has been negotiating on this trade for sometimes — years according to some reports. Yet, it clearly decided to violate federal law and not inform Congress. Once again, it is not clear who would have the standing to challenge such a violation due to the rigid standing doctrine created by the federal courts — an issue that I have raised previously in my testimony to Congress.

Putting aside the violation of federal law, do you believe that the United States should negotiate with groups like the Taliban or make trades with such captors? If not, where do we draw the line — with soldiers to exclude citizens? There are clearly arguments to be made by those who believe that we should negotiate with terrorists but the current official policy is that we do not.

1,420 Responses

  1. This is easily your most offensive and political post ever. An American POW is home with his family. If you have anything else to say about that, try waiting a couple of weeks.

    You know he said nice things about his captors, don’t you? I look forward to your post about Stockholm Syndrome and brainwashing. His captors celebrated Christmas with him: What a horrible Islamist plot to undermine our way of life!

    Only an idiot would consult with this lout-mouthed Congress about anything involving our troops.


  2. Until the announcement of a “proof of life” video of him last January, I had given up hope he was alive. As a realist, I had felt the vigil for him was just wishful thinking. I am always happy to be proven wrong in cases like this.

    As for any criticism of him and whatever he did, people should be aware of what is taught in the escape and evasion training by all branches of the military. First of all, if he had any actionable intelligence to give his captors, it was out of date within hours or a few days of his capture. He knew that and I am sure his captors did too. They kept him alive because he was a bargaining chip.

    How many of those who are so quick to criticize Sgt. Bergdahl or any other prisoner have been POWs themselves? My guess is zero. I notice that Senator McCain was not happy with the release of the Taliban we had been holding, but was not critical of the Sergeant. That is what one might expect of a former POW. Those who cry “traitor” have no street cred. McCain does.

    As for “terrorists,” keep in mind the Taliban are in their own country, Afghanistan. As for consent of Congress about anything, the obstructionist and gridlocked Congress couldn’t vote to agree this is Monday.

    I am glad this episode in a war that should have been stopped years ago is over.

    We will be talking about untreated PTSD and the effect it has on those who serve in the near future.


  3. I read that Fox News “analyst” Ralph Peters accused Bergdahl of being a deserter and should be executed. I looked up Ralph Peters bio. He was in the Army as a commissioned officer, but was an intelligence officer. He was stationed in Europe. If he was ever stationed in the middle east, it is not reflected in his bio.

    Some of his quotes are downright scary, and makes me wonder about him. For example, in 1997, Ralph Peters wrote:

    “There will be no peace….

    …The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing.”

    (emphasis mine)

    With military advisers like that, we don’t need any enemies. We grow our own.


  4. If Bergdahl would’ve been any one of our sons, what would we say then? Leave him behind to rot? Israel trades prisoners, so should we.


  5. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 1:36 am Darrel C Carlson

    I bow to the wisdom and sage analysis of the first two gentlemen.


  6. The practice of not negotiating with terrorists is good in principle and many can agree with this policy but what happens behind the scenes is often times blurred or gray.

    There are times when governments and other entities will not address each other publicly yet there are times when they do. I wonder how often this happened in the past, perhaps in Beruit or dealing with the PLO and others.

    There are two conflicting values here. The non-negotiation with terrorists and the US military principle of never leaving a soldier behind. If we could not locate this soldier despite five years of effort it seems that both principles cannot be simultaneously adhered to.


  7. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:07 am Paul C. Schulte

    Chuck – it seems clear that you cannot handle the truth. If you put troops on the ground, even as peace keepers, people are going to get killed.
    In this case, the trade was so uneven, and done on the weekend, that it smacks of politics. During the Cold War we traded one-for-one, generally. Actually, if they captured one of ours, we would arrest one of theirs and then trade. The people in charge of this trade, got a bad deal. I would love to buy a car from them. I would probably end up with a free car and 1000 gallons of gas. Horrible, just horrible negotiators.


  8. Chuck Stanley 060214@0129

    Military advisers don’t set policy, Is he speaking to the facts as he knows it or is he, as you imply, recommending policy?


  9. Don’t trade hostages for hostages. Take a page from the Reagan playbook, trade Hawk and TOW missiles for hostages.


  10. “There will be no peace….

    …The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing.”

    This shocks or surprises you? You are living in a dream world of fairy’s and beautiful princesses.

    “I am ashamed to be an American” and “The horror that is America is disgusting.”

    Do you suppose a US Soldier might know something of our conduct over there that we don’t?
    Do you suppose that our academic understanding of atrocities pales in comparison to this soldiers first hand experience of the slaughter of innocents that has always been the working procedure for the US Military?

    It is as simple as finding a willing Viet-Nam Veteran to sit and tell his stories.

    Other Vets can tell similar stories but the loyalty to secrecy seems to be lessened among Viet-Nam Vets due to the horrific treatment meted out to them by the American people; ridden with guilt and shame over the mass killings and torture we visited upon the simple farmers and fisherman of Viet-Nam so as to provide a testing ground for the Military Industrial Complex and their cutting edge weapons of the time.

    Like every other conquering Army; we use slaughter, torture, rape, and starvation as tools of terror to humiliate and cowl the local population and as a means of allowing tightly wound soldiers; stretched to the limits of their Psyche; to release the rage and frustration of formal combat actions

    What else is new?


  11. As the end of US involvement in war in Afghanistan draws to a close, we either leave Bergdahl behind or we exchange him. We did not pick the 5 to be exchanged. And if we thought we could have convicted them for 9/11 activities, we would have done so in the intervening decade. It was high time to [s..t] or get off the pot. We chose to [s..t] and so we did. But staying on the pot has its draw backs, too.


  12. Reblogged this on saboteur365 and commented:
    Drudge is running a lead story that Obama broke the law in the hostage trade. We will find out. I hope.


  13. thanks Paladin, now that Drudge is on the story we will get the perfect truth! (No, I am not serious.)


  14. The 5 Taliban might have GPS tracking chip implants. Maybe the NSA has a backup plan. I’d put one in Sgt. Bergdahl too.
    He wondered off base with no field orders, and got caught or wanted to. Other than that, live and let live, and say something if you see something suspicious.


  15. Reblogged this on Dead Citizen's Rights Society.


  16. I believe many are missing the true motivation behind the exchange. Obama needed to demonstrate concern for our military dimming the negative focus on the VA hospital problems. Did anyone else notice involved in the announcement he was? It seemed more about him than anything else.


  17. Chuck expressed my thoughts better than I could, so, what Chuck said.

    Jonathan, I believe the following quotes from you fall under the purview of gossip.

    “A friend who works closely with the military in Afghanistan says that that is highly unlikely given the protocols used on patrols.”

    “My friend says that he was told that Bergdahl walked away from this base.”

    Since your friend works closely with the military, I assume that he is not military. Has he ever even been on a patrol in Afghanistan?

    Bergdahl may very well have walked away voluntarily. But, before I give those assertions any credence, I’ll need a lot more facts. Including whether he was already the platoon scapegoat for his views.


  18. Far better for everyone concerned that the President is willing to take heat for bringing the soldier out than to pass up the opportunity and leave the guy in Afghanistan. Can you just imagine the political circus of that alternative scenario? If, as some suggest, this was politically motivated (a view I do not share) it’s a very smart one.


  19. As far as letting the five Talibani go: no problem. We’ll track them down with drones.

    As for the President breaking the law: It turns Hillary was right, we didn’t know enough about this guy.

    Who said only an idiot would follow the law?


  20. @Rcampbell “Can you just imagine the political circus of that alternative scenario?”

    Exactly. I have no doubt that if Bergdahl had been left in Afghanistan, Obama’s failure to bring him home would become a rallying cry by the republicans in 2016.


  21. Jim Mohn,
    To answer your question more directly, Ralph Peters was a Lt. Colonel assigned to intelligence operations. He now works at Fox News.

    When in the Army, he was an intelligence officer for ten years. His last assignment was to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence. After leaving the Army, he became a Foreign Service officer. He wrote a lot of opinion pieces that were ‘strongly worded’ to put if mildly.

    Overall, I would venture to say he–and his ideas–were influential at high levels. Unfortunately.


  22. In the fog of war, caused by the lust for power, it is difficult to tell who is the frog and who is the coyote.
    ————————————
    Coyote and Frog (Native American)

    Coyote and his friends walked to a pond
    But found Frog and his clan now living there.
    “This pond is small for all of us, ” Frog said.
    “ Find water of your own. We cannot share.”

    “If you will let us drink our fill and bathe,
    I’ll get you a warm blanket and a blue stone
    That’s bigger than your fist, ” Coyote offered.
    When Frog agreed, Coyote went for them alone.

    Frog took the gifts and led them to the pond.
    Later as they left Frog laughed, “Good trade! ”
    In fact, Coyote stole the gifts from Thunderbird,
    Now furiously tracking prints the thief had made.

    Coyote returned next day to find the Frog clan dead.
    He took his people to the pond. “Good trade, ” he said.


  23. When Presidents care for laws more than humans and we praise him for it, it is we who break the law of human decency. Maybe our next President will seek Congressional approval for such an exchange, if it should ever need to happen again. Maybe the captors will be miffed about the wait once the deal was done and decide to behead the prisoner instead.


  24. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 8:37 am J. Brian Harris, Ph.D., P.E.

    Were the law as espoused and the law as in use not sometimes in seemingly irreconcilable conflict with each other, I would be able to accept the notion to the effect that a living human person can, by mens rea and actus reus, actually and factually be law-abiding.

    Once we have a system and a structure of laws of such unfathomable complexity as to make it apparently impossible to know, without error, how a judge will decide the law in a case that has details never before encountered in any case of law, does not the law demand of living humans that the absolutely-impossible be accomplished to avoid a subsequently imposed forfeit?

    For myself, I have chosen to study the law and the rule of law as a property of human neurobiology and human neurophysiology.

    Ever since, in my age of early childhood, the rule of law came to my conscious attention, I have repeatedly observed the law to be a system and structure of “double binds” in the sense of “double-bind” the work of Gregory Bateson and others; and having done so before Bateson published his work on double-binds.

    Because I have never learned to think in words, word combinations which contradict theselves internally are always unintelligible to me.

    Not every human person is sufficiently intractably and utterly autistic as to be able to live in the manner of a newborn human infant for more than thee quarters of a century.

    However, I find that I have been at least that profoundly autistic from since before I was born in 1939.

    The neurological mechanism of double binds is, in my view, both the proximate and the ultimate cause of all forms of purportedly willful human destructive violence, including all forms of addiction and including all forms of criminal conduct.


  25. The Administration negotiated with terrorists, trading five very dangerous individuals for what is likely an army deserter. In addition, five American soldiers lost their lives searching for Bergdahl. Ultimately, the Obama Administration is faced with the prospect of new terrorists acts by the five released and the trial of the returned soldier.


  26. For those who are shocked by trading prisoners for prisoners, may I respectfully suggest you try reading some history. This is not new. Governments and military have done it from time immemorial. I remember grainy black and white newsreel film of the US military releasing a Soviet spy in order to get one of ours back, the two men passing each other on a bridge, walking in opposite directions. I didn’t take a lot of time, but with a relatively quick search, I could not find a single war in which there was not some kind of prisoner exchange. Sometimes low level, sometimes high level. Every President has had back channel communications with the other side for such exchanges. This is commonly done by third parties, through neutral countries. For those to act as if Obama is the first are either deliberately obtuse in playing politics, or are dumb as a box of rocks.

    Who knows what Bergdahl was thinking, or if events even happened the way some people claim. As for the Guantanamo prisoners being dangerous, let me put it this way. If I had been a prisoner at Guantanamo, I would be one of two minds, and not likely to have any grey areas in between. I would either become 1) fearful and shell-shocked, wanting nothing more to do with Americans; or, 2) one of the most dangerous people ever, wanting revenge. As for these alleged terrorists, I have no idea of their mind set, since I was not one of the unethical and unprofessional psychologists involved with their captivity. And I might add, the US government does not have enough money to hire me for such a job.

    I use the word “alleged” advisedly. The Guantanamo prisoners were never tried, and no evidence against them was ever tested in a court of law.


  27. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 9:16 am J. Brian Harris, Ph.D., P.E.

    Chuck Stanley:

    Thanks for your honest evaluation of the predicament.

    In my view, a box of rocks is way too intelligent to find fault with Obama for his efforts directed toward solving an impossibly difficult problem.


  28. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 9:23 am swarthmoremom

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/jay-carney-bowe-bergdahl-not-hostage

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday pushed back against the idea that the United States negotiated with terrorists to secure the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held prisoner in Afghanistan for nearly five years.

    On CNN’s “New Day,” host Chris Cuomo asked Carney to expand on Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s assertion that exchanging Bergdahl for five Afghan detainees held in the Guantanamo Bay facility did not amount to negotiating with terrorists.

    “Why parse words and have the secretary of defense say we didn’t negotiate with terrorists?” Cuomo asked.

    “The fact is he was held in an armed conflict,” Carney responded. “We were engaged in an armed conflict with the Taliban, and we have a history in this country of making sure that our prisoners of war are returned to us. We don’t leave them behind. He was not a hostage, he was a prisoner.”

    The Obama administration’s national security team decided to move forward with the deal because the threat posed by the detainees who were traded for Bergdahl was “sufficiently mitigated,” Carney added. Asked to clarify how that threat was “mitigated,” Carney said the detainees would be monitored by host countries and placed under travel bans.

    Cuomo also brought up speculation that Bergdahl may have walked off his post when he was captured by the Taliban. He asked Carney if the possibility that Bergdahl was a deserter should have factored into the administration’s decision to broker a deal.

    “Here’s what matters. He was a prisoner in an armed conflict, a member of the military, and in that situation the United States does not leave its men and women behind,” Carney replied. “And for five years, we’ve been engaged in an effort to try to secure his release and we were very fortunate to do that this weekend.”


  29. This is a win-win-win. It sounds like a young man realized that he had made a horrible mistake and was willing to take huge risks to leave the conditions he was in. Many believe that Guantanamo inmates are kept only so that they don’t publicize the way they were tortured by Americans. The world is fully aware of US torture. Six men have their lives back. Hopefully they will be able to move forward in constructive endeavors. President did the right thing. Congress lacks any credibility whatsoever.


  30. Chuck Stanley 1:am Well said.

    As a side note, Obama has pledged to close gitmo. Congress has blocked him. Maybe this approach will help. It’s too bad there aren’t more pows so gitmo can be totally shut down. btw, the detainees who were released were never charged with a crime so pow seems to me to be a fair status.


  31. This is simply silly. I find it hard to give much weight to those who object since the law supposedly violated goes against the powers of the President as Commander in Chief regarding POWs. It is like Congress banning the punishment of Republican soldiers. Think that would be Constitutional?

    While the US may call the Taliban terrorists, they are a FAR different case than when Reagan gave actual arms, and money to Iran. The hostage holders were in a DIFFERENT country than Iran and were non-state terrorists who had no recognized legitimacy in international law. The Taliban on the other hand was a legitimate government who the US recognized and we even gave them diplomatic recognition. Thus they are legitimate combatants under all laws and tradition. Think that Congress can change that by simply making a declaration and banning any negotiation limiting the Presidents powers to conduct foreign affairs? From what I recall, the law was passed to keep the prisoners in Cuba and to keep them out of the US, not to ban them from ever being released. Thus one cannot blast Obama for not closing Guantanamo when it is Congress which has said that he cannot transfer them anywhere unless Congress approves. He would be in violation of the law if he simply sent them to NYC for trial as the law prohibits. It is quite another thing to say he has no control over the administration and release from all US custody for these POWs. Let’s discuss some real problems instead of GOP talking points which have no validity in law or reason.


  32. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 9:34 am swarthmoremom

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/release-american-pow-sparks-partisan“Under normal circumstances, when U.S. officials secure the release of an American prisoner of war, it would seem like a happy occasion for the country, regardless of political considerations. We were reminded over the weekend that these are not normal circumstances.

    President Obama announced on Saturday that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only American soldier held captive in Afghanistan, was finally free after five years as a prisoner of the Taliban, In exchange for his release, U.S. officials agreed to release five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to Qatar.

    In his White House announcement, the president said, in reference to the Taliban detainees, “The Qatari government has given us assurances that it will put in place measures to protect our national security.”

    The complaints from congressional Republicans were immediate.

    Amid jubilation Saturday over the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from captivity by the Taliban, senior Republicans on Capitol Hill said they were troubled by the means by which it was accomplished, which was a deal to release five Afghan detainees from the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    Top Republicans on the Senate and House armed services committees went so far as to accuse President Obama of having broken the law, which requires the administration to notify Congress before any transfers from Guantanamo are carried out.

    Throughout the weekend, prominent GOP lawmakers condemned the move with varying degrees of outrage. Several Republicans described the policy that led to Bergdahl’s release as “shocking,” “disturbing,” and “dangerous.”

    Any sense of national joy that might otherwise come with the knowledge that an American POW is on his way home disappeared within minutes of the announcement – Bergdahl’s freedom quickly became the latest partisan fight, and the prospect of congressional hearings are more a matter of “when,” not “if.” “


  33. Just get our soldiers home from Afghanistan. As many as possible, or all of them. Captives included. Then deal with the cases like this one. Obama did the right thing.


  34. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 9:46 am swarthmoremom

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/01/republicans-bergdahl-release-deal-encourages-terrorists “Republicans have lambasted the White House for releasing five Taliban leaders in exchange for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, saying the “dangerous” deal violated US policy on not talking to terrorists and may have broken the law.

    GOP leaders rounded on the Obama administration on Sunday, accusing it of bypassing Congress and of encouraging terrorists to seize other US service members as hostages.

    Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, appeared on two talk shows to mount the administration’s defence of the decision. She justified the swap and the decision not to inform Congress of its imminence in terms of a “sacred obligation” to leave no US soldier behind.”


  35. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 10:02 am Unsinkable citizen

    Does the ends really justify the means?
    What will be– or will there be — a tipping point for Obama?
    …seems like the EPA will now have more power than Congress!
    We will soon be governed by beurocrats and not elected officials…


  36. As was pointed out on a news show this a.m. Israel has been doing thi for years. As someone much farther up pointed out a lot of gossip and speculation without known facts to back it up and let’s say the worst, this gy deserted, so we leave an American beind and wash our hands of him?
    Congress has known for some time “Lawmakers’ surprise fueled their confusion and skepticism about the deal—especially since the on-again off-again negotiations for Bergdahl were an open secret, dating back years GOP leaders, in particular, were offended that they received calls from their Democratic counterparts and administration officials only after Bergdahl’s release was reported in the news
    “http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/02/bergdahl-deal-could-be-first-(so they are lik ekids, seems there anger is more because no one called them until after.step-to-emptying-gitmo.html rather then even an issue of the law)

    “Negotiations and internal deliberations over the potential for a swap have waxed and waned for years, but they intensified in the past several weeks as an agreement appeared within reach, according to an official familiar with the matter.

    Among other complications, there was a potential legal obstacle: Congress has imposed statutory restrictions on the transfer of detainees from Guantánamo Bay. The statutes say the secretary of defense must determine that a transfer is in the interest of national security, that steps have been taken to substantially mitigate a future threat by a released detainee, and that the secretary notify Congress 30 days before any transfer of his determination.

    In this case, the secretary, Chuck Hagel, acknowledged in a statement that he did not notify Congress ahead of time. When Mr. Obama signed a bill containing the latest version of the transfer restrictions into law, he issued a signing statement claiming that he could lawfully override them under his executive powers.

    “The executive branch must have the flexibility, among other things, to act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers,” he wrote in the signing statement, adding that if the restrictions “operate in a manner that violates constitutional separation of powers principles, my administration will implement them in a manner that avoids the constitutional conflict.”

    An administration official said the circumstances of a fast-moving exchange deal made it appropriate to act outside the statutory framework for transfers.

    The top Republicans on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, Representative Howard McKeon of California and Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, said the release of the Taliban prisoners “clearly violated laws” governing the transfer of detainees from Guantánamo Bay. One senior administration official defended the decision, saying that “due to a near-term opportunity to save Sergeant Bergdahl’s life, we moved as quickly as possible,” requiring action outside the notice requirement of the statute.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/01/us/bowe-bergdahl-american-soldier-is-freed-by-taliban.html

    So the heck with it, if there is a quick occurring opportunity to get back one of our guys held hostage no, have to deal with a proven obstructionist congress that has refused to do almost anything this president has asked of it an the American hostage can go just sit and languish more?


  37. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 11:00 am Nick Spinelli

    It looks like, that as per usual, folks have dug in on this one. First, let me direct anyone who has an open mind to the superb Rolling Stone piece done on Bergdahl from June 2012. It leaves little doubt this guy was a deserter @ best, a traitor possibly. Then, please go to the Army Times Facebook page and read accounts from soldiers WHO SERV ED w/ him. These brave soldiers, men and women, use their real names, not aliases.

    When you are a guard in a prison you are told there are no hostages. I was told this my first day working @ Leavenworth. If inmates take control of you, go to the front gate w/ a knife @ your throat, and demand the gate be opened, the gate will NOT open. If they bring another guard up and demand again, the gate will not open. This rule seems cruel to those who don’t understand evil men and the protocol required to not let them rule. You see, the first time that gate opens, ALL GUARDS are chattel. The inmates, knowing the gate will not open, keeps all the guards safer. You’re never safe in a prison or war zone. But you are safer. Soldiers are told the same as guards. You are not a hostage. I learned something I didn’t know watching Fareed Zakaria yesterday. US diplomats are also told they are not hostages.

    If you bother to read the June 2012 Rolling Stone piece you’ll see this exact deal was in the works then. It was an election cycle. Team Chicago was called on doing this for political purposes and they backed off. Gwen hit the nail on the head as to the timing now. It’s political, the VA scandal. Does anyone see any symmetry to the administration sending out their blindly loyal Susan Rice on the Sunday Morning shows? When asked about violating the notification Rice stated, “The Defense Dept. and Allied soldiers would be incarcerated, she sounded like she had a stuttering problem. The word she used was “monitored” several times.

    The men and women who served w/ Bergdahl say he should be transferred to Ft. Leavenworth to await his trial. I agree. Those 5 Taliban killers will be back in Afghanistan while US troops are on the ground. They will kill more of our soldiers. You can bet on that.


  38. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 11:03 am Nick Spinelli

    Rice said “The Defense Dept. notified the Justice Dept.” She claimed this deal just came together quickly! We know it went back to 2012! Rice is a liar.


  39. Supposed t e innocent til proven guilty in the US but I guess for this guy it doesn’t matter.
    This is not new, Israel has been doing this for ages.


  40. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 11:04 am Nick Spinelli

    But, we all knew that from her last tour on the Sunday shows.


  41. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 11:05 am Nick Spinelli

    leej, There needs to be a courts martial where the facts are established. I agree totally on that.


  42. There’s a difference between talks about it for years and having an opportunity presented.
    ((*_*)) Nick.


  43. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 11:12 am Nick Spinelli

    leej, If this President had not ignored so many laws I would give him the benefit of the doubt. Only blindly loyal give him a pass now.


  44. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 11:14 am Paul C. Schulte

    leejcaroll – not sure what Israel has to do with all this. We have a law that clearly has been broken by the President of the United States. Israel can deal how they want.


  45. Obama to Congressional Republicans: “I double dog dare you to impeach me.”


  46. And, as to the substance, I think it’s an extremely unwise decision, besides being an unlawful one, because it encourages future hostage taking and rewards the bad guys.

    However, this is somewhat mitigated, if it helps us get out of Afghanistan. As much as I dislike a lot of what Obama is doing, I’m still convinced he’s much better than any of the Republican alternatives would have been as far as getting us out of the quagmires that Bush got us into.


  47. We need to find out if they gave him his sidearm back when they released him. And we need to have a discussion about the enlistment in a volunteer army of young people who never went to school but were home schooled by hippies. And someone tell us why we were in that Pirate Territory to begin with. I forgot.


  48. I am so infuriated by this exchange. This administration has dung for brains. We trade 5 leaders per se for one lowly soldier. Apparently the leaders of this administration has no experience in making deals! They would give away the farm for a wagon with no wheels. We send back leaders to our enemy and we get a singular soldier, a deserter? Great exchange! hurray, hurray……What happened to one for one, at least their expertise should be fairly equal……………. So we got one of ours back which we all want but Obama gave them a group with the experience and hate for us far greater than those who have not been incarcerated at Git-mo and whose experience is far greater and more dangerous to this country than our lying president even gave thought to. Wasn’t there a plane that went missing lately that no one has a clue where it is? There may be more prisoners to be exchanged. Give that one a thought.

    This was purely a political move and certainly not one to benefit this country. Yes we want the boy home and I am happy for his family but beware this dung for brains leader we have will give away our country for a legacy…………..or destroy it.

    Also, why hasn’t this wonderful leader of ours brought back one of our own who sits in jail in Mexico, whose mistake was making a wrong turn on the freeway. Mexico, a neighboring country and supposedly an ally. What is Barry going to do here. Give amnesty to thousands for one man?……….Oh he doesn’t have to get anyone back, he will give amnesty to thousands for voters. He wouldn’t try to save four of our finest but gave our enemies their leaders back for a deserter? Great legacy!


  49. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 11:56 am Paul C. Schulte

    Supposedly the Gitmo prisoners will be in Qatar for a year, but we all know that is a dodge. I would be surprised if they stay 6 months. We know that at least 50% of the people we release from Gitmo we end up either killing or capturing again in firefights. This will not end well.


  50. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 12:04 pm Paul C. Schulte

    leejcaroll – the administration is all smoke and mirrors. They have been dickering for this guy for some time. This is not sudden and it is against the law.


  51. Believer

    Who said they were leaders? According to Paul 2 1/2 of them weren’t even terrorists.


  52. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 12:12 pm Nick Spinelli

    There’s a superb piece written by a US soldier on the Daily Beast Website today. It is the headline story. For those unfamiliar, The Daily Beast is a left news source. Soldiers died looking for this deserter.


  53. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 12:13 pm Nick Spinelli

    pete, NO ONE contends these 5 Taliban are not top echelon. NO ONE.


  54. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 12:24 pm swarthmoremom

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/jun/01/ted-cruz/ted-cruz-us-policy-has-changed-now-we-make-deals-t/

    President Bill Clinton’s administration sat down with Hamas in attempts to negotiate peace with Israel. His administration also worked directly with the Taliban nearly two decades ago on several occasions to see if the group would hand over Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders.

    Reiss also noted that President George W. Bush engaged in negotiations with Iran and North Korea even after decreeing them part of the “Axis of Evil.”

    James Jeffrey, a former ambassador to Iraq under Obama and deputy national security adviser for George W. Bush, agreed that “there have been many cases of negotiations with terrorists or rogue regimes for the return of Americans.”

    But he added: “releasing terrorists in exchange for captives, however, is rare.”

    One recent example came in 2010, when the United States released Shia cleric Qais al-Khazali to the militia group Asaib al-Haq in exchange for Peter Moore, a private British contractor, and the bodies of Moore’s security officers. Asaib al-Haq is a militia group allegedly funded by Iran and headed by al-Khazali and staged and executed several attacks in Iraq that resulted in the deaths of U.S. soldiers.

    Our ruling

    Cruz said Obama changed “decades” of policy of not negotiating with terrorists when he brokered the deal that brought Bergdahl home. Even though presidents and officials often say “we do not negotiate with terrorists,” it has not proven to be a hard-and-fast rule. Obama’s actions so far do not signal a change in policy, but rather the latest in a long line of exceptions presidents have made throughout recent history.

    We rate Cruz’s statement Mostly False.


  55. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 12:29 pm Paul C. Schulte

    SWM – didn’t we have a thing the other day on Politifact not being trustworthy?


  56. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 12:33 pm swarthmoremom

    “To his credit, Cruz said the policy of not engaging terrorists was decades old, not centuries. But there are more recent examples where, as Reiss wrote, “American presidents have negotiated with terrorists and rogue regimes to secure the release of hostages, to arrange temporary cease fires and to explore whether a more permanent truce might be possible.”

    Here’s a few, according to Reiss’ book:

    After the North Koreans captured the U.S.S. Pueblo in 1968, President Lyndon Johnson apologized for spying as part of negotiations to secure the release of 83 American prisoners.

    In 1970, President Richard Nixon pressured Israel, Switzerland, West Germany and Britain to release Palestinian prisoners after two airlines were hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

    During the Iran hostage crisis of 1979 to 1981, President Jimmy Carter agreed to unfreeze $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets after more than a year of negotiations with the Iranian revolutionaries.

    In perhaps the most famous swap, after seven Americans were captured in Beirut, Lebanon, President Ronald Reagan agreed to send missiles to Iran in what became known as the Iran-Contra scandal.”


  57. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 12:35 pm swarthmoremom

    Paul, Don’t know. I was out of town for the weekend and did not turn on my computer. :)


  58. To borrow a bit from the Duke of Wellington..

    “.. all of Afghanistan is not worth the life of one
    Private First Class”


  59. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 12:55 pm Paul C. Schulte

    SWM – you do know that Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate are given regular Intelligence briefings. You know, those briefings that Obama avoids? And after that, it is not hard to keep up to date.


  60. “Spinelli” and “Schulte” I wish you well in this one.

    I learned one thing from this blog, it does no good to tell the left the truth for most are so set in their beliefs and so loyal to their mistakes they put in office that rather than be proven wrong, they will still deny the truth.


  61. The “outrage” and “offense” of the facts laid out here are sad, but expected.

    Talks about an exchange have been going on since 2010.
    1.Karzi’s brother tried to broker a deal for 25 prisoners and $20 Million for Bergdahl.
    2. Congress knew about this for the past couple years and there was bipartisan objection.
    3. The NYT ran a story a year ago with the names and pictures of the 5 Taliban released.
    Obama couldn’t get this done by following the law because it was those who are capable of rational thought knew it was stupid. So, as usual, Obama just bypassed the law.

    Susan Rice (of all people) and Chuck Hagel said they “had to act” because of his “deteriorating health.” Army physicians have reported Bergdahl in good health. (I guess they just pulled out the Jessica Buchanan rescue story, which was legit, rinsed it off and replaced Buchanan with Bergdahl.)

    He’s a deserter. He sent his personal effects home before he walked off the base. He sent emails to Pashto speaking daddy how he’s “ashamed to be an American.” He asked his Sgt. if it would be a “big deal” if he left the FOB with his rifle and NVG’s. He deserted.

    6 men from the 501st were killed looking for him. A DEVGRU team leader was shot in the leg with a PKM on an OP trying to find him. How many other American Warriors were killed or wounded because Bergdahl decided he was “ashamed?” How many were killed or wounded capturing the 5 we just gave up?

    It’s combat, actions have consequences. Bergdahl chose to act like a spoiled child and it got him captured. His actions got fellow soldiers killed.

    Disregard the fact the president bypassed the Constitution, that’s a daily occurrence.

    1. Why did the soldiers of the 501st at the FOB have to sign and NDA regarding this incident?
    2. Why did the Haqqani network agree to turn him over for five members of the Taliban?
    3. Why are people questioning if those turned over are Terrorist? (Two are wanted by the UN for war crimes.)
    4. We didn’t do a “prisoner exchange.” That’s for nation states. Bergdahl was captured in Afghanistan, being held in Pakistan be a terrorist group that agreed to release him for 5 members of a different terrorist group.
    5. Now were saying that “Israel does this” as a justification? That’s probably a first for a lot of people who posted here.

    “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” Thomas Jefferson


  62. SWM, Palin. ‘Nuff said. :)


  63. According to a Captain (ret) reporting on NPR this morning (he was involved in the search for Bowe) – those who died were not searching for Bowe. They were involved in an attack at another location. They lacked more support due to the many resources that were searching for Bowe. The captain also reported that Bowe had been turned down by the French Foreign Legion because they questioned his (Bowe’s) mental stability. Maybe the military bears some responsibility for enlisting Bowe? The captain also reported that Bowe had only been with this outfit for a month and was not well-known by his fellow soldiers. Their ‘reports’ regarding his disappearance sounded very much like a mass of rumors.

    I think Obama did the right thing in getting Bowe home. He is a member of our military who was engaged in a war that is, thank god, winding down. He needs to be home.


  64. Bowe might want to grow eye balls in the back of his head. His Army buddys made comments to CNN and have an axe to grind.

    “I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on,” former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl’s platoon when he went missing, told CNN.
    “Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”


  65. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 1:16 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Steve – thanks for the extended explanation.


  66. http://www.vox.com/2014/6/2/5772290/bowe-bergdahl-bethea-republican-tweets

    Nathan Bradley Bethea, one of Bergdahl’s most important critics, the author of the Daily Beast article, defends the decision to negotiate his release.


  67. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 1:35 pm swarthmoremom

    Good catch, Annie.I especially agree with his tweet that says POW/MIA should not be left behind.


  68. […] President Obama Trades Al Qaeda-Linked Taliban Leaders For Release of American Soldier | JONATHAN TU… __________________ "If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses." Lenny Bruce […]


  69. I don’t doubt many of his outfit may loathe Bowe. He doesn’t sound like a man with many friends. The mentally ill rarely have friends. But I’d be very surprised if they feel he should have been left to rot in the hands of the Taliban. They may rail at the trade, but alone in the middle of the night, I don’t think they feel he should have been left behind.


  70. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 1:56 pm Paul C. Schulte

    No deserter left behind. I like that meme.


  71. Nathan Bradley @inthesedeserts
    Follow

    5. I have absolutely no desire to criticize bringing him back. I’m glad he’s back. POW/MIA are not to be forgotten. Now tell the truth.
    7:50 AM – 2 Jun 2014


  72. Republicans are going to come out of the wrong end of this. So be it.


  73. It doesn’t matter if he deserted, wandered off, was misguided or mentally ill. He’s been punished enough.


  74. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:15 pm Nick Spinelli

    believer, You certain understand the pathology here. But, there are a select few reasonable people from the left who roam these parts. And, a couple have weighed in w/ reasonable assessments. What the folks who hunker down and do not even read opposing views do is alienate the reasonable people who normally are w/ them on many other issues. What I have seen of late are the people who call milk black and grass orange are marginalizing themselves. The serious people here, on both left and right, are laughing and/or ignoring them.


  75. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:15 pm swarthmoremom

    Annie, I guess they get to sit in their comfortable homes and judge the quality of his service. Since it does not measure up in their republicans minds, he should be left .This is probably one of the more unbelievable partisan discussions we have had.


  76. So is Nathan Bradley Bethea among the “pathological”?

    How is the comment @2:15 civil?


  77. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:18 pm Nick Spinelli

    The UCMJ will determine if this person was “punished enough.” We can give our opinions, but there is no opinion on whom the controlling legal authority is on this. It is the UCMJ.


  78. Yes SWM, rushing to judgment. I wonder how these folks would feel if this young man was their own son?


  79. No one here claims or claimed to have the authority to judge Bergdahl and determine what the outcome of an investigation would be.


  80. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:23 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Annie – I am a big believer in tough love. If he deserted then he does his time.


  81. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:23 pm Nick Spinelli

    2:05pm


  82. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:25 pm swarthmoremom

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/lindsey-graham-requests-hearing-bowe-bergdahl-prisoner-swap War hawk Lindsay Graham who wants to keep Guantanimo open and keep the Afghan war going wants a hearing. Maybe they can make this the new Benghazi.


  83. Spinelli, IT WAS MY OPINION. You have expressed yours. Now where have I expressed the authority to place judgment on him? Flop.


  84. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:27 pm swarthmoremom

    oops guantanamo


  85. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:28 pm Nick Spinelli

    Susan Rice has turned into Obama’s Baghdad Bob.


  86. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:31 pm Nick Spinelli

    Anybody hear read the Rolling Stone piece, or gone to the Army Times Facebook page? You can read first hand accounts from the men and women who served w/ Bergdahl. Their opinion is upon whom I base mine.


  87. SWM, thank God that McCain and that idiot Palin lost the election in 2008. As for the Happy Warrior Lindsey Graham, let him have his hearing. It only makes them look worse leading up to the elections.


  88. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:33 pm Nick Spinelli

    Others base their opinion on what Susan Rice has to say. She’s the “It was a video” that caused our embassy people to be murdered person.


  89. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:33 pm swarthmoremom

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/06/the-three-kinds-of-bowe-bergdahl-backlash/372002/ The constitutional issue is a separate issue from the whether or not Bergdahl was deserving issue.


  90. Well I, for one, am assessing whether I should change my opinion. Lord knows, I wouldn’t want to be marginalized by anyone in this company. (insert green gremlin)


  91. Good grief. It was talking points on a Sunday talk show! Get over it.


  92. SWM, excellent article @ 2:33. Thanks for posting.


  93. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:41 pm Nick Spinelli

    We were told during the 2008 election that Obama was a shrewd poker player. However, over the past 6 years I have come to see that was just spin. He constantly has his bluffs called and loses. Or, in this instance, putting all the facts aside, he got snookered. These were Taliban military commanders. One was Mullah Omar’s right hand man. He should have been able to do a 1 for 1 or @ most 2 for 1 swap. I have thought for several years I would LOVE to get in on that poker game. And, if Biden is playing, even better!


  94. I wonder if the UCMJ will consult with Facebook during any trial?


  95. Annie: How do you know he has been punished enough? Others in his troop had to use their time to search for him instead of helping the ones who were engaged in battle where some of those soldiers lost their lives. They died, he lives and gets to come home after deserting. Something smells funny here..

    Obama allows 4 to die willingly who were begging for help in Benghazi and this one who walked into his captors hands of his own accord lives and comes home after Obama hands over the terrorist “Dream Team” hand picked/selected by the terrorists themselves and this arrogant, law breaking president dares to pat himself on the back.

    It is a good thing Obama never served in our armed forces, he may be the one we would have had to trade for. But, on the flip side, maybe he should have served. We at least would have had a choice of whether to bring him home or leave him…………………….His life for 5 terrorist leaders, definitely no match.

    I wouldn’t be so sure about the Republicans coming out on the wrong end, I would be willing to bet this deal is going to come back and bite your President in the A$$.


  96. Waldo,

    The point is to avoid letting another “Bush” get us into more wars that another Democrat will have to come along and get us out of while he is repairing the damage done to our economy and citizenry by another twelve years of Republican lies.


  97. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:45 pm Nick Spinelli

    SWM, that is an excellent article and corroborates what I’ve been saying!! Thanks for providing exculpatory evidence to your weak case. Kudos for showing the integrity to post it. The Atlantic and Daily Beast are not right wing sources as you know. This deal was desperation. You can smell the flop sweat coming from the WH. Carney is tired of taking 7 showers a day.


  98. The world is just one big poker game. That’s a guy that I want in charge.


  99. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:46 pm Paul C. Schulte

    I think Obama has a ‘tell’ that all other leaders can see.


  100. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:47 pm Nick Spinelli

    This deal got Mullah Omar to make his first statement since 2002! He is ecstatic w/ the deal and now states all Taliban will be released from Guantanamo and returned to the battlefield.


  101. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:49 pm Nick Spinelli

    Paul, Now we know we want Feynman in on the poker game also.


  102. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:50 pm Paul C. Schulte

    This was a weekend dump. It was supposed to blow over quickly but it is causing blowback for Obama and the Democrats.


  103. Waldo
    Obama to Congressional Republicans: “I double dog dare you to impeach me.”
    = = =
    More like, “I quadruple dog dare you.”
    But we all know Congressional GOP can’t count to even one.
    Heck, my own Dem Rep refuses to man-up about it!


  104. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:52 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Obama has yet to get us out of any wars.


  105. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:54 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Nick – I gave up playing poker some time ago.


  106. When Sgt. Bowe gets back home, will he hook up with one of Idaho’s milita clubs? Stay ahead of the curve.


  107. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:56 pm Nick Spinelli

    Three fish @ the poker table! I would suggest a comeback.


  108. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 2:57 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Max-1 – right now it would be an exercise in futility to impeach Obama. And then if Obama is impeached and convicted you get Joe Biden as President. Come on, dude, Who wants that. :)


  109. Just put him in this presidents wonderful VA system. Then he’ll know just how bad our govt. can really be.


  110. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 3:02 pm swarthmoremom

    The VA is overcrowded on underfunded. There are too many casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan. In order to leave Afghanistan we will be negotiating with the taliban.


  111. […] Originally Posted by Hairy Jello They sure as f*ck are terrorists. They also have ties to Al Qaeda and were all deemed to be an extremely high risk to the US. They weren't at Gitmo for littering or jaywalking. President Obama Trades Al Qaeda-Linked Taliban Leaders For Release of American Soldier | JONATHAN TU… […]


  112. SWM,
    Strange how those who were/ are all gung ho about the wars don’t realize why there are so many in the VA hospital system.


  113. Annie – “Yes SWM, rushing to judgment. I wonder how these folks would feel if this young man was their own son?”

    How would you feel if your son got captured and beaten in the future because our weak President negotiated with terrorists? He is setting precedent and doing it illegally.

    Also, how do you know Palin is an idiot? Because she’s a strong conservative women, she must be the enemy?


  114. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 3:15 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Annie – we know why there are vets in the VA hospital. All veterans are eligible for care, especially service related injury. The problem is that Obama kept saying he would take care of the problem, but like his other ‘pretend promises’ he didn’t keep his word.


  115. Annie,
    Strange how those who are for govt controlled healthcare when they see their system failing can only blame it on lack of money and not govt. being inempt.


  116. Paul,
    Hope and Change!


  117. swarthmoremom

    I’m not sure funding is the problem. Today, you certainly wouldn’t find a single deficit hawk who wouldn’t even accept a tax increase to give the VA any amount it wanted. So much for their hypocrisy after their filibuster in February.

    The wait times are unacceptable but the goals were unobtainable and once set, motivated cheating. But from what I’ve read, vets really like the care they get from the VA – especially those who have been so terribly wounded. Many are sorry to see Shinseki go.

    Too many damn wars. Too many dead. Too many wounded. Too many aging.

    Just think where we would be if that idiot Bush had not gotten us into Iraq.


  118. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 3:29 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Jim22 – the Democrats have a war on strong Republican women. They cannot brainwash them, so they must be marginalized.


  119. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 3:30 pm Paul C. Schulte

    I would gladly accept a cut in EPA funding to allow those funds to go to the VA.


  120. 1. “As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border.” –Sarah Palin, explaining why Alaska’s proximity to Russia gives her foreign policy experience, interview with CBS’s Katie Couric, Sept. 24, 2008 (Watch video clip)

    2. “Mr. President, the only thing that stops a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke.” –Sarah Palin, on how President Obama should deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, CPAC speech, March 8, 2014

    3. “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.” –-Sarah Palin, in a message posted on Facebook about Obama’s health care plan, Aug. 7, 2009

    4. “All of ‘em, any of ‘em that have been in front of me over all these years.” –Sarah Palin, unable to name a single newspaper or magazine she reads, interview with Katie Couric, CBS News, Oct. 1, 2008 (Watch video clip)

    5. “Well, let’s see. There’s ― of course in the great history of America there have been rulings that there’s never going to be absolute consensus by every American, and there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So, you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but ―” –Sarah Palin, unable to name a Supreme Court decision she disagreed with other than Roe vs. Wade, interview with Katie Couric, CBS News, Oct. 1, 2008 (Watch video clip)

    6. “‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!'” –a Tweet sent by Sarah Palin in response to being ridiculed for inventing the word “refudiate,” proudly mistaking her illiteracy for literary genius, July 18, 2010

    7. “He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh, by ringing those bells, and um, makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.” –Sarah Palin, botching the history of Paul Revere’s midnight ride, June 3, 2011

    8. “But obviously, we’ve got to stand with our North Korean allies.” –Sarah Palin, after being asked how she would handle the current hostilities between the two Koreas, interview on Glenn Beck’s radio show, Nov. 24, 2010

    9. “We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada. And I think now, isn’t that ironic?” –Sarah Palin, admitting that her family used to get treatment in Canada’s single-payer health care system, despite having demonized such government-run programs as socialized medicine that will lead to death-panel-like rationing, March 6, 2010

    10. “Ohh, good, thank you, yes.” –Sarah Palin, after a notorious Canadian prank caller, posing as French President Nicolas Sarkozy, complimented her on the documentary about her life, Hustler’s “Nailin Paylin,” Nov. 1, 2008 (Read more about the prank call, watch the video and see the transcript)

    ~Compiled by Daniel Kurtzman
    **************************
    So, should I cut her a break on being an idiot because she’s a woman?


  121. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 3:31 pm swarthmoremom

    Paul C, Strong republican women that don’t finish their terms… ..


  122. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 3:34 pm swarthmoremom

    Annie, I hope they pick her as vp again. How about a Cruz Palin ticket?


  123. SWM, dream ticket….for Democrats that is,lol.


  124. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 3:38 pm Paul C. Schulte

    B-52s are more than 60 years old.


  125. @Annie; The topic of this discussion is the exchange of 5 top Al-Qaeda linked Taliban for a US Army Sgt., not about Sarah Palin.


  126. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 3:41 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Annie – do you really want to go through Palin’s statements? That is not a war on women?


  127. No Paul, it’s a war on dummies.


  128. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 3:43 pm Paul C. Schulte

    SWM – she was being bombarded by Democratic lawsuits as governor. It was in the best interest of the State of Alaska that she step down and allow the state to do its regular business, instead of defending her against nonsense suits filed by Democrats and their War on Women.


  129. Steve Kellam, I was replying to another commenter’s question directed to me. I have nothing further to say about Palin. ‘ Nuff said.


  130. swarthmoremom

    I’m not rock solid on the funding issue. It’s very complicated and I shouldn’t have discounted the funding.

    I picked this up over at The Dish…

    “This isn’t a familiar Congressional impasse where Democrats want to spend a certain amount of money on something while Republicans want to spend less money. Those sorts of fights are destructive, too. In a way they’ve defined the Obama presidency. But they’re also resolvable. Veterans health care is different—the story here is 100 percent ideological, and zero percent fiscal.

    It’s not that big government foes are after spending less money on the VA, per se, or want to isolate efficiencies within its existing structure and ply the savings into building out capacity within the department. They instead want to spend more money on veterans by transitioning them into an entirely different, private-sector oriented system of care. This includes House Speaker John Boehner.”
    _______________________________________________

    God save us if the Republicans move to privatize the VA. But Bernie may be stretching too far in his wish greatly expand caregivers aides.

    Also, I haven’t yet read the article (and I will), but is 60 years too long a shelf-life for a building?


  131. Oh yeah. It was all those lawsuits that drove the half-term governor out of office.


  132. This story reminds me of situations where hikers in CA did drugs on the trail, got disoriented, and lost. Millions of dollars were spent trying to find them and searchers risked their lives looking in ravines.

    Bergdhal appears to have deserted the Army because he decided he hated America. But his decision did not go well for him, as he found the Taliban to be less pleasant than he perhaps expected. 6 soldiers died looking for him. I imagine their families feel great bitterness at Berdhal’s selfish actions. The President went around the law (again) and traded a 5 member Al Qaeda Dream Team for him. I imagine the families of people these men will kill in the future will also not look with kindness on Bergdhal. As will the next hostages taken, as the trade has been heralded as a great victory for the Taliban and Al Qaeda. It will encourage more hostage taking.

    Our soldiers in the military trust each other with their lives. Bergdhal betrayed that trust and cost them 6 of their own through his own thoughtless selfishness. He has put others in harms way with the release of top Al Qaeda members and with encouraging kidnappers.

    I greatly sympathize with his family, although I have to wonder why his father would praise Allah when his son looks completely wrecked from his time there. Even though he caused this entire mess, I am glad that we have an American back, but I object to how it was done. The Taliban is not a sovereign nation. He was not a POW captured against his will. He walked off the base. It is inconceivable why the State Department left the Taliban off the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations in 2010. I guess we can throw that on the pile with Boko Haram.

    Meanwhile, we’ve left our honored Marine to rot in a Mexican jail for getting into the wrong lane by the border, where you have to cross before you can turn around. Literally. He had guns in his truck which were legal in the US, but illegal to take across the border. You’d think the State Department could work this out but it’s been over 2 months.


  133. Help! I’ve lost a post.


  134. swarthmoremom

    I picked this up from your link. I think it is key to the VA problem.

    “History suggests that VA’s requirements from these two operations will continue to grow long after the last combatant leaves Afghanistan — maybe as much as a decade, maybe even more,” VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki told the committee.

    Shinseki noted that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are using VA services “at unprecedented levels.” Out of 1.4 million who have returned from service in those wars, 67 percent have used some VA benefit or service — “a far higher percentage than those from previous wars,” Shinseki said.”
    ______________________________________________________

    I think Shinseki understates the VA’s requirements in the years to come. But I continue to stress the numbers problem, rather than money. Maybe it is just a romantic view, but today’s docs seem to work miracles under pretty unconventional conditions.


  135. Believer,

    That moniker says a lot.
    A believer is someone easily convinced. Someone gullible.
    A believer in a particular philosophy or system of conduct is someone who has done the research and discovered a Gem.
    A “Believer” is someone who makes a practice of believing.
    A less than discriminate person.

    Seems you have decided to believe the Republican spiel.

    “We are not Racist”
    “We want to help the poor”
    “We want to improve the Economy” (despite spending the twelve years before Obama destroying it and further impoverishing the poor and Middle Class)
    “We want to return America to her former glory”
    “All we need do is cleanse ourselves of the poor, the black, and the liberals to become the Gawd’ Fearin’ Country we oncest’ wus’.”
    “Mari-huchie is BAD. Gawd is Good. Foreplay is “Get in the truck Bitch”

    Really? Well I have choose to seek out those who believe in people; not parties. I prefer to align myself with those who are more concerned about helping the poor and middle class of America than about killing the poor of other nations. Those who feel compassion for a soldier whose conscience won’t allow him to slaughter with ruthless abandon as a mater of foreign policy. So in short; I find your politics and your attitude both repulsive and naïve; a strange combination of qualities; No?

    But hey. This is America; Right? Even Republicans have a right to have an opinion.

    Not so long ago, I would have said that was obvious. But the Republican Party has moved from Elitist to Racist. From Right-Wing to Right-Wingtip.

    Never before have I been so morally and politically offended by the cold-blooded nature of the Republican Agenda.
    Never before have I spent so much time listening to Republicans denying their Racism and their Elitism.
    So many Republicans.
    Why?
    Because never before has their been such cause for the allegations of Racism and Elitism leveled constantly upon the body of the soon dead Party.

    Much like one of the Right-Wing Extremists who wind up self destructing after a spree of killings and atrocities; the Republican party is in in a downward spiral of self destruction all it’s own after adopting ever more selfish and damaging policies and attempting to carry them out; at the expense of the American people whom they have long ago stopped representing.

    Will I be “Marginalized” by the “Cool” kids? Hmm. My opinions may seem rather far Left.

    In truth I am not a fan of either Party; but Republicans? Just too ready to buy the “Party Line”.

    Democrats; not able to decide on a cohesive agenda that works for all.

    But with the Dems there is room for descent. With the GOP? NO room at all. Devout adherence to the dictates of the 1%.


  136. Annie,

    Kurtzman link is perfecto.


  137. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 4:14 pm swarthmoremom

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304899704579391454059654682 An enormous amount of head injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan which will require long term treatment.


  138. This is an outrageous and lawless act, which is precisely what I’ve come to expect from this administration and the last one. But, partisanship being what it is, as reflected in the comments here, demonstrates that we are hopelessly divided by two armies of brainwashed apparatchiks who refuse to hold their own team accountable.


  139. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 4:22 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Annie – hit-and-run, eh?


  140. Yes, swarthmoremom. And the next damn president and congress who takes a war (or wars) ‘off the books’ should be unceremoniously kicked out.

    Unfortunately, brain-dead Americans will have forgotten all the lessons that should have been learned since 9/11.


  141. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 4:23 pm Paul C. Schulte

    A private system cannot possibly do worse then the government run VA


  142. No, I’m here, do you want something Paul?


  143. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 4:28 pm Nick Spinelli

    Some people would rather see veterans die than to admit that govt. healthcare is an abject failure and privatizing is the logical alternative.


  144. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/09/AR2007030902082.html

    Walter Reed scandal and privatization. So, haven’t we learned anything?


  145. Well, well, well. Look at who wants to privatize the VA. Imagine that.


  146. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 4:36 pm Nick Spinelli

    Well, well well, look who is just fine w/ veterans dying on govt. healthcare. Just as long as we don’t lose any govt. jobs, let them die!


  147. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 4:37 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Read the article on Walter Reed but it sounded like blame shifting to CYA


  148. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 4:38 pm Nick Spinelli

    I notice you all backed away from the topic of this thread. Defending this swap was a loser. At least you cam to realize that. Good pivot. But,.you’re losing on the VA also. Time for another pivot.


  149. http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0305/p03s02-usmi.html

    More on Walter Reed scandal and privatization.


  150. Karen, I retrieved your comment.

    Karen’s comment is above at 3:53


  151. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 4:39 pm Nick Spinelli

    Paul, They’re grasping. They’re as desperate as the WH. Flop sweating.


  152. LOL, oh if wishes were pennies…


  153. nick, the fact is that as CIC, Obama has sole right to control the release of POWs. End of story. As for your stupid assertion that more hostage taking will result, I guess you have forgotten the we are in a WAR in Afghanistan. I most certainly hope that the Taliban will take MORE hostages instead of KILLING our troops!

    On your last post about government failure in health care, again you are delusional since ALL of our more developed industrial countries have that, and are BETTER in health care in ALL metrics on it. If your Ayn Randian paradise is so great, then why are WE at the same level as a third world country like CUBA? Try reality for a change.


  154. I’ve stated my position on Bowe. I stand firm on that. I support his release. I posted a couple of comments stating my posiition. Is there a need to repeat it twenty times?

    It is pretty astounding that someone who spent many years testifying in court is able to assert that I am ‘just fine with veterans dying on government healthcare”.

    I’d call that unforgivable BS. I’d call it something else, but it would no doubt be deleted.

    But will give you the opportunity to defend your statement. Can you please repost where I said I was ‘just fine with veterans dying.


  155. Somebody around here makes false statements..


  156. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 5:16 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Actually I think there are several someones.


  157. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 5:23 pm Nick Spinelli

    Bowe Bergdahl is not a hero Facebook page is another social media site giving the facts. ALL members of Bergdahl’s troop were ordered to sign nondisclosure forms. They now are speaking the truth. Susan Rice said on ABC yesterday that “Bergdahl served w/ honor and distinction.” With these brave soldiers now speaking the truth the public relations boost Obama had hoped is turning into a nightmare. When Carney was asked as today’s presser if Rice’s statement about “honor and distinction” he stammered and evaded.

    During House hearings in 2010 regarding closing Gitmo administration officials testified about the detainees. They all stated the 5 terrorists we released were too dangerous to release. Bush released a Taliban in 2007 who returned to the battlefield and killed US soldiers.

    It’s apparent no one has read the Rolling Stone piece. When the administration floated this swap back in 2011 they consulted w/ the House. There was BIPARTISAN agreement that this swap was wrong on several levels. On Sunday, Rice gave as an excuse for not consulting w/ Congress as REQUIRED BY LAW that there were serious health issues. Word has leaked from Germany that Bergdahl is in good health. Susan “Baghdad Bob” Rice is a proven liar. She is shameless. This is abuse of one of the few women in this WH.


  158. Twenty minutes later and there is no reposting of any statement I made that I am just fine with veterans dying.

    A false statement has been made about me by a fellow commenter. I protest.


  159. What a joke Obama 1-5 no 1-1 only


  160. What is apparent, is someone has made a statement that I am just fine with veterans dying.

    I protest.


  161. Feynman, such statements are made to incite. I’m sure I was included in that bit of nonsense, I’m slowly learning some things are so outrageous it’s not even worth responding to.


  162. I think someone needs to be called on it. It makes a mockery of any kind of civility rules. And such a statement is terribly offensive to me personally. I, too, have relatives that served.


  163. Feynman, that is true.


  164. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 5:58 pm Unsinkable citizen

    We can only hope that they chipped the 5– then maybe the truth would be seen…


  165. @feynman Above you stated;
    “But I’d be very surprised if they feel he should have been left to rot in the hands of the Taliban. They may rail at the trade, but alone in the middle of the night, I don’t think they feel he should have been left behind.”

    Here’s what some from his platoon have stated per The Weekly Standard ‘We Swore to an Oath and We Upheld Ours. He Did Not.’

    Whether a deserter or collaborator, the mere mention of Bergdahl’s name generates the strongest of human emotions among those who served alongside him or participated in attempts to rescue him. ”Guys are dead because of him,” says one soldier involved in recovery operations. “Several KIA and others severely wounded.”

    “The amount of pain he’s caused,” says one of Bergdahl’s platoon mates, his voice trailing off. After a long pause, he resumes. “The time he was DUSTWUN was the most miserable time of my life. It was absolute hell. A bunch of us had a pact if we found him. We’d each get him in a room for five minutes and short of killing him we could do what we want.”

    “There were times—there are still times—when I turn on the TV and I wish they’d just beheaded him on TV and gotten it over with.”

    To those that claim the CIC has sole discretion to release POW’s……..from the same article;

    “This is very serious,” says Representative Buck McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. McKeon says the National Defense Authorization Act, which passed out of his committee on a vote of 59-3, required the administration to give Congress a 30-day advance notification on Guantanamo transfers. “This administration has flouted the law again and again and again. We will be having hearings about this.”

    You people are delusional.


  166. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 6:02 pm Paul C. Schulte

    We certainly have the face recognition to pick them up later for drone strikes when they get back in action.


  167. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 6:11 pm Nick Spinelli

    JT and now Jeffrey Toobin have both stated the President clearly broke the law by not giving Congress 30 day notice.

    As I’ve learned from being an investigator, you often learn more by what people don’t say. To date, only Republicans have slammed the President on this swap. However, I do not see or hear Dems coming to the defense of Obama. I expect Pelosi and a few others in safe districts will chime in. But, the silent is deafening so far.


  168. Annie wrote:

    “So is Nathan Bradley Bethea among the “pathological”?

    How is the comment @2:15 civil?”

    It isn’t, but he gets away with the same kind of BS day after day, thread after thread. It’s tiresome.


  169. Some people value their integrity. Others toss it away with false statements.


  170. Truly an inspiring collection of “Warm Moments With Sarah”

    On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 3:31 PM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > Annie commented: “1. “As Putin rears his head and comes into the air > space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s > Alaska. It’s just right over the border.” –Sarah Palin, explaining why > Alaska’s proximity to Russia gives her foreign policy experie” >


  171. No more than a war on you could be called a war on people named “Schulte”, Paul. It would be a war on Conservatives. let’s verify the criteria before making accusations of bigotry.

    On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 3:41 PM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > Paul C. Schulte commented: “Annie – do you really want to go through > Palin’s statements? That is not a war on women?” >


  172. Jim22: “Also, how do you know Palin is an idiot?”

    Paul: “the Democrats have a war on strong Republican women. They cannot brainwash them, so they must be marginalized.”

    Seriously guys?

    “Palin, who was thoroughly unversed in foreign affairs, is described as unresponsive, even immature in her interview and debate preparation sessions.

    “When her aides tried to quiz her, she would routinely shut down,” the authors write. “Chin on her chest, arms folded, eyes cast to the floor, speechless and motionless, lost in what those around her described as a kind of catatonic stupor.”

    http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/2012/0308/5-revelations-from-Game-Change/Sarah-Palin-s-utter-incompetence

    Palin didn’t even know who the Axis powers were in WWII for Christ’s sake!

    There’s stupid and then there’s scary stupid.


  173. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 6:29 pm Paul C. Schulte

    angryman – it is just odd that the left attacks strong women or women who bonked Bill Clinton.


  174. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 6:31 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Bob, Esq – no one knows less about foreign affairs but thinks they know more than Barack Obama.


  175. When pressed on how the White House circumvented the law, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel cited the signing statement.

    If that sounds legally questionable to you, you agree with Democrats in the George W. Bush era—including Senator Barack Obama. Democrats raged against Bush’s use of signing statements, which they insisted was unconstitutional. Answering a questionnaire from reporter Charlie Savage, then of the Boston Globe, in 2008, Obama wrote:

    Obama: “I will not use signing statements to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law. The problem with this administration is that it has attached signing statements to legislation in an effort to change the meaning of the legislation, to avoid enforcing certain provisions of the legislation that the President does not like, and to raise implausible or dubious constitutional objections to the legislation …. No one doubts that it is appropriate to use signing statements to protect a president’s constitutional prerogatives; unfortunately, the Bush Administration has gone much further than that.”

    Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue. — Francois de La Rochefoucauld


  176. Did Turley or Toobin mention the signing statement?

    From The Dish:

    “Note that the President wrote this in his signing statement: “Section 1035 does not . . . eliminate all of the unwarranted limitations on foreign transfers and, in certain circumstances, would violate constitutional separation of powers principles. The executive branch must have the flexibility, among other things, to act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers.”


  177. How is Sarah Palin or the VA associated with the 5 Gitmo detainees or Bergdahl?


  178. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 6:37 pm swarthmoremom

    Steve Kellam, She interjected herself into the discussion by making unsavory comments about the POIW.


  179. Of course a private system can do worse than a government run system. The Private system is dedicated to profits while the government system is dedicated to helping people. The problem isn’t less government you…”Nice Man”; the problem is poorly run government. If you conservatives would dedicate your vast “Capitalistic Business Skills” to helping the government run efficiently rather trying to tear it down every time it tries to do good; perhaps we would all see what the possibilities are for our nation.

    This entire argument comes down to this. It is clear that we need both capitalistic success and socially responsible assistance for those who can’ make it alone. Screw Personal Responsibility. Some folks can’t be personally responsible. Don’t you think they would like to be? Do you really believe that a large percentage of Americans choose to be unproductive? You do; I know. I’ve been told before. I just find it hard to accept that so large as faction of people can have such a callous attitude toward their neighbors. Oh wait. You don’t let people like these in your neighborhood; do you?

    Ok; My neighbors then.

    On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 4:23 PM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > Paul C. Schulte commented: “A private system cannot possibly do worse > then the government run VA” >


  180. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 6:39 pm Nick Spinelli

    Sully[The Dish] is not an attorney. Toobin and JT are. Sully should be listening to attorneys, not vice versa.


  181. What you have to realize about the Conservatives at this site is that when presented with the unpleasant truth; they cover their ears and refuse to hear the facts. Or something like that. Sounds familiar even if not verbatim huh Nick?

    On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 4:45 PM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > randyjet commented: “nick, the fact is that as CIC, Obama has sole > right to control the release of POWs. End of story. As for your stupid > assertion that more hostage taking will result, I guess you have forgotten > the we are in a WAR in Afghanistan. I most certainly hope that” >


  182. I can name five well known attorneys that I scorn. Do you have any idea how many scoundrels are attorneys?


  183. @ Bob, Esq.; So your justifying Obama’s and other Dems behavior because they “raged” against the same wrong behavior in 2008?


  184. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 6:48 pm Paul C. Schulte

    angryman – I do not feel that I have to be socially responsible for people who cannot be.


  185. It’s so interesting when people declare the VA is seeing patients at an unprecedented level. It was formed in the 1930s (and there were previous incarnations). So when you consider we had a World War, Vietnam, and the Korean War, it’s absurd to consider it is unprecedented. And there was a Veterans Bureau before that which cared for WWI patients. And before that, there were federal agencies that cared for Civil War patients. So don’t argue that war excuses utter incompetence and deceit. They deleted patient records to falsify turnaround times. That is deceit and criminal. Anyone involved should go to jail. I am not a lawyer, but wouldn’t it be manslaughter if someone died because of their deceit?

    The VA was designed to serve veterans in times of peace AND in times of war. An IG investigated them from 2005 – 2007 and discovered many problems. And that was only 2 years after the war started.

    If it fails our vets, don’t blame the wars. That is their mandate.

    Its budget has increased every year for at least the past decade.

    It is a management problem, not a money problem. In addition, there is a flaw in government healthcare. An investigation discovered that 8 salaried VA cardiologists had the combined case load of a single private sector cardiologist. There is zero inducement for salaried government physicians to see more patients, but for a private sector cardiologist, more patients grows his business. Good customer service grows his business. Patients have choices about where to go to.

    I want the VA restructured to simply be an insurance benefit the military can take anywhere. If they need a specialist, they’re not limited to those at the VA hospital. They should be able to take that insurance card and go anywhere.

    I don’t know about any of you, but if I was faced with a 9 month waiting list, in which I would probably die before I had my first appointment, I would really appreciate the ability to vote with my feet for a different provider and better care.


  186. SWM, it’s almost as if Palin is a sacred cow, mustn’t dis!


  187. I’m sorry. I really don’t mean to be sarcastic but I can’t think of a republican woman; who has made any kind of public statement who has failed open herself up to criticism and condemnation by any thinking American. really; just listen to the idiotic statements these ladies have made. Sarah Palin; Michelle Bachman; and others whose names I have admittedly not bothered to commit to memory. Who can take these ladies seriously? They have become caricatures of themselves.

    I don’t think you guys realize how ridiculous your policies and actions seem to anyone who still has a heart and a brain.

    I can’t go on. It depresses me and it won’t convince you.


  188. And has been pointed out, the US looks incompetent at negotiating with goat herders.

    We handed over 5 top Al Qaeda master minds in exchange for a deserter that handed himself over to the Taliban.

    Seriously? The mighty US couldn’t make a better deal? Not even a 1:1 exchange? I would have loved an exchange with a tracking device so we could swoop in and recapture them, along with some others.

    The Taliban has declared this a victory:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/taliban-declares-victory-prisoner-swap-article-1.1813274

    I am happy we got an American back. Regardless of his selfish actions, I don’t want any American to be hostage. But we did not go about it the right way, and there will be ramifications.

    KT McFarland, a Middle East analyst, has often said that Al Qaeda constantly tests their limits. Every inch they get, they go further next time.


  189. I find it amusing that some attempt to turn critisicm of a Republican woman into “The war on women”. Simply because the Republican is a woman, another woman should not dare criticize her? Seriously?


  190. Steve:

    They will punish Sarah Palin for the rest of her life for daring to run as a conservative. They will never stop going after her, or her family, or bringing her up as a non sequitor. Joe Biden can say that Obama is the first well spoken, neat black man but it’s OK. He’s a Liberal.


  191. I heard Afghanistan combat veterans on the radio today saying this guy should be investigated. A congresman, former combat soldier, is saying the same thing.


  192. Investigate away. Nothing at all wrong with suggesting an investigation is in order.( My opinion only)


  193. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 7:08 pm Paul C. Schulte

    angryman – sorry you are depressed. There are decent drugs to take care of depression.


  194. Criticizing someone’s politics is absolutely fine.

    Bill Mayher called her a bad word that starts with a “c.” Martin Bashir said someone should defecate in her mouth. (Here’s a news break: saying you are a “slave” to something or someone is in the vernacular. How many songs is it in, for example?) People have said her husband sired her grandson, that her Down’s syndrome child should have been aborted, and that Trig is actually her daughter’s child.

    It goes so far beyond the pale of disagreeing with someone’s point of view, it is laughable when people contort themselves trying to defend the indefensible.


  195. angryman:

    So I guess you are not a fan of Condoleeza Rice? She is well educated, articulate, and a consummate diplomat in the shark pool of DC.


  196. A private system may be devoted to profits. But if they do a bad job, customers vote with their feet. A government system has no competition, fines customers for not buying its product, and is inevitably a bloated, bureaucratic morass.

    Happens every single time.

    Government union employees are very difficult to fire. Hence, we are wasting time in Congress working on a bill that would fire the VA managers responsible for the deaths of patients. It actually DOES take an act of Congress to address what is essentially an HR staffing problem.

    Yep. That’s efficient.


  197. Paul: ” no one knows less about foreign affairs but thinks they know more than Barack Obama.”

    As Daffy Duck would say

    “Pronoun trouble.”

    Care to elaborate?


  198. At least Condoleezza Rice appears to be very intelligent. Kay Bailey Hutchinson seems quite intelligent also. There are actually several more. I am not in agreement with their politics, but I certainly couldn’t criticize their intelligence.


  199. Steve:

    You are absolutely right. The military is furious about Begdhal’s desertion, as well as the way the trade went down.

    War is very serious, very frightening for those involved. The boots on the ground depend on each other to make it through. When one of their own declares he hates America and walks off base right to the Taliban, and then they lose 6 of their own looking for him, it’s a terrible betrayal. There were men badly injured in the search that will never be the same. Because of his willful actions. If it was someone captured in action, it would be a different story. They’d move mountains to leave no man behind. But he defected. And his fellow soldiers had to pay the freight.

    I do not blame the parents. They love their son and wouldn’t care what he did. They’d just want him back. But he is going to have to live with a lot of guilt, if he has any conscience at all.

    Does he still hate the country who sacrificed 6 men’s lives, and wounded others, for him, even thought he’d dishonored the military?


  200. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 7:22 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Bob, Esq – Barack Obama knows less about foreign policy than Daffy Duck. Does that help. ;)


  201. Karen S:

    “angryman:

    So I guess you are not a fan of Condoleeza Rice? She is well educated, articulate, and a consummate diplomat in the shark pool of DC.”

    probably not, Dr. Rice is an uppity negroe who doesnt know her place on the democratic party plantation.

    How many times have we heard white and black democrats call black republicans Uncle Toms and house negroes, etc and so forth?


  202. I’ve been reading that many in the military are agreeing with the credo of “No soldier left behind”. My own daughter has expressed as much. What kind of message would we be sending to our military members if we would’ve left him there when there was an opportunity to get him back?


  203. Steve Kellam: “@ Bob, Esq.; So your justifying Obama’s and other Dems behavior because they “raged” against the same wrong behavior in 2008?”

    Was I too subtle?

    Read it again.

    “When pressed on how the White House circumvented the law, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel cited the signing statement.

    If that sounds legally questionable to you, you agree with Democrats in the George W. Bush era—including Senator Barack Obama. Democrats raged against Bush’s use of signing statements, which they insisted was unconstitutional. Answering a questionnaire from reporter Charlie Savage, then of the Boston Globe, in 2008, Obama wrote:

    Obama: “I will not use signing statements to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law. The problem with this administration is that it has attached signing statements to legislation in an effort to change the meaning of the legislation, to avoid enforcing certain provisions of the legislation that the President does not like, and to raise implausible or dubious constitutional objections to the legislation …. No one doubts that it is appropriate to use signing statements to protect a president’s constitutional prerogatives; unfortunately, the Bush Administration has gone much further than that.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/06/the-three-kinds-of-bowe-bergdahl-backlash/372002/

    Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue. — Francois de La Rochefoucauld

    Did you catch what the Democrats and Obama said about signing statements?

    You know, the idea that it’s wrong when G.W. Bush does it, but it’s okay when Obama does it?

    Did you catch that quote about Hypocrisy?

    Hint hint?


  204. “What you have to realize about the Conservatives at this site is that when presented with the unpleasant truth; they cover their ears and refuse to hear the facts.”

    What you have to realize about democrats is that they think they are speaking unpleasant truths, when in actuality they are giving their opinion based on their perceptions informed by their epistomology.


  205. Here’s an article form CNN about how the soldiers who served with him feel betrayed and angry.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/01/us/bergdahl-deserter-or-hero/


  206. Paul,

    “Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.”
    –P. J. O’Rourke


  207. Byron – so true. And when you keep presenting facts, some resort to ad hominem attacks or emotional arguments. True Believers (of any party) do not research all facts, including those that erode their position.

    But there are some in the Democratic Party, including Professor Turley, who do not see right and wrong through political glasses. Wrong is wrong, even when it benefits your party.


  208. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 7:45 pm Unsinkable citizen

    Wonder why the economy is in the toilet? Going out of turn (congressional I put), Obama just traded Batlic for Park Place.


  209. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 7:48 pm Nick Spinelli

    angryman, Randyjet is a very unreliable source. Not a bad guy, but plays fast and loose. I discuss w/ people who listen, READ, and are intellectually honest. I am secure enough to admit when I’m wrong, when I don’t know, etc. I am an independent. I have, just on this thread, pointed out a big mistake Bush made. You seem to be new. I never voted for Bush, I did vote for Obama, but unlike so many here, I did not make the same mistake twice. I don’t whine[lots of whining here]. I don’t flop. I don’t play games. I don’t dance. On EVERY thread, unless it’s a lighthearted one, I am making substantive comments. Now, lets get back to substance. What have you read on this topic?


  210. Byron,

    “when in actuality they are giving their opinion based on their perceptions informed by their epistomology.”

    Perceptions informed by their epistemology?!

    Are you intoxicated?


  211. Angryman,
    Randyjet is quite reliable.


  212. Bob. Esq
    President Obama is half the man Senator Obama ever hoped to be.

    Maybe President Obama can man-up to his Senator Obama?


  213. “when in actuality they are giving their opinion based on their perceptions informed by their epistomology.”

    Byron,

    I just got a note from my unity of apperception.

    It read: “That’s it; I’m outta here.”

    Compare Homer Simpson’s notes from his brain.


  214. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 7:57 pm Nick Spinelli

    There’s a liberal disc jockey in Madison that calls Condelezza Rice “Aunt Jemima.” However, we are being led astray by people who have lost the argument on this topic. These 5 terrorist WILL KILL AMERICANS now that they are released. There will still be 10k US soldiers in country when they are back in Afghanistan. These terrorists are free to move about and communicate in Qatar. I’m looking for Dems supporting the president on this. I’ve looked @ left websites but haven’t found any yet. Can any of my friends on the left find any. Pelosi should be giving us her wisdom, just haven’t read it yet.


  215. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 7:59 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Bob, Esq – regarding your 7:49 comment. I have so wanted to say that to a couple of people. You are the MAN!!!!


  216. “Host George Stephanopoulos asked Cruz whether he would make a similar deal if it was the only way to get Bergdahl back to the United States. Cruz refused to acknowledge the possibility. “It’s not the only way,” he said flatly. “We can go in and use military force, as needed, to rescue our fallen compatriots.”

    If Cruz is an example, more repub saber rattling and willingness to kill more of our troops.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/06/02/Ted-Cruz-on-Bergdahl-Deal-How-Many-Soldiers-Lost-Their-Lives


  217. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 8:18 pm Paul C. Schulte

    leejcaroll – I am trying to figure out if we really wanted this guy to begin with.


  218. Paul,

    While I don’t agree with Byron’s world view, he is rather sharp when it comes to the topic of individual rights.

    But that sentence he wrote was just pure gibberish.

    Sort of like the things you’d expect to hear from Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman or Todd Aken

    Scary stupid things that only intoxication could excuse.


  219. Bob, Esq:

    Is your first name Thingum?

    http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/eapoe/bl-eapoe-literary.htm

    “You have an immense head, too, and it must hold a great many brains. This I have long seen, and therefore had thoughts of making you a lawyer.”


  220. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 8:23 pm Nick Spinelli

    Harry Reid and Diane Feinstein put out short, almost identical statements that “We will leave no soldier behind.” VERY quiet on the left so far. As I said previously, Dems were against this deal back in 2011/12 when it was first floated out there.


  221. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 8:26 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Bob, Esq – Gibberish is usually the sort of thing I hear coming out of Reid, Pelosi and Cummings. If you like I can repost the video of the king of saying gibberish.


  222. Bob, Esq:

    how about: our experiences and knowledge inform our opinions.


  223. Well, Condoleezza Rice has at least managed to maintain some decorum while in DC. I am indeed not a fan of Ms. Rice as I am not a fan of any Black or Hispanic person who aligns themselves with racists. I am also not a fan of poor and middle class people who align themselves with the Corporate Masters; the 1%. I am not a fan of Conservatives because this nation wasn’t designed to be conservative. It was designed to be progressive. It was designed at the behest of people who didn’t really grasp just how progressive it was and it was never intended that the people seize the power but it turned out that it was a virtual hotbed and incubator for progressive ideas and once the people discovered that, it was only a matter of time before they discovered the various ways they have been screwed and their access to their rights has been inhibited. Conservatives; the leadership at least; already understood much of this from the get-go because Conservatives are a much misunderstood group. Most of us would say that Conservatives resist changes from the way things were when this country began *BUT; *the truth is that Conservatives are resistant and have been resistant to changes since long before this nation was even inaugurated. They were originally called Tories; Loyalists; those whose head was up the proverbial Royal Ass. Now we Call them Conservatives because that is their American guise. But they are the same people. They seek the failure of this great American experiment in Progressive Government. What they are seeking; though they will deny it until death is the reinstitution of the Monarchy. They began by moving to have George Washington named King when the Revolution proved successful despite all of their subversive machinations. Since then they have moved from political party to political party as their needs and the climate changed. Today we know them; as Republicans.

    Republicans desire to re-institute the Monarchy in the form of a Plutocracy of Corporate 1%ers.

    So a fan of Connie Rice? No. But I will admit that she is an example of a Republican woman; in the news; who has not become a caricature. Ok. Now about those politics.

    On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 7:11 PM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > Karen S commented: “angryman: So I guess you are not a fan of > Condoleeza Rice? She is well educated, articulate, and a consummate > diplomat in the shark pool of DC.” >


  224. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 8:52 pm Paul C. Schulte

    angryman – so, you are not a fan of Obama who is now worth $7 million?


  225. Paul,

    Reid Pelosi & Feinstein I would place in the obnoxious hypocrite category; especially Feinstein.

    They’re not scary stupid.


  226. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 8:56 pm Nick Spinelli

    angryman, Thank you for your detailed comment. I now have a good sense of your mindset. I hope you enjoy your time here engaging other folks. I will respectfully abstain.


  227. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 8:58 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Reid has been lying about everyone using his position on the Senate floor to protect himself. Pelosi cannot explain the abortion stand of her own religion and Feinstein is scary stupid. Isn’t she the one who couldn’t figure out if the CIA had tampered with the Senate Intelligence Comms. computers?


  228. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 8:58 pm Nick Spinelli

    Democrats are smart, inclusive, hard working and they care. Republicans are stupid, racists/homophobes/sexists/ageists.lazy and heartless.


  229. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 9:02 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Nick – is that sarcasm?


  230. Paul,

    Feinstein is the one who thinks the 4th Amendment only protects her.

    Jon Stewart Rips Dianne Feinstein For Hypocrisy On Government Spying

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/03/13/jon_stewart_rips_dianne_feinstein_for_hypocrisy_on_government_spying.html


  231. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 9:07 pm Nick Spinelli

    It is when I say it.


  232. Karen, I generally leave the labeling of people as “Uncle Toms” to those of their own race. Actually, Black people don’t seem to mind so much as long as you get it right but still, I would rather describe their behavior and not go there. I also almost never suggest that my Black friends stay on anyone’s “Plantation” but then *my *Black friends are intelligent and savvy enough to know who the real Plantation Owners are. Jesus; did you really choose that analogy all on your own Karen? How many owners of slave farms all over this country do you suppose are Democrats? How many of the Corporate “Plantation” owners are Democrats? Now how many of the Republican’s Policies are clearly designed to and clearly destined to impoverish the middle class; devastate the poor; and enslave both?

    On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 7:25 PM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > Byron commented: “Karen S: “angryman: So I guess you are not a fan of > Condoleeza Rice? She is well educated, articulate, and a consummate > diplomat in the shark pool of DC.” probably not, Dr. Rice is an uppity > negroe who doesnt know her place on the democratic par” >


  233. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 9:21 pm bill mcwilliams

    Most informed people have long known that the biggest terrorist country is
    one we are told to believe is keeping its citizens safe from terrorism.


  234. “You know, the idea that it’s wrong when G.W. Bush does it, but it’s okay when Obama does it?” *************************************************************************************************************

    Yeah. Just like if you lie to a Cop; it’s a crime but they can lie to you and that’s Ooooo-tay’

    Like if you owe the IRS they’ll track you down but; if they owe you; Mum’s the word.

    Like that?

    It is true that we are inclined to be forgiving of such things in those we believe are acting with good motive but not in those whose motives we find suspect.

    So yeah; it’s ok with me if Obama breaks a few laws to achieve his ends as long as his ends are Progressive. I admit it even though I intellectually believe it is wrong and I know I am applying a double standard because I believe his intention is to do the right thing for the people more than anyone else.

    On the other hand; I completely condemn George W. for his lies and subsequent illegal and immoral starting of the Iraq war because I firmly believe his motives were to enrich the wealthy; feed the Military Industrial Complex; and avenge the insult paid his father by Sadaam Hussein and for Sadaam’s igniting of the Kuwaiti oil wells.

    I’ll accept that Obama has probably lied to Republicans about the effect the Affordable Care Act would have on them, because of the Republicans consistent and perpetual resistance to a reasonable plan to give Americans that which every other civilized nation has; healthcare for all of its citizens. Because of the raging paranoia fostered by the Republicans about what they like to call “European Socialism” and their refusal to embrace any policy which does not enrich the wealthy; disenfranchise the poor and minorities; and work to drive our economy under faster than screaming freight Train.

    See how that double standard thing works? Don’t like it much? Nah; me either but you know what the Republicans believe. “The end justifies the means.”

    Maybe you’re right after all. Seems to be working rather well. Suck it up. Turn about really is fair play.

    Want to talk about “Trickle Down Economics”? LIE

    Want to talk about “Weapons Of Mass destruction In Iraq”? LIE

    9/11?????? Possible lie if we really wanted to know but I don’t think we do. If it is a lie; it’s a BIG LIE and the cover is likely impeccable so…..

    I believe you get the point.

    We lied to the Nazis too when we needed to end their tyranny

    On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 7:30 PM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > Bob, Esq. commented: “Steve Kellam: “@ Bob, Esq.; So your justifying > Obama’s and other Dems behavior because they “raged” against the same wrong > behavior in 2008?” Was I too subtle? Read it again. “When pressed on how > the White House circumvented the law, Defen” > Respond to this comment by replying above this line > New comment on *JONATHAN TURLEY * > > > > *Bob, Esq.* commented > > on President Obama Trades Al Qaeda-Linked Taliban Leaders For Release of > American Soldier > . > > > in response to *jonathanturley*: > > The release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only American soldier held > captive in Afghanistan, has been a source of celebration but also concern > in Washington. While the country has long insisted that it would not > negotiate with terrorists, it seems like it has been doing precisely that > for years in working out a trade […] > > Steve Kellam: “@ Bob, Esq.; So your justifying Obama’s and other Dems > behavior because they “raged” against the same wrong behavior in 2008?” > > Was I too subtle? > > Read it again. > > “When pressed on how the White House circumvented the law, Defense > Secretary Chuck Hagel *cited the signing statement.* > > If that sounds legally questionable to you, you agree with Democrats in > the George W. Bush era—including Senator Barack Obama.* Democrats raged > against Bush’s use of signing statements, which they insisted was > unconstitutional. *Answering a questionnaire from reporter Charlie > Savage, then of the Bost


  235. Angrymanspeaks has spoken! I like what you have to say.


  236. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 10:10 pm Nick Spinelli

    LOL X 3!


  237. I; may at times seem more extreme than I really am because I sometimes support ideas that are wonderful in their conception but difficult to institute at best. Bit of a Don Quixote I’m afraid. Proud to play that role though; I must admit.

    Someone must. keeps things in perspective I hope. (or something)

    Not that I’m not completely serious. I believe what I say. I just don’t expect to change the world by believing it.

    I’ll take everyone as I see them when they come if that’s Ok.

    I see a few names I know from my former visits but a lot seem to be new within the past year or so. So I’m kind of old and kind of new. I’ll accept new.

    Peace Nick. I have some pretty harsh opinions but I am not so harsh a person. I recognize that not every Republican is a raging sociopath. Too many are. Not every Cop is out to offend and oppress people. All will though when ordered to. Not every Black person is an honorable person with good intentions. Many are though; most if you actually do the math. Not every white man is a Racist; I’m not. Too many are. One is too many. Not every white man is an honorable person with good intentions. Many are though; most if you actually do the math. The world is a F—-d up place with much that is wrong and yes; I believe there is actual Evil at work here. Me? I’m just a Simple Country Philosopher. What do I know? Just what I believe.

    As to what I have read; I have read several accounts and I have heard what his fellow soldiers say and in the end I just don’y know what moved him or what his mental status was. I don’t have a had opinion about this guy. Time will no doubt tell but I like to keep an open mind and I am hesitant to speak disparagingly of him without more understanding. Fair enough?

    On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 7:48 PM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > Nick Spinelli commented: “angryman, Randyjet is a very unreliable > source. Not a bad guy, but plays fast and loose. I discuss w/ people who > listen, READ, and are intellectually honest. I am secure enough to admit > when I’m wrong, when I don’t know, etc. I am an independent. I have,” >


  238. Thanks, I’ll check him out. Has anyone mentioned that you bear a rather striking resemblance to Mary Steenburgen? I believe you cpould be sisters……or are you?

    Well there you go then.

    Peace

    On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 7:52 PM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > Annie commented: “Angryman, Randyjet is quite reliable.” >


  239. Byron,

    Patty C. used to call me that. For the longest time I had no idea what she was talking about.


  240. I’ll never forget how my liberal friends delighted in hearing all the things I had to say about the Bush administration being bereft of principle. The savagery of warrantless wiretapping as if the 4th Amendment didn’t even exist; suspending habeas corpus without insurrection or rebellion; approving of the use of torture and extraordinary rendition.

    And then came Obama; who got elected saying how he opposed of all of the above; how he wouldn’t dare do what Bush did. But once in office, Obama not only picked up where Bush left off, defending every policy listed above, but he expanded on them. What’s more, he tacked on his own bit of savagery in the form of claiming executive authority to assassinate American citizens.

    And what do my liberal friends do?

    They try to convince me that the principles that applied to Bush don’t apply to Obama.

    Takes a high degree of scienter to do that.

    True shamelessness.


  241. Angrymanspeaks: “So yeah; it’s ok with me if Obama breaks a few laws to achieve his ends as long as his ends are Progressive. I admit it even though I intellectually believe it is wrong and I know I am applying a double standard because”

    So yeah, you don’t mind living life bereft of moral principles.


  242. Angrymanspeaks: “See how that double standard thing works? Don’t like it much? Nah; me either but you know what the Republicans believe. “The end justifies the means.”

    Maybe you’re right after all. Seems to be working rather well. Suck it up. Turn about really is fair play. ”

    What am I right about? That Obama is a deceitful hypocrite? That you’re a bigger hypocrite for knowing he’s wrong and defending him anyway?

    Or that like Richard Clarke and Vincent Bugliosi, I think the Bush administration should be prosecuted for war crimes?

    Ya see, perhaps if you were a man of principle, you wouldn’t be so confused right now.


  243. angryman:

    If you are against people aligning themselves with racists, how do you feel about Obama aligning himself with Joe Biden after he said this:

    “”I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” Biden said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”‘

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/01/31/biden.obama/


  244. Annie: “Angrymanspeaks has spoken! I like what you have to say.”

    Of course you do.


  245. Oh, and you might be surprised to know that black conservatives actually are not fine with being called Uncle Toms and Step ‘n Fetchits.


  246. angryman – the Obama’s are in the 1%, and were wealthy even before he was elected. Are you against them, as well?


  247. Bob, of course you don’t.


  248. “Jesus; did you really choose that analogy all on your own Karen?” To what are you referring?


  249. I am a fan of Obama because he was the only choice in both 08 and 12. I like him. I think his motives are better than most. I think he has done some real good which is more than I can say about any other President since LBJ.

    On the other hand; he is still too far Right for my taste. It shows in certain areas.

    I am happy that we found a Black guy who qualifies and has done so well. He pissed of the Right even if he had done nothing else. He also highlighted the harshly Racist attitudes and agenda of the Right-Wing who simply couldn’t resist yeowling and spitting their venom at every opportunity or whenever they weren’t too busy showing their disrespect by ignoring him.

    So all in all; yeah. I am a fan but as I say; with reservations. 7 million huh? It may be that the money is what keeps him from making the big jump to Progressivism. I don’t know but wealth alone is damning. t is what you do with it and how clutching you are about it.


  250. Angrymanspeaks: “So yeah; it’s ok with me if Obama breaks a few laws to achieve his ends as long as his ends are Progressive.”

    That’s a lot of scienter. Almost pure evil.


  251. So you support the 1% if they are Liberal, but not if they are non-Liberal?

    This may come as a surprise, but people disagree with his policies, not the melanin of his skin.

    I don’t care if he has pink polka dots. My insurance that I loved got cancelled, my ACA compliant premiums doubled, my deductible increased 1100% to $6,000 per person, and my insurance policy is the same as an Exchange policy, which means that 75% of my doctors don’t accept it. When I pay out of pocket to see my doctors, it does not count towards my max caps. When I pay out of my pocket for off-formulary prescriptions, it does not count towards my max caps. And Obama lied to me that I would be able to keep my insurance and my doctor. It is a breach of trust for Obama to lie to the American people, and take healthcare away from the middle class. Because there is no way that the middle class will survive for long with premiums equal to a house payment (like mine).

    Just wait until the employer mandate hits, and then try to say with a straight face that Democrats care about people and Republicans don’t.

    Why do you think the employer mandate was delayed until after the election, if it was such a wonderful thing?


  252. I hardly think 7 million in assets qualifies for the 1%. Not even the top ten percent I shouldn’t think.

    On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 10:42 PM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > Karen S commented: “angryman – the Obama’s are in the 1%, and were > wealthy even before he was elected. Are you against them, as well?” >


  253. Bob: “They try to convince me that the principles that applied to Bush don’t apply to Obama.” True. They see right and wrong through political glasses. If it benefits their party, they become Machiavelli.


  254. angryman:

    http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/top-1-percent-earn.aspx

    “To make the top 1 percent, a household must have AGI of $343,927 or more.”

    When wealth becomes more concentrated among fewer people, it denotes a shrinking of the middle class and a swelling of the lower class.

    Obamacare makes health insurance unaffordable for the middle class. Most cannot afford premiums that amount to a mortgage. It will contribute to that concentration of wealth.


  255. Scienter: a mental state in which one has knowledge that one’s action, statement, etc., is wrong, deceptive, or illegal: often used as a standard of guilt:

    The court found that the company had the requisite scienter for securities fraud.

    “So yeah; it’s ok with me if Obama breaks a few laws to achieve his ends as long as his ends are Progressive.”

    Etc.


  256. So how many laws did our Founders break? How about Snowden, how many laws did he break?


  257. Karen,

    I do recall the republicans getting all Machiavellian during those fraudulent drum beats for war.

    But when those liberals who could cite chapter and verse about all the laws G.W. Bush and co. broke turn around and claim their guy is as infallible as the Pope…

    That’s a special kind of evil.


  258. Annie: “So how many laws did our Founders break? How about Snowden, how many laws did he break?”

    Yes Annie, that’s our new categorical imperative!

    Breaking the law is okay, so long as you can point to someone else breaking the law.

    My God! Annie! You’ve solved the prison over crowding problem!

    Let em all go!

    You’re a genius.


  259. Bob,
    You like to point out hypocrisy? So do I.


  260. You don’t actually expect me to believe that moral principles have anything to do with prosecuting anyone for anything. They shouldn’t at least. Morality is for Church not law. Law is based on something entirely different. A code of behavior; sometimes arbitrary and for the benefit of a few special interests and sometimes for the common good.

    You want to prosecute Bush and Obama. I; on the other hand; don’t wish to prosecute either of them. I do think that Bushes responsibility for the deaths of thousands of young Americans for no good reason but for his own hubris vastly overwhelms your whining about Obama failing to ask Congress for this or inform Congress of that. The US Congress; controlled by Republicans has proven itself unworthy of being consulted by any Democratic President intent on fomenting positive change.

    You can denigrate me all day for my hypocrisy but I am having some trouble feeling the guilt. I am not at all confused. I accept the dual nature of political loyalty and I accept the complete inability of man to avoid such conflicts or to behave in a perfectly consistent manner in every case. Hypocrite? Hmm. I think no more than most. The desire to prosecute everything is among other things a waste of time when the governing of a nation is at stake and the shades of gray so many.

    I do realize that I am commenting on a legal blog and legal actions and judgments are likely to be; shall we say; confined to legal criteria but really; to suggest that I am lacking honor because I can accept the inevitable behavior of politicians is ludicrous.

    Better prosecute them all by those standards. Not a truly bad notion but simply not practical. Same game.

    If you are waiting for politicians of any party to play by the rules; you will be waiting until Jesus leads a party to victory. LOL

    On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 10:33 PM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > Bob, Esq. commented: “Angrymanspeaks: “So yeah; it’s ok with me if > Obama breaks a few laws to achieve his ends as long as his ends are > Progressive. I admit it even though I intellectually believe it is wrong > and I know I am applying a double standard because” So yeah, you” >


  261. Wasn’t it noble and brave of Snowden to break laws in order to expose the overreach of the NSA?


  262. Annie: “You like to point out hypocrisy? So do I.”

    Do you like to point out the hypocrisy of Obama and Democrats?

    Or just Republicans?


  263. OK! I’m your new groupie Angryman. ;)


  264. Angrymanspeaks: “You can denigrate me all day for my hypocrisy but I am having some trouble feeling the guilt.”

    Well, you know what they say…

    “Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein


  265. Bob,
    I’ve pointed out Obama’s weakness when he capitulated to the Republicans. I’ve criticized him for not pushing a Public Option. I’ve criticized him when he didn’t get out of Afghanistan soon enough. I’ve criticized him when he didn’t close GTMO. I’ve criticized him for his role in alowing the NSA to spy on Americans.


  266. Forty years ago I represented a guy, who will remain unnamed, who was just out of Leavenworth and then admitted to a state mental institution. He was delusional and thought he was in Nam. According to his Leavenworth records he was delusional and not treated by any psychiatrist for his two year hitch. He had been convicted for desertion on the last day of his one year Tour in Vietnam. He feared that the Gooks were blowing up the planes that were to take him and his unit home. He had been a tunnel rat and had decorations. He lived in the jungle for a eight month spell and wandered into a PX. He thought he was still in his unit. The arrested him, tried him, never gave him a psych exam and convicted him. Now that he was on the streets he did not know his family and was psycho. He was not eligible for VA hospital in those days because of his conviction for desertion and expulsion with dishonorable discharge. We tried filing suit to set aside the conviction but we were out of time. President Jimmy Carter gave him a full Pardon after extensive effort on my part and my gathering Congressmen including William Clay on his behalf.

    As to this guy who supposedly “deserted” in Afghanistan. I have little faith in the stories coming out of the Pentagon about him being a deserter. If I lived in Idaho I would be his lawyer if he wanted one.


  267. Annie,

    Criticizing Obama for doing things you don’t like is not the same as despising, much less acknowledging, the man’s hypocrisy.


  268. Why should I despise him? I don’t even despise you.


  269. Annie,

    I said “despising the man’s hypocrisy.”

    If you still love him for the hypocrite that he is; that’s another matter entirely.


  270. Bob, I love my children, grandchildren and friends. I don’t love political figures.


  271. I am pretty sure if you get Biden’s whole opinion he will be happy to explain that finding a well educated; well spoken man of any color to take on a run for president is difficult but since the Republican party has assured that African American students get substandard educational opportunities and life situation stresses that make success difficult at best; finding an African American I even more difficult. After all they begin with the distinct disadvantage of being only what; 12% of the population?

    The Democratic Party has been actively seeking a good candidate who is also Black. Only 12 of every hundred qualify at all. What he said about Obama was correct. The fact that Biden spoke well of Obama doesn’t mean that h was disparaging of all other black people. What he said was positive When he said the first; I seriously doubt he meant the first articulate black man ever born. He meant the first one who presented himself for service as the Democratic Candidate for president.

    In order to judge the cleanliness of the other previous possible candidates; I would have to have had close contact with them. Black or white; I don’t have the ability to make that judgment


  272. I’m sorry I thought I was clear. the Plantation analogy. Read my comment.

    On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 10:45 PM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > Karen S commented: “”Jesus; did you really choose that analogy all on > your own Karen?” To what are you referring?” >


  273. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 11:42 pm Personanongrata

    Why are we stopping with Bowe Bergdahl?

    Lets bring everyone home.

    How many more lives destroyed for a lie?


  274. Paul C. Schulte,
    Sorry, had to duck out… work.

    If we impeached Obama… then we get (fill in blank with best FEAR possible)

    Say Paul,
    What do we get when we don’t hold High Officials accountable for their crimes? Another Bush…

    Seriously dude… Why hold anyone accountable for their actions?
    Because, you know, The Rule of Law. Without it, you get TYRANNY!

    Now, I’m punting FOR The Rule of Law… Why punt for TYRANNY?


  275. angrymanspeaks,
    There is a simpler word to describe the principle of:
    It’s not when my man does it…

    It begins with the letter H and ends with a y.
    Real solid principle, yes?


  276. Karen S,
    Sorry about the health care costs and cancellation…
    … That UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE FOR ALL needed your support.

    Sorry you got screwed.


  277. angryman is wonderful. personanongrata is pretty great, too. Refreshing change to the usual bile shred by a couple around here.


  278. Karen’s numbers seem very wacky. Sorta like all those Koch ads we were treated to.


  279. Karen S
    It shall be interesting to learn how the Taliban treated Bergdahl.
    Did they strip him naked and force him to stand in restraints for 22 hrs?
    Did they strip him naked and force him to sleep on cement slab?
    Did they give him his daily water treatments restrained to a board?
    Did they force feed him against his will?
    Did they pee on his Holy Bible and step on it or drop it in the latrine?
    Did they cage him in an isolation box in the sun for days?

    Wait till the media gets hold of the story…
    … Oh, who am I kidding?

    I bet Oliver Stone is already in post production!


  280. Personanongrata
    It appears that the fastest way to “get home” is to join the Taliban and have Obama “rescue” you home…


  281. Its so funny Glen Beck says, soldier Andrew Tahmooressi is telling the truth while at the same time telling us that soldier Bowe Bergdahl is a liar. You should see his interview with Andrew Tahmooressi, trying to get him to slam the Whitehouse, sorry gecky, no go. Gecky has always been full of lies, remember his FEMA death camps rants, what a joke and all his chicken littles that try to sell that the sky is falling but we know better, keep lying Gecky, that all you do now!


  282. I would suggest the Obamacare mandate on employers will probably be that between five and ten years from full implementation over half of private sector employers will simply cut the medical care benefit for employees and pay the tax penalty. The tax penalty will represent a fixed and predictable amount but the health care cost will increase, likely each year as it usually does presently, particularly as the spread between the cost increases and the tax penalty become at parity.

    If that happens in large measure employees would have an effective reduction in wages because they would be then required to purchase insurance themselves whereas before the employer might have paid that for them. But if they don’t buy the insurance they could themselves face tax consequences if their AGI is above a certain level.

    A consequence of this might be that people go to the exchanges, yet this will likely be those who have families, present health care issues, or those over thirty five or so. One particularily short-sighted and in my view a product of wishful thinking on the part of the Obamacare authors is that young people are not showing a high propensity to enroll in the healthcare exchanges this might create an imbalance in insurance coverage because otherwise the young essentiall pay for the sick and the old. But if the positive payers are minimal and the costly insureds are more numerous the insurers, be it government or private, are going to raise premiums generally to cover the shortfall. Previously if in group employer plans the young and healthy are covered the same as the others but the employees otherwise might not often purchase it on their own. But if the employers are not offering this you will have more de facto elective health insurance participation and this is over-burdensome on insurers.

    Another factor is our society is not used to the issue of say becoming an independent adult and automatically enrolling in heath care presently. It is often not considered until a large medical expense hits them. But if they receive this benefit through employers they then become accustomed to having insurance and it then becomes important to them.

    I would agree that extending the heath coverage under their parents’ plan could be a cushion, but if the parents are not able or willing to pay the premiums that could be problematic for those just getting out on their own.

    As far as small business is concerned one only has to own one to know how expensive health insurance can be. One business that I owned the heath insurance was about $460.00 per employee. I could deal with that but it was only for the employee and not dependants or a spouse. If I elected this coverage the cost would have been over $1,400. That would have been 60% of the take home pay of one of my assistant managers and 90% of my part time employees. If my business was mandated to provide full medical insurance for spouses and dependents, as an example, I would have had to lay off all of my part time employees to cover the labor costs because competition with others in the market made the selling price of goods almost inelastic and therefore I could not pass these costs onto customers via price increases.

    But then one has to ask if the investment of running a small business is worth the headache, the risk and the costs compared to other investments. If a small business owner could only expect a five percent return on their investment, with no potential capital appreacion, just income and he/she could obtain a ten percent return in the stock/bond market with the same risk and less headache that business is possibly going to close because it is no longer worth it to the business owner. Then employees become subject to layoff, the city recieves less tax revenue and they landlord of the commercial property has a loss of rent income. The effects can cascade downward.

    This is often the reality with owning a small business. It is not a social service, it is an investment for the owners. That is just the way it is.


  283. […] Turley notes that the President broke federal law — and practice (of not negotiating with terrorists) […]


  284. Steve, The law says transfer, NOT release. It was passed to keep Guantanamo open, and then the Obama haters could say that Obama did not keep his promise to close it. To give a hypothetical example, if Congress passed a law prohibiting funds for feeding the POWs in Guantanamo, Prof Turley and the legal nitpickers would denounce Obama for transferring funds to feed them. They would prefer that they starve to death to comply with that law than to use common sense and humanity. The President has the power to release POWs as CIC and nothing Congress can do can change that. Congress cannot pass a law removing Obama as CIC, but I guess that all of the Obama haters think that they can now. I am reminded of what Congress did when T Roosevelt was in charge. They passed a law prohibiting him from sending the Great White Fleet on the world tour. He simply said he had enough funds to send them to Japan, and it would be up to Congress to bring them back. Think he was going against the law or Constitution? I don’t.

    Once again, I have to think that those who say the released POWs are a threat cannot think at all. First off, taking US troops “hostage” in a war zone is quite preferable to killing them. Unless of course, those who are against taking US troops prisoner are in favor of them being killed instead. How about that Nick? Think our troops being killed is preferable to taking them prisoner? Then as to how much a threat they are, these people forget that if they do return to the battlefield, it means we can KILL them legally, instead of keeping them and feeding them and in good repair. One would think that some folks think that they will be in NYC stalking US citizens and looking for hostages, instead of being in a war zone where US forces are LEGAL targets, and are ARMED. In short, all I have seen so far are delusional anti-Obamabots who toss common sense and decency overboard to attack him.


  285. We invade a country and then claim those defending the country are “terrorists”. It’s just another word to demonize the opposition. Those who are captured are then held and tortured without any legal protections. They are “terrorists” but there is no trial where evidence is presented that back up the claims (no charges were ever filed). After reading lots of stuff about this, I still believe it was an exchange of POWs and Obama was right making it happen. I’m sure that it’s only this Congress, the one that insists that Obama will not succeed in any way, that insisted on approval rights for such exchanges.

    No, I’m not an Obama apologist. I didn’t vote for him and I have been very critical of many actions of his administration.


  286. Bob, Esq:

    I used that good naturedly and meant no insult.


  287. Darren,

    Well put.


  288. Nick Spinelli – “angryman, Thank you for your detailed comment. I now have a good sense of your mindset. I hope you enjoy your time here engaging other folks. I will respectfully abstain.”

    I too will not reply or read him. Anyone who calls me a racist without knowing me, shows who the real racist is.


  289. Hey Darren,

    I agree that the unwillingness of young and/or healthy people to buy health insurance is a problem for Obamacare. It is problem that was certainly foreseen. Young people and healthy people don’t need Social Security either. They bitch about how much it costs (I did when I was young) but when the time come to retire either for age or health reasons; suddenly we’re standing at the bench saying “Hey, I paid into this all my life and I only want what I paid for”. The Social Security Administration is not so quick to accede. Two years of jumping through hoops etc. but I digress.

    My point is that we understand that young people don’t want to pay Soc. Sec. We also understand; because we are aged adults with life experience (some of us with little money) that they need to pay Soc. Sec. while they can so as to benefit from it when they do need it.

    Now as aged adults isn’t it just as clear to us that these kids will eventually be where we are today and that they will almost assuredly need heath care as we do.

    Health Care like retirement is something we don’t want to think about when we are young but there is no question as to the need for it at some point. How can we; in good conscience continue to treat Health Care as a commodity to be traded and sold and packaged according to what you are able to pay and left up to the whims of a bunch of kids essentially?

    Bronze Plan; Silver Plan; Gold Plan; Platinum Plan? Diamond Plan? Anti-Matter Plan?

    It’s a crock. Everyone needs and everyone deserves because we are able to provide it; the very best healthcare available anywhere. Everyone gets the Anti-Matter Plan. The best; cutting edge health care.

    That is one of the big problems with Obamacare or any system where everyone is not included and enrollment is essentially voluntary.

    That an many other Capitalist inspired difficulties would be solved by; wait for it; a Universal Healthcare system similar to what EVERY other civilized nation now has.

    I often hear Republicans with near terror in their voices express their fear of and distaste for “European Socialized Medicine” because Government run healthcare is wasteful; slow; and doesn’t generate enormous profits for our corporate interests and I want so badly to ask:

    “What happened to that American know-how? Where is that Patriotism you go on about so much? If you were truly a Patriot; you would get off your fat Republican ass and do something to help your country develop a government run healthcare system for everyone; read that 100% of the population elected officials included; that will work and run efficiently and give excellent service.

    You claim to be business geniuses; path-finding pioneers of the corporate world; those who have pulled themselves up from the depths of poverty by the shear will of your personality and intellect and your willingness to persevere despite mind numbing difficulties.

    Well; Um; I think you get my point.

    Yes taxes would go up and yes once again we would be asking the wealthy to pay more; because they can and because taxing them a bit more won’t take away their ability to exercise their freedom and navigate the financial playground as always before BUT their sacrifice of higher taxes will provide; create freedom for millions upon millions of Americans. Freedom from sickness, suffering, and early death.

    Seems fair to me and although I have little money; I would still support this plan if I did. Of course I won’t ever have that much money because I am not a Sociopathic Manipulat… aaaah; Never mind.

    On Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 1:42 AM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > Darren Smith commented: “I would suggest the Obamacare mandate on > employers will probably between five and ten years from full implementation > will be that over half of private sector employers will simply cut the > medical care benefit for employees and pay the tax penalty. The ta” >


  290. bettykath,

    I did vote for him but I have been critical of many of this administrations actions and failures to act. But I don’t want to impeach him. Sorry. They all break the law in some way. They all take questionable actions. Impeach Obama? Impeach the only President since LBJ to do anything tangible for the people of this country? All the people; not the Republican definition of “the people” Listen; I have said before; I am not a Loyal anything and I don’t kiss my statue of Barack Obama everyday but when a man does good; he does good. At least with Obama we get to take the bad with the good. With the Republicans; all we get is the bad with the bad. By all that’s gaseous and unapproachable in the universe; if we were going to impeach a president; why Obama? Why not Bush? Did he not break laws? I didn’t want to impeach Bush either. Not my style. I also don’t call the Cops or file lawsuits against my neighbors. I will however happily file a lawsuit against any corporate entity that causes harm in anyway to myself or my family because a corporation is *NOT* a person but *IS *a faceless machine designed to increase profits and feed the stockholders regardless of who or what must be crushed under foot to achieve their goal. I can think of few things that would bring me a much pure joy as winning an enormous lawsuit against one of these “Dragons” of our world. It’s almost orgasmic just thinking of it even though I am aware that their coffers are so deep as to be essentially limitless and my great victory is just a billion dollar write off to them. Wow. That felt good.

    You know the scariest thing about someone saying “I didn’t vote for Obama”? It’s that lingering possibility that you still voted …..which would mean that you must have voted for; no don’t tell me. I’d rather go forward feeling like I can respect you.

    I still wake up at night with the feeling of dark unease after dreaming that the 2012 election went the other way by some insidious quirk of the Universe.

    You are correct about our military and propaganda practices. We do what we want and go where we want. We invent or create excuses for r actions and we kill all who can deny our charges.

    Both parties are guilty but more guilty is the “Conservative establishment” who actually run our various bureaucracies including the Military; which is after all; just a bureaucracy with spit and polish.

    On Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 8:21 AM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > bettykath commented: “We invade a country and then claim those > defending the country are “terrorists”. It’s just another word to demonize > the opposition. Those who are captured are then held and tortured without > any legal protections. They are “terrorists” but there is no tri” >


  291. Byron,

    No offense taken. I was just taken aback since Patty C. was a poster from five years ago.


  292. I was unable to read all the comment so I apologize of this was already posted:
    Jun. 3, 2014 8:35 AM ET

    Obama: Congress consulted on prisoner exchange

    By JULIE PACE, AP White House Correspondent THE ASSOCIATED PRESS STATEMENT OF NEWS VALUES AND PRINCIPLES
    AIM
    Share

    WARSAW, Poland (AP) — President Barack Obama on Tuesday defended his decision to release five Afghan detainees from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for an American soldier’s freedom, saying his administration had consulted with Congress about that possibility “for some time.”

    Obama also brushed aside questions about the circumstances surrounding Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s capture by insurgents in 2009. The United States, he said, has a “sacred” obligation to not leave men and women in uniform behind.

    “Regardless of the circumstances, whatever those circumstances may turn out to be, we still get an American soldier back if he’s held in captivity,” Obama said during a news conference in Poland as he opened a three-country European visit. “We don’t condition that.”

    There have long been questions about how Bergdahl disappeared from his unit nearly five years ago. The Pentagon concluded in 2010 that Bergdahl walked away, and, after an initial flurry of searching, the military curbed any high-risk rescue plans.

    Despite the Pentagon’s conclusions, Obama said the government was not currently seeking to punish Bergdahl as a deserter.

    “Our main priority is making sure the transition that he’s undergoing after five years in captivity is successful,” he said.

    Republicans in Congress criticized the agreement and complained about not having been consulted, citing a law that requires Congress to be given 30 days’ notice before a prisoner is released from Guantanamo. Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee said the Pentagon notified the panel by phone on Saturday that the exchange was occurring in the next five hours.

    Obama suggested Tuesday that lawmakers were aware of the prospect that the U.S. could agree to a prisoner swap with the Taliban. And he defended his administration’s handling of the formal notifications, saying that when the opportunity to free Bergdahl presented itself, “We seized that opportunity.”

    Officials said delaying Bergdahl’s transfer in order to comply with the congressional notification rules would have interfered with two of the president’s constitutional authorities: protecting the lives of Americans abroad and protecting U.S. soldiers……

    “Because such interference would significantly alter the balance between Congress and the president, and could even raise constitutional concerns, we believe it is fair to conclude that Congress did not intend that the administration would be barred from taking the action it did in these circumstances,” White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement released shortly after Obama’s news conference.

    http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/3d281c11a96b4ad082fe88aa0db04305/Article_2014-06-03-Captured%20Soldier-Obama/id-82bf4eedc7394728b8918bd16d6002df


  293. Well, you don’t seem so unreliable to me Randyjet. And what a Handy Dandy handle Randyjet. LOL.

    You make some excellent points. I agree with much of Professor Turley’s work but not with his insistence on prosecuting Obama.

    I may even agree on some points that Obama has acted less than wisely but really; since when do we hold Presidents accountable for crime committed in the performance of their duties. Nixon? Yeah. Nixon was forced to retire to his Mansion in California. Well that sure taught him a lesson.

    Of course Nixon’s crimes were to do with Burglary and extortion. Intimidation and Blackmail. Serious stuff.

    Obama it seems has failed to ask Congress for permission to act in his role as Commander in Chief

    What else? Anyone compiled a comprehensive list of the crimes of the President yet?

    How about that crime of lying to the wealthy to get them to agree to participate in a program that will primarily benefit those who are “less than wealthy”.

    And what is the big complaint from these wealthy worthies now? Is it that he lied? Well yes they do drone on about that but they really get charged up and twisted in a knot when they begin to whine about how much money they are having to spend. “Oooooh; my insurance is so expensive now. I might have to forego the ‘Fois Gra’ this week.”

    “It’s not fair; not fair; not fair.”

    What’s not fair is your greed and selfishness.

    What’s not fair is the suffering of the American people.

    (Again I speak of the “American People” defined as 100% of the population of this nation; NOT the Republican definition of “American People” which is: “All those who have enough money to be seen from our lofty height.” “All whom we consider worthy of inclusion to be determined in accordance with the current political and military situation we find ourselves embroiled in”)


  294. I see I was perhaps unclear. I realize that you are not one of those opposing Obama’s actions or recommending impeachment. I may noy have been crystal.


  295. Release of Taliban detainees shows Obama has power to close Gitmo

    by Jason Leopold

    http://america.aljazeera.com/blogs/scrutineer/2014/6/2/release-of-talibandetaineesshowsobamahaspowertoclosegitmo.html

    “Hayden also said the administration is “making progress on a number of additional promising opportunities” to hasten the closure of Guantanamo, consistent with a promise Obama made after he was sworn into office. She said 17 prisoners have been transferred since Obama gave a major counterterrorism speech in May 2013. While Hayden noted that Obama lifted the moratorium on the transfer of Yemeni detainees none have been repatriated. However, she said the administration is “now reviewing Yemeni detainees on a case-by-case basis.””


  296. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 10:33 am swarthmoremom

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/02/bergdahl-deal-could-be-first-step-to-emptying-gitmo.html “In his 2014 State of the Union address, Obama promised to shutter the prison built on Cuban soil by the end of the year. Obama now has seven months to fulfill his latest promise to shut down Guantanamo—or come as close to it as he can. During that time, Congress will be unable to prevent the release of the 149 prisoners still there.

    “This whole deal may have been a test to see how far the administration can actually push it, and if Congress doesn’t fight back they will feel more empowered to move forward with additional transfers,” said one senior GOP senate aide close to the issue. “They’ve lined up all the dominoes to be able to move a lot more detainees out of Guantanamo and this could be just the beginning.”


  297. Bob:

    There can be True Believers in any party. I don’t trust any politician farther than I can throw him. Too many back door deals, pork, etc.

    Wrong is wrong, not matter if it benefits your party.


  298. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 10:48 am Nick Spinelli

    SWM, If this is a grand plan to close Gitmo then it is even more chickenshit than the drone strikes as a way to deal w/ terrorists rather than capturing them. I did see Bergdahl’s old man called for the release of more detainees from Gitmo on his Twitter feed. Maybe Bob Bergdahl is in charge of the operation?


  299. My experience with Obamacare coincided with what the CA insurance commissioner admitted would happen, as well as Forbes analysis of premium and deductible increases, as well as the CA Medical Association’s analysis of doctors not accepting the plans.

    True Believers refuse to see any facts that could erode their beliefs.

    Rational, reasonable people look at all facts, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and make an informed conclusion, even if it’s not what they wanted to happen.


  300. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 10:57 am swarthmoremom

    nick, Bush and Rumsield should have never opened Gitmo. Any plan to empty it out i should be welcomed


  301. Darren:

    “If my business was mandated to provide full medical insurance for spouses and dependents, as an example, I would have had to lay off all of my part time employees to cover the labor costs because competition with others in the market made the selling price of goods almost inelastic and therefore I could not pass these costs onto customers via price increases.”

    Thank you so much, Darren. That is EXACTLY what I have tried to explain, both about mandating employers to provide insurance, and increasing the minimum wage beyond inflation. There is no magic money tree that springs up overnight to pay for it, and employers only have fixed options: increase cost of goods/services, take a pay cut themselves (and sometimes small business owners only make a small amount of money to begin with), or cut hours/layoff employees.

    But people who have never owned a business just don’t understand this.


  302. Jim:

    True. There is absolutely no point in responding to anyone who believes that millions of people are racists simply because of their political affiliation. You can’t reason with that prejudiced mindset.


  303. “But people who have never owned a business just don’t understand this.”

    Oh, please.


  304. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 11:05 am Nick Spinelli

    Any plan? How about releasing them to your neighborhood on electronic monitoring? That’s my plan. OK?


  305. Former Guantánamo Chief Prosecutor Defends American POW-Taliban Prisoner Swap

    http://www.democracynow.org/2014/6/3/former_guantanamo_chief_prosecutor_defends_american


  306. Nick – that’s a good plan! I also support that plan for judges who release killers and rapists, like the Pillowcase rapist, who raped dozens of women each and every time he’s been released in the past. I think he should go live in the Judge’s neighborhood!


  307. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 11:07 am Nick Spinelli

    Karen, I had 5 employees who all had health insurance. I had health insurance through my wife. Like Darren, I would also had to lay off people. That’s what is coming down the road.


  308. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 11:08 am swarthmoremom

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/gop-strategists-interviews-bergdahl

    “Republican operatives apparently believe there’s something to be gained by painting Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl as a deserter.

    The New York Times ran one of the manifold articles Monday focused on resentment toward Bergdahl among some of the soldiers in his unit, and the paper disclosed the interviews were arranged by GOP strategists.

    Republicans and conservatives have questioned the legal and national security implications of the prisoner swap that led to Bergdahl’s release. But they have also scrutinized the POW over his 2009 disappearance and his stated objections to the military’s actions. Some on the right have even gone after Bergdahl’s father, Bob.”


  309. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 11:10 am Nick Spinelli

    The NYT is reporting Bergdahl left a note, which the Pentagon has, explaining clearly that he was deserting. If there was any doubt.


  310. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 11:12 am Nick Spinelli

    SWM, Except for a select few, the silence of Dems defending this is deafening. This was an effort to dig outta the VA hole but it turns out the swap was a backhoe, digging deeper.


  311. I know. We’ve been told my husband’s grandfathered plan is going to have a huge increase next year. You can’t find coverage that good now. No Obamacare plan comes close. We’re already paying over $900/month for the 3 of us, and we still have to pay out of pocket to see a doctor.

    This is going to be the end of the middle class once the employer mandate hits. Because all employers are going to take the tax penalty. There is NO WAY they will be able to afford Obamacare premiums for their employees and families. And those employees are going to have a terrible shock when they climb into the boat with me. Because they DEFINITELY won’t be able to afford it, either. And they’re going to be incensed to learn they’ll still have to pay out of pocket to see a doctor, and face financial ruin if they don’t have a cancer hospital/surgeon in their narrow network.

    It’s not conjecture. I’m living it. Article after article has exposed it happening around the country.

    We need to fight to make the employer mandate hit before 2016, and stop Obama’s illegal delays of a law that’s supposed to be so wonderful, he won’t implement it until after an election. People have no idea what it’s like actually living with Obamacare. They need to know before the election.


  312. And don’t forget all those emails he sent to his parents about hating America. Let’s just give him a lie detector test. He’ll have to be debriefed, anyway.


  313. Because his willful actions in desertion caused the deaths of 6 soldiers, and injured many others, he at least deserves a dishonorable discharge.


  314. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 11:15 am Nick Spinelli

    A Feb 2012 ABC WashPo poll shows 70% of US citizens support keeping Gitmo open. 53% of Dems support keeping it open. So, there’s that.


  315. Instead of “all employers” I meant “some employers.”


  316. Nick – his decision would have been much more popular had he rescued our Marine in a jail in Mexico, where we supposedly should have some pull.


  317. Oh, Nick. Stop confusing people with facts and statistics. :)


  318. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 11:19 am swarthmoremom

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/03/us/us-soldier-srgt-bowe-bergdahl-of-idaho-pow-vanished-angered-his-unit.html “Sometime after midnight on June 30, 2009, Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl left behind a note in his tent saying he had become disillusioned with the Army, did not support the American mission in Afghanistan and was leaving to start a new life. He slipped off the remote military outpost in Paktika Province on the border with Pakistan and took with him a soft backpack, water, knives, a notebook and writing materials, but left behind his body armor and weapons — startling, given the hostile environment around his outpost.”Sometime after midnight on June 30, 2009, Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl left behind a note in his tent saying he had become disillusioned with the Army, did not support the American mission in Afghanistan and was leaving to start a new life. He slipped off the remote military outpost in Paktika Province on the border with Pakistan and took with him a soft backpack, water, knives, a notebook and writing materials, but left behind his body armor and weapons — startling, given the hostile environment around his outpost.


  319. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 11:23 am swarthmoremom

    No one is confused. I am guessing that you are among those that think Bergdahl should be court martialed


  320. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 11:29 am swarthmoremom

    That comment was directed at nick.


  321. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 11:45 am Nick Spinelli

    SWM, Based on the evidence provided to date, I do. I base my opinion on the men and women who served w/ Bergdahl and the soldiers who lost comrades searching for this deserter. On what do you base your opinion?


  322. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm swarthmoremom

    nick,The army has the evidence and also the records concerning his medical condition so they will have to decide. He very well could have been suffering from ptsd and had a breakdown.


  323. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 12:03 pm swarthmoremom

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/kilmeade-bob-bergdahl-beard-taliban The right wing is doing its best to vilify the whole family.


  324. SWM, it’s what we’ve come to expect from them.


  325. America’s parallel “justice” system will take care of him. (The Constitution means nothing to these folks.)


  326. “He very well could have been suffering from ptsd and had a breakdown.” -swarthmore mom

    Yes, but that’s irrelevant to those who prefer witch hunts.


  327. Yes; much like the days of Pleasant Living in Good Old Dixie; The days of unrestrained Capitalism; which allows you guys to make unlimited profits while providing few or no benefits and/or subsistence wages; are going the way of the Dinosaur. I know you believe what you say but come on. You hire people to help you build your business and they do. Then, as soon as you are required to give them a fair deal; you choose to dump them rather than a little less for yourself.

    Maybe drive a cheaper car. Wear cheaper suits. What? Eat chicken once in a while instead of steak?

    You don’t fool me. I’ve been a small business owner and I have known many others in the course of my life and these are just the kinds of sacrifices they consider undoable; move to a cheaper house. No way.

    “Ah’ve wuked fo mah mon-ay en’ Ah desuv’ to walla’ in it.” Yes Sah! And all the poor and middle class slaves will just shuffle along behind; happy to know our place and grateful for the crumbs you may drop behind.

    You are entitled to make more than your workers; of course but not if your profits interfere with your workers receiving a decent living for a 40 hr week. This is one way to restrain Capitalism and prevent the situation we currently find ourselves in.

    On Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 11:07 AM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > Nick Spinelli commented: “Karen, I had 5 employees who all had health > insurance. I had health insurance through my wife. Like Darren, I would > also had to lay off people. That’s what is coming down the road.” >


  328. Sounds like yet another excellent argument for Universal health care to me.

    On Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 11:13 AM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > Karen S commented: “I know. We’ve been told my husband’s grandfathered > plan is going to have a huge increase next year. You can’t find coverage > that good now. No Obamacare plan comes close. We’re already paying over > $900/month for the 3 of us, and we still have to pay out of” >


  329. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 1:08 pm Nick Spinelli

    SWM, You obviously have not read the Rolling Stone piece. Bergdahl was talking about walking the mountains of Afghanistan solo before he was even in country. He tried to get in the French Foreign Legion and they said, “No way.” I base my thoughts on those who knew him, both states side and in country. Since you won’t say on what you base your stance, I will say blind allegiance to Obama. If I’m incorrect, please set the record straight. As I said yesterday, the ICMJ

    I’m giving facts, and I am being attacked personally. I am not going to whine or bother emailing JT. I’ll just keep putting out facts. I have no control over what others do.


  330. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 1:13 pm Nick Spinelli

    The UCMJ will decide his fate. No one here will.


  331. Angryman, in some cases, as in someone I know, they could be satisfied with one huge home, but they feel they are being penalized if they can’t have the second massive home, just because they might have to pay someone a bit more. Oh the deprivation! I’ve even heard complaints that because of the downturn on the economy they’ve had to put their plans to build their million dollar dream home on hold. It’s so sad. :(


  332. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 1:22 pm swarthmoremom

    nick, Nothing to do with Obama….. did not agree with his harsh treatment of Bradley Manning.


  333. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 1:24 pm Nick Spinelli

    The Daily Beast has been doing some good reporting. They point out that for years the Obama administration studiously avoided calling Bergdahl a POW, presumably based on the substantial evidence he was a deserter. The FIRST time they did call him a POW was AFTER his release when the feces hit the fan. Now, this opens up a whole can of ugly worms the Taliban can use.

    “If the President does it then it’s not illegal.” Nixon/Obama


  334. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 1:27 pm Nick Spinelli

    The parents of soldiers KILLED trying to find this deserter are now coming forward. I don’t think they’ll be getting a photo op in the Rose Garden like the Bergdahl’s did on Saturday.


  335. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 1:31 pm Nick Spinelli

    An NYT editorial just published calls out Obama on this swap, including his violating the law requiring day notice to Congress. Obama did consult w/ Congress when he tried this “deal” in 2012. there was BIPARTISAN resistance. So, he just said screw it. “If the President does it then it’s not illegal.”


  336. I heard this on Morning Joe this morning. Someone asked if Bergdahl would’ve been a hero would we still be hearing the complaints about this prisoner exchange? I doubt it. I’ve heard every single troop that has been that he served with in interviews say that it was right to bring him home despite the circumstances of his leaving/alleged desertion.


  337. Poor Nick. He is taking this very hard. He has even had to read the NYT.


  338. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 2:16 pm Nick Spinelli

    Obama was forced to admit this morning that the released Taliban terrorists could end up killing more US soldiers.


  339. Yep. And every time someone is released from one of our prisons, he may also commit another crime. Shall we incarcerate them forever?


  340. And Obama wasn’t ‘forced’ to admit anything. He used his head and spoke rationally. Someone is over the top.


  341. Duh. No one didn’t think they wouldn’t, that I recall. It’s a chance we will have to take. Another reason to leave that hell hole. Same as the Isreali’s who trade POWs. We don’t leave our own behind. Every single troop that served with him said so.


  342. You don’t want any Americans killed in Afghanistan? Bring them all home.

    You send soldiers to an unfriendly place – they may get killed. That’s why we send them with guns.

    They could get killed by the very guys they are training or they could get killed by Taliban or they could get killed by a local shopkeeper. You don’t want them dead?

    Bring them home!


  343. Help! Lost a post.


  344. Annie – I personally think you are to rich. Do you own a home? If so the guilt you must feel knowing that there is someone homeless that would love your house but you are just too greedy to give it away. I love when lib’s envy the rich.

    The world is not equal or fair, you just can’t deal with that fact. Even if it was, think how boring the world would be. Greed is good, it’s why you bother to wake up in the morning and get out of bed. What you do with your greed is how you will be judged.


  345. Good God Man!!!

    Not that!

    Anything but that!

    On Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 2:10 PM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > feynman commented: “Poor Nick. He is taking this very hard. He has > even had to read the NYT.” >


  346. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 2:35 pm Nick Spinelli

    In 2007 Bush released Abu Sufian bin Qumu from Gitmo. He rejoined Al Qaeda and is now implicated as being involved in the 9/11/12 attack on our consulate in Benghazi, killing 4 US citizens.


  347. And an inquiry or even a court martial is okay with me. But the FIRST question I want answered why was he rejected by the French Foreign Legion – famous for taking in misfits – but was able to enlist in the US Army.


  348. He promised to close Gitmo and now the repubs and right are going after h im for that. If he doesn’t then they will yell, He didn’t keep his promise. President Obama cannot win no matter what he does.
    And what a rush to judgment I read here and elsewhere. We don’t know what was in Bergdahl’s mind or what the state of his health was but it’s too good a story not to continue harping on Bergdahl being a bad guy.
    So, I guess the bottom line is we only rescue Americans when we think they have done things we like/acted in a way we expect and have no potential medical/psychiatric issues. (The fact that the service accepted him after he was turned down elsewhere sounds like they never should have accepted him in the first place.
    Many years ago, 1975 or 6, I tried to get into the Air Force. My test scores were excellent (the test was so easy I was astounded many failed it). Because of some medical issues my doctor said I could not do it and refused to sign a paper attesting to my health. Another doctor said the same and yet Sergeant Sanders (I remember his name because of KFC chicken ((*_*)) ) said “Don’t worry, We can find a doctor who will give you a pass.
    Even then they accepted folks who should not have been accepted (I decided my doc was right. Although I became disabled shortly after I regret not going in so I could get lifetime medical care, advanced education, etc.
    People are way too fast at finding fault with this guy.


  349. Jim, it’s a canard to claim that anyone who recognizes inequity is jealous. Greed is good, huh? Well that tells me all I have to know.


  350. In 2003 Bush started a pre-emptive war. 500,000 (modest estimate) died.


  351. And who did Bush trade for this guy? No one?!


  352. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 2:41 pm Nick Spinelli

    Democrats are leaving Obama out to swing in the wind. When this deal was floated in 2012 DEMOCRATS told Obama these 5 should not be released as long as US soldiers remained in Afghanistan. They had killed US and Allied soldiers. One of them is wanted by the UN for war crimes, killing thousands of Shiites. They machine gunned to death over 50 girls in a school because girls should not be educated.


  353. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 2:44 pm Nick Spinelli

    70% of US citizens do not want to close Gitmo, including 53% of Dems. ABC WashPo poll Feb. 2012. I don’t want it closed. Only the fringe want it closed.


  354. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 2:45 pm Nick Spinelli

    Facts are exposing the fringe here, as they continue to marginalize themselves.


  355. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 2:46 pm Paul C. Schulte

    There was a tv series on the French Foreign Legion and their current standards are higher than they used to be. Plus, you have to learn French.


  356. Annie – Have you given up everything you own or have to the needy for the sake of being equal? What right do you have to draw an arbitrary line that says what you have you deserve but not for others? How do you live with the guilt of all of the advantages you have had in your life stepping on those below you to get where you are now?


  357. I thought we didn’t negotiate with terrorist? But, glad she’s safe now.


  358. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 2:48 pm Nick Spinelli

    Well, his old man learned Pashto.


  359. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 2:52 pm swarthmoremom

    comments lost


  360. Jim, your assertion that I want everyone to be equal is fallacious. My comment regarding equity is in giving people an equal chance to be earn a living wage. No one expects the owner of a business to earn the same amount as is employees. Minimum wage harms our society overall. When employees have a living wage they spend it on essentials, putting more money into the economy. The less they spend the less profit for the owners of those businesses they purchase from.


  361. In 2012 60% of Americans did not want same sex marriage.

    BTW. Should presidential decisions be determined by poll these days?


  362. Here’s another thing about that law. The president does not require the Permission of Congress. He was to advise them.


  363. I’m sure there are lot of small minorities that you don’t agree with. Are you pushing that they should be the rule?


  364. I’m proudly marginalized!


  365. The President released the Taliban’s military general staff to obtain the freedom of a known deserter??? Putin takes Crimea. China takes the South China Sea. The government takes over the healthcare industry. The Constitution is regularly circumvented to the “tipping point.” The IRS is used as a political weapon. Benghazi is a “cover up” employing a lie. The AG and IRS are held in contempt of Congress. And on, and on.

    That dudn’t make any sense.

    America has no leader.

    America has been fundamentally transformed into a state of incoherence.

    The Articles of Impeachment increase on a daily basis.


  366. Congress didn’t find the AG and the IRS in contempt. The House did. And it is run by crazy people.


  367. John

    Go ahead and impeach. It will be the end of the Republican Party. And the few sane ones know that. That’s why they don’t impeach Obama.

    1…2…3….4…

    waiting for Paul S to repeat his same ol’ refrain.


  368. Annie – Who didn’t get an equal chance? Or is there really such a thing? You had certain advantages over your peers all through your life as I did also. I just choose not to feel guilty about it. I’d just rather take my advantages and do the best I can and help others on my terms and not have the govt do it for me. steeling from some to give to others only makes the stolen from resent the takers. Giving people stolen property from others only detaches them from where the handout came from and makes them less responsible. In the end, I believe people will help people. I sense, you don’t believe that people will do this on their own. I give blood every chance I can, I donate my Thanksgiving to feed people at the local mission (Run without a dime from the govt.), I spent countless hours as a volunteer fire man. My brother, who is as conservative as they get, just recently opened his home up to a foster child who had her teeth pulled out by her uncle. So I get a little annoyed when people imply that conservatives are racist, greedy, women haters. I do agree that minimum wage harms our society. Raising it will is mean lay-offs and it keeps the people who are working from searching for something better.


  369. Here are other polls of the American public…..

    33% of Americans do not believe in evolution.

    60% of Republicans do not believe in climate change.

    20% of Americans believe vaccines cause autism.

    Here’s an idea! Let’s run the country by polls!


  370. Now see? this is what really ticks me off. Jim, Nobody was speaking of giving up everything or all of your advantages. That’s why discussion with the Right is so frustrating. I say Tan; they insist I said Brown.

    No Jim, not all you have, and not just Jim. From the point of view of the average poor or middle class person; they don’t want what you have even though I know you believe they’re all out to take away your “Precious”. Most wouldn’t have a lot of excess wealth if you offered it to them and wouldn’t know what to do with if they got it.

    What they would like is to live in a clean and decent home; pay their bills every month; feed their kids healthy foods; go to the doctor when they need to and maybe have a bit left over to enjoy a hobby or recreational activity they like.

    You would be surprised how modest their demands really would be. Of course that life of eating cold, squirmy things in the bowels of the earth has left you suspicious and obsessed with your Precious” (Gollum).

    On Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 2:47 PM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > Jim22 commented: “Annie – Have you given up everything you own or have > to the needy for the sake of being equal? What right do you have to draw an > arbitrary line that says what you have you deserve but not for others? How > do you live with the guilt of all of the advantages” >


  371. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm Nick Spinelli

    Intelligent people assess all types of data. They don’t ridicule data that is counter to their prejudices or mindset. The new book by the Freakonomics dudes, How to Think like a Freak, suggests the 3 most important words we can say are, “I don’t know.” In our self absorbed, narcissistic, biased culture, those words are seldom heard anymore. I ALWAYS want to know what other people think. Polls tell us that.


  372. Concerning leej’s comment on which servicemen and women we might rescue….

    Gee. That may prove interesting for the people who always approach service men and women and thank them for their service… They might have to start asking for their service records before just thanking them willy-nilly.


  373. Feynman.


  374. Damn right! “I don’t know” are three very important words. Now let’s count all the times we have read those words on this blog.


  375. angrymanspeaks – I’m not sure why do you care what a racist thinks thus I will not answer you.


  376. Angryman.


  377. Thank you, Annie!


  378. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 3:36 pm Nick Spinelli

    I’ll continue to thank all service people I see. Bergdahl is an aberration. Ridiculing people who do this simple act of thanks is another step in continuing the self marginalization.


  379. Professor Jonathan Turley: “I Don’t Think There’s Much Debate” Obama Broke The Law

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/06/02/professor_jonathan_turley_i_dont_think_theres_much_debate_obama_broke_the_law.html


  380. LOL. Yes

    On Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 3:33 PM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > Annie commented: ” > http://thehouseofvines.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/file.jpg Angryman.” >


  381. Glenn Greenwald:

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/06/03/excuse-remains-obamas-failure-close-gitmo/

    “But the events of the last three days have obliterated the last remaining excuse. In order to secure the release of American POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the Obama administration agreed to release from Guantanamo five detainees allegedly affiliated with the Taliban. But as even stalwart Obama defenders such as Jeffery Toobin admit, Obama “clearly broke the law” by releasing those detainees without providing Congress the 30-day notice required by the 2014 defense authorization statute (law professor Jonathan Turley similarly observed that Obama’s lawbreaking here was clear and virtually undebatable).”


  382. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 3:39 pm Nick Spinelli

    I’m not certain, but it looks like the select fringe have lost Mr. Keebler on this one.


  383. Nick says

    I ALWAYS want to know what other people think.
    _____________________________________________

    I’m very comforted to learn this.


  384. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 3:43 pm Nick Spinelli

    Anonymous, thanks. I pointed out yesterday these 2 august attorneys called Obama a lawbreaker. A member of the fringe here ridiculed attorneys in response. It’s on the record.


  385. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 3:43 pm swarthmoremom

    mr. keebler”But, glad she’s safe now.”huh? nick, That’s okay…… not with him on many issues including guns.


  386. Why is it important to know who always does simple acts of thanks? Why is it so often repeated?


  387. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 3:46 pm swarthmoremom

    nick, You call Obama supporters the fringe but he won with over 52% of the vote. Plus we picked up bettekath who was not an Obama voter.


  388. All right. Take your ball and go home if you want.

    Shhhh. Mom always liked him better anyway.

    That Momma; always was a cut-throat little Hussy.

    LOL

    On Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 3:33 PM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > Jim22 commented: “angrymanspeaks – I’m not sure why do you care what a > racist thinks thus I will not answer you.” >


  389. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 3:50 pm Nick Spinelli

    SWM, That was 2012. His approval #’s now are headed to W range. Never let them see you sweat, SWM. The flop sweat is quite conspicuous.


  390. Yes. Lets confirm those records…..I did ridicule attorneys. They are advocates. They are not infallible. Five of the highest are despicable. Many are scoundrels. Many disagree with all the others. Didn’t Toobin suggest that the law was unconstitutional? Could we find others that would agree? Let’s take a poll.

    I remain among the unintelligent marginalized fringe! Horrors!


  391. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 3:54 pm Nick Spinelli

    And SWM, I do not call all Obama supporters “fringe.” I am calling the sycophantic supporters here, the fringe. MANY Obama supporters are appalled w/ this. The Dem congressional support is virtually nonexistent. Obama lived in a bubble of adulation. He surrounded himself w/ yes men, and underpaid yes women. He thinks he can still do whatever he wants and get away w/ it. Well, the party’s over. His usual enablers have gotten into tough love. But, a few enablers remain.


  392. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 3:54 pm swarthmoremom

    nick s Obama is not running for re-election. I would be more interested in his disapproval ratings on a state by state basis. His disapproval ratings are so high in the south that it skews the polls somewhat.


  393. Anonymous

    Well you could have knocked me over with a feather… Prof. Turley thinks Obama is wrong. Quel surprise!


  394. Snowden is a heroic figure around these parts, no? Did Snowden break any laws to expose the NSA? If so, was he justified in breaking those laws? Yes?


  395. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 3:59 pm swarthmoremom

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jun/3/obama-approval-rating-46-percent-poll-shows/ Actually he is ticking up. Think it has to do with the economy.


  396. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 4:02 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Obama got 51.06% of the vote, just to be clear about it.


  397. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 4:02 pm Nick Spinelli

    Jake Tapper is interviewing Bergdahl’s team leader RIGHT NOW. WATCH @ your own risk!!


  398. Ahhhh…the well-known Obama Bubble of Love as we lurch toward more impeach him talk.

    Sycophant is such an interesting word. I wish it could be used more often.


  399. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 4:03 pm swarthmoremom

    “Though respondents were split on how Mr. Obama is handling the situation in Afghanistan, more than three-quarters of those polled support his plan to reduce U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan to 9,800 by the end of this year, half of that next year and zero by 2016.

    Asked who they trust to do a better job coping with the main problems the nation faces over the next few years, 43 percent say Mr. Obama and 38 percent say Republicans in Congress. Fourteen percent say neither.

    Among registered voters, 47 percent say they would vote for the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in their district if the election was today, and 45 percent say they would vote for the Republican candidate.

    Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jun/3/obama-approval-rating-46-percent-poll-shows/#ixzz33bmKlmz4
    Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter


  400. Pardon Snowden. Impeach the ineligible occupant. The law and good sense compel these actions.


  401. So far I’m lovin’ Obama doing ‘whatever he wants’. Bowe home, new EPA regs. Can’t wait until he closes Gitmo and does more Immigration Reform.

    This marginalized fringed sycophant is delighted!


  402. All men are created equal, not the outcome of their lives.


  403. Annie said:

    “Snowden is a heroic figure around these parts, no? Did Snowden break any laws to expose the NSA? If so, was he justified in breaking those laws? Yes?”

    Most Americans don’t know the half of it, yet.


  404. John

    You’re getting pretty fringe y there with ‘ineligible’ and are liable to confuse the ‘records’ of those that are marginalized on this here blog.


  405. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 4:17 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Obama’s immigration reform seems to be shipping illegals from Texas to Arizona.


  406. So it would seem that you are saying that if one breaks laws for ‘good’ reasons one should be pardoned, am I correct John?


  407. Annie @ 3:59.

    Nice point.

    But right now we have got to be more terrified of what Jake Tapper might be saying.


  408. Looks like the young man on Tapper just said, “He is an American citizen and it’s great he is back”


  409. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 4:26 pm Nick Spinelli

    Well!! Anyone watch Tapper’s interview of Sgt. Buestow, Bergdahl’s team leader. He presents a compelling case that Bergdahl was not just a deserter, but a traitor. Seeking out the Taliban and giving them information on US tactics, making our guys sitting ducks to IED’s!


  410. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 4:27 pm Nick Spinelli

    More unbelievable self marginalizing.


  411. John – “All men are created equal, not the outcome of their lives.”

    Simply well put John. Works well with “Pursuit of happiness” not guaranteed happiness.


  412. The Army is investigating. Maybe they should consult with Spinelli?


  413. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 4:30 pm Nick Spinelli

    I have to wonder what caring parents of soldiers who served, or are serving, in Afghanistan, think of Bergdahl now based on what brave Sgt. Buestow had to say.


  414. Casting aspertions again Spinelli? Is that civil? @4:30 PM.


  415. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 4:32 pm Nick Spinelli

    Susan Rice said on Sunday Bergdahl “served w/ honor and distinction.” Apparently some here believe that!!


  416. “Caring parents”.


  417. Now he’s a traitor? So much for “I don’t know”.


  418. This is what I, a “caring parent” of a Navy member since 2002 think:

    on 1, June 3, 2014 at 4:23 pmAnnie said…
    “Looks like the young man on Tapper just said, “He is an American citizen and it’s great he is back”.”


  419. We do not yet have the full story concerning Bergdahl. Until there is actual and full information about what happened there I will reserve saying anything except that if he was a prisoner of war, even if he was a deserter, I am glad he is back home. It is also possible that the whole story is a limited hangout for the government.

    So what do we know? We know that Obama is breaking the law in illegally detaining people at Gitmo. Offering to detain them illegally in the US is not better, it is still illegally detaining people indefinitely w/o a fair trial.

    We also know that Obama has broken the law and ignored Congress yet again as the imperial president.

    Sadly, what we also know is that Obama supporters are willing to lie, watch the Constitution shredded and don’t give a rats as– about anything other than mindlessly supporting their dear leader. That is a very sad state of affairs for the US people.

    So I am wondering when many of the same people I watched excoriate Bush are going to get back to principles over belief in a leader and start behaving as if they were real citizens and the rule of latter matters to them.

    That means in practical terms: 1. call for the immediate release or fair civilian trial of every detainee and it means calling for the impeachment of dear leader.


  420. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 4:45 pm Nick Spinelli

    Anyone who watched the interview of the honorable Sgt. Buestow and only takes away the perfunctory “He is an American citizen and I’m glad he’s home” is dishonoring EVERYTHING else Buestow said and dishonoring all the real soldiers who were apparently betrayed by Bergdahl. It is shocking. If you haven’t seen the interview, I urge all to watch it and see if the “He is an American citizen..” is what the interview is about!!


  421. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 4:48 pm Nick Spinelli

    Jill, There IS MUCH actual information. It is not being provided by the Obama administration. But news sources are presenting it. Go to the CNN website and watch Jake Tappers interview of Sgt. Buestow. Read the Rolling Stone piece from 2012. There’s MUCH info that Obama doesn’t want you to know.


  422. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 4:50 pm Nick Spinelli

    Jill, The Obama administration did not call Bergdahl a POW until AFTER he was released. They knew he was a deserter and possibly a traitor.


  423. As I am among the fringe and marginalized, I’ll assume Nick means me when he says “some” here believe that Bowe served with honor and distinction.

    In order to keep all Nick’s records straight I’ll write what I believe about Bowe. He was an unstable young man when he was allowed to enlist. It was wrong to let him enlist. I doubt he served with honor or distinction (wasn’t he only there for a month?) but think that’s what the military says when someone is a POW for 5 years. I’m okay with an inquiry. I am glad he is home. It was honorable to bring him home. He was a member of the military and we are obliged to bring them ALL home. Period.


  424. Nick,

    I am fully aware that the govt. is lying. They’ve got everyone talking about the wrong issues. The military has it’s own investigators and court system. I’m certain they can sort out what happened.

    What is much more important is that the president is detaining and torturing other people in Gitmo and is behaving as if the rule of law does not matter (which I agree, it doesn’t matter any longer in the US). Meanwhile, we have citizens who love to cheer him right along.

    Until citizens return to acting like citizens instead of worshippers at a clay idol, we will never return to the rule of law in this nation.


  425. What is even more shocking is that here are those who seem to be saying we should’ve left him there. The credo is ” No man left behind”. EVERY SINGLE troop who served with Bergdahl said as much. The Army will deal with Bergdahl as IT sees fit, when it’s investigation is completed. For those who want to hang him from the yardarm, they will just have to be patient. What will they do if they do if the Army doesn’t find him to be a traitor, but simply a deserter? Or worse yet for those calling for his blood, someone who was mentally ill? Will they be depressed?


  426. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 4:57 pm Nick Spinelli

    Jill, We are on the same page except for Gitmo. I have stated here MANY times I do not abide torture. However, I do believe Gitmo should remain open because bad people like we just released are going to kill more US soldiers and innocent civilians. They should be tried and sentenced.


  427. Jill calls President Obama “their dear leader” in talking about those that support him.
    Jill, In this country we respect the outcome of an election. President Obama is the president of all of us, like it or not. Saly until this president it was one thing for which we were respected around the world. No matter how vicious the campaigns at the end we would come together and accept the outcome. This is the first time I have heard ‘the other side’ constantly say ‘your president’ “he is not my president etc” A true American understands our system and jhow it works. ”

    IISSUE WITH SIGN IN;

    t made me sign back in and then showed page that said ”
    There is a problem with this website’s security certificate.

    The security certificate presented by this website was issued for a different website’s address.

    Security certificate problems may indicate an attempt to fool you or intercept any data you send to the server.

    We recommend that you close this webpage and do not continue to this website.

    Recommended iconClick here to close this webpage.

    Not recommended iconContinue to this website (not recommended).

    Not sure if there is a problem.


  428. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 5:01 pm Nick Spinelli

    NEVER have I said we should have left Bergdahl there. That’s a lie! I have said we paid MUCH too high a price. I said Obama got snookered. I want this guy to return and face the brave, real soldiers he betrayed. I ALWAYS abide verdicts from courtrooms. That was my business. I criticize but respect the rule of law. That’s more than Obama does.


  429. “The CIA Can’t Control the Truth at Guantánamo Forever”

    by Marcellene Hearn

    06/02/2014

    https://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security-human-rights/cia-cant-control-truth-guantanamo-forever

    “The government is continuing to fight on various fronts to keep its torture program secret. It’s not going to win.

    Last week I watched the televised feed in the latest round of pre-trial hearings in the death penalty case against Abd al-Rahim Hussayn Muhammed al-Nashiri for his alleged role in the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole.

    The hearings focused on the information the government must give to Mr. al-Nashiri’s lawyers about his secret detention and torture at the hands of the CIA. Even though the world knows the CIA tortured Mr. al-Nashiri – in part from an internal CIA report released to the ACLU in a lawsuit – much concerning the CIA’s treatment of him, other military commissions defendants, and potential witnesses remains secret from his lawyers and the public.

    Last month, Judge Pohl ordered the government to turn over to Mr. al-Nashiri’s lawyers detailed classified records from his “four-year odyssey” through the CIA’s rendition and torture program. Unfortunately, the government is asking him to roll back the order. In another related request, Mr. al-Nashiri’s lawyers are seeking a Senate investigative report that is the most comprehensive accounting to date of the CIA’s torture program.

    Mr. al-Nashiri’s lawyers need this information to meaningfully represent their client. They will argue that statements Mr. al-Nashiri made to so-called clean teams at Guantanamo after he spent 4 years in CIA detention must not be used. The defense will also argue that the government absolutely cannot execute someone it has tortured. How can the attorneys do their job, if they don’t have all of the information?

    In addition, as much information as possible about the CIA’s torture program must be made public. Basic requirements of transparency, accountability, and human rights demand more openness.

    The executive branch could address many of these issues by releasing expeditiously the summary, findings, and conclusions of the Senate’s torture report, which it is currently reviewing for declassification. It would do even better to release the full 6,000-page report.

    That would have immediate effects on the commissions proceedings, including:

    Clearance of logjams: The prosecution would prefer to provide defense lawyers with summaries and other substitutions for the classified documents covered by Judge Pohl’s order. That’s unlikely to be adequate in this capital case. With declassification, the relevant information could be shared promptly with defense council and with Mr. Nashiri so that he can participate more fully in his defense.
    More pre-trial proceedings held in the open: During this session alone, the public was shut out of nearly three hours of argument concerning the prosecution’s challenge to Judge Pohl’s order. Secrecy undermines our tradition of public access to judicial proceedings.
    Fewer oblique witness statements: Last month, Dr. Sondra Crosby, an expert on torture, testified about whether Mr. al-Nashiri is receiving adequate medical care. In her public testimony, she could only say that she saw scars on his body consistent with allegations of torture – but not what those allegations were.

    One way or another, transparency will be achieved. The summary of the Senate report will be released, hopefully with few redactions. By June 20, in our lawsuit seeking the release of CIA torture reports, the agency has to provide a specific timeline for declassification. In the meantime, Judge Pohl will soon decide whether to reject the government’s request to reconsider his decision. The government won’t be able to keep its torture secrets forever.”


  430. May I take this opportunity to ask Nick to correct his comment said to me that I wanted vets to die?


  431. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 5:13 pm Nick Spinelli

    Feinstein just stated along w/ Rep Saxby Chambliss that Obama “broke the law” by not consulting about this swap. Feinstein said she Is dismayed. They both say that there is “no evidence” that Bergdahl was in physical distress as Susan Rice lied saying on the Sunday shows. When you see Rice on Sunday assume she’s lying! This was the ranking Rep and Dem of the Senate Intelligence Committee standing side by side saying the Administration broke the law and lied.


  432. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 5:16 pm Nick Spinelli

    You fringe folks are playing defense. You need to start doing your homework. Although, I’m taking it all in and NOTHING looks good for you outliers. I know MUCH more than all of you on this topic. “Knowledge is power.” I would say that to my students often.


  433. I was waiting for Saxby Chambliss – the epitome of integrity and respect for veterans. He is the guy during his run for the Senate who questioned the service of Max Cleland who lost three limbs while in Viet Nam.

    Who here respects Saxby Chambliss? And funny, I NEVER would have thought I would see the day Nick would cite Feinstein for support.

    Is it the Rapture?


  434. Reminds me of a book….

    Oz, the Great and All Powerful.


  435. didn’t they try 2 guys in NY just recently?


  436. Leejcaroll
    Yes they did. In fact a Fed Court found OBL’s son in law guilty.


  437. “Knowledge Is Power”. Is there anything that is more self revelatory than that?


  438. Max Nick said Jill, We are on the same page except for Gitmo. I have stated here MANY times I do not abide torture. However, I do believe Gitmo should remain open because bad people like we just released are going to kill more US soldiers and innocent civilians. They should be tried and sentenced.
    Some have been,


  439. leej

    Many more would have been tried if it weren’t for the terrified Republicans who said we would all wind up dead if we brought any Gitmo prisoners to NY for trial.


  440. Jil Did you have a problem with Bush torturing those at Gitm: http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/01/15/guantanamo.torture/index.html?eref=time_world

    Bush official says Gitmo detainee was tortured

    Jill wrote: What is much more important is that the president is detaining and torturing other people in Gitmo . He is just sadly continuing what Bush started. (Of course Cheney said waer boarding wasn;t torture so it was okay.

    ISecret Bush Administration Torture Memo Released Today In Response To ACLU Lawsuit
    “In the memo released today, Yoo writes: “If a government defendant were to harm an enemy combatant during an interrogation in a manner that might arguably violate a criminal prohibition, he would be doing so in order to prevent further attacks on the United States by the al Qaeda terrorist network.” The memo goes on to say, “In that case, we believe that he could argue that the executive branch’s constitutional authority to protect the nation from attack justified his actions.”

    https://www.aclu.org/national-security/secret-bush-administration-torture-memo-released-today-response-aclu-lawsuit


  441. Yep Feynman, the repubs and those on the right conveniently forget what goes against their prejudices against this president.


  442. eejcaroll – “Jill calls President Obama “their dear leader” in talking about those that support him.
    Jill, In this country we respect the outcome of an election. President Obama is the president of all of us, like it or not. Saly until this president it was one thing for which we were respected around the world. No matter how vicious the campaigns at the end we would come together and accept the outcome. This is the first time I have heard ‘the other side’ constantly say ‘your president’ “he is not my president etc” A true American understands our system and jhow it works. ”

    Good grief! I love the hand holding kumbaya picture you paint about how you all treated President Bush. It really is amazing how you lib’s can rewrite history. you really need to look in the mirror when it comes to “treating” the President.


  443. Jim I never heard or read the kind of things said about this president used against Mr Bush, I never heard him cakled “your president: or people say :He is not my president. It is funny how you ignore that and just say well people were mean about Bush (paraphrasing)
    (and we won’t even get into the racial of lynching him in effigy, using the “n” word, etc)


  444. Annie: “Looks like the young man on Tapper just said, “He is an American citizen and it’s great he is back”

    Seriously??

    The team leader, Evan Buetow, recalled to CNN’s Jake Tapper that Bergdahl “did not agree with the war effort in Afghanistan” and had said various things that, in retrospect, led him to believe the soldier had “walked away.”

    “It was a gut feeling I had,” Buetow said Tuesday. “… When he comes up missing and all of his sensitive items are left behind, it just kind of hit us in the head.”

    At least six soldiers were killed in subsequent searches for Bergdahl, according to soldiers involved in operations to find him. The Pentagon was not able to provide details on specific operations in which any soldiers killed during that time were involved.

    Also, many soldiers in Bergdahl’s platoon said attacks seemed to increase against the United States in Paktika province in the days and weeks following his disappearance.

    Buetow conceded that he and others may never know if this violence was coincidental or if Bergdahl had given his captors — voluntarily or after being tortured — information. Yet he found it “incredibly suspicious” that attacks after Bergdahl disappeared seemed to become “far more directed.”

    As to those U.S. soldiers who died, Buetow said, “Those soldiers would not be on those patrols, in those specific areas when they were killed, unless Bergdahl left. And that’s a fact to me.”

    Read more: http://www.wbaltv.com/politics/Army-will-review-Bergdahl-s-circumstances/26302550#ixzz33cHQVYUV


  445. Anyone remember the Bush shoe throwing incident? Almost got him. Learn to duck when your out of luck.


  446. leejcaroll ,

    You really didn’t look very hard then. As for the current president, I believe they all should be raked over the coals when they are bad.


  447. Yes indeed Bob, I watched it live and those where Bietow’s words. I typed that within seconds of him saying it.


  448. *Buetow’s*


  449. Annie,

    I’m sure that’s all you took away from that interview.


  450. Bob,
    To make it perfectly clear. “Just” meaning just then, that moment in time, NOT meaning ‘only’.


  451. McCain’s reversals on Bowe Bergdahl

    U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been held by a group with ties to the Taliban for almost four years, and the group has demanded the United States release five Taliban prisoners in exchange for him.

    The Washington Post reported that U.S. officials confirmed that talks among diplomats and the Pentagon were under way. The official U.S. policy is not to negotiate with terrorists, but the military is winding down operations there by the end of the year and could risk leaving Bergdahl behind, CNN noted.

    McCain said his stance has changed only because the previous proposal was to release five “hard-core” Taliban leaders as a “confidence-building measure.” The current proposal would be an actual exchange of prisoners. “I would be inclined to support such a thing, depending on a lot of details,” he said.

    Update: Asked specifically by CNN’s Anderson Cooper about the prospect of a 5-for-1 prisoner exchange, McCain replied, “I would support. Obviously I’d have to know the details, but I would support ways of bringing him home, and if exchange was one of them, I think that would be something I think we should seriously consider.”

    That was in February.

    Anything the president does, if they are for it once he does it they are against. Sickening


  452. Bob, you make assumptions. I can’t help what you think, I can ONLY tell you that you are mistaken.


  453. Exactly Leej.


  454. It’s interesting to imagine what Gen. George Washington would have done about Bergdahl.


  455. Okay, 600 lashes and a possible death by the felon’s noose might be a bit over the top.

    But how would Eisenhower have handled it?


  456. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 6:28 pm Nick Spinelli

    leej, “I would have to know the details” are the critical words in McCain’s statement. I have also said I would have made an even up trade. I would then have special ops kill, or drone him if he returned to fighting.


  457. Annie,

    I can only read what you write; I can’t read your mind.


  458. Nick, he said :”Asked specifically by CNN’s Anderson Cooper about the prospect of a 5-for-1 prisoner exchange, McCain replied, “I would support. Obviously I’d have to know the details, but I would support ways of bringing him home, and if exchange was one of them, I think that would be something I think we should seriously consider.” He was responding to the 5 for 1


  459. It’s my understanding that prisoner exchanges have been done since Washington. Is this really a question?


  460. Bob, that was all speculation and supposition. In America we require, or used to, proof rather then people’s impressions.
    I don’t know if this guy was ill or deserter etc. I do know he is an American Those against, should he just have been left behind ?


  461. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 6:41 pm Nick Spinelli

    Bob, You can’t shame a shameless person. We saw the interview. And, anyone who sees it will learn a lot about the facts of this desertion, and even more about those who try and spin it. Self marginalizing on steroids. The brave soldiers who have served in Afghanistan deserve much better.


  462. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 6:43 pm Nick Spinelli

    Once again, Bergdahl was not listed as a POW for 5 years. He was not called a POW until AFTER he was released. He was a deserter, and quite possibly a traitor.


  463. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 6:46 pm Nick Spinelli

    It is painfully obvious that many people have done no HOMEWORK. leej, you have so I’ll respond. This specific exchange was floated out there in 2012 and McCain went ballistic. There was BIPARTISAN opposition to swapping the 5 worst killers. That’s why Obama didn’t consult this time. He needed some good press w/ all the feces hitting the fan. Little did he know he threw gas on that burning pile of feces.


  464. Bob, if you had actually read my words (instead of putting words in my mouth) you would’ve noted I never said that Bergdahl’s exit from his unit was correct. What I didn’t do is try him in the court of public opinion. I’m witholding my judgement until all the facts are in. The Army is investigating. Whatever he did, doesn’t change the fact that he is an American citizen and a military member and we don’t leave them behind.


  465. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 6:48 pm swarthmoremom

    Why is Obama mockingly called “dear leader?” “Kim Jong Il was North Korea’s president for a long time. He was called ‘Dear Leader’ (in Korean, of course). So people who want to hint that Obama is a communist dictator will call him that.

    The Republicans believe the White House is THEIR house. When a Democrat gets elected, they refuse to recognize his legitimacy as president, they react to him as some evil foreign dictator who took over the government by undemocratic means, as happens in dictatorships like North Korea.

    But Obama was legitimately elected by a goodly majority of the American people. TWICE! Unlike a previous president I could name. ” Yahoo


  466. Presidents who negotiate with terrorists: (from Politifact)

    George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson “accommodated what today would be viewed as terrorists,” Reiss wrote. “They each authorized payment to the Barbary pirates, and the U.S. Senate even ratified a treaty that enshrined the annual provision of naval supplies as ‘protection.’ ”

    A century later, President Teddy Roosevelt granted demands from the descendants of those pirates to secure the release of captured American resident Ion Perdicaris.

    Recent history

    To his credit, Cruz said the policy of not engaging terrorists was decades old, not centuries. But there are more recent examples where, as Reiss wrote, “American presidents have negotiated with terrorists and rogue regimes to secure the release of hostages, to arrange temporary cease fires and to explore whether a more permanent truce might be possible.”

    Here’s a few, according to Reiss’ book:

    After the North Koreans captured the U.S.S. Pueblo in 1968, President Lyndon Johnson apologized for spying as part of negotiations to secure the release of 83 American prisoners.

    In 1970, President Richard Nixon pressured Israel, Switzerland, West Germany and Britain to release Palestinian prisoners after two airlines were hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

    During the Iran hostage crisis of 1979 to 1981, President Jimmy Carter agreed to unfreeze $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets after more than a year of negotiations with the Iranian revolutionaries.

    In perhaps the most famous swap, after seven Americans were captured in Beirut, Lebanon, President Ronald Reagan agreed to send missiles to Iran in what became known as the Iran-Contra scandal.

    President Bill Clinton’s administration sat down with Hamas in attempts to negotiate peace with Israel. His administration also worked directly with the Taliban nearly two decades ago on several occasions to see if the group would hand over Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders.


  467. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/09/the-defector/309436/

    This is what happened to the soldier who defected to North Korea.


  468. Nick

    Just because we disagree with you, you must not assume we have not done any research. (Not ‘homework’ – I am not a child nor one of your students.)


  469. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 6:57 pm swarthmoremom

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/prisoner-swap-history “George Washington had a problem as he tried to beat the British. Well, really he had a lot of problems, but central among them was the issue of prisoners. See, for the first four years of our Revolution, George Washington pretty much got his ass kicked by the Brits, four ways from Sunday. Along the way a whole lot of his men were taken captive. He needed them back. So he negotiated prisoner exchanges. That was pretty normal, and so a lot of Americans were exchanged for enemy prisoners.”


  470. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 6:59 pm Nick Spinelli

    SWM, I see the “dear leader” as being that the followers of Obama are cult like. North Korea is a cult, not a country. I don’t even consider it Communist, but in name only. The people who follow Obama like cult worshippers is really weird to people who do not worship ANY politician. Not all Obama people are cult like. There are/were Reagan cultist, as there were Clinton. This was a HORRIBLE deal on MANY levels. To see people throw themselves on grenades defending it is just mind boggling to us regular folk.


  471. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 7:11 pm swarthmoremom

    “A former Bush Administration official hired, then resigned, as Mitt Romney’s foreign policy spokesman played a key role in publicizing critics of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the released prisoner of war.

    The involvement of Richard Grenell, who once served as a key aide to Bush-era U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton and later worked for Romney’s 2012 campaign, comes as the Bergdahl release has turned into an increasingly vicious partisan issue.

    The New York Times reported that “Republican strategists” had arranged an interview for them with men who served in Afghanistan with Bergdahl, who was released after five years of imprisonment by the Taliban in a controversial prisoner swap deal. In the article, the men express their anger at Bergdahl for leaving the base, causing other soldiers to risk their lives looking for him.” War of the Worlds rolls on All I need to know.


  472. Regarding assumptions.


  473. Annie,

    Interesting Atlantic article. Thanks.

    Signed,

    A marginalized weird sycophant cult follower.


  474. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 7:13 pm swarthmoremom

    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/ The quote at 7:11 was from digby


  475. swarthmoremom

    Heavens! You mean the return of Bergdahl has been politicized? Well I nevah.


  476. The republicans rarely wait to come out against anything this president does. Maybe I would give them more attention if they had waited a bit to understand what was done, how it was done, etc but if the President does it they come out agaist even when have been previously for (and not jjust with McCain here but on many issues)


  477. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 7:29 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Terrorists fall under a different category in the Geneva Conventions. This would be like Washington trading 1 prisoner for 5 Major Andres


  478. […] Congress 30 days’ notice that he was moving detainees out of Guantanamo, something even some progressives concede Obama did. That sets up a balance-of-powers clash with Congress unlikely to be quickly resolved. […]


  479. Wait! Wait! Someone to the right of Ghengis Kahn invokes the Geneva Conventions?


  480. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 7:47 pm Nick Spinelli

    Hold the presses, stop everything!! There are political machinations going on. When you trot out the parents of a deserter for a photo op in the Rose Garden, after making a swap w/ bipartisan opposition, violating the law, well I wonder who started the political horse manure. I didn’t say horsesh!t because I didn’t want the snitches emailing JT during dinner. Oh, and this was all timed because Obama is getting g=buried in the press on the VA. Yeah, only Rep are playing politics on this. It’s DC!! It’s all politics all the time. I thought you were a political operative, SWM!!


  481. Leejcaroll
    What does the Law say about holding individuals for an indefinite period of time because charging then hinges on how you tortured them?


  482. Nick

    IMO, your ability to present a balanced neutral dispassionate assessment of any issue concerning Obama or any Democrat dating back to the first year of FDR is zero.

    As to snitches? Who get deleted? Those on the right? Or those on the left?


  483. You got me Max.

    Nick you agreed me with a long time back up on the thread that people are innocent until proven guilty but you continue to call him a deserter and worse without proof, only speculation and supposition,.


  484. I had thought the matter of torture was why there are no trials. Evidence obtained under torture is inadmissible.


  485. leejcaroll: “Bob, that was all speculation and supposition. In America we require, or used to, proof rather then people’s impressions.
    I don’t know if this guy was ill or deserter etc. I do know he is an American Those against, should he just have been left behind ?”

    Leejcaroll,

    Innocent until proven guilty. The man wasn’t charged with desertion because the Pentagon couldn’t prove intent without his presence.

    However, there are those who are so enamored of Obama and their party that they don’t seem to mind that the President not only broke the law but violated the separation of powers doctrine.

    There is a reason that the President was required by law to notify Congress before making a prisoner exchange.

    It’s not HIS country. Obama is not empowered by the divine right of kings.

    This is the reason we have a separation of powers specifically enumerated into three branches.

    “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” — Federalist 47

    Those who adore their King are attempting to cover his tracks for him by lauding Bergdahl as a hero; when not even the Pentagon

    Susan Rice went on the Sunday talk shows and said that Bergdahl “wasn’t simply a hostage; he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield.”

    There is now an AP report that states a 2010 Pentagon inquiry found incontrovertible evidence that Bergdahl left his post.

    That is not “capture on the battlefield.”

    Yet to cover for Obama’s exercise of royal prerogative, treating the constitution as a urinal puck, let the word go forth that Bergdahl is a Hero and therefore Obama can do no wrong.

    Long live the King.


  486. Annie: “Bob, if you had actually read my words (instead of putting words in my mouth) you would’ve noted I never said that Bergdahl’s exit from his unit was correct.”

    Please show me what words I put in your mouth.


  487. He left his post and captore on the battlefield are not murtually exclusive. I do not support Obama on everything, there is a lot that has disappointed me but I actually like to wait for proof to be shown not news media stories and essentially gossip, speculation and supposition, (which is what your post sometime back, to which my note as responding)


  488. How long has this law been in effect or any similar law regarding the exchange of prisoners?

    He IS the Commander In Chief. A prisoner exchange should not be under the control of Congress. And that law backs me up. The president is only to NOTIFY. He does not need their consent.


  489. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 8:12 pm Nick Spinelli

    leej, All people are innocent till proven guilty. That applies to the courtroom and jury. It does not apply to public discourse. That’s pretty basic stuff. We are all free to give our opinions. Because, our opinions don’t mean squat! I will abide the ruling of military court. I detest verdicts sometimes but I respect them. That’s what I did for a living. I had some decisions on cases I worked go very wrong IMO. But, this is a nation of laws and I understand and respect that more than people that have not worked in the system. The attorneys here understand that.


  490. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 6:18 pmBob, Esq.
    Annie,

    “I’m sure that’s all you took away from that interview.”


  491. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 8:16 pm Nick Spinelli

    Bob, Time just reported the Pentagon and CIA were against this swap. This was politics Chicago style! But, it’s backfiring BIG TIME!


  492. […] Congress 30 days’ notice that he was moving detainees out of Guantanamo, something even some progressives say Obama did. That sets up a balance-of-powers clash with Congress unlikely to be quickly […]


  493. Yes, long live Dear Leader–Capitalist PIG!

    This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It is exactly what Bob Esq. delineates very well in his post above. It behoves American citizens to understand that this president, like the Republican president before him, does not respect the rule of law. Instead of supporting and cheering such a man like barking seals before a beach ball, CITIZENS need to reassert the rule of law.

    Also, I am dismayed to see so little concern for the detainees in Gitmo. Who have we become that we care nothing about imprisonment without trial and commit torture? Who have we become when we cheer, barking and clapping for a man who orders such things?


  494. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 8:20 pm Nick Spinelli

    leej, Brave soldiers are coming forward. You have to see these interviews. These are straight shooting guys. They are not anonymous. They’re not using aliases, having their faces and voices changed. To call it gossip diminishes the courage of these brave men stepping forward. Watch the interview of Sgt. Buestow conducted by Jake Tapper. Jake tries to get him into the political dispute and he declines.


  495. Bob, Esq.

    Did Reagan consult with Congress before working his little hostage exchange?


  496. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 8:22 pm swarthmoremom

    I think we were cheering for the release of the POW and the potential closing of Gitmo.


  497. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 8:24 pm Nick Spinelli

    That’s the political operative I know, SWM!! You don’t have squat to play w/ on this but keep shoveling it out there. Hillary will be proud.


  498. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 8:25 pm Nick Spinelli

    Word is Obama and Hill discussed this during their lunch. And, she agreed wholeheartedly.


  499. I don’t know of anyone here except Spinelli who wants to keep GTMO open.


  500. […] Congress 30 days’ notice that he was moving detainees out of Guantanamo, something even some progressives say Obama did. That sets up a balance-of-powers clash with Congress unlikely to be quickly […]


  501. Bob wrote: Those who adore their King are attempting to cover his tracks for him by lauding Bergdahl as a hero; when not even the Pentagon

    No one that I can recall here or elsewhere has called him a hero. Your argument loses strength when you use hyperbole and try to ascribe it to others here who do not agree with you.
    Nick, yes it is opinion but it is being presented as fat. I don’t know if these “straight shooters are straight shooters,maybe they are maybe they aren’t they are on TV for a few moments. We don’t know if they have an agenda that colors their perceptions and recounting of their perceptions We don’t know if Bergdahl was psychiatrically ill or why he did what he is said to have done.
    I think it is unfair to him and his family for so many to be calling h im a coward, deserter, traitor,etc without proof. (But used in this condemnation of the oresident makes the decision to go get him look really bad, after all seems like a lot of folks here and elsewhere think they should have just left Bergdahl behind.)


  502. Feynman: “How long has this law been in effect or any similar law regarding the exchange of prisoners?”

    It wouldn’t matter if it was ten minutes old. But if you must know, it was also in the 2012 NDAA.

    “He IS the Commander In Chief.”

    And his powers are checked by Congress and the Courts. So when a law states that the President shall not go it alone, and he does anyway, that’s what we call a violation of law and a violation of the separation of powers doctrine.

    “A prisoner exchange should not be under the control of Congress. And that law backs me up. The president is only to NOTIFY. He does not need their consent.”

    So the law is no longer as it’s written; but as YOU deem it should be?

    Do you hear yourself??!


  503. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 8:29 pm Paul C. Schulte

    If you lose Time mag, who do you have left to protect you?


  504. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 8:31 pm Paul C. Schulte

    I think the law as written is compulsory, not permissive. He SHALL notify… This is so Congress can through a fit if they want. War includes two branches of the government. The President as C-in-C and Congress who declares and funds the war.


  505. “Did Reagan consult with Congress before working his little hostage exchange?”

    Iran-Contra?

    That’s your legal defense?

    Are you for real?


  506. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 8:36 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Reagan was not required to consult with Congress. Weak comeback. Typical.


  507. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 8:38 pm Nick Spinelli

    The plot is even thicker. I have mentioned the prescient Rolling Stone piece from 2012. It was penned by the superb investigative reporter, Michael Hastings. It was Hastings who got Gen McChrystal fired w/ his incredible profile. McChrystal vowed revenge. Hastings died last year in a fiery car crash. It is now revealed that the Holder had the FBI investigate Hastings trying to find his sources for the Rolling Stone article on Bergdahl. Holder LOVES to go after reporters!


  508. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 8:38 pm Nick Spinelli

    They’re lightweights, Paul.


  509. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 8:40 pm Paul C. Schulte

    I vote to keep Gitmo open and add more prisoners. I want to see it turned into a super-max prison.


  510. Paul,

    There’s an interview with Saxby Chambliss on CNN and he told Wolf Blitzer this evening that he and Feinstein objected to the trading of prisoners for Bergdahl two years ago.

    He says when the Whitehouse called to notify both he and Feinstein on the day of the exchange it was because there was an “oversight” regarding notice.

    I forget his exact words but it was something along the lines of “who are they kidding?”


  511. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 8:43 pm Nick Spinelli

    VOA just reported that the Pentagon just announced a “comprehensive investigation” will be conducted. This travesty is causing serious moral problems w/ soldiers and the brass are trying to get ahead of this growing problem.


  512. Sorry, but the whole suspension of habeas corpus without insurrection or rebellion and indefinite detention is something we got rid of with the Magna f’n Carta.

    Gitmo is a disgrace.


  513. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 8:45 pm Nick Spinelli

    Bob, They also both scoffed @ Susan “Baghdad Bob” Rice saying they had to move fast because of Bergdahl’s health.


  514. We, as in the Western world.


  515. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 8:47 pm Nick Spinelli

    Back in 2012 the only person reportedly agreeing w/ this deal was John Kerry. He was sucking up BIG TIME for the Sec. of State job.


  516. What Obama wants to do is possibly, and I do mean possibly, move detainees to indefinite detention/torture on the US mainland. That’s relocating Gitmo, not closing it.

    Gotta ask this question of all the followers again. If dear leader is so good and so powerful, why doesn’t he just go right ahead and actually close Gitmo, releasing the detainees that are already cleared for release and charging the others in civil court?

    If he’s so blessed of God and all, he could do those things just like he does all the other illegal things. So why doesn’t he? Glenn Greenwald has laid out the conundrum facing Obama supporters–. He’s a king, maybe even a god, you’d really think as long as he was blowing past the rule of law, such a wonderful, good, kindly, just kind a guy would do the right thing. Why doesn’t he?


  517. It’s about a complete disrespect for the law. It’s about a President who is as full of himself as Henry VIII.


  518. I feel nauseated from the anger.

    Later.


  519. So I wonder how long should GTMO stay open? Spinelli? Eagerly waiting for your opinion since you’re the only one here who wants to keep GTMO open.


  520. Jill maybe Spinelli could tell us what should be done with those GTMO detainees.


  521. Yes Bob, I’m for real.

    Please go ahead and tell us all about the genesis of this law. Has every CIC been obliged to notify Congress before any prisoner exchange? Short of declaring war, I thought Congress had to leave the CIC alone. Tell me about the use of ‘notify’. Seems like a tenuous word – sort of like Congress knows that they don’t have much authority here.

    Then perhaps someone else can research how many men have been released from Gitmo and how they fared. Then we can talk about how many have been okayed for release, but a sitting there rotting. And it is NOT because Obama wants that, Jill. It’s pretty damn obvious he wants Gitmo closed. It’s the terrified Republicans who continue down the path of duct tape and visquine and colored alarms that prevent their release. It also serves their political purpose.


  522. Oh sorry Paul, didn’t mean to exclude you in the keep GTMO open camp.


  523. Feynman, Bob may have left us to deposit something in the pukey bucket.


  524. Bob, Esq.

    I often feel nauseated on this blog. I tough it out even faced with blistering compelling arguments such as “King” “The One” “Dear Leader”. Now I have to cope with some kind of crazy conspiracy theory about Holder and Hastings and McCrystal. I don’t quite know who is supposed to have done what to which one, but I’m sure it is terrifying.


  525. Buzzfeed reported this morning that the interviews were set up by Richard Grenell. He is a former Bush administration aide who joined Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign. Grenell was forced to quit the campaign over complaints from social conservatives that he was gay.

    Buzzfeed:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/republican-strategists-helped-organize-bergdahl-critics

    More here:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/03/1304094/-This-is-just-too-effing-weird


  526. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 9:12 pm Nick Spinelli

    Get up to speed Chuck! Already reported and discussed.


  527. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 9:13 pm Nick Spinelli

    Good to see where you come down on this right off the bat however!


  528. Chuck,

    Do you know anything about the genesis of this law requiring the CIC to notify Congress before a prisoner exchange?


  529. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 9:14 pm Nick Spinelli

    There’s a lot of important facts already on this thread. I like to think you might have a different take after getting up to speed.


  530. But Nick worth repeating since it brings into question how much of a “straight shooter” these guys really are.


  531. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 9:17 pm Nick Spinelli

    Put the Gitmo detainees in a maximum security prison and have military tribunals to determine their fate.


  532. Chuck

    I am content to let you make up your own mind. But then I am a very marginalized sycophant.


  533. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 9:20 pm Nick Spinelli

    leej, Sgt. Buestow was booked by Tapper himself. He is a tireless supporter of veterans. They respect and trust him. That’s why this Buestow appeared. He was uncomfortable but felt it his duty to tell the public what he knew. I urge you to watch the interview.


  534. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 9:21 pm Nick Spinelli

    You do know Chuck is not a barrister??


  535. They first would need to be charged.


  536. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 9:27 pm Nick Spinelli

    Duh


  537. Leej, this is what Buestow said at the end of that interview.

    on 1, June 3, 2014 at 4:23 pmAnnie
    Looks like the young man on Tapper just said, “He is an American citizen and it’s great he is back”


  538. Spinelli, YOU seemed to forget that little part. Duh indeed.


  539. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 9:30 pm Nick Spinelli

    Annie, You often mention your daughter having served in Afghanistan. Have you asked her opinion on this swap?


  540. Yes indeed I have Spinelli, I said wayyyyyy upstream, which you missed or ifnored, that she said “No one gets left behind”.


  541. Ignored.


  542. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 9:42 pm Nick Spinelli

    No not that. I and I think everyone said he should have returned home. I wanted him court martialed. But Obama and Rice said he “served w/ honor and distinction” and consider him a hero, worthy of being traded for 5 very evil men. What does she think of what his fellow soldiers say about his renouncing his mission and citizenship and deserting. I’ve not heard any soldier abide that.


  543. Annie,

    The other often quoted guy from the outfit, Bethea – also said something similar. He is glad Bowe is back. He believes he deserted. He forgives him. He is glad it is over.

    That’s a guy I can admire. The ‘patriots’ over here screaming bloody murder? Not so much.


  544. Duh? Duh, indeed. How many at Gitmo remain uncharged? You’ve done the research. You know more than any of the rest of us. How many remain uncharged?


  545. She is an ACTIVE duty Corpsman. I’m not about to say on a public forum what she has expressed to me, besides the military credo of not leaving anyone behind. You should know better than to ask, Spinelli.


  546. Is Nick leading the witness?


  547. Strange. Seems they were FOR it before the President went and did it.

    It turns out some of the Obama administration’s most dogged critics were for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl – “using all means available, including force” – before they were against it.

    PJ Media promoted a White House petition in January calling for the release of the soldier held captive by the Taliban, according to links and screen shots compiled by the Little Green Footballs blog.

    Bridget Johnson, a blogger for the conservative PJ Media, frequently tweeted out reminders at that time to ask the Obama administration to work toward Bergdahl’s release.

    Once Obama did it, enthusiasm disappeared. Strange. Or not.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/06/03/conservative-bloggers-were-for-bergdahl-release-until-obama-did-it/


  548. […] Congress 30 days’ notice that he was moving detainees out of Guantanamo, something even some progressives say Obama did. That sets up a balance-of-powers clash with Congress unlikely to be quickly […]


  549. http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/05/07/1974601/republicans-vow-to-block-obamas-renewed-attempt-to-close-gitmo/

    Republicans Are Resisting Obama’s Renewed Attempt To Close Gitmo

    The insistence that Guantanamo’s current population of 166 detainees must remain in place rather than reach U.S. soil is in itself based on a flawed premise. More than 200 international terrorists are currently serving out sentences in super-maximum security facilities in the United States, and — counter to GOP theories about the consequences of transferring detainees to the mainland — no convicted terrorist has escaped or attacked a prison in the U.S.


  550. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 9:52 pm Nick Spinelli

    Bethea wrote a SCATHING piece on this deserter/traitor for the Daily Beast. Despicable misrepresentation.


  551. And I could have sworn that Nick said the deal should NOT have been done. Something that the price was too high. Obama was snookered. Terrible deal in so many ways. Was something about traitor mentioned? Sure doesn’t sound like “I’m glad he is back”.


  552. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 9:55 pm Nick Spinelli

    You have freely mentioned numerous times your daughter allegedly telling you the Behghazi attack was because of that stupid Mohammed video. You said she had sources in Afghanistan tell her that That’s an ongoing controversy!! What’s the difference?


  553. You’re wrong Nick. This would be a good time to rely on the old “I don’t know” instead of “despicable’ that you have so often recommended.


  554. on 1, June 2, 2014 at 1:29 pmAnnie

    http://www.vox.com/2014/6/2/5772290/bowe-bergdahl-bethea-republican-tweets

    Nathan Bradley Bethea, one of Bergdahl’s most important critics, the author of the Daily Beast article, defends the decision to negotiate his release.
    **************************
    Spinelli ignored this too.


  555. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 9:56 pm Nick Spinelli

    No left behind has been settled. We agreed. You’re dissembling and evading.


  556. Sarcasm?

    I take decent drugs for that and I would point out that Depressed doesn’t equate with Crazy, Stupid, Gullible or any other adjective that might indicate that my ability to reason, care, or speak clearly and with conviction


  557. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 9:58 pm Nick Spinelli

    Bob Esq was correct. You can’t discuss w/ shameless people bereft of any honor or conscience.


  558. Nick

    Here is the ‘despicable’ article

    http://gawker.com/the-treason-case-against-the-last-u-s-taliban-hostage-1584613979/+aweinstein

    Read this article that I linked to upthread and you overlooked. Read to the bottom where it gives the Bethea quote.

    I can’t copy and paste since wordmess doesn’t like the format and sends it flying.


  559. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 10:01 pm Nick Spinelli

    You can’t erase here!!!


  560. The honorable would not lie about someone else’s daughter. SHAME ON YOU.


  561. Go find it.


  562. Is there any possible excuse for someone to NOT read the Gawker article? Could anyone who felt so strongly just run off in a huff?


  563. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 10:03 pm Nick Spinelli

    I read Bethea’s ENTIRE article. I’m not interested in spin. Did you read the Daily beast piece. Of course you didn’t. Read it and then we can discuss. Otherwise, don’t waste my time w/ middle school horse poop.


  564. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 10:04 pm Nick Spinelli

    I don’t need to find it. You said it. It’s on the record.


  565. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 10:06 pm Nick Spinelli

    Go fly a kite. LOL!


  566. My daughter was at Camp Leatherneck during the attack on Camp Bastion that came days after the attack on Benghazi. The Talban THEMSELVES said the attack was in retaliation for the anti Muslim video. This was not my daughter’s opinion, it came FROM the Taliban in a public statement THEY made after the attack.


  567. http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/09/15/238109.html

    Taliban carry out revenge attack in Afghanistan over anti Islam film.


  568. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 10:12 pm Nick Spinelli

    At least you womaned up. Knowing you can’t erase here is a blessing and a curse, isn’t it!!! I’m as sure as I can be, knowing many military, your great kid has no use for this Bergdahl. He committed the cardinal sin, he abandoned his brothers and sisters. You can learn a lot from her.


  569. How can you know that you have read more than I have? In what way am I intellectually lazy? Because I have the temerity to disagree with you? And I am not idshonest. Read Gawker again. Read to the last paragraph. Bethea forgives Bergdahl. Says he was a deserter. Says he is glad he is home. Says he is glad it is over.

    Anyone here can do it. Would I be such a fool to claim something that is do easily checked?


  570. The important thing is: This was war, and war is complicated and absurd and troubles the people we sent to fight it. There are no tidy endings, just individual narratives, and we shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss any of them. As Bethea, the soldier in Bergdahl’s battalion who calls him a deserter, puts it:
    I forgave Bergdahl because it was the only way to move on. I wouldn’t wish his fate on anyone. I hope that, in time, my comrades can make peace with him, too. That peace will look different for every person. We may have all come home, but learning to leave the war behind is not a quick or easy thing. Some will struggle with it for the rest of their lives. Some will never have the opportunity.
    And Bergdahl, all I can say is this: Welcome back. I’m glad it’s over. There was a spot reserved for you on the return flight, but we had to leave without you, man.
    You’re probably going to have to find your own way home

    Gawker quote


  571. Help.

    I can’t get the Gawker quote from Bethea to post though I’ve tried five times. Only need to post one.

    Thanks


  572. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 10:18 pm Nick Spinelli

    I don’t do crazy, good night. Don’t let the bed bug bite.


  573. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 10:19 pm Nick Spinelli

    KARMA IS A B!TCH.


  574. on 1, June 3, 2014 at 10:19 pm Nick Spinelli

    HELP, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.


  575. Nick,

    Karma is on my side. See 10:16.

    But do watch out for hubris.

    Thanks, Karma!


  576. Jim,

    “I do agree that minimum wage harms our society. Raising it will is mean lay-offs and it keeps the people who are working from searching for something better”
    ************************************************************************
    Oh yeah, I get it now. How could I have been so stupid?

    You disagree with raising the minimum wage because paying people more money hurts them.

    Of course it does and it makes them less likely to look for a better job.

    Because 10 dollars an hour is the career position they have been dreaming of.

    “Gee if I could just make 10 dollars an hour; I could be “Livin’ Large”

    The very idea that you might actually believe this feces you are spewing all over me is quite disturbing.

    Paying people more money makes them complacent and too lazy to look for better work so by paying them slave wages we keep them hungry and working like slaves trying to get a better job that will pay more money but if they make more money; they get lazy and complacent so the only answer is to keep them poor and keep them hungry so we can get a decent amount of work out of them.

    Well that’s not Elitist or Authoritarian or Plutocratic; is it Jim?

    Yes; it is.

    I must admit that guys like you really amaze me with your arrogance and pomposity.

    It amazes me that you (plural) are so willing to let everyone else starve as long as you get yours.

    Then you talk about being a Volunteer Fireman and giving away Thanksgiving dinner.

    That’ll make life better for those folks won’t it? That’s one down and 364 dinners to go.

    And then what about all of the people who weren’t able to drag themselves to the church or whatever where you so graciously dole out your generous charity.

    Still hungry; huh? Yep. So are all of those people you refuse to pay a decent living wage. (10 dollars an hour is not a decent living wage. 15-20 would be a bit more reasonable)

    Raising the minimum wage will not cause layoffs. It is proven to increase the number and value of the jobs available. It’s only in the small corners of your “oh so tight and tiny” Republican brain that the thought of having to pay people for the work they do sets you to “shakin’ and whinin’ like a dog shittin’ peach seeds”.


  577. What is wrong with some people? Spinelli has absolutely NO IDEA what my daughter has to say on Bergdahl. I know we are to follow civility rules here so I won’t go there.


  578. Annie,

    It’s just completely incomprehensible. Scary that he was an officer of the court.


  579. Whoa Feynman that was WIERD, huh? I have my daughter on the phone and she is reading his exchange as we speak. I can’t repeat what she has just said.


  580. Obama is the President Nixon wanted to be.


  581. And Putin is the dictator that Obama wants to be.


  582. […] Congress 30 days’ notice that he was moving detainees out of Guantanamo, something even some progressives say Obama did. That sets up a balance-of-powers clash with Congress unlikely to be quickly […]


  583. Thank you, Professor Turley.


  584. […] Congress 30 days’ notice that he was moving detainees out of Guantanamo, something even some progressives say Obama did. That sets up a balance-of-powers clash with Congress unlikely to be quickly […]


  585. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 12:04 am jonathanturley

    I have deleted comments from Nick S. and Annie which were in violation of our civility rule.


  586. Q U E S T I O N:
    If the President can transfer out five detainees …
    … What prevents him from transferring the remaining 78 detainees THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN CLEARED FOR THEIR FREEDOM YEARS AGO?


  587. […] Congress 30 days’ notice that he was moving detainees out of Guantanamo, something even some progressives say Obama did. That sets up a balance-of-powers clash with Congress unlikely to be quickly […]


  588. The Pentagon knew where Bergdhal was being held several times over the years. Each time, special forces commanders refused to rescue him, because it would have incurred casualties. They felt that the loss of highly trained, loyal soldiers was too high a price to pay for a deserter.

    So, that’s the military’s opinion on the record.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jun/2/pentagon-knew-berghdahls-whereabouts-but-didnt-ris/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS

    If someone walks off base and joins the Taliban, we actually do leave them behind.

    In this case, we won’t know until his interrogation if he intended to join the Taliban or just go on a walkabout tour of Afghanistan. From emails, and conversations, it appears this was planned before he ever left on deployment, so I think we can rule out PTSD. We’ve already got some damning evidence, and we’ll know more after he’s interrogated.

    As long as he didn’t actually join the Taliban or Al Qaeda, then I am glad we got him back. I would not want even a selfish self-absorbed American in enemy hands, being tortured for 5 years.

    But, as has been widely pointed out, we made a mess of getting him back. We gave up 5 top Al Qaeda for 1 deserter. And Obama broke the law and did not notify Congress for a deal that could hardly be an emergency. They’d been trying to get him back for 5 years. Looking that inept emboldens our enemies. And it’s not just our brave soldiers who get put in harms way. It’s us back here at home. The problem was that the military just wasn’t willing to go in and risk any more lives to get him back. (I’m sure their parents appreciated that.) So that left “negotiating with terrorists” and leaving him there to rot.

    What would have been better would be to exchange 1:1, and then put a tracking device and a bug to get some intel and acquire more targets.


  589. Do people think Benghazi is in Afghanistan? There was also a demonstration in Cairo about the video. The attack on the embassy in LIBYA was a planned attack on the anniversary of 9/11 that was NOT a spontaneous demonstration about the video. You can ask the CIA. I don’t think Carney would have (finally) admitted such if it was not true.


  590. Karen, why would think that anyone thinks Benghazi is in Afghanistan? The attack on Camp Bastion was because of the video PER THE TALBAN. Did you read the link I provided regarding this?


  591. * Why would YOU think*


  592. Also Karen,
    I wasn’t talking about Benghazi whatsoever, except that the atack on Camp Bastion happened two days later. I was speaking of Camp Bastion in AFGHANISTAN.


  593. There were demonstrations at 22 embassies because of that anti Muslim film, BTW.


  594. Now that is a damned fine question. All that is lacking is the will.

    I say; open the doors and set them all free in whatever country they came from. Please send them back to the battlefield to do what their extremist Cult pretending to be Islam asks them to do. Not one has intelligence worth a plug nickel anymore. If they choose to re-enter the battle; so be it. We don’t need them; we don’t want them; why keep them? The United States Military is a Billion Dollar Jihadist Killing Green Machine (so to speak) willing and able to grind anyone who falls within their sights into paste so why are we still arguing over whether and where to keep these guys.

    We have after all; been torturing them for the last 14 years or so. They will either give up and go home to their grandchildren or they will go ballistic and put themselves in the way of a bullet or a drone.

    This is one of my farthest Right opinions. That is because they are being given a fair choice if we send them home. If they are killed in actions against any army from here out; again; that is their choice; as long as we keep our end of the deal and don’t send a drone to blow up their family compound even though they take no further malicious action.

    On Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 12:41 AM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > Max-1 commented: “Q U E S T I O N: If the President can transfer out > five detainees … … What prevents him from transferring the remaining 78 > detainees THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN CLEARED FOR THEIR FREEDOM YEARS AGO?” >


  595. General Martin E. Dempsey statement makes clear that Bergdahl will be investigated:

    In response to those of you interested in my personal judgments about the recovery of SGT Bowe Bergdahl, the questions about this particular soldier’s conduct are separate from our effort to recover ANY U.S. service member in enemy captivity. This was likely the last, best opportunity to free him. As for the circumstances of his capture, when he is able to provide them, we’ll learn the facts. Like any American, he is innocent until proven guilty. Our Army’s leaders will not look away from misconduct if it occurred. In the meantime, we will continue to care for him and his family. Finally, I want to thank those who for almost five years worked to find him, prepared to rescue him, and ultimately put themselves at risk to recover him

    From The Dish 6/3/14
    ____________________________________________

    Note Gen. Dempsey says it was likely the last best opportunity to free him, he will likely face an inquiry, but in the meantime the Army will continue to care for him and his family.

    Sounds good to me.


  596. Bowe Bergdahl’s father Bob: ‘I’m a father who wants his son back’ – video

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/may/31/bowe-bergdahls-father-bob-interview-video

    In the lead-up to the release of the last American soldier to be held prisoner by the Taliban in Afghanistan after five years, 54-year-old Bob Bergdahl talked to the Guardian’s Sean Smith about his feelings following his son’s capture, US justice and how Bowe’s imprisonment can be compared to that of those held in Guantánamo Bay


  597. In the above Guardian interview… pay attention to the 8:00 mark.


  598. I am confused here…
    … How can Obama keep insisting that Congress has his hands tied about releasing detainees in GITMO yet use a Bush era mamo to justify his Empirical as CIC to override Congressional approval?

    Suddenly he became Houdini?


  599. *Empirical ‘ROLE’


  600. Karen’s source, The Washington Times, a right wing paper whose founder was the Rev. Moon, says the Pentagon knew where Bergdahl was being held but refused to mount an operation to free him.

    I could only read the first page of a four page report. Generally the first page would present its best information. There was not a single attributed named source. It was an ‘aide said” , a ‘source’ said. Unsurprisingly, all these unnamed sources thought the swap was just horrible.

    That is not journalism. It is propaganda.


  601. The comments on this thread have been fairly disjointed. What follows are my equally disjointed observations.

    1. If Sgt. Bergdahl violated military law, that determination can be made in properly authorized court martial proceedings. I have not read comments from anyone here qualified to make that judgment.

    2. Did the President violate the law in the manner in which the exchange was conducted? Yes. Pres. Obama and his predecessor have both conducted themselves in a manner sufficient to justify impeachment proceedings. But Congress has not and will not act for two reasons. First, neither President has engaged in illicit sexual activity. Second, nothing else qualifies as impeachable any more.

    3. The Congress has effectively permitted the evolution of an executive branch controllable only by the negative and childish weapon we call the “filibuster.” By committing the United States to a perpetual state of war, particularly since 9/11, and happily endorsing the unconstitutional Yoo doctrine on presidential authority, Congress has abdicated its leadership responsibility as a co-equal branch in favor of standing about and yelping like wounded animals whenever they witness another abuse of executive power. We have permitted the title Commander in Chief to become the principal descriptor of the presidency.

    4. The response to congressional cowardice and the Obama presidency has been the formation of wholly worthless groups coalescing under the Tea Party banner and comprised primarily of constitutional ignoramuses, government haters, assorted racists and activists, gun rights fanatics, naysayers and those who would privatize every public function and eliminate the social contract in its entirety. Replacing do-nothings with know-nothings is progress only for anarchists.

    5. Finally, in my view Sarah Palin is perhaps the strongest example one can offer for imposing limits on universal suffrage.


  602. The Chief Proseciter for the military at GTMO said those 5 should be exchanged for Bowe Bergdahl per his father Bob in the Guardian video Max linked to. Bad exchange? The Chief Prosecuter didn’t think so apparently.


  603. Boehner Calls for Hearings on Bergdahl Release

    http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/bowe-bergdahl-released/boehner-calls-hearings-bergdahl-release-n121501

    The top House Republican said he supports calls from Rep. Buck McKeon, chair of the House Armed Services Committee, for Congressional hearings on whether the Obama administration violated the law by exchanging five Guantánamo Bay prisoners for Bergdahl.

    Boehner said members of Congress had been briefed on a possible prisoner swap two years ago and had “serious questions” that went unanswered. The Ohio Republican said he expected the White House to re-engage Congress with answers before taking action, but heard nothing.
    (continued)


  604. Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on the NDAA and the Transfer of Taliban

    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1180482-nsc-statement-on-30-day-transfer-notice-law.html

    Dear Press Colleagues – Given your questions about the NDAA 30-day notification requirement and the transfer of Taliban detainees from Guantanamo, here is an on-the record statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden. Thanks! – NSC Press Office

    I’d like to explain why, given the credible reports regarding the risk of grave harm to Sergeant Bergdahl and the rapidly unfolding events surrounding his recovery, it was lawful for the Administration to proceed with the transfer notwithstanding the notice requirement in Section 1035(d) of the FY14 NDAA.
    First, there is no question that the Secretary made the determinations required to transfer the detainees under Section 1035(b) of the FY 2014 NDAA. Section 1035(b) states that the Secretary of Defense may transfer an individual detained at Guantanamo to a foreign country if the Secretary determines (1) that actions have or will be taken that substantially mitigate the risk that the individual will engage in activity that threatens the United States or U.S. persons or interests and (2) that the transfer is in the national security interest of the United States. The Secretary made those determinations.
    (continued)


  605. The President Pretty Clearly Disregarded a Congressional Statute in Swapping GTMO Detainees for Bergdahl
    By Jack Goldsmith
    Monday, June 2, 2014

    http://www.lawfareblog.com/2014/06/the-president-pretty-clearly-disregarded-a-congressional-statute-in-swapping-gtmo-detainees-for-bergdahl/

    Section 1035 of the 2014 NDAA authorizes the Defense Secretary to “transfer or release any individual detained at Guantanamo” if he makes certain certain determinations, and it further requires without exception that the Secretary “shall notify” the appropriate Committees “not later than thirty days before the transfer or release.” Marty seems to argue that the administration acted consistent with congressional intent or the “spirit of the statute.” He says: “It’s difficult to imagine that Congress would have intended to insist upon such a 30-day delay if the legislators had actually contemplated a time-sensitive prisoner-exchange negotiation of this sort; but the statute does not on its face address such a rare (and likely unanticipated) case.” Perhaps Congress might have thought differently were this case before it, who knows. But the NDAA is sprinkled with exceptions, and Congress included no exception to Section 1035’s notice requirement. So I don’t think it accurate or useful to say that the statute doesn’t address the Bergdahl situation, since it imposes a requirement without exception. (I am surprised* doubt that Marty of all people indulges an implied exception to a national security statute based on emergency situations not contemplated by Congress, and I would be just as surprised if the Administration embraced this argument, but that is another story.)
    (continued)


  606. Max

    This was a prisoner swap that was accomplished after years of difficult negotiations. But you know that.

    Maybe, just maybe, this exchange will ease more releases. There have been others you know.

    But we may have to go slow. Exploding Republican heads take time to clean up.

    And it’s going to take some time to implant all those tracking devices into all the remaining Gitmo detainees and perfecting the X-Men Memory Remover so that the detainees don’t remember they’ve been implanted with tracking devices and spoil our brilliant plan for gathering more intel. (Credit: Karen S)


  607. Statement by the President on H.R. 3304

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/12/26/statement-president-hr-3304

    [...]
    In contrast, sections 1033 and 1034 continue unwise funding restrictions that curtail options available to the executive branch. Section 1033 renews the bar against using appropriated funds to construct or modify any facility in the United States, its territories, or possessions to house any Guantanamo detainee in the custody or under the control of the Department of Defense unless authorized by the Congress. Section 1034 renews the bar against using appropriated funds to transfer Guantanamo detainees into the United States for any purpose. I oppose these provisions, as I have in years past, and will continue to work with the Congress to remove these restrictions. The executive branch must have the authority to determine when and where to prosecute Guantanamo detainees, based on the facts and circumstances of each case and our national security interests. For decades, Republican and Democratic administrations have successfully prosecuted hundreds of terrorists in Federal court. Those prosecutions are a legitimate, effective, and powerful tool in our efforts to protect the Nation. Removing that tool from the executive branch does not serve our national security interests. Moreover, section 1034 would, under certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles.

    The detention facility at Guantanamo continues to impose significant costs on the American people. I am encouraged that this Act provides the Executive greater flexibility to transfer Guantanamo detainees abroad, and look forward to working with the Congress to take the additional steps needed to close the facility. In the event that the restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo detainees in sections 1034 and 1035 operate in a manner that violates constitutional separation of powers principles, my Administration will implement them in a manner that avoids the constitutional conflict.

    BARACK OBAMA

    THE WHITE HOUSE,
    December 26, 2013.


  608. Let the head butting commence!!!!!


  609. feynman
    Yes… I know that. In fact, one of the links I just posted mentioned that fact. In addition, let’s not forget the other fact that the White House thus far had failed to respond to Congressional inquiry.


  610. feynman
    As my last link from Obama’s desk in the form of a signing statement itself states, he made it clear what he interpreted, Congress be damned.


  611. feynman
    Maybe, just maybe, this exchange will ease more releases.
    = = =
    Maybe, just maybe Obama will finally man-up and release the other 78 detainees that were cleared for release years ago?


  612. Max

    I urge you to read Annie’s link at 2:19. It explains a lot. You’ve got to get beyond the ‘man-up’ simplistic routine. At least if you are seriously interested in understanding what is going on…


  613. Max

    What is it that you want? You’re plenty annoyed that Obama has not closed Gitmo. Are you also annoyed that he had by-passed Congress?


  614. when these “leaders” were taken that created a vacuum, that vacuums been filled. after all the hugs and handshaking is over do you really think the new leadership is happy to see the guy they replaced back.

    if nothing else, install some electronics in them that blocks cellphone reception where ever they are.
    “allah dam it, get achmed outta here. every time i try to talk to my wives t-mobile drops my call.”


  615. Mike A

    Were Mike Appleton elected president in 2008, would you have sought impeachment of Bush? That was a pretty scary time. I just don’t see the wisdom of adding impeachment to the mix of the financial meltdown and managing two miserable wars.

    Also, I’d add the Supreme Court to your indictment. They pretty well battered the respect for the court by awarding the election to Bush back in 2000. Pretty damn political.

    That sure started the 21st century off with a bang. Nine months later it’s 9/11 and ….well, you know the rest of the story.


  616. Mike Appleton: “Did the President violate the law in the manner in which the exchange was conducted? Yes. Pres. Obama and his predecessor have both conducted themselves in a manner sufficient to justify impeachment proceedings. But Congress has not and will not act for two reasons. First, neither President has engaged in illicit sexual activity. Second, nothing else qualifies as impeachable any more.”

    Mike,

    You know you’re an American hero. Your likeness should be on U.S. currency.

    But I gotta ask. Doesn’t this repeated violation of the separation of powers anger you anymore?

    And what of the American mind?

    Dostoevsky wrote: “Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others.”

    With so many people lying to themselves out of loyalty to the King, as the followers of his predecessor did in 2000-2008, do you suppose that the concept of “impeachable offense” vanished with the notion of truth?

    Could this also be the reason so many people are infatuated with zombie stories; that they feel dead inside from all this self-deception?

    Okay, maybe I’m half kidding about that.

    Great post Mike.


  617. Feynman
    Until it IS closed, I’ll keep pushing. All prospects of it being closed look beyond 2016 in my eyes.

    Yes I read Annie’s link. And yes, I understand that closing GITMO is a complicated POLITICAL beast that all three Branches have to be willing to tackle together.


  618. Feynman
    Let me ask: how many years would you be willing to be locked up in GITMO without charges?

    One?
    Five?
    Twelve?

    It matters if your a terrorist or not. Many that have lived a life in limbo that were not terrorists. Listen to Co. Davis. He’s fought that injustice. He knows, there is no reason to keep them, the remaining 78, there. Their Freedom IS being denied. There is no Justice in that. And until that time comes, Obama and the Congress that keep perpetrating this injustice should NOT be given breathing room.

    Again,
    If it was your eighth year there without charge and was cleared for release five years ago, would you want advocates for your freedom and Justice restored to ‘lighten up’? ‘Cause I’d advocate for your freedom, too.

    Now about closing GITMO?
    Facelift two years ago. $40 mil.
    They (Congress) almost spent a pretty penny this go round for more construction. Doesn’t add up, IMO, to Congress letting this money pit go, anytime soon. Call me a pessimist…


  619. Mike A.,

    Thanks so much for your disjointed observations! Glad you were awake in the wee hours of the morning writing down your thoughts on this subject. Just know that Caribou Barbie doesn’t speak for all of us gals.


  620. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 7:54 am swarthmoremom

    “Condemning a US POW as guilty without a trial is the same mindset that supports imprisoning (& assassinating) people without charges.” Glenn Greenwald tweet


  621. “Strange. Seems they were FOR it before the President went and did it.

    It turns out some of the Obama administration’s most dogged critics were for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl – “using all means available, including force” – before they were against it.

    PJ Media promoted a White House petition in January calling for the release of the soldier held captive by the Taliban, according to links and screen shots compiled by the Little Green Footballs blog.

    Bridget Johnson, a blogger for the conservative PJ Media, frequently tweeted out reminders at that time to ask the Obama administration to work toward Bergdahl’s release.

    Once Obama did it, enthusiasm disappeared. Strange. Or not.”

    I talked to my wife about getting a Golden Retriever; they are wonderful dogs, friendly, loyal, smart, good with children and love other dogs. So I say to her, “you are alright with getting a dog?” And she says yes, thinking about our conversation about the Golden Retriever.

    So I go out and I get a Pit Bull, Rottweiler and Doberman, all of whom have been trained to kill and are mean sons of b*tches who hate other dogs and children.

    I think my wife has every right to lose her enthusiasm.


  622. Did we release German and Japanese POWs prior to the end of hostilities?


  623. Byron, even AFTER WWII was over, Britain, France, and the Soviet Union held POWs for YEARS afterwards and used them as slave labor. The Soviets kept them for as long as 15 years, and the Brits I think only kept them for about 5.


  624. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 10:02 am Paul C. Schulte

    Bob, Esq – Gitmo seems to be run very well and is within the boundaries of dealing with terrorist, who fall into a different area of the Geneva Convention.


  625. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 10:04 am Paul C. Schulte

    Byron – at the German ones tried to release themselves on occasion. There was a big POW prison break in the Phoenix area during WWII. The Japanese were less helpful about becoming prisoners, so we had fewer of them.


  626. Paul:

    my mother saw German POW’s as a youngster, there was a camp near where she visited her grandmother. She says the townspeople would bring them food and clothes.


  627. randyjet:

    I kinda give them a pass on that one. As the say payback is a b*tch. Dont enslave others if you dont want to be enslaved.

    Personally, I would have killed every single person in Afghanistan aming a weapon at American troops. I would not have taken POWs, those people are never going to stop, they are mad dogs and the only way to deal with a mad dog is to kill it.

    I am talking the extreme radicals.


  628. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 10:25 am swarthmoremom

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/04/world/middleeast/can-gi-be-tied-to-6-lost-lives-facts-are-murky.html?_r=0 “But a review of casualty reports and contemporaneous military logs from the Afghanistan war shows that the facts surrounding the eight deaths are far murkier than definitive.”


  629. Byron, I would also ask how your mother treated black GIs when they were in the area or came back home. Most of those camps were in the south and other areas where segregation was the rule, so the people who were guilty of killing many GIs got better treatment than the black AMERICANS who were fighting them. I never cease to be amazed at the ignorance and total lack of decency of conservatives.


  630. I think Military and White House counsel are probably more informed than Mr Turley regarding the intracasies of the law re informing Congress; thats why Turley is a cable news pundit. As far as notifying congress with a small ‘c’ about much of anything, it’s difficult to communicate across species; in this case jackasses.


  631. Here is some actual information about detainees in Gitmo. Most of these people were no where near any battlefield. They were picked up for the $5000.00 bounty the US had out.

    http://law.shu.edu/ProgramsCenters/PublicIntGovServ/policyresearch/Guantanamo-Reports.cfm

    Wikileaks has links to real time logs of information at the time of Bergdahl’s disappearance and capture.

    There is a lot of blood thirst in the American population. There is also a lot of cultish behavior. For example, it is said that one should not criticize a popular president like Obama. Why not? Nixon and Bush were popular. Was criticism of them off bounds?

    Our citizens do not seem to care for facts, justice or even basic reality. That combined with a cult-like devotion to party and party leader scares me a lot. These qualities are not exactly a recipe for restoring the rule of law or of a functioning democracy.


  632. Jan, your post is full of personal attacks. That is your choice but if you want to convince people that Turley is incorrect, why not give a real analysis of what he is saying?

    Would you also address why you do not hold with the Constitution’s separation of powers? Thanks!


  633. You have freely mentioned numerous times your daughter allegedly telling you the Behghazi attack was because of that stupid Mohammed video. You said she had sources in Afghanistan tell her that That’s an ongoing controversy!! What’s the difference?

    Nick why is what Annie telling you her daughter said “allegedly” but yoo have no problem with the speculation, supposition and possible agendas of those who are against Bergdahl?


  634. Annie,

    My saying “I’m sure that’s all you took away from that interview.”

    That constitutes putting words in your mouth?

    On what planet?


  635. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 10:42 am Nick Spinelli

    There was a large German POW camp in Wi. Some were allowed to remain here after the war if they met certain criteria. I coached the grandson of a POW. A great family of stone masons, grandpa’s masonry being a skill that worked in his favor for not having to go back to war torn Germany. Maybe Bergdahl should have been given the opportunity to stay in Afghanistan as a free man. Both he and his father speak Pashto. He chose the Afghans over the US. This is not sarcastic. He does not like the US and reportedly renounced his citizenship. The Afghan people are good people, as are all people. He could use whatever skills he possesses to help rebuild Afghanistan.

    Jonathan was on the hated[by some] Hannity show last night. It was a respectful, good interview. The point was, as Jonathan states, “Obama is the President Nixon always wanted to be.” I would urge folks to watch it. You might learn some facts. It’s not what you want to hear, but those are the facts intelligent people listen to w/ open minds. Are there any here?


  636. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 10:45 am Nick Spinelli

    Bob Esq, Time for both of us to wash our hands on the intransigent ones. They were up very late last night. Maybe they’ll sleep all day!


  637. Feynman: “Please go ahead and tell us all about the genesis of this law. Has every CIC been obliged to notify Congress before any prisoner exchange?”

    Tell me Feynman, when Bush was breaking the law, were you curious as to the genesis of the laws being broken or were you indignant that a president would deem himself above the law?

    Do you like zombie movies?


  638. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 10:57 am Nick Spinelli

    leej, In this particular instance I am not hearing directly from the person who stated it. You’ll notice I use the word “reportedly” which is similar to “allegedly” for these purposes. When I get a first hand account from a soldier who served w/ Bergdahl I use my skills @ assessing witnesses. This Sgt. Buestow gets a 9 on my 1-10 scale of assessing witnesses veracity. In the instance regarding the Mohammed video, I did not hear it first hand. I used allegedly because the person conveying the information is not a reporter. What the conveyor of this information[proven wrong and politically motivated] said was hearsay.

    leej, Again, Bergdahl will be afforded due process under the UCMJ. I am not a part of that process, nor is anyone here. So, we are free, under the First Amendment, to speak our mind. When I was a criminal investigator I helped put men in prison who I thought guilty prior to their trial. I kept my thoughts in house. But, speaking w/ prosecutors, cops, expert witnesses, it was proper for me to express my thoughts. RESPECT for the process and verdict is what is important. And, you could search long and hard to find someone w/ more respect for the law than I. That’s what drew me to JT. And, his intellect, intellectual honesty, and honor are what keep me.


  639. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 10:59 am Paul C. Schulte

    Byron – there were several POW camps in Arizona and at least one of the them the POWs (enlisted personnel) worked in the fields. This is okay under the Geneva Convention.


  640. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 11:00 am Nick Spinelli

    Feynman is always looking for Twinkies, and checking the back seat of his car.


  641. Paul: “Gitmo seems to be run very well and is within the boundaries of dealing with terrorist, who fall into a different area of the Geneva Convention.”

    Paul,

    Using an idiom to invoke specially reserved powers, i.e. declaring war on a gerund form of a verb, does not make Gitmo legal.

    Furthermore, suspending habeas corpus in the absence insurrection or rebellion is per se unconstitutional.

    Yet, I am to believe that the NDAA of 2012, permitting the indefinite detention of American citizens, trumps Article V and the habeas clause of the constitution??


  642. So; it was Ok for the Republicans to ask for this man to be negotiated for because they are “Golden Retrievers”?

    It was not Ok for The President of the United States of America to actually do what they asked because he is three dogs; a Pitt Bull a Rottweiler and a Doberman (just to be sure we are PC and not casting Racial Aspersions by suggesting that The President is a Killer Pitt Bull)?

    Ok; I get it. Cool. As I say; politics often leaves legality, reason, and compassion behind.

    What I do disagree with; though I don’t wish to sound like a lunatic; is the characterization of Pitt Bulls, Dobermans, and Rottweilers as killers, or inherently dangerous dogs where the Golden is depicted as a gentle, loyal and noble animal.

    Yes; I understand that you mentioned that these three particular dogs had been trained to be killers but that is also a repulsive visual for anyone who cares about the way these dogs and especially Pitt Bulls have been maligned over the past twenty five years or so.

    The truth is that these dogs; all of these dogs are born cute innocent and loving. Loyal and eager to please.

    Gentle with babies, children and the elderly and no more than naturally protective of their families. Like any other dog.

    The Pitt Bull in particular was once known; not a a dangerous killer but as “The Nanny Dog” because of their natural gentleness and inclination to watch over the small children, alert the parents if they wandered, and even coral them back to the home.

    To make a Pitt Bull into a fighter requires a special breed of cruelty and soullessness. The dog must be starved, beaten (often with chains), for months and then forced to kill other dogs even then. The process is a horror to see and when I did; sadly see just a bit of it; I literally vomited.

    The only other way that a dog; any dog can become dangerous is due to repeated and intentional inbreeding.

    The same thing can happen to people which is why we have laws governing marriage between relatives.

    Choosing your dog from a reputable breeder or someone you know to be responsible is the way to avoid unfortunate incidents where “the dog just went crazy”. Many inner city breeders are breeders for the Fight Business so are not at all concerned about such issues. It actually benefits them because a crazy dog is an easily trained to fight dog so unstable is gold for them.

    Of course such bad breeding practices are not limited to the cities; just more concentrated there and any dog can be tortured into fighting and hating but Pitt Bulls are the current favorite breed. Used to be Bull Terriers were the favorite fighters. Same training. Same tragic results. Other breeds have been popular with the scum who take part in this inhumanity so wait a minute for the Pitt Bull to be appreciated by America again for it’s true personality and loving demeanor.

    Did I go on? I am passionate about dogs; especially those who get a bad rep for no good reason or because of the actions of people. I know it seems PC but any use of these dogs as examples of killers is just re-enforcing the image of them as such and as they have no way to speak for themselves; I feel compelled to speak for them.

    Peace

    On Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 8:31 AM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > Byron commented: “”Strange. Seems they were FOR it before the > President went and did it. It turns out some of the Obama administration’s > most dogged critics were for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl – “using all > means available, including force” – before t” >


  643. I’m passionate about German Shepherds. They’re fiercely loyal and obedient.

    Too bad the president can’t rise to the moral standard of a German Shepherd when it comes to obeying the law.


  644. Max

    I think it is mad to keep Gitmo open. I think the whole damn base should be shut down. I think many detainees (most?) there were turned in for the rewards or revenge I’m horrified that many in this country seem to be content to keep them jailed forever. I’ve read the Taliban want to run Afghanistan – in their own particularly horrible way – but are not planning attacks on the US. They are not Al Queda. I listened to the video of Davis and was impressed.

    I have no idea why you are asking me what I would do were I in their shoes. The men in those shoes have no choice. They have to carry on and hope the US regains some sanity. I don’t see any signs of a fast recovery.

    But, if Obama consulted me about releasing the 78? I’d tell him to go slowly. Americans have to be convinced that the Taliban aren’t going to murder them in their beds. They have to see that the military will handle Bergdahl with some justice. We have to get more of our service men and women home. They have to learn what has resulted when others have been released. And if that doesn’t happen…?

    I don’t think it is a good idea for this country to impeach two Democratic presidents in a row – especially when one happens to be the first African-American president. Trouble will ensue.


  645. nick, While I am a great admirer of Prof Turley, I have to disagree with him on this point since he never experienced the Nixon years on the wrong end of COINTELPRO as I and many others did. He also never experienced the McCarthy years when people and books were banned. People were sent to prison and murdered for their sole crime of their political views. He and others like Hannity forget about the FACT that ALL the lawyers in the last Bush administration agreed with the concept of the unitary executive powers making Bush virtual dictator. THAT is worse than anything Obama has done or expressed. He also forgets that Nixon murdered people overseas who had NO violence against the US being alleged. He and others like you refuse to answer the question as to whether or not bombing Ezra Pound’s villa during WWII would be legal. I think that it would. Just as killing Americans who are supporting Al Qeada is perfectly legal and justified when the US has NO other means of bringing them to court, and I would add with the tacit support of those governments where the strikes take place.

    To be consistent and honest, Prof Turley must also condemn Obama’s invading Pakistan and killing Bin Laden too, but he is not so foolish as to do that since he knows how that will turn out. Maybe some GOPers will now denounce Obama for not arresting Bin Laden and engaging in extra-judicial murders. Let’s see some courage of your convictions out there.


  646. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 11:20 am Nick Spinelli

    In just a few months Gitmo will have been open longer under Obama than under Bush.


  647. Bob Esq admires the fiercely obedient.and loyal. That’s telling. Maybe a zombie army will do.


  648. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 11:22 am Nick Spinelli

    Obama’s solution to keeping the Gitmo population from growing was to take no prisoners. He just kills them[including US citizens] w/ drones. Very progressive.


  649. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 11:22 am Paul C. Schulte

    angyman – two things 1) I thought you were a woman, so why the name angryman? 2) it is pit bull, one t, not two. It is because the dogs were trained to fight in a pit against bulls.


  650. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 11:24 am Nick Spinelli

    The interviews of Sgt, Buestow and JT are readily available to watch on CNN and Fox, respectively. But, I know fringe people don’t gather facts, they just attack the messengers ad nauseum.


  651. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 11:28 am Paul C. Schulte

    Bob, Esq – you are presupposing Obama is capable of having or maintaining a moral standard.


  652. Feynman,

    “Fiercely loyal” was the phrase Washington used to describe Benjamin Tallmadge.

    He was obedient as well.

    But thanks for playing anyway.


  653. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 11:31 am Nick Spinelli

    The Hero Who Died Looking for Bergdahl is a gut wrenching piece headline on The Daily Beast this morning. They have been on top of this story. Anyone who wants to know facts have a lot of reading and watching to do. There is a lot of good reporting on this. WashPo has reached out to 12 Dem Senators to date and ALL have “no comment.” The house of cards is tumbling.


  654. Nick,

    Got a link?


  655. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 11:34 am Paul C. Schulte

    randyjet – please link to something showing the hundreds who were jailed and murdered during the McCarthy era. No one was jailed by McCarthy and the Hollywood Nine were held in Contempt of Congress for refusing to answer. If you have every seen the documentary on it, you would realize the Nine thought they had enough votes on the Supreme Court to overturn their conviction. They were sure the fix was in. However, between conviction and their SC hearing a justice died and was replaced and now the court held against them. It would appear that had they thought the court would confirm their convictions for comtempt, they would have answered the Dies committee.


  656. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 11:36 am Nick Spinelli

    Just a little teaser because I know probably only a few will take the time to read this Daily Beast piece. Lt. Darryn Andrews died saving 6 members of his platoon. He left a son and pregnant wife. His family did not learn until this week the mission was trying to rescue a man who deserted and renounced his uS citizenship. The Army did more than their due diligence in the “No man left behind” code.


  657. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 11:37 am Paul C. Schulte

    Bob, Esq – I am not happy with signing statements by anyone. However, they seem to go back to G. Washington. ;)


  658. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 11:38 am Nick Spinelli

    Bob, Esq, I don’t do links. I screwed up once BIG TIME and ended up infecting many computers w/ a nasty virus. Just go to The Daily Beast. It’s their first headline story. Sorry. My old man drilled into my head “Never make the same mistake twice.”


  659. Help.

    Comment lost.

    Thanks


  660. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 11:42 am swarthmoremom

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/04/the-bowe-bergdahl-story-is-right-wing-crack.html Here is a link to the Daily Beast’s top story on Bergdahl today.


  661. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 11:45 am Paul C. Schulte

    Bob, Esq – assume for the sake of argument that there is a War on Terror. Then assume that in any war you have the right to take prisoners and hold them for the duration of the war. Then assume some of those terrorists are home grown. Can you not take them prisoner and keep them for the duration of the war?


  662. Paul,

    I don’t know if Washington ever issued a signing statement. But since he was present for the constitutional convention, I’m sure Washington was aware that the constitution contained no provision making signing statements legally significant.


  663. Nick doesn’t do links but admonishes us to be sure to read his suggestions. Nick. Did you read the Gawker exerpt? The one where Bethea forgave Bergdahl. The one that you said was a despicable lie.


  664. Paul,

    I do not begin with absurd assumptions.

    Here’s an example why:

    Terror is not an enemy as the founders intended.

    Terror is a state of mind.

    Terror will always exist so long as humanity exists.

    Thus a war on terror will never end.

    Ignoring the entire framework of the constitution and granting extra powers based on the alleged existence of a war that will never end is nothing short of insane.


  665. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 12:02 pm swarthmoremom

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/06/bowe-bergdahl-and-the-resurgence-of-conservative-islamophobia/372129/“I have some sympathy for critics of President Obama’s decision to trade five Guantanamo prisoners for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. At the very least, the White House should have informed Congress beforehand, as required by law. And the administration’s effort to justify that failure by citing a presidential signing statement altering the law’s meaning sounds positively Cheneyesque.

    Still, it’s disheartening to see that some prominent conservatives ho are unable to critique the Bergdahl deal without resorting to anti-Muslim bigotry. Bergdahl’s father, an outraged Bill O’Reilly said earlier this week, “looks like a Muslim. He is also somewhat sympathetic to Islam.” Actually, Bob Bergdahl’s untrimmed beard would fit in well in Amish and ultra-Orthodox Jewish circles as well. But it’s revealing that for O’Reilly, sympathy for “Islam,”—not “Taliban-style Islam” or “radical Islam” but merely “Islam”—is a character flaw.”


  666. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 12:06 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Bob, Esq – there is a declared War on Terror, declared by Congress. Terror is asymmetrical warfare which makes it difficult to deal with under standard forms. All of the assumptions I asked you to make are real, not assumption. The Founders were familiar with terror as a weapon, the British used it with their Indian allies, i.e., scalping. At least one American used it against the British during the Revolutionary War, bashing in the head of an Indian chief in front of the British fort he was trying to get to surrender.
    The fact that the War on Terror will never end is probably correct. Just as the War on Poverty is actually America’s longest running war. And we are losing that one.
    During war the Constitution gives the executive extraordinary powers, if a home-grown terrorist is found, do you try him as a traitor or do you hold him as a prisoner of war. Or do you just kill him because he could be considered a spy (not wearing a uniform) and is subject to summary execution?


  667. Nick

    Read the Gawker exerpt yet?


  668. Don’t know if this was already posted: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/bowe-berghdal-return_b_5440866.html

    If You’re Not Cheering Bowe’s Return, You Didn’t Want to End the War


  669. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 12:16 pm Nick Spinelli

    SWM, I had skipped over the Tomasky piece because I know his work and I know his bias. However, I dutifully read it. Here’s my take. He is trying to make this a right wing attack. Well, of course the right wing is going to attack. He does admit he considers Berdahl a “traitor” and I have no problem w/ him putting that in quotes. I respect him for putting it in quotes since he is a reporter. He points out the Hastings Rolling Stone piece as I have. Were you aware Holder had the FBI investigate Hastings before he died? The political operative, as best I can tell, set up a few soldiers for local radio interviews. Did you see the Sgt. Buestow interview Jake Tapper got by himself. I HIGHLY doubt the Rep operative set up any MSM interviews.

    So, I have read your piece and commented. Will you do likewise of the Daily Beast piece I cited? I would also love your take on Hasting’s piece, Buestow’s interview and JT’s. But, I’ll take what I can get. I know these are some dark days for you. You are a political operative, but you are not fringe.in my mind.


  670. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 12:26 pm Paul C. Schulte

    He still condemns him and although he forgives Berghdal, he hopes his mates can, too. Some people can forgive the murderers of their children, some scream at the murderer.


  671. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 12:54 pm Nick Spinelli

    KarenS has pointed out several times the plight of Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooresi, a decorated veteran of two tours in Afghanistan. This brave soldier, suffering from PTSD. made a wrong turn @ the Tijuana San Ysidro border w/ a weapon. Anyone who has made that crossing know how chaotic and disconcerting it can be. This BRAVE real soldier sits in a Mexican prison w/ the Obama administration doing NOTHING to free him.


  672. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 12:57 pm swarthmoremom

    nick, Not dark days for me as I was out planting flowers in the sunshine. I do not watch Sean Hannity’s show.


  673. A NYT article regarding Bergdahl. I hope Nick will read it. It reports that not all the men serving with Bergdahl think he is responsible for 6 deaths.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/04/world/middleeast/can-gi-be-tied-to-6-lost-lives-facts-are-murky.html?_r=0

    Exerpt:
    The soldier who spoke on condition of anonymity agreed that it was “ludicrous” to lay 100 percent of the blame for the deaths at Sergeant Bergdahl’s feet, and he acknowledged that patrols were going to get hit in Paktika during fighting season anyway.

    But, he said, the reason he and his colleagues are angry is that too often that summer, the purpose of their patrols into dangerous areas was not ordinary wartime work like reconnaissance, maintaining a security presence, or humanitarian projects, but rather “to go look for this guy.”


  674. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 10:40 amleejcaroll said…

    “Nick why is what Annie telling you her daughter said “allegedly” but yoo have no problem with the speculation, supposition and possible agendas of those who are against Bergdahl?”
    ***************************

    Leej, Spinelli alleges that it was my DAUGHTER who made an assessment on her own volition that the attack on Camp Bastion was done in retaliation for the anti Muslim video by the Taliban. This is information that was put out in numerous PUBLIC statements by the Taliban themselves. My daughter and her fellow Navy and Marines there at Camp Leatherneck, which is attached to Camp Bastion, were TOLD this NEWS by their superiors ALSO. Spinellii likes to make it sound as if it was all my daughter’s idea. I want to clear the record here in case he attempts this stunt again.
    *************************************

    on 1, June 3, 2014 at 10:11 pmAnnie

    http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/09/15/238109.html

    Taliban carry out revenge attack in Afghanistan over anti Islam film.


  675. Paul: “there is a declared War on Terror, declared by Congress.”

    That is a completely false statement. Congress has not declared war since June of 1942.

    There is the Authorization for Use of Military Force against those responsible for 9/11. That the congress allows the executive to use it as a blank check is the problem.

    Paul: “The Founders were familiar with terror as a weapon, the British used it with their Indian allies, i.e., scalping. At least one American used it against the British during the Revolutionary War, bashing in the head of an Indian chief in front of the British fort he was trying to get to surrender.”

    All you’ve said is that terror is a tactic. The Founders would never have permitted the Executive to wage endless war against a tactic.

    Paul: “The fact that the War on Terror will never end is probably correct. Just as the War on Poverty is actually America’s longest running war. And we are losing that one.”

    And the Framers would have been disgusted with your abuse of the mother tongue to achieve your ends; equating an idiom with the actual existence of warfare.

    That’s also the reason some conservatives like McCain are moving to revise the war powers act.

    Paul: “During war the Constitution gives the executive extraordinary powers, if a home-grown terrorist is found, do you try him as a traitor or do you hold him as a prisoner of war. Or do you just kill him because he could be considered a spy (not wearing a uniform) and is subject to summary execution?”

    And that’s why the Founders would be disgusted with those who share your point of view.

    You know what Washington did to deserters and plunderers. He even refused to let Maj. Andre face a firing squad instead of the felon’s noose; despite the pleadings from Hamilton, etc.

    If Washington was alive today, what do you suppose he’d do to you and the people who share your view?

    And what about Eisenhower? How do you think he’d react if he was alive and heard about your sophistic attempt to make the entire constitution meaningless?


  676. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 1:15 pm Nick Spinelli

    SWM, I don’t watch his show either. It’s a 4 minute interview available @ various outlets.


  677. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 1:20 pm Nick Spinelli

    Team Hillary is sending out operatives to say she would have driven a much tougher bargain. SWM, haven’t you gotten the memo?


  678. If Obama is being criticized by those who want to keep GTMO opened as do Spinelli and Paul, and those people now criticize Obama over the trade of these five from GTMO, where was the criticism of Bush when he freed hundreds, some of which DID end up back on the battlefield? The hypocrisy if rife.


  679. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 1:27 pm swarthmoremom

    nick, I am only involved in campaigns for local and statewide offices.


  680. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 1:31 pm swarthmoremom

    And only as a delegate and volunteer.


  681. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 1:31 pm Nick Spinelli

    A poll taken by MSNBC yesterday shows 65% of MSNBC watchers/readers think this was a bad deal. That is MSNBC, good people!


  682. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 1:32 pm Nick Spinelli

    SWM, Well Team Hillary should recruit you.


  683. Also the soldier who deserted to North Korea was allowed to come back into this country by Bush. Where is the outrage?


  684. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 1:42 pm Nick Spinelli

    Chuck Todd is reporting the WH is “stunned”: @ the backlash to this deal. They told Todd, w/o attribution, that they think Bergdahl’s comrade’s are trying to “Swift Boat” him. They are in full panic mode and shooting from the hip!!


  685. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/02/bergdahl-deal-could-be-first-step-to-emptying-gitmo.html

    There is speculation that Obama will bypass Congress to close GTMO. I am curious to see what the reaction here would be.


  686. I hope Mexico releases Sgt. Tahmoorsi. A Mexican jail will do him little good. But I hope they keep his weapons and 400 rounds of ammunition.

    “A .45-caliber pistol was in a door pocket beneath the driver’s side window, Gonzalez said. The two other weapons were also within reach, he said. He described them as an AR MR-2 rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun. Tahmooressi previously described the rifle as an AR-15.”

    His mother says he is suffering from PTSD and is very anxious and hyper-vigilant.

    Let’s get him home so he can start getting some treatment, but leave the guns in Mexico.


  687. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 2:01 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Bob, Esq – I don’t much care what either the Founders or Eisenhower think about the Constitutional War Powers. The Constitution does not envision a standing army, but still we have one. It did not envision police forces, armed or otherwise, but still we have them. It did not envision that the Constitution would apply to the states, but still it does. As you well know, the Founders would have no opinion on how I feel since the Constitution is hardly recognizable to them as it stands today.


  688. Annie,

    Obama wants to move Gitmo to the US mainland. That’s not speculation, it’s what he said he wants to do.

    Without violating the Constitution, Obama has a right to give each person a fair, civilian trial or to release them on the basis that a grand jury cannot find enough evidence to charge them. He doesn’t need to break the law or go around Congress to do either. I’m not sure why supporters don’t ask him to follow the law and make things right with the detainees. He hasn’t even bothered to pick up the phone and stop the detainees from being tortured. Congress can’t stop him from doing that, he just won’t do it. It gets very hard to believe in someone after they refuse to end torture, drone kill 16 year olds and continually break the law.

    I hope you are not O.K. with just moving people to be indefinitely detained and tortured at another, “home” location. I’m sure that move would be profitable for his donors but really, besides making them money, is this O.K.?


  689. Annie, Reagen is the hero to many on the right and yet: Reagan administration illegally sold weapons to Iranians in order to secure the release of American prisoners, then used the money to illegally finance a war in Central America. Reagan himself assured the American public that the allegations weren’t true, and those assurances turned out to be the opposite of the truth.
    Funny how Bush lies us into war that’s okay, no congressional hearings (Boehner calling for them on this) and Reagen guys despite the hearings mostly (if I recall all) got a free pass.
    Bu this is Obama and the hatred for him surpasses anything any other president did that resulted in deaths of Americans and arming a country that hs gone against us and used the weapons they got from Reagen against us.


  690. Why did Sgt. Tahmoorsi take these weapons into Mexico?


  691. 1) Bergdhal will be interrogated and will be subject to court-martial where he can plead his case.
    2) His exchange was not the product of years of negotiations. The military refused on multiple occasions to sacrifice loyal soldiers’ lives for what they deemed, on the basis of the evidence they had to date, a deserter.
    3) Congress opposed previous trades
    4) Obama is not claiming that the there was a sudden, minuscule window of opportunity and he had to act fast. The facts are that he labeled his failure to notify Congress an “oversight.” The facts are that there was almost unanimous bipartisan opposition to the trade.
    5) Obama bypassed the intelligence community, and rejected an offer to simply ransom Bergdhal, which was floated as recently as 12/13. He insisted on the prisoner swap. And failed to notify Congress.

    So it’s not like we have had ongoing negotiations and a sudden breakthrough. Through an amazing coincidence, Obama made a very unequal prisoner exchange, and through an “oversight” innocently failed to notify a Congress who had almost unanimously opposed previous trades for Bergdhal.

    The theme that runs through all these scandals with Obama is “fraud.” He’s claimed he just found out about the VA scandal when it is a matter of public record he was notified in 2008 in his incoming briefing, and repeatedly through the years. But he’s innocently “mad as hell.” He claims there is not a smidgeon of corruption in the IRS while Lois Lerner pleads the 5th and a maxed-out Obama donor heads the investigation. It just goes on.

    Business as usual in DC.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/white-house-apologizes-senate-democrats-oversight-bergdahl-notification-failure-article-1.1815459

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/06/04/intelligence-community-largely-ignored-in-taliban-bergdahl-trade-officials-say/

    These 5 facts are devoid of opinion and emotion, and are undisputed by Congress and the White House. They are what they are.

    I, and many others, believe that paying for his release would have been far preferable than the prisoner swap. Heck, they could have put a die pellet in the cash briefcase. I am certainly glad we didn’t buy him back with the lives of more soldiers.

    There are more legitimate ways to close Gitmo.


  692. Paul,

    The entire purpose of the constitution was to prevent the exercise of unlimited power.

    Claiming unlimited power by declaring eternal war against a tactic renders the constitution nothing more than a urinal puck.

    There’s nothing conservative about that.


  693. No Jill, I would not be Ok with simply moving them to the US or any other prison without charging them and trying them first. If they are found innocent or no charges can be made, he should be set free, as Bush did.


  694. *They*


  695. Annie, regarding closing Gitmo

    I think they should go slow. See my note to Max at 11:17. They have got to convince more Americans that at least those 78 should be released. Good luck with that Didn’t Prof. Turley post another poll indicating the boundless depths of the intelligence of the American public?


  696. A 15-6 investigation determined he willfully walked off the base.

    Yep. It’s going to be fun times during his interrogation. They are especially interested in a radio report that there was an American looking for someone who spoke English so he could talk with the Taliban.

    I wonder if it will be classified, or if they will release the results to the public.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/06/04/bergdahl-had-left-base-before-according-to-2010-report/


  697. Annie,

    He was living in his truck. I think he wasn’t in very good shape.


  698. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 2:17 pm Nick Spinelli

    The WH is anonymously besmirching brave soldiers in order to alibi for their disastrous decision to try and make a hero out of a deserter. I’m reminded of Wag the Dog and the WH trying to make a hero out of “Shoe, good ol’ Shoe” who turned out to be a sexual predator. They are flop sweating and digging deeper and deeper.


  699. No one knows what was n his mind. Maybe he thought he could talk them into stopping their terror. I tink it is unfair that it his voice tat is missing from all this about what a terrile person he is. (And they showed another freed prisoner who could not talk for some time as Bergdahl could not. He said it was because he was not permitted to speak at all so his vocal muscles were out of practice. Maybe Baghdalh was not permitted to speak English – there is just way too much that is unknown. Occurs to me all those speaking against him remind me of neighbors of murderers, etc who say he was such a nice boy etd. These people speaking against him may not know him well enough to have made a determination. He was with them only a month after all and who knows how much interaction they had with him. (sry typos problems with keyboard)


  700. For those unfamiliar with this border area, there is both a walking and vehicle crossing. Sgt Tahmoorsi had parked his car on the US side, walked over the border correctly, and visited with family and friends in Mexico.

    Then he walked back, got in his car, which contained legal weapons, and was going to drive home. This border area is a complete mess. Once you get in the wrong lane, you cannot turn around this side of the border. You have to go all the way through, and then turn around and come back. (Millions of dollars spent on the border, and we can’t get an intuitive, efficient road system!) Taxis do this ALL the time, but are usually waved through. And these are drivers that travel this area frequently for a living.

    Anyway, he turned right around, which has been verified. When asked the standard questions, do you have any weapons? He truthfully answered that he did, but had crossed by mistake and had turned right around. You can listen to his 911 call where he explains what happened, but the operator was unable to help him, because he was no longer on US soil.

    He’s been in jail ever since.

    It is not in dispute that he turned immediately around.

    In a recent interview, he had great hopes that once his case finally goes to trial, the judge will be reasonable and let him go.

    I have travelled often in Mexico, and bribing is like tipping. It is so corrupt that it is not recommended that you bring your own vehicle. They have special insurance if you do. Because the corrupt cops flag down foreigners and fleece them, threatening to jail them if they don’t pay.

    You would think the State Department or Obama would life a finger for this Marine. We should have some pull. Make some waves. This case should not have warranted a trail, but been dismissed by the prosecutor.


  701. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 2:18 pm Nick Spinelli

    As are the fringe.


  702. Then, Annie, I hope you will call for Obama to act legally and either release or charge the detainees and I truly hope you will urge him, right here on this blog, to do that and stop force feeding detainees.

    LJC, It is not hateful to tell the truth, it is hateful to deliberately lie to oneself and others about reality. As a citizen it is your job to understand what is actually happening with people in government. It doesn’t matter if they are from your party, if you like them, if you want things to be different. All that matters is what is actually happening.

    Right now, what is actually happening is Obama is breaking the law. In the past it is absolutely correct to say Reagan broke the law. Perhaps this is why Obama admires Reagan so highly?


  703. lee:

    “Maybe he thought he could talk them into stopping their terror.” Seems unlikely, given his emails that he hated America and the military.

    Read the reports.

    Best case scenario is that he wanted to have a walking tour of Afghanistan. After seeing some action, deaths, and injuries. He wanted to go hang out with them.


  704. NPR ‘Hear and Now’ 6/4

    The man who worked with Hastings and served in the same Afghanistan area is very sympathetic to Mr. and Mrs. Bergdahl. understands the anger of the other men, and says it is disgusting that Washington is making this a political football. That’s ‘Washington” – not the WH. He says the non-disclosure agreements the outfit was made to sign has caused a lot of anger to boil over and to be unfairly focused on Bergdahl. Overall, his position does not put him in the ‘Nick’ camp.


  705. Another typo: “lift a finger” not “life!”


  706. randyjet:

    “Byron, I would also ask how your mother treated black GIs when they were in the area or came back home. Most of those camps were in the south and other areas where segregation was the rule, so the people who were guilty of killing many GIs got better treatment than the black AMERICANS who were fighting them. I never cease to be amazed at the ignorance and total lack of decency of conservatives.”

    I dont know how she treated blacks when she was a child, she never told me. She didnt live in the deep south.

    I am sort of curious as to why you think conservatives are racist when most republicans were on board with Herman Cain until a democrat dropped the shoe that he had had one or more affairs. Most conservatives would vote for Ben Carson and would be happy to have Dr. Rice in government. They also embrace Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams, 2 brilliant black economists. They also love Allen West. I could go on but you get my point.

    As far as I know Bull Conner was a democrat and democrats belonged to the clan and lynched many a black man. Now some decent democrats voted for Reagan and maybe changed parties and became republicans but the ones who didnt either went on to become White Supremacists which are nothing but National Socialists or were Marxist/Socialists and corrupted what was left of the democratic party. Not that it had any moral ground to stand on to begin with.

    So the lefts contention that racist democrats joined the republican party is pure bull sh*t, decent democrats joined the republican party the racists stayed democrats or became Skinheads.

    There is nothing more ignorant than a Marxist, they look at the world through the lens of a chicken sh*t, no account loser who had to be supported by another chicken sh*t, no account loser who had money. Two fuking zeros who ended up causing the deaths of hundreds of millions of people and making the lives of hundreds of millions more a living hell.

    “Communists, like all materialists, are neo-mystics: it does not matter whether one rejects the mind in favor of revelations or in favor of conditioned reflexes. The basic premise and the results are the same.”


  707. The guys who served with him almost universally despise him. Spec Ops declined on several occasions to rescue him because he wasn’t worth the lives it would take.

    Facts.

    If one or two people step forward and say he was a super great guy, it does not change the facts.


  708. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 2:23 pm Nick Spinelli

    KarenS, Don’t waste your time giving facts on a decorated soldier like Sgt. Tamoorhesi to the fringe. They’re already making light of his plight. He is a Marine from Camp Pendleton. I’m sure all the Marines there are concerned for him and aren’t casting aspersions like the fringe are here. The self marginalization is astounding. But, I do love playing “Rope a dope” and fueling their self immolation.


  709. Schulte:

    “During the Cold War we traded one-for-one”

    How did that work, exactly? One big ol’ missile to the Mullahs for one US hostage?

    “Actually, if they captured one of ours, we would arrest one of theirs and then trade.”

    Actually, you’d have to provide evidence for that. No fair copying and pasting from Wikipedia without citing it.

    “Horrible, just horrible negotiators.”

    And what did we get for the 400 or so GW Bush let out of Guantanamo?

    “We have a law that clearly has been broken by the President of the United States”

    We have lots of laws that have been broken by Presidents. We even had one President who said if the President does it, it’s not illegal. In the big scheme of things, if this President actually did break a law (and that would require a trial to prove), then it was certainly less of a transgression than lying us into a war that cost $2 trillion, killed a half a million (or 30,000 for you), and tortured people.

    “We know that at least 50% of the people we release from Gitmo we end up either killing or capturing again in firefights. ”

    And how do we know this? Because that’s what happened with the hundreds that Bush released?

    “the administration is all smoke and mirrors”

    “We know where they [Iraq's WMD] are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat”–Donald Rumsfeld

    “didn’t we have a thing the other day on Politifact not being trustworthy?”

    Genetic Fallacy.

    “You know, those briefings that Obama avoids?”

    Do you have proof of this?

    “All right. You’ve covered your ass, now.”–GW Bush, to the CIA briefer who gave him the memo (historical document to Condi) “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.”

    “No deserter left behind. I like that meme.”

    “When you’re in the Navy, and you go overboard, it doesn’t matter if you were pushed, fell or jumped,” he said. “We’re going to turn the ship around and pick you up.”–Adm. John F. Kirby

    “If he deserted then he does his time.”

    And how do we determine if he deserted? I wonder what extreme right partisans would be saying if Obama left him there?

    “Obama has yet to get us out of any wars.”

    Wow. You guys really want to forget about Iraq. And if you’re complaining that we still have forces there, well, which is it? Do you want out or do you want to stay? I hear Republicans complain that we shouldn’t have left Iraq, and that we shouldn’t be leaving Afghanistan, so it’s kind of odd that you’re telling them we’re not.

    “if Obama is impeached and convicted you get Joe Biden”

    Precisely why we didn’t impeach C+ Augustus.

    “but like his other ‘pretend promises’ he didn’t keep his word.”

    Do you have any idea how many Presidents haven’t kept their work on the VA? Or do you reserve criticism only for Presidents from the party you hate?

    “I would gladly accept a cut in EPA funding to allow those funds to go to the VA.”

    Of course you would, because pollution kills a disproportionate number of the poor and minorities, and your political philosophy says cost-shifting negative externalities in order to upwardly redistribute wealth and income is praiseworthy.

    I would gladly accept a cut in Pentagon funding to take care of their own.

    “B-52s are more than 60 years old.”

    So? They’re great planes! And we have other bombers. Lots of them. More than we’ll ever need.

    Oh, and if you want to defend Caribou Barbie, please, continue.

    “A private system cannot possibly do worse then the government run VA”

    Wanna bet? Are you familiar with some of our HMOs?

    “I vote to keep Gitmo open and add more prisoners. I want to see it turned into a super-max prison.”

    Why? We already have Super-max prisons. And a court system to try criminals in.

    “I am not happy with signing statements by anyone. ”

    I’d love to see proof of you saying that during the reign of C+ Augustus (that’s a Charles P Pierce line, BTW… gotta give credit where it’s due)


  710. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 2:26 pm Nick Spinelli

    I’ll just keep citing reports and accounts and allow the fringe to keep shooting themselves in the feet.


  711. Spinelli

    “superb Rolling Stone piece done on Bergdahl from June 2012. It leaves little doubt this guy was a deserter @ best, a traitor possibly.”

    And all that evidence can be used against him in a trial, as is his right.

    “They will kill more of our soldiers. You can bet on that.”

    How much?

    “Only blindly loyal give him a pass now.”

    Yeah, like people still argue that the Iraq war was a good idea.

    I am not blindly loyal to the President. If he broke the law, then let’s have a little trial to prove it.

    But after years of Presidents breaking the law, I find it quite disengenuous to hear people whine about it now, when they never have done so before. Or worse, when they openly defended C+ Augustus for his lies and law breaking.

    “What I have seen of late are the people who call milk black and grass orange are marginalizing themselves. ”

    Who would that be, Spinelli? People like me who quote the UN special rapporteur on torture who says that denial of proper palliative care is torture?

    NEW on that front:

    • Under article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, countries are obliged to take steps to ensure that patients have access to palliative care and pain treatment.

    (opensocietyfoundations.org/sites/default/files/palliative-care-human-right-20110524.pdf)

    And here’s the old link, again, that proves that I’m calling grass green (you know, the part you are ignoring):

    http://www.hrw.org/es/world-report-2010/abusing-patients

    > The UN special rapporteur on torture recently recognized that outdated and unnecessarily restrictive drug control laws contribute to widespread failures of states to provide pain relief to patients in moderate and severe pain. The special rapporteur further categorized the “de facto denial of access to pain relief, where it causes severe pain and suffering” as CIDT, saying that “all measures should be taken to ensure full access and to overcome current regulatory, educational and attitudinal obstacles to ensure full access to palliative care.”

    You keep lying about me, Spinelli, and I’ll keep posting that.

    “The UCMJ will determine if this person was “punished enough.””

    Absolutely correct. Those suggesting that they know enough to have made the decision to leave this man behind are wrong.

    “We were told during the 2008 election that Obama was a shrewd poker player.”

    You would prefer John “Bomb Bomb Bomb” McCain? Maybe Willard “My Neocons all came from Dick Cheney’s office” Romney?

    “Now we know we want Feynman in on the poker game also.”

    I asked you how much you wanted to bet on the Democrats not holding the Senate. You ignored me. That’s a tell.

    “Three fish @ the poker table! I would suggest a comeback.”

    Tell me what you want to bet on.

    “”govt. healthcare is an abject failure”

    Millions on Medicare will disagree with you. So will millions on Medicaid. Medicaid, especially, is much better than the private sector at keeping costs down. And since THE driver of our long term debt is the fact that we pay twice as much per person for health care than the rest of the world, I’d think you’d be all for ways to lower the debt.

    Further, the VA system has been hammered by a combination of warmongers who create more vets, on-the-spot advanced medical techniques that save a lot of injured vets that would have died in past wars, and these vets then have much worse injuries, and then there’s the cuts… Inadequate funding while you’re increasing the number of vets by 3 million is just stupid.

    “Defending this swap was a loser.”

    I’ll defend the swap all day. It’s exactly the kind of swap that many other Presidents have made, even better than the illegal stuff Reagan did.

    What I won’t defend is the executive not following the law. If they broke the law, there should be some kind of investigation. Congress should have been notified. If it turns out someone didn’t do their job and notify them, then there should be some sort of trial or action.

    But to suggest that this is an impeachable offense, when you defend Bush and Cheney, is the worst kind of hypocrisy.

    “Democrats are smart, inclusive, hard working and they care.”

    Some are, some aren’t. Since you agree with Democrats on so much, I would think you could tell the difference.

    “Republicans are stupid, racists/homophobes/sexists/ageists.lazy and heartless.”

    Some are and some aren’t. Since you disagree with them so much, I would think you would know the difference.

    “How about releasing them to your neighborhood on electronic monitoring?”

    How do we know that they don’t have some kind of electronic monitoring in them and that we’ll use that to track them in their own neighborhood?

    “That’s what is coming down the road.”

    Bull. You can just pay them more and dump them in the exchanges. Yet another reason I support Medicare for All.

    “NYT is reporting Bergdahl left a note”

    And this can be used against him at trial, as you noted. No need for us to Sunday Morning quaterback, or to suggest that these decisions about his guilt should have been decided by someone not at a military trial.

    “the silence of Dems defending this is deafening.”

    If they’re silent, they’re not defending it.

    > “If the President does it then it’s not illegal.” Nixon/Obama

    This is a lie. Only Nixon said that. But Dick Cheney agreed.

    “including his violating the law requiring day notice to Congress”

    I see. This supposed deserter gets a trial to decide if he broke the law, but you decide if Obama did. Gotcha.

    As randyjet pointed out, the law apparently says he has to notify the congress on transfers, not releases. I’m not sure if that’s right, but it certainly seems like something you should check before you declare sentence.

    “Obama was forced to admit this morning that the released Taliban terrorists could end up killing more US soldiers.”

    Too bad we never forced Bush to admit that when he released hundreds of them.

    “In 2007 Bush released Abu Sufian bin Qumu from Gitmo. He rejoined Al Qaeda and is now implicated ”

    Bravo! Now, if Bush would just be forced to admit that. But he’s busy painting his feet, something so many soldiers, like Tammy Duckworth, don’t have anymore.

    “I don’t want it closed.”

    So, you support indefinite detention? Odd position for a Libertarian.

    “Facts are exposing the fringe here, as they continue to marginalize themselves.”

    Gee, I can’t wait to find out if randyjet was right and only transfers have to be mentioned to congress. Or maybe the Republicans on the hill are lying, or mistaken? Maybe they did notify congress? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    “intelligent people assess all types of data. They don’t ridicule data that is counter to their prejudices or mindset.”

    I know, right? Like when people claim that denying pain meds is torture? Or when people suggest that they know better than the military and the commander in cheif when it comes to deciding what soldiers we leave behind.

    “I pointed out yesterday these 2 august attorneys called Obama a lawbreaker.”

    Burden of proof is on them. President is innocent until proven guilty. If there is enough evidence, we should have a special prosecutor. And if the level of lawbreaking meets a high enough standard, we should impeach.

    This would expose the hypocrisy of those who refuse to admit that Bush’s lawbreaking was MUCH MUCH worse. I would welcome it.

    “His approval #’s now are headed to W range.”

    Not quite.

    “Never let them see you sweat”

    Is that why you won’t bet on the Senate being controlled by Dems after November?

    “MANY Obama supporters are appalled w/ this. ”

    If it is proven that Obama broke the law, and if his appeals all go nowhere, or are ruled against by the highest court in the land, then I will be mildly appalled. I save the appall for those who lie us into multi-trillion dollar wars that kill a half a million, maim and displace millions, torture, and then blame the resulting mess on the Democrats.

    “He thinks he can still do whatever he wants and get away w/ it.”

    Like Bush did. Gee, I wonder where Presidents get this silly idea? And I wonder how much money in politics has to do with it? In fact, that’s why I’m here. I think it’s odd that Professor Turley supports citizens united, and is then surprised when politicians act like they can do anything they want, as if they were the Galtian Overlords that bought them.

    “IS MUCH actual information”

    There is a lot of talk. How much of it is true will be up to the military trial to decide, as you said before you started to ignore yourself.

    “They knew he was a deserter and possibly a traitor.”

    Calls for speculation.

    “They should be tried and sentenced.”

    And we need the extra-legal Gitmo for this why?

    “I criticize but respect the rule of law. That’s more than Obama does.”

    Do you not see your own self-contradiction here? If you respect the rule of law, then you have to prove, in court, or in the US Senate, that the President broke the law. Anything else is mere speculation on your part.

    “Feinstein just stated along w/ Rep Saxby Chambliss that Obama “broke the law” by not consulting about this swap.”

    And if the House finds substantial evidence for this violation, they can impeach, and Ms. Feinstein will get her chance to decide in the Senate trial.

    “You fringe folks are playing defense.”

    Style over substance fallacy.

    “I know MUCH more than all of you on this topic. ”

    Appeal to authority fallacy.

    “anyone who sees it will learn a lot about the facts of this desertion”

    No, what they will learn is what ONE witness has to say.

    “McCain went ballistic”

    Well, when he was asked about it in Feb, he was not ballistic.

    “an exchange of prisoners for our American fighting man. I would be inclined to support such a thing”–John “Bomb Bomb Bomb” McCain.

    mediamatters.org/blog/2014/06/03/cnn-lets-john-mccain-off-the-hook-for-shifting/199561

    > On the February 18 edition of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, McCain explained that he was previously opposed to the idea of releasing the five Guantanamo prisoners in peace talks, but that he was now “inclined to support” a proposal that would release the men in exchange for Bergdahl. When Anderson asked for a second time, “if there was some — the possibility of some sort of exchange, that’s something you would support?” McCain reiterated his support:

    “after making a swap w/ bipartisan opposition”

    As I just showed, the bipartisan opposition to which you refer was from 2012, and at least one of those opposed then was fine with it in Feb.

    “violating the law”

    You keep saying this, and yet you don’t apply the same standard of proof by trial that you apply to the Sgt. Odd, that. Downright partisan in it’s blindness.

    “Oh, and this was all timed because Obama is getting g=buried in the press on the VA.”

    Another assertion for which you have no proof.

    “It’s DC!! It’s all politics all the time.”

    And yet you seem shocked and angry about it.

    “All people are innocent till proven guilty.”

    And yet you don’t seem to apply this to the President.

    “Time just reported the Pentagon and CIA were against this swap”

    Who in the Pentagon? Who in the CIA? You know, Time reported the Iraq had WMD too. Not saying they’re wrong (that would be the genetic fallacy). Just sayin’ you should take what they say with a grain of salt until this all gets proven at trial.

    “They’re lightweights, Paul.”

    How civil.

    “Obama and Rice said he “served w/ honor and distinction” and consider him a hero”

    I see you ended your quotes before the “hero” thing. Did you just make the hero part up, or misquote? And it is certainly possible that before he allegedly left his post, he had served with honor and distinction.

    “KARMA IS A B!TCH.”

    There is no Karma. If there were, GW Bush would be painting empty space at the end of the tub.

    “In just a few months Gitmo will have been open longer under Obama than under Bush.”

    So? Obama wants it closed. Bush didn’t. You want it open, so why are you criticizing the President who’s had it open the longest?

    “He just kills them[including US citizens] w/ drones. Very progressive.”

    Obama is not a progressive on foreign policy. He leans right. In fact, it’s kind of hard to get elected President if you’re progressive in foreign policy, in no small part because people who would like a more progressive foreign policy keep voting for Republicans for some reason.

    “The Hero Who Died Looking for Bergdahl ”

    Allegedy died… Again, you ignore your own advice on letting this get decided at trial. In fact, if this were a civilian’s trial, you’d be tainting the jury pool.


  712. Bob Esq.

    “I’ll never forget how my liberal friends delighted in hearing all the things I had to say about the Bush administration being bereft of principle”

    Do you have this on a Macro? Just hit a few keys and it types automatically?

    “They try to convince me that the principles that applied to Bush don’t apply to Obama.”

    I should build a macro for the reply.

    The principles apply in exactly the degree to which they were broken. Bush’s crimes rose to impeachable levels in my book. I’d have to see a lot more evidence of Obama’s high crimes to support impeachment.

    ” I think the Bush administration should be prosecuted for war crimes?”

    Well, good for you. Now what are Obama’s war crimes? Are they AS BAD as Bush’s? Or do you see matters of degree?

    “turn around and claim their guy is as infallible as the Pope”

    Who said that? US law makes many distinctions based on degree of the seriousness of the crime. I have not seen any crime from this administration that even comes close to the lies that got us into Iraq. To equate the two is another “special kind of evil.”

    randyjet informs us that the President might not have actually broken this law, so you might have run your macro too soon: “The law says transfer, NOT release.” Interesting.

    “Never attempt to teach a pig to sing”

    Did you just call angryman a pig?

    For the record, I once taught a pig to sing. It was more like a bark. The pig was helping me train some dogs.

    “But how would Eisenhower have handled it?”

    Well, he illegally overthrew the democratically elected leader of Iran, which led to decades of blowback that we’re still dealing with, so I don’t think he would have cared much about any laws…

    “Innocent until proven guilty.” Followed by: “there are those who are so enamored of Obama and their party that they don’t seem to mind that the President not only broke the law but violated the separation of powers doctrine.”

    Interesting…

    “2010 Pentagon inquiry found incontrovertible evidence that Bergdahl left his post.”

    And they can use that against him at trial, just as the House and Senate can use any evidence against Obama at his impeachment.

    “treating the constitution as a urinal puck”

    Well, there’s swapping prisoners, and then there’s lying us into a multi-trillion dollar war that killed, maimed, tortured, and displaced millions. It would seem odd to impeach for the former when the latter is painting his feet in a bathtub.

    “Long live the King.

    Dick “Unitary Executive” Cheney is still worshiped by the people Willard Romney wanted to put in the White House as his advisers.

    “Gitmo is a disgrace.”

    Absolutely.

    “I feel nauseated from the anger.”

    There’s an excellent natural medicine for that. Hope you don’t live in a state that would deny you the right to it.


  713. Jill, I’ve actually said as much upstream in this very thread. Perhaps you missed it. As for force feeding or any type of torture I most certainly didn’t agree with it when Bush did it, nor do I agree it when Obama does it. Why you would make such an assumption, I’m not sure. I have expressed upstream here in this very thread several policies that I disagree with Obama on, maybe you missed that too.


  714. Mike Appleton:

    “nothing else qualifies as impeachable any more”

    Yeah, when the “unitary executive” lies us into war, and they aren’t impeached, when they were willing to impeach over a lie about sex, I’d say the impeachment process is effectively broken.


  715. Why was Bergdahl marketed during the VA scandal? What will Obama market during the next scandal? And is there a rational person left that listens to whatever comes out of the mouth of Susan Rice? Carney’s gone; he can’t lie anymore. The law to disclose to Congress is violated.

    Is the military buying the release of the Taliban’s general staff and what did those Americans die for in Afghanistan? Geez I’m glad my kid wasn’t killed over there.

    You can keep your doctor. The IRS is a political weapon. Benghazi is a campaign lie and cover-up.

    Rootin’ Tootin’ Putin is shootin’ and the Chinese junks are junking the Vietnamese fishing boats as the Chinese takeover the South China Sea and its resources.

    It’s getting crazy, folks.

    He’s fundamentally transforming America in a marijuana haze. Boehner and conservatives are “dazed and confused.” Will the military step in like Egypt and Thailand?

    May you live in interesting times.


  716. feynman:

    “Poor Nick. He is taking this very hard. He has even had to read the NYT”

    Funniest thing I heard all day. SO far.

    “Congress didn’t find the AG and the IRS in contempt. The House did.”

    Details aren’t their strong suit, because that’s where the DEVIL is.


  717. Karen, you don’t know if there are negotiations going on thru back channels. but castigating and saying you have the truth and if someone disagrees then they don’t know the truth is what is wrong with this country now. People put their backs up against the wall and want to hear or accept anything that might interfere with their narrative. I have given alternate possibilities but you don’t even want to consider them because you know what is happening and I don’t, at least that is how I read your comment to me.


  718. Waldo:

    “I dislike a lot of what Obama is doing, I’m still convinced he’s much better than any of the Republican alternatives would have been as far as getting us out of the quagmires that Bush got us into.”

    Yep. It’s all a matter of degrees, which are, of course, invisible to Manichean Paranoiacs.


  719. “We have lots of laws that have been broken by Presidents. We even had one President who said if the President does it, it’s not illegal. In the big scheme of things, if this President actually did break a law (and that would require a trial to prove), then it was certainly less of a transgression than lying us into a war that cost $2 trillion, killed a half a million (or 30,000 for you), and tortured people.”

    “But after years of Presidents breaking the law, I find it quite disengenuous to hear people whine about it now, when they never have done so before. Or worse, when they openly defended C+ Augustus for his lies and law breaking.”

    Mike Appleton,

    See what I mean?


  720. Hey Scott,

    Do you like zombie movies?


  721. Who is casting aspersions on Sgt. Tahmooressi? I asked why he took guns into Mexico because I didn’t know why he did, nor why he was arrested to begin with.I have looked up his story and I see that he accidentally entered Mexico. I certainly hope he is released safe and sound. Why do people make assumptions that are so far off the mark?


  722. Above it was asked:
    “where was the criticism of Bush when he freed hundreds, some of which DID end up back on the battlefield?”

    Who cares? Okay, let’s play.

    How many have been sent to GTMO? Why were they sent there?

    Once questioned, some were deemed to not be a significant threat. They were released. Some returned to the fight, the recidivism rate is 17%. We can’t get it right all the time; they are scumbag Islamists hell bent on jihad.

    The current administration should know this. The Attorney General’s previous role as a senior partner in a law firm represented 17 of the detainees. One of their clients, whom they successfully “freed”, blew himself up in Iraq with a VBIED in a crowded market. Again, it happens, they’re scum.

    Releasing some makes sense when the progressives and brilliant leaders like Harry Reid demand they all be released. Should we give them healthcare too? (Not the VA of course.) We could charge the Koch brothers with their transport!

    Releasing 5 that are considered some of the most senior is pathetic and stupid. Defending the action is pathetic and stupid.

    The House and Senate said do not release these 5.
    Clapper said do not release these 5.
    Panetta said do not release these 5.
    Feinstein is mad she wasn’t notified. Feinstein!

    Obama released them.

    Why? They claim to get back a “POW” that served with “honor and distinction” of course! (Oh yea, they concerns for his “health” too.)

    His health wasn’t an issue.

    He wasn’t a POW. Hostage, maybe. Not a POW, even by Geneva Convention standards.

    Neither honor nor distinction. He deserted. In the past desertion was dealt with a bullet to the head or hanging. More recently it is dealt with long stays at Leavenworth. It’s one of the worst crimes a soldier can commit in a combat zone.

    Now it’s dealt with by negoitiating with terrorists.

    He wasn’t mentally ill, unless you consider being “progressive” mentally ill. He was a home schooled Calvinist that was a barista and ballet dancer that was turned away by the French Foreign Legion. He was bored and watched too many movies so he joined the Army.

    Once he got to his post he didn’t like it. Wow, war sucks – who knew?

    His parents actually claim was “sold lies” on the military. Lil’ Bowe thought it was “like the Peace Corps with guns.” That’s a new one!

    He emailed his disdain for his country. Pashto daddy told him to “Follow His Conscience.” So he did. He sent home his personal effects and followed his conscience, right off the FOB into the hands of the Haqqani network.

    Sadly his “conscience” cost Staff Sergeant Clayton Bowen, 29, of San Antonio, Texas, Private 1st Class Morris Walker, 23, of Chapel Hill, N.C., Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss, 27, of Murray, Utah, 2nd Lieutenant Darryn Andrews, 34, of Dallas, Texas, Staff Sergeant Michael Murphrey, 25, of Snyder, Texas and Private 1st Class Matthew Martinek, 20, of DeKalb, Ill. their lives.

    The president and those in his administration are lawless morons. Those defending their actions are just as pathetic.


  723. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 2:37 pm Nick Spinelli

    WH NSA Tony Blinken apologized to Feinstein for breaking the law. Mind boggling. Again. 12 Dem Senators were contacted about this swap and all had “no comment.” The wheels are coming off the bus. Maybe Congress will finally man/woman up on this lawless administration. As JT said last night, “Obama is the President Nixon dreamed of being.”


  724. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 2:39 pm Nick Spinelli

    Bob, Esq. LOL! But, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. Prepare to LYAO.


  725. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 2:41 pm Nick Spinelli

    Steve Kallam, Lot’s of good info. It does not matter to the fringe, however.


  726. Mike Appleton

    What do you think of the new and ‘improved’ categorical imperative?

    Breaking the law is excusable, so long as you can point to someone else breaking the law.

    Genius or what?


  727. Annie,

    I did miss that. It is refreshing to hear an Obama supporter say it is wrong for Obama to torture and indefinitely detain people. Thanks for affirming torture and indefinite detention as the cruel and illegal things they are.


  728. It is indeed amazing that so many here have complete access to Obama’s motivations and the recesses of his brain, the dark plans of all counter-intelligence officers, the long and short term tactics of the Democratic Party, the motivations, mental state and character of Bowe Bergdahl, and easy access to dark WH operatives (unnamed) that are besmirching brave soldiers (unnamed).

    I sense a possibility that we have future Pulitizer winners here. Or an unpaid intern for Breitbart.


  729. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 2:45 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Steve – I rarely watch ads on tv or elsewhere, but I did happen to watch an ad for joining the Army. It was the ‘Peace Corps with guns.’ He may have a claim for low information voter status.


  730. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 2:46 pm Paul C. Schulte

    supak – HO HUM, HO HUM


  731. Steve you should care what Bush did. Those who don’t learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them.


  732. Jill, you are welcome, I’ve been saying so for years and lost respect or Obama when he did the same things Bush did. However Obama isn’t wrong in every single thing he has done as President and I won’t say he wrong across the board, just because it may be unpopular to defend him.


  733. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 2:53 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Bob, Esq – you don’t put time limits on a war unless you intend to lose it. If your opponent keeps fighting you have to as well. Following is Bush’s strategy for fighting terrorism.

    http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2003/02/20030214-7.html


  734. Leej, there is a big problem around these parts. “I know it all syndrome “.


  735. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 3:03 pm Paul C. Schulte

    angryman – depression does affect judgment, learning, relationships, conversations, etc.


  736. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 3:06 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Annie – would you like to name names?


  737. Paul,

    You don’t declare war on a tactic and attempt to claim uncertainty as to when you will “defeat your opponent.” That’s because you don’t need to be Von Clausewitz to understand that a tactic is neither an opponent nor something you could ever “defeat.”

    I believe in reserving the death penalty as the ultimate third rail for those who might be inclined to“deliberately and cooly engage [in a fraudulent scheme that results in the death of another]“

    Seems to me that if we had such laws in place at the beginning of this century, the idea of defrauding the country into war or attempting to justify the exercise of war powers based on an alleged declaration of war against a tactic would have been far less appealing to the would-be wrong-doers and those they asked to do their bidding.


  738. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 3:29 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Bob, Esq – I know that you hold an opinion that terror is a tactic and others also hold this opinion. I do not hold that opinion and there are others who hold the same opinion I do. When an enemy uses a single form of warfare you can declare war on that and the people behind it. In this case you have lots of disjointed groups using the same tactic. It is not simplistic like declaring war on Japan and Germany, where you know who the enemy is and they are nice enough to wear identifiable uniforms. These warriors wear mufti and look like everyone else. I know that the use of the phrase War on Terror is currently out of fashion since the Obama administration changed it to something else, but I am an old-fashioned kind of guy. I think the term aptly fits the war we are fighting and the people we are fighting.


  739. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 3:51 pm Nick Spinelli

    Jake Tapper, a strong supporter of the military every day, has booked another officer from Bergdahl’s unit. He’ll be on 4pm Eastern time. Hell, I just watched The Spin on MSNBC, usually pretty far left. They eviscerated the lies told by Obama, Rice, etc. Our fringe here are becoming those lonely Japanese soldiers still fighting on Pacific Islands in the 50’s/60’s.


  740. Hey, Bob, do you know what matters of degree are? Ever hear the phrase Manichean Paranoia?

    “Breaking the law is excusable, so long as you can point to someone else breaking the law.”

    When can’t argue, just make stuff up, eh, Bob? Show me where I said that. Go on.

    Right. I didn’t.

    We have, for example, different degrees of murder. In fact, in the law, we actually call them DEGREES.

    This continued insistence that I said something I did not is uncivil and down right mendacious.


  741. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 3:54 pm Nick Spinelli

    What people are missing is beyond all the lies and bad precedents set in this swap, Obama conferred on these terrorists what they always wanted, POW status. They were terrorists up until Saturday, when both the 5 shitbirds and the one US soldier deserter were called POW’s. Prior to Saturday, none of the 6 were considered POW’s FOR GOOD REASONS.


  742. Schulte:

    “I am an old-fashioned kind of guy”

    Yeah, authoritarian. As in, unitary executive, ala Dick Cheney.

    Must be hard for an authoritarian to argue against authoritarianism simply because you don’t like the current authoritarian.


  743. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm Nick Spinelli

    There is A PROCESS for conferring POW status, and it isn’t Chicago Machine politics, “Becuz I sez so, you gotta problem w/ dat.” That’s ol’ man Daley speak.


  744. Schulte:

    “Bob, Esq – you don’t put time limits on a war unless you intend to lose it”

    So, in your book, as long as the enemy keeps “fighting” you never stop.

    “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia”

    Back to Vietnam!

    Terrorists are criminals. We should treat them the way we treat any criminals. When you throw out Habeus Corpus (and all the other things we’ve thrown out), then they are getting exactly what they want, ie, making us more like them: authoritarian.

    But I guess that’s what you want too.


  745. bryon, It is hard to take you seriously since you have no facts or logic to back up your contentions. I will tell you why I KNOW most ALL southern GOPers are racists. I am a white Texan who has lived most of my life in the south and was active in the Civil rights movement. ALL of the people now in the GOP who are of my age were the ones calling me a nigger lover. I worked closely with white GOP supporters, and ALL of them are racist in that they hate blacks and which is why they vote GOP. I see that you forget that the LA GOP had as its candidate for Gov, the head of the KKK. The KKK and Nazis are welcomed in the GOP now. Of course, the Democratic party USED to be the bulwark of segregation, but when LBJ turned on that tradition, he knew that it sounded the death knell for it in the south. He was right. The white southerners decided that hating blacks and supporting segregation was more important than remembering that is was the GOP which fought the Civil War and brought ruin to the South.

    I would ask my southern neighbors why they would support the party that destroyed states rights, empowered the Federal government, but that matters little to them. Just as it matters little to the black community that the KKK was the terrorist wing of the Democratic party in the past. Too bad you cannot live in reality and have to have pipe dreams about some mythical past and present. Of course that GOP has renounced its past and now is for secession, against the Federal government unless it is run by them. It is so divorced from its past the South Carolina GOP cannot have a Lincoln Day dinner! Such principle folks! I will believe that the GOP is no longer racist when it nominates a black person for President, NOT before.


  746. Spinelli:

    ” That’s ol’ man Daley speak.”

    Daley never had anything to do with POWs. You’re thinking of Old Man Cheney.


  747. Bob:

    “That’s because you don’t need to be Von Clausewitz to understand that a tactic is neither an opponent nor something you could ever “defeat.””

    You do have your moments.


  748. Paul: “I know that you hold an opinion that terror is a tactic and others also hold this opinion. I do not hold that opinion and there are others who hold the same opinion I do.”

    “Tactics teaches the use of armed forces in the engagement; strategy, the use of engagements for the object of the war.” — Von Clausewitz

    That terrorism is a tactic is not an opinion; it is a fact. You confirmed this fact when you related the time that the Americans used it in the Revolutionary War.

    Paul: “When an enemy uses a single form of warfare you can declare war on that and the people behind it. In this case you have lots of disjointed groups using the same tactic.”

    And you just verified what I said again. Terrorism is a tactic; not an enemy.

    Paul: “These warriors wear mufti and look like everyone else. I know that the use of the phrase War on Terror is currently out of fashion since the Obama administration changed it to something else, but I am an old-fashioned kind of guy. I think the term aptly fits the war we are fighting and the people we are fighting.”

    Who are those people Paul? Are those people Terrorism?

    Since a tactic is neither an opponent nor something you could ever “defeat” declaring war on a tactic, and thereby claiming war powers to carry out such a nonsensical task, is nothing but sophistry.

    Who is the enemy Paul? When will your task be complete?

    Yossarian: Those buzzards are trying to kill us.

    Dobbs: Who’s trying to kill you?

    Yossarian: Everyone of them.

    Dobbs: Everyone of who?

    Yossarian: Everyone of who you think.

    Dobbs: I haven’t any idea.

    Yossarian: Ah…then how do you know they aren’t?

    McWatt: What’s that called?

    Aarfy: Sophistry.


  749. Schulte:

    “supak – HO HUM, HO HUM”

    Woman in NE tortured when they refused an abortion. Tortured for 10 days, then had to watch her baby live in agony for a few minutes, then die.

    Schulte: Ho Hum.

    Authoritarians gotta get their torture on.


  750. Why is my comment awaiting moderation?


  751. Annie, The approaches to the bridges in El Paso are really bad in that if you make a mistake, you are screwed and you ARE going into Mexico, like it or not. I think that the same is true in San Diego too. So that is how he went into Mexico. I imagine that he told the Mexicans about his guns, and they simply took the letter of the law as their guide, sort of like Prof. Turley on his accusations against Obama. No common sense or regards for circumstances.

    I had to laugh at Nick saying that Obama is doing nothing at all to get him out. I knew Nick had a high opinion of himself, but I did not think it was so inflated that HE KNOWS Obama is doing nothing at all. Then he demands that Obama do something, like maybe send in Seal Team Six? It is hard to take such people as seriously as they think they should be when they show such incredible lack of sense or judgment.


  752. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 4:17 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Bob, Esq – did you happen to use one of the forbidden words?


  753. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 4:19 pm Nick Spinelli

    Tapper just had on another Sgt. in Bergdahl’s troop. He called Bergdahl a deserter who was apparently seeking out the Taliban after he deserted. Both this Sgt. and the aforementioned Sgt. Buetow interviewed yesterday heard intercepted communications that Bergdahl needed a Taliban who could speak English.

    Tapper also had on a retired FBI hostage negotiator. He said, really what everyone but the marginalized fringe have said, that Obama got snookered in this deal.


  754. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 4:19 pm Paul C. Schulte

    randyjet – if the Obama administration would apologize to the Mexican government for Fast and Furious, it might go a long way to getting that Marine out of Mexico.


  755. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 4:21 pm Paul C. Schulte

    red herring fallacy, Supak


  756. Steve Kellam:

    “We can’t get it right all the time; they are scumbag Islamists hell bent on jihad.

    The current administration should know this.”

    But the former administration shouldn’t have?

    “One of their clients, whom they successfully “freed”, blew himself up in Iraq with a VBIED in a crowded market.”

    You’re blaming lawyers for doing their job?

    “progressives and brilliant leaders like Harry Reid demand they all be released”

    I’m not familiar with this demand. Do you have some proof? Because I can show lots of statements from progressives, and some from non-progressive Democrats, and even some Republicans, that we should send then to a Super Max and close Gitmo.

    “Releasing 5 that are considered some of the most senior is pathetic and stupid. ”

    You admitted that 17% of the ones Bush released went on to kill people, so, your uncivil statement should also be addressed to them.

    “Defending the action is pathetic and stupid.”

    And yet you seem to be defending Bush’s releases. While also being uncivil about it.

    “The House and Senate said do not release these 5.”

    All of them? I didn’t see anything unanimous about this passed by both the Senate and House. In fact, I showed where John “Bomb Bomb Bomb” McCain seemed to be fine with it in February.

    “His health wasn’t an issue.”

    How do you know?

    “He wasn’t a POW.”

    Tell that to Schulte who thinks we should keep fighting this GWOT for as long as terrorists keep fighting back.

    “Neither honor nor distinction.”

    It’s certainly possible he served with honor and distinction BEFORE he deserted.

    “He wasn’t mentally ill, unless you consider being “progressive” mentally ill. ”

    Do you have proof he’s a progressive? And do you think calling progressives mentally ill is civil?

    “He was a home schooled Calvinist that was a barista and ballet dancer that was turned away by the French Foreign Legion.”

    And this makes him a progressive how?

    “Sadly his “conscience” cost…”

    This has to be proven at trial. Thankfully, you aren’t the judge, jury, and executioner.

    “Wow, war sucks – who knew?”

    I know, right? We should stop electing people who lie us into them.

    “The president and those in his administration are lawless morons. Those defending their actions are just as pathetic.”

    Civility! Keep talking! If I could get you a better bullhorn, I would.


  757. Schulte:

    “red herring fallacy, Supak”

    Where? Show me.


  758. because it was immoderate?


  759. I guess it’s just better to consider the source when one reads such outlandish allegations, Randyjet.


  760. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 4:25 pm Paul C. Schulte

    randyjet – cum hoc ergo propter hoc – a logical fallacy


  761. Paul,

    I quoted Catch-22


  762. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 4:26 pm Paul C. Schulte

    annie – argumentum ad hominem


  763. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 4:27 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Bob, Esq. – hopefully someone will get it back up. :)


  764. I got a German Shepherd here that won’t stop giving the me “Aren’t we going for a walk?” look.

    Later.


  765. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 4:28 pm Nick Spinelli

    The silence from Congressional Dems is DEAFENING. There will be a special hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee tonight. This was a bipartisan emergency session called. The wheels are coming off the bus.


  766. Spinelli, who earlier told us how upset Diane Feinstein is:

    “The silence from Congressional Dems is DEAFENING. ”

    Did Ms. Feinstein change parties?


  767. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 4:31 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Supak – argumentum ad hominem at 3:35pm


  768. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 4:32 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Supak – continuum fallacy at 4:31 pm


  769. Annie, Those prisoners are basically POWs, and as such need no trial, nor sentencing. Obama has now by his actions declared them to be POWs. It take a brain dead GOP hack to say that Obama has violated the law if they are POWs. He has the sole authority to release or imprison them at his will. That is standard ops. The people here are now touting the law that was specifically designed to KEEP Guantanamo open and to limit Obama’s ability to close it and to charge these prisoners. Of course, they overlook the FACT that it referred ONLY to TRANSFERING them, NOT releasing them. It is amazing how they can tout the letter of the law, but then when it is an inconvenience for their attacks, they forget all about the letter of the law. Such principled folks!


  770. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 4:33 pm Paul C. Schulte

    The wheels on the bus go round n’ round, round n’ round, round n’ round.


  771. Schulte:

    “annie – argumentum ad hominem”

    Look, Annie, he’s looked up a list of fallacies and he’s going to post them at random!

    Schulte, if you’re going to accuse people of fallacies, you really should quote them first so we can see if what you’re saying is true or not.

    That is, if you want us to find out if what you’re saying is true or not.


  772. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 4:35 pm Paul C. Schulte

    randyjet – Obama is supposedly transferring them to Qatar for a year. That is the letter of the law.


  773. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 4:37 pm Paul C. Schulte

    I got tired of genetic fallacy being used incorrectly so I thought I would get the list and start using them as needed. I presupposed you would be smart enough to know which one went with which, but I have started noting the times for you.


  774. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 4:38 pm Paul C. Schulte

    supak – argumentum ad hominem at 4:33 pm. Precise enough for you. ;)


  775. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 4:40 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Bob, Esq – that look from my dog is why I have a back yard. :D


  776. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 4:40 pm Nick Spinelli

    The only Dem who has said anything close to positive was errand boy, Harry Reid. The lying Reid claims he was notified the day before. The WH says they notified NO ONE prior. One is lying, I bet it’s slimy Harry. He wanted to make himself special as the only one notified. Politicians are like middle school kids w/ millions of dollars. OUR DOLLARS.


  777. Schulte

    “Supak – argumentum ad hominem at 3:35pm”

    I see no comment at 3:35.

    “Supak – continuum fallacy at 4:31 pm”

    Two comments at 4:31. One is yours. The other is mine:

    Spinelli, who earlier told us how upset Diane Feinstein is:

    “The silence from Congressional Dems is DEAFENING. ”

    Did Ms. Feinstein change parties?

    Nick wasn’t vague. He was specific. He said “from congressional dems”. That’s not vague. That’s a very specific designation of a particular subset of politicians.

    His own previous comments directly contradict his current one.


  778. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 4:47 pm Paul C. Schulte

    The continuum fallacy requires improperly rejecting a claim for being imprecise. One Democrat does not a shout make.


  779. Spinelli:

    “NEVER have I said we should have left Bergdahl there. That’s a lie! I have said we paid MUCH too high a price.”

    If that was the only price, and you wouldn’t pay it, then you would have left him there.


  780. Angrymanspeaks, I retrived your comment above at 9:51


  781. Schulte:

    “The wheels on the bus go round n’ round, round n’ round, round n’ round.”

    I know, right? I wonder how long until another authoritarian state tortures a woman for days by denying her an abortion?

    “supak – argumentum ad hominem at 4:33 pm. Precise enough for you”

    Nope. You should explain to Annie how that’s ad hominem. I’m sure she’d love to hear it.

    “I got tired of genetic fallacy being used incorrectly”

    Are you saying that I’ve said something was the genetic fallacy when it wasn’t? Burden of proof is on you there. When you attack a source rather than argue the points, it’s genetic fallacy.

    “The continuum fallacy requires improperly rejecting a claim for being imprecise. One Democrat does not a shout make.”

    I’m well aware of what the continuum fallacy is. I did not reject Spinelli’s claim for being imprecise. He was quite precise. He said “Congressional Dems”.

    Since he was precise about it, all we need is one who is saying anything to prove it’s not deafening silence.

    He did not, as you suggest, say they’re not screaming about it. He said deafening silence.

    Since at least one Dem has said something, his statement is false.


  782. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 4:57 pm Nick Spinelli

    The town of Hailey, ID. just cancelled the “hero’s welcome” scheduled for Bergdahl. I guess NO ONE believes Bergdahl served “With honor and distinction” as Susan “Baghdad Bob” Rice declared on Sunday


  783. Heh. GOP humor:

    “Maybe he should be not just the Duck Commander. How about a Duck Commander in Chief?”–Sarah Palin

    Face-palm.


  784. randyjet:

    Well I know a good many in the Gop here in Virginia and I dont know any who are racists, now I suspect some are. I think you are in your 70’s, is that correct? I do know that older people are really racist, black and white. Us younger people only want to make a buck and could care less about race. That is why I am a capitalist, its also why we dont discriminate. You would have a hard time giving good customer service to someone you were bad mouthing on a regular basis. A good customer service and a good product means more money your pocket. So racism and bigotry are counter-productive to that end.

    I dont know what kind of people you hang with, for myself I try to stay away from people like that. I dont want any part of that nonsense.

    There is another reason why I doubt what you say is true, when people are successful they usually arent racist. It is only when they are afraid that the pie is small and their portion will be limited that they lash out at their fellow man. That is why Marxism and other statist ideologies breed racism and bigotry. Typically they have marginal economies and people are afraid.

    The economy is bad now since we have had 8 years of Bush and his collectivist economic policies and now we have had 5 years of Obama and his collectivist economic policies. So that makes 13 years of bad policy, people have a right to be afraid about what our government is doing to their ability to make a living.


  785. You go Lee. See what I mean about letting these conservatives call me a hypocrite. I may be a bit sometimes I guess about some things but Jumping Jesus Batman; you have pointed out an excellent example of their own hypocrisy. I expect they will be knocking down the door to apologize any minute now. Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, Hmm. Maybe they lost their way. Ya’ think?

    On Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 2:04 PM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > leejcaroll commented: “Annie, Reagen is the hero to many on the right > and yet: Reagan administration illegally sold weapons to Iranians in order > to secure the release of American prisoners, then used the money to > illegally finance a war in Central America. Reagan himself assure” >


  786. Paul,

    He’s got a back yard. He’s just gotten used to me taking him for walks because the doctor says I have to walk every day.


  787. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 5:14 pm Nick Spinelli

    Caitlin Coleman is a 28 year old US citizen was taken hostage by the Taliban in 2012. Coleman and her husband a Canadian have gotten no help nor have their family. Ms. Coleman was pregnant when taken hostage. The price for her return just went up exponentially. Our President got snookered badly and everyone but the cultists know that.


  788. Paul,

    I think I figured out the “offending word.”

    Let’s try it again.

    Paul: “I know that you hold an opinion that terror is a tactic and others also hold this opinion. I do not hold that opinion and there are others who hold the same opinion I do.”

    “Tactics teaches the use of armed forces in the engagement; strategy, the use of engagements for the object of the war.” — Von Clausewitz

    That terrorism is a tactic is not an opinion; it is a fact. You confirmed this fact when you related the time that the Americans used it in the Revolutionary War.

    Paul: “When an enemy uses a single form of warfare you can declare war on that and the people behind it. In this case you have lots of disjointed groups using the same tactic.”

    And you just verified what I said again. Terrorism is a tactic; not an enemy.

    Paul: “These warriors wear mufti and look like everyone else. I know that the use of the phrase War on Terror is currently out of fashion since the Obama administration changed it to something else, but I am an old-fashioned kind of guy. I think the term aptly fits the war we are fighting and the people we are fighting.”

    Who are those people Paul? Are those people Terrorism?

    Since a tactic is neither an opponent nor something you could ever “defeat” declaring war on a tactic, and thereby claiming war powers to carry out such a nonsensical task, is nothing but sophistry.

    Who is the enemy Paul? When will your task be complete?

    Yossarian: Those b@stards are trying to kill us.

    Dobbs: Who’s trying to kill you?

    Yossarian: Everyone of them.

    Dobbs: Everyone of who?

    Yossarian: Everyone of who you think.

    Dobbs: I haven’t any idea.

    Yossarian: Ah…then how do you know they aren’t?

    McWatt: What’s that called?

    Aarfy: Sophistry.


  789. Are you kidding me?

    B@astard is a P.G. rated word!


  790. Bob Esquire

    You posted a question about if Bast??? is one of the banned words. It is one of those. One post you made had this word. I edited it and it is above at 4:06. It’s one of those words that gets the comment automatically snagged.


  791. Congressman Duncan Hunter questions why these other American hostages in Afghanistan were not included in the swap that led to the release of 5 top Gitmo prisoners:

    A pregnant American woman was kidnapped with her Canadian husband. If she is still alive, it is presumed she gave birth in captivity.

    A 72 year old contractor was also kidnapped.

    http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140602/NEWS05/306020052/Congressman-blasts-SecDef-Bergdahl-health-claims


  792. Darren,

    Is that a wordpress phenomena or a Turley phenomena?


  793. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 5:23 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Supak – same continuum fallacy in your defense of not using it. You have also added argumentum verbosium, which you do habitually.


  794. Darren,

    And thanks.


  795. Re Hailey cancelling the return of Bowe Bergdahl.

    Gee, it couldn’t have anything to do with hundreds of crazies vowing to show up (with their guns) in protest, could it?

    Nooo. Unpossible.


  796. Help! Lost a post!


  797. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 5:32 pm Nick Spinelli

    CNN just reported from Germany that Bergdahl is reportedly in good physical condition. The Obama lies are stunning and stupid.


  798. Because he is in good condition today he wasn;t then? The video sure didn’t show a person who looked like they were in A one shape


  799. I’m not going to run to judgment. I am amazed that people just don’t; care about waiting for actual facts to come out.


  800. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 5:40 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Bob, Esq – I already posted Bush’s War on Terror goals. I am not sure what Obama has added or subtracted from that list.
    Terror used the way it is now has advanced from tactic to strategy. And although you pick at the wording of my defense, which is your right although you know what I meant, you can defeat a tactic. It is done all the time. And you can defeat a strategy. That is done all the time. You do not have to defeat the enemy to defeat either. For example, the Battle of the Coral Sea has been called a victory by both sides. However, it was a strategic victory for the Allies because it stopped the Japanese from taking any more land and advancing towards Australia. It was a tactical victory for the Japanese because they sunk more Allied ships then they lost. They also heavily damaged a carrier that they thought they had sunk. This will come back to bite them big time at Midway.
    In this kind of warfare (terrorism), you have to cut off funding sources, manpower, military supplies, plus you have to track down and kill or capture the enemy.

    I have yet to see you offer either tactics or strategy to defeat terrorists. What do you have in mind?


  801. http://www.nation.com.pk/international/04-Jun-2014/the-bergdahl-bargain-was-just-the-beginning

    Is President Obama planning on using more GTMO POWs to trade for couple and elderly man being held hostagein Afghanistan?


  802. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 5:46 pm Paul C. Schulte

    leejcaroll – passing judgment is what police and prosecutors do all the time. I am an egalitarian. I am just as competent to pass judgment as they are. Don’t side on the sidelines while the parade is going by? Join the parade. Be part of the ‘second line.’


  803. So what if the President bypasses Congress to trade POWs for these three hostages? Who here will complain that it’s illegal?


  804. Professor Turley: “The White House could also argue that the status of these Gitmo detainees remains a problem and the country cannot hold them indefinitely — so that these five would have had to be returned to Afghanistan eventually unless we were to use the widely ridiculed tribunal system.”

    This part caught my eye because an important aspect you overlooked in your post is the harm that President Obama’s action will cause to the people and government of Afghanistan and the wider region, as far as that’s distinct from our War on Terror.

    The five Taliban leaders were not “returned to Afghanistan” in the sense of in the official custody of Afghanistan nor even released in careful concert with Afghanistan. Instead, they were freed unilaterally by Obama with light and limited conditions.

    In the short term, this will reverberate with US, Afghanistan, NATO, UN, NGO, and other projects on the ground in Afghanistan as the people consider the rapidly growing risk and rapidly disappearing reward of not siding with the Taliban in light of Obama’s action.

    In the long term, the harm to Americans that likely will result from Obama’s action will pale against the harm that Obama has certainly caused to Afghanistan and the Afghan people, most of all to anyone who has staked their lives and family’s lives on their faith in the American promise.

    As though the harms following Obama’s bungling of the SOFA negotiation with Iraq, which should have developed as a keystone regional US ally, and the post-Bush terrorist resurgence by way of Obama’s botched interventions in Libya and Syria weren’t enough, it appears Obama is impatiently pushing for Afghanistan to go back to the Taliban-controlled country that hosted and incubated their fellow travelers al Qaeda.


  805. Paul but I am neither police nor prosecutor.I prefer to wait for more then speculation, suppositiin, apparent agendas, etc.


  806. Annie I was wondering that too, the ones who have brought this up, how do they want to get them home or should they just leave them because “the price is too high” as has been said about American citizen Baghdahl


  807. Wow. This has gotten heated.

    Here is what I find interesting.

    I and other critics here are saying that Bergdhal deserted, we’re glad he’s home but should go through a court martial (which is military court) during which he can plead his case, that it’s terrible that 6 men died and others were injured when Bergdhal willfully left, it’s absurd for the Taliban to not be on the State Department’s Terrorist List, and that it was an extremely uneven trade 5:1. And there had been an offer to buy him back that was rejected by Obama for the prisoner swap instead.

    Those are reasonable opinions. They are repeated by many in the military, and those in office. You’ll get a stronger opinion from the families of the fallen who died looking for a deserter.

    And yet, here, they are treated as gross extremism, fanaticism, and so on. It’s engendered real vitriol.

    Over what? Are the facts of the case so shocking they must be pushed away with a vengeance and ad hominem attacks?

    Bergdhal is no Yossarian.


  808. Funny ho Bush got free pass even about foreknowledge of 9/11 http://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/may/16/september11.usa1
    (notice not biased resource but legitimate media)


  809. Guys, he was with the TALIBAN. There was no Red Cross nurse to examine him. We have no idea of his condition, except what the Taliban would have told us, or what could be gleaned by photos/video. Of COURSE he would not be in excellent health. He’s with the TALIBAN.

    Obama already told Senate Dems that it was just an oversight that he did not notify them. Now they’re trying to tell us it was on purpose because his health was failing? Backpedal!

    Why can’t people rationally understand the difference between failing to notify a Congress who had made it clear they opposed an exchange (so it was an end game), and doing a 5:1 exchange when there was a deal that would have allowed us to simply ransom him back? Why is it so hard to see that there is a problem with that?

    And claiming that it’s OK for the 3 adults and 1 toddler to have been left out of the deal (or making no comment) but claiming that any deal for them would be just the same?


  810. How is this any different from a hypothetical rescue of the 18 month old born as a hostage?

    Are you serious???


  811. leej

    The AP article @ 5:38 is very interesting. Sadly, any hoped for progress has probably been dashed thanks to screams and rending of garments from “the loyal opposition”. They worry more about the Sunday talk shows than winding down a 13 year old war.

    I guess Paul S accurately states their preference…..let the war on terror go on forever.


  812. reasonable to ‘buy him back” How many hostage takers would be looking for similar paydays, and not just in Afghanistan. (and they said fro his health from the get-go, regardless of the ‘oversight’ statement


  813. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 6:07 pm Paul C. Schulte

    leejcaroll – the Guardian is a noted leftie newspaper in the UK. It is hardly unbiased. It is one of the Wikileak newspapers.


  814. went to read it but it starts out so snarky that wasn’t worth my time.

    What bothers me about the right too is that they are always saber rattling ,they are not glad the war in Iran ended, they don’t want diplomacy for ending Afghanistan. Cruz said the exchange should not have ben made we should have used military force. Even McCain whom you would think would know better hs called over and over again for military force in various areas, Syria Iran etc.


  815. lee:

    Most people have said they are glad he’s home. Even the military who worship the quicksand he walks on say that. The problem is they elected against a ransom and went with a hostage exchange, going around a Congress that specifically opposed a hostage exchange, and then the best they could do was 5:1.

    Do you disagree that, after already losing 6 men’s lives specifically because of his willful desertion, that the price was too high to sacrifice any more?

    They could have bought him back, and put a dye booby trap in the money. Or used confiscated counterfeit money. Win Win.


  816. Many in the military are conservatives, and I can tell you, they are not thrilled to deploy during wartime. It is a very serious, grim parting from their families.

    But here is what they understand: a position of weakness invites attack. People do not poke a sleeping bear because they know exactly what will happen.

    K T Macfarland, Mid East analyst, has pointed out many times that the way Al Qaeda operates is to constantly test boundaries. As soon as they get away with something, they push a little more, and then a little more.

    We do not want to hurl ourselves into war at the least provocation. But nor can we sit idly by and do nothing when needed. It is the perception of our strength that protects us.


  817. Karen

    How many died in that area in June, 2008? How many died in that area in June, 2009? Had there been no deaths in that area before Bergdahl disappeared? If Bergdahl had not disappeared, are you certain that no one would have died between July and September, 2009? How many had died in that area between July and September 2008? How about the same period in 2010? Have you learned the circumstances that caused the deaths of those 6 men? Had Bergdahl not disappeared, would all the men in the outfit hunker down and never go on any operations at all so as to be sure that no men are ever lost? That doesn’t seem reasonable.

    I have read reports from military men who say it is ludicrous to assign all deaths that took place in that area in that time period as due to Bergdahl.


  818. Karen doesn’t speak for the military any more than I do.


  819. Paul: “Terror used the way it is now has advanced from tactic to strategy.”
    And although you pick at the wording of my defense, which is your right although you know what I meant, you can defeat a tactic. It is done all the time. And you can defeat a strategy. That is done all the time. You do not have to defeat the enemy to defeat either.”

    War is state of open, armed, often prolonged conflict carried on between nations, states, or parties.

    War is not a conflict between a nation and a concept. The Spartans did not wage war against the concept of Persia; no more than they waged war against the color blue.

    War as referenced in the constitution necessitates a conflict between this nation and other nations, states or parties. The direct object of said war must have a corporeal existence. Whether you call terrorism a tactic or a strategy, it remains a concept. The government is no more empowered to wage war against concepts than it’s empowered to include ghosts in a census. The notion of a war on terror is pure sophistry aimed at defrauding a public in need of a refresher course in grammar and logic.

    Paul: “In this kind of warfare (terrorism), you have to cut off funding sources, manpower, military supplies, plus you have to track down and kill or capture the enemy.”

    petitio principii. Again, the existence of war necessitates conflict between corporeal beings. You do not declare war on a concept and THEN proceed to seek out enemies that comport with the concept. That’s not constitutional war; that’s the Divine Right of Kings to wage war on whoever they want whenever they want for whatever reason.


  820. anon

    Thanks for the debate tape. I don’t care for Chris Hayes, but Col. Wilkerson is certainly an able and responsible spokesman.


  821. Anyone who wants to remain engaged in armed conflict ad infinitum should be in favor of the draft, one in which their sons and daughters would be at equal risk of being sent to a war zone. Al Queda will always be seeking to harm us, and they and their offshoots exist in several different countries. We don’t have the troops or the funds to keep up “a perception of strength” in all these countries. Nothing will keep us ‘safe’, it’s the world in which we live.


  822. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 7:38 pm Nick Spinelli

    Senator Joe Manchin a Dem from West Virginia, just came out of the briefing conducted by the Obama administration. He says he now has more questions than answers.


  823. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 7:41 pm Nick Spinelli

    Since his hometown cancelled the hero welcome, maybe the Bergdahl fan club here can put one together.


  824. Feynman
    I see metiocrity as the bane of progress.

    “Go slow” because the citizens of a Nation that tortures and holds people without a shred of due process MIGHT get scared???

    Scared of what, exactly?
    Instead of stepping in the shoes of the Free American, we really need to be in the shoes of those detained ILLEGALLY!

    Talk if being scared… Due process was reserved for a foreign accused of terrorism and sentenced to death yet the same Federal Government can withhold due process when targeting Anericans on a secret kill list. We shod be so lucky we’re not on it… Or are we?


  825. It’s patently absurd to say that it doesn’t matter if 6 soldiers died looking for a deserter and many others were injured, because maybe they would have died anyway.

    Tell that to their families.

    Yes, war is a dangerous business. But it is even more tragic if, for example, a soldier died from friendly fire, or while bushwhacking dangerous countryside for months looking for a deserter.

    So, let’s say you’re in Afghanistan, and you’ve survived this far. And then your NCO tells you to hoof it over every nook and cranny, in heavily mined and IED areas, for MONTHS to look for a dude that hated the army and deserted. You just MIGHT have a little bitty problem with that. And that could POSSIBLY be a reasonable complaint.

    Anyone have any more questions?

    Honestly, what passes for tinder for some of the firestorms on this blog are ridiculous. With all the problems we’re facing in America today, do you really want to savage people for complaining about how a prisoner exchange went down, that had bipartisan opposition from Congress? Bipartisan! Which is a miracle in and of itself.

    And the reason why these wars drag on is because we had no definable, achievable goals. No marking point to say, yep, we’re done. We cannot civilize the desert against its will. We should have left it to the military to hammer them into submission and go home (maybe taking all the women and children with us who were being abused). But the politicians got involved, as usual, and wanted the Mid East to really like us, so they built roads and bridges that Al Qaeda will get great use out of when we’re gone. And we pour money into countries with Sharia Law that stone rape victims, apostates, and gays. Go figure.


  826. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 8:04 pm Nick Spinelli

    Kevin Sief of WashPo just posted an exclusive report. The Post interviewed villagers where Bergdahl deserted. They said he looked like he was stoned on hash the day he deserted his troop. Other soldiers said Bergdahl liked to smoke hash w/ the Afghan civilians and troops. The villagers offered him food and water, but Bergdahl just wanted to know how to get to the Taliban.


  827. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 8:05 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Annie – I am so surprised that you do not speak for the entire military through the voice of your daughter. Color me surprised, and we both know which color that is.


  828. Lost a post!


  829. Well Paul, we know you speak for all conservatives.:)


  830. Veterans say there’s no easy answer about how to treat Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only American prisoner of war in Afghanistan.

    Some said he should be welcomed home. Others contend he is a deserter who should face the consequences.

    Larry Kushner, one of nine World War II veterans receiving the French Legion of Honor medal on Tuesday afternoon at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum in Oakland, said he was taken prisoner by the Nazis, and for him, there is no question about what Bergdahl’s fate should be.

    “We should acknowledge how hard it was and welcome the returning,” said Kushner, 89, of Monroeville.

    News of Bergdahl’s release broke on Saturday, when it was announced that the United States would conduct a prisoner swap of five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo for Bergdahl’s freedom. Within days, members of Bergdahl’s unit told the media that in 2009, the soldier intentionally left the remote base in Paktika province.

    If he did go AWOL — absent without leave — he could be charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    August Pace, 90, of Bethel Park, another of the veterans honored, said Bergdahl should be treated as a deserter.

    Pace said he hopes that the federal government will pursue disciplinary action against Bergdahl.

    “His commanding officer should’ve known better than to send his guys out” to search for him, he said. “Men gave their lives up to rescue him. What good was it?”

    Political rivalries are driving much of the public criticism of the prisoner swap, said Thomas Sanderson, co-director of the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

    “If Bergdahl had died in captivity, (the criticism) would have been: The president had an opportunity to get him out and he let a U.S. soldier die. And the same guys who are screaming at him now — (Arizona Sen. John) McCain and others — would say, ‘You let a soldier die,’ ” Sanderson said during a meeting on Tuesday with Tribune-Review editors and reporters.

    But politics don’t negate the real concerns about potential fallout from the deal, Arnaud de Borchgrave, a veteran foreign correspondent and director of CSIS’s Transnational Threats Project, said during the meeting with the Trib.

    “I’m not a supporter of McCain, but he is bringing up a very important point. One deserter, (several) Americans killed looking for him. And then we trade this deserter for (five) very important people in the al-Qaida movement,” de Borchgrave said.

    Korean War veteran Earl Aussenberg, 81, of Oakland, Kushner’s cousin, said his opinion about Bergdahl is mixed.

    “I believe we should never leave a soldier behind,” said Aussenberg, who clearly remembers Kushner — underweight and suffering from bleeding ulcers — returning home.

    Critics have called the prisoner exchange a negotiation with terrorists.

    “If I was a prisoner of a terrorist and (the government) did not negotiate for me, I would accept that,” Aussenberg said.

    Staff writer Mike Wereschagin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6161002-74/war-bergdahl-veterans#ixzz33ic2cd7Z


  831. So, again, as has been stated before, we’re glad he’s home, we’re mad people died looking for a deserter, he will get a court martial, and the way the exchange went down was highly objectionable.

    Any questions?


  832. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 8:22 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Annie – I am in favor of Robert Heinlein’s Universal Draft.


  833. http://crooksandliars.com/2014/06/ex-bush-administration-official-george

    Ex-Bush official: GWB would have made the same deal to free Sgt. Bergdahl.


  834. Yes Karen, why was not W Bush slammed for releasing over FIVE HUNDRED prisoners from Guantanamo? About half of those returned the fight too. Why was there a law restricting Obama from transferring those prisoners when no such law was needed when Bush was President? How many US troops were killed in that area when Bergdahl went AWOL? How many were killed in Afghanistan over that same time period? A rational person would think about and answer them. A party hack would not.


  835. Is there any news as to why this exchange actually took place at this time? Why these particular detainees? Who wanted what.

    There was an offer to exchange him for prisoners right at the beginning. Why not then but now?

    What is the story lying beneath all of this? (Besides the fact that this is a lawless president!)


  836. randyjet,

    Your talking points have been examined and proven false. Here is a link to an analysis of them:

    http://law.shu.edu/ProgramsCenters/PublicIntGovServ/policyresearch/upload/guantanamo-report-Rumsfeld-Knew.pdf


  837. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 8:33 pm Nick Spinelli

    Jill, VA SCANDAL! These insular WH folks thought this was going to be a triumph. Obama surrounds himself w/ yes men and errand boys. Chuck Todd and others are reporting the WH is shocked and the huge bipartisan backlash! They sure shouldn’t be, but they are. The Rose Garden for the parents was political theatre, it turned out to be a tragedy. Arrogance and stupidity.


  838. http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2014/06/04/bowe-bergdahl-taliban

    Soldier calls ‘PR Campaign’ against Bergdahl ‘disgusting’.


  839. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 8:43 pm Nick Spinelli

    Jill, In case you haven’t noticed, I am just providing facts as they come in. I no longer respond to the cult followers. They are incorrigible. You do as you see fit.


  840. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 8:50 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Annie – did you see the comments section and the writer is hardly a reliable source writing for the Guardian. I think your comment should have been ‘former soldier’


  841. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 8:51 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Annie – do you sincerely believe the Pentagon is not carrying water for the Administration on this one??


  842. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 8:52 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Annie – I speak only for myself.


  843. Jill, I will respond for the conservatives here and save them the time for reading your post. DO NOT BOTHER ME WITH FACTS! So it is proven that the so called high value guys are not so much of a threat as the GOP is braying about! I was willing to grant them their point just in the interest of fairness and assumed that they were correct. Even if they were as bad as they claim, they will NOT be walking our streets to take more hostages as these fools think. In FACT, it gives us a good opportunity to KILL them once and for all. Unless of course, the conservative have no faith in our military.


  844. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 9:05 pm Paul C. Schulte

    randyjet – do have any idea how easy it is to cross our southern border?


  845. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 9:15 pm Nick Spinelli

    A Gonzaga University professor studied the video of Bergdahl’s release and says the body language is telling. There is direct eye contact and both captors and Bergdahl seem saddened @ parting. This is consistent w/ villagers saying Bergdahl was seeking out the Taliban when he deserted. And, his troop say after Bergdahl deserted the attacks from the Taliban reflected they had inside information. Several soldiers have testified to that. The aforementioned piece is on the Daily Beast wedsite, penned by Lloyd Grove, Bill Clinton West Winger.


  846. More ridiculous assertions and no link.


  847. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 9:48 pm Nick Spinelli

    I’ve been reading several military Facebook pages. We may not have an impeachment, but we may have a coup if Bergdahl is not court martialed. If anyone is inclined, there is a petition you can sign @ the Bowe Bergdahl is Not a Hero Facebook page. It petitions a full inquiry and court martial. If you’re not inclined, I understand.


  848. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 9:55 pm Nick Spinelli

    This is precious! The secret video played for the Senators this evening that Susan Rice and Obama claim made the deal CRITICAL for health reasons was taken LAST YEAR. It was taken on or about 12/10/13, 6 MONTHS AGO. Several Senators said he looked drugged. We know he likes hashish.


  849. “maybe the Bergdahl fan club here can put one together.”

    “I’ve been reading several military Facebook pages. We may not have an impeachment, but we may have a coup if Bergdahl is not court martialed. If anyone is inclined, there is a petition you can sign @ the Bowe Bergdahl is Not a Hero Facebook page. It petitions a full inquiry and court martial.”

    Trial by Nick.


  850. “We know he likes hashish.”

    Again, trial by Nick.


  851. nick:

    you know how some liberals are, druged or drunk and hating on America. Hell, Susan Rice was telling the truth. He is a hero to many of them. I bet a good percentage wish they had done what he did.


  852. Byron wrote:

    “nick:

    you know how some liberals are, druged or drunk and hating on America. Hell, Susan Rice was telling the truth. He is a hero to many of them. I bet a good percentage wish they had done what he did.”

    And many folks in the U.S. aren’t happy unless they’re spittin’ mad about something. There are too many who are all whipped up with no place to go.


  853. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 10:17 pm Nick Spinelli

    Byron, I got no problem w/ the ganja, as long as you’re off duty. There’s a lotta opium over there so hashish is a better choice. Susan Rice is an embarrassment. “Bergdahl served w/ honor and distinction.” And, “Health concerns are why we couldn’t notify Congress.” She is our Baghdad Bob, remember that liar? And you’re right, there are a lotta America haters out there…and here. Maybe we should call Bergdahl, “Grasshopper.” Remember the show Kung Fu. Grasshopper was an American who walked the earth spreading wisdom, and kicking ass. Grasshopper Bergdahl.


  854. anon:

    I am not mad about anything, I am rather enjoying the whole shibboleth of liberalism apparently imploding from within. Watching the rats leave the shinking ship is manifestly entertaining.


  855. on 1, June 4, 2014 at 10:34 pm Nick Spinelli

    JT will be on CNN during the 10p ET hour and on C-Span tomorrow morning @ 7:40AM ET.


  856. “I am rather enjoying the whole shibboleth of liberalism apparently imploding from within. Watching the rats leave the shinking ship is manifestly entertaining.”

    A whole lot of nonsense.

    As was said, “All whipped up with no place to go”…

    Prudent folks are waiting for all the facts.


  857. anon
    “We know he likes hashish.”

    Again, trial by Nick.
    ====================================

    He has won the lifetime achievement award… twice


  858. The police often question him, just because they find him interesting


  859. When in Rome, they do as HE does


  860. Well, let’s see. Yes Bush was hammered for letting prisoners go from Guantanamo. He was pressured not to keep them forever and to eventually close it. They tried to determine who was low risk, but as critics predicted, some went on to repeat crimes against America.

    The merits of closing Gitmo, and what to do with the prisoners, is a different debate.

    So . . . are we blaming Bush for Obama exchanging 5 of the TOP guys in Al Qaeda for a deserter, and getting around Congress’ objections by not notifying them?


  861. Why does one guy’s opinion that Bush “would have made the same deal” have any weight? Seriously? He would have made a 5:1 trade and not just paid the money? How would he know? Why does his opinion matter more than other officials who worked for Bush?

    Can we please stop dragging Bush in to take the blame for Obama’s mistakes?


  862. Interesting how his father said, “bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim” which is the start of the daily Muslim prayers. It means, “In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate.” It is a common phrase.

    Unfortunately, it is also used when militant Muslims conquer new land and plant their sword or flag, claiming it for Islam. I do not know if he was aware of its many implications.

    He’s also Tweeted about God will repay the death of every Afghan child, and about freeing everyone from Gitmo, and he also follows Jihadis on the internet. He says it was to get information.

    I think it’s weird that your son is held captive for 5 years, and finally returns looking wrecked, and you praise the God of the militants who held him.

    Most parents would have gone in a different direction. Personally, I would not have sympathized or identified with any beasts who kidnapped, tortured, and held any family member of mine for 5 years. Strange family.


  863. There’s a cancer growing on the Presidency.


  864. Karen I guess you can prove that Bush was hammered for letting some Gitmo POWs go. I must have missed all that and I watch the news pretty regularly. Then I SURE as HELL do NOT remember Bush being blasted for those who returned to the fight. So NO I am not blaming Bush for that, but I AM blaming all those who are denouncing Obama for this since they were quiet when BUSH was doing WORSE and letting them go with nothing at all to show for it.


  865. I hardly think a prisoner exchange constitutes “negotiation with terrorists.” Were that the case, our only option would be to shoot everyone of them in sight. Desirable as that sounds, a no talk policy only encourages escalation and prolongs conflict. Today’s terrorist is tomorrow’s head of state and we’d best recognize that element of realpolitik. As for violation of federal law, I have no doubt this is so much like I’m sure very little besides handwringing will be done about it. Presidents enjoy almost unfettered authority over the armed forces in time of war spanning back to Lincoln’s day and especially so when the end result is saving American lives — even one life.


  866. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 12:52 am Mike Appleton

    The status of Bergdahl as hero or villain is material to nothing unless you are one of those individuals who persist in the vain search for a purpose for the war in Afghanistan or who continue to harbor the fantasy that Guantanamo served legitimate and constitutional needs. Our continued presence in Afghanistan will no more prevent ongoing civil war in that country than our efforts in Iraq will prevent eventual partition there. Phony patriots are masters at self-deception owing to their desire to justify the carnage of jingoism.

    And, as usual, Bob, Esq. is correct. The phrase “war on terror” is quite literally nonsensical.


  867. http://m.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/04/1304121/-Who-is-going-to-tell-us-we-can-t-and-who-can-make-us-stop

    COL. DAVIS: President Bush said the Geneva Conventions did not apply to our conflict in Afghanistan with al Qaeda and the Taliban, although he said we would act consistent with Geneva’s obligations. That’s one reason his administration came up with the term “alien unlawful enemy combatant” for the Guantanamo detainees. That is not a term that appears in the Geneva Conventions and it was crafted to avoid the rights and duties afforded POWs under the Geneva Conventions. President Obama has not done anything to refute that. We have relied on general law of war authority to detain the enemy, which is accepted as customary international law. Many dispute the propriety of doing so, but to date our courts have accepted that argument in some of the habeas challenges they’ve considered. Whether we can continue to do so after the war that served as the basis for our law of war justification ends remains to be seen, but the big question is who is going to tell us we can’t and who can make us stop?


  868. randyjet
    Obama just proved that he doesn’t need no stinking law…


  869. mespo727272
    In the pursuit of saving that one life, Liberty for the rest of us must become banished?


  870. Lindsey Graham: Impeachment is on the table if Obama releases more detainees
    BY SUSAN CRABTREE | JUNE 4, 2014

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/graham-impeachment-is-on-the-table-if-obama-releases-more-detainees/article/2549342#.U4-nNd3QYcs.twitter

    Graham said he has long been open to many of the Obama administration’s ideas to help close Gitmo, including opening a new prison on U.S. soil, but now says he has lost trust in the administration and there should be a “time-out” on all detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

    “I don’t mind opening a new jail up – I just don’t want to empty this one,” he told the Washington Examiner on his way to a closed-door administration briefing on the Bergdahl matter. “It seems to me that they don’t have a desire to continue to hold these guys under the law of war. I’m all for moving the jail to another location as long as you don’t let everybody go.”

    Earlier in the day, Graham said told The Hill newspaper that like-minded Republicans may call for impeachment if Obama doesn’t stop transferring detainees from the island prison.
    (continued)


  871. Max 1, I know that you would support Congress if they passed a law banning food for the prisoners, and would say that Obama should be impeached if he did not let them starve to death. So for some instances, Congress does NOT have authority and to say that Obama violated the law is beyond the pale since he DOES have that authority under the Constitution. Just because you think he did does not make it true. At least he has stated that unlike Bush and ALL the GOPers here, he has banned waterboarding and called it torture. Bush simply got around US AND international law and treaties the US has signed and ratified by saying that waterboarding is NOT TORTURE. Obama does not have that level of mendacity which is a BIG difference with Bush.



  872. randyjet
    Sounds like a lot of hand wringing…
    … What prevents Obama’s DoJ from prosecuting High Officials that violated US Law?

    Or, to put it more bluntly…
    … Why does this Administration coddle the lawlessness of the former?

    Moreso…
    … Why is it OK for Obama to be an enabler of torture and injustice?


  873. Just because the Bush Admin circumvented Geneva is not license for Obama to shirk his obligation under Geneva to prosecute.


  874. Major terrorism trial could be held in secret for first time in UK legal history

    http://www.theguardian.com/law/2014/jun/04/major-terrorism-trial-secret-first-time-legal-history?CMP=twt_gu


  875. He tells it like it is…


  876. Wow. This is the first that I’ve heard that there was no criticism of Bush while he was in office. Who knew?


  877. Why do they call it “gun violence” when they don’t use phrases like “knife violence” or “IED violence”?

    When a bomber blows up Oklahoma City, we blame the bomber. When someone deliberately mows someone down with their car we blame the driver. When someone stabs their victim we blame the murderer.

    Only in the case of a shooting do we blame the gun, and not the shooter.

    Mass shootings are a mental health issue, and the majority of gun homicides are gang-related. Fix the source, not the symptom.


  878. randyjet,

    Max 1, I know that you would support Congress if they passed a law banning food for the prisoners, and would say that Obama should be impeached if he did not let them starve to death.

    It wouldn’t make sense to support starving the detainees, if that is what you meant. Some of the detainees are no longer hunger striking. They should be fed, no? Others are hunger striking still and are still being force fed just to keep them alive against their will. (It is reported that md’s were on hand in some of our black sites doing just the same to waterboarding subjects). I’m in the camp that considers that to be a form of torture. You’re trying to paint a picture of me that doesn’t exist. So please…

    Our National moral high ground looks ever more lower the longer our Government retains these detainees behind bars. That’s one of my messages to my House Rep. I regularly deliver to his offices. Congress needs a giant poke by We the People.


  879. Karen S
    Wow. This is the first that I’ve heard that there was no criticism of Bush while he was in office. Who knew?
    = = =
    Col. Davis is a refreshing follow…
    p.s.
    That was inside dig at the lack of Congressional will to solve this problem facing Vets.


  880. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 3:21 am Mike Appleton

    Bob, Esq.:

    Yes, it appears that the categorical imperative has been redefined with respect to the presidency in accordance with the Yoo doctrine of presidential authority.
    I would describe it as the hypothetical arbitrariness principle of executive authority.

    In fairness, however, the new formulation is a logical extension of Dick Cheney’s notion of what I prefer to call the theory of the urinary executive.


  881. Nothing like a distraction built into a distraction and then leaving town. Bergdahl should be left in the hands of the military to decide his guilt or innocent. No matter what is being reported, we can’t have all of the facts and I would prefer to suspend judgement on who Obama traded him for. I cannot judge the words of his father either. Who knows what I would be thinking, acting, saying, etc to get my son home or at least not killed by the captors. So I cannot pass judgement on a distressed father, either. These people aren’t in “power” I don’t care.

    Obama broke the law. He’s to give congress 30 days prior to releasing detainees. PERIOD. As for the “exceptional” circumstances surrounding the fast action, nay. There is proof that this has been in the works since 2012. All situations are exceptional under this administration. “Sacred duty” “exceptional” wordsmith spinning. He broke the law.

    Who he released is alarming, allowing the Taliban to pick FIVE for ONE. I must have been lied to since memory as I believed that the government’s first duty is to serve and protect it’s citizens and to defend the rule of law and the Constitution.

    Defecting to Bush on this one only proves desperation to defend the defenselessness of these actions. It’s immature and intellectually dishonest.

    Swapping of prisons usually happens when a peace treaty signed. Where is this?

    The optics are hideous. The leader of the free world just released some of the most nefarious terrorists and ignored the rule of law. On the world stage we are increasing becoming pathetic. Ask any of my Turkish or Egyptian friends.

    Built into these terrorist mindset is destruction of the west, halal, misogamy and how many virgins in heaven? 12 years in Getmo and a year of restricted travel isn’t likely to change their core values. Being fed well, superb medical care and a beautiful soccer field is not likely to change their mindset.

    Core values normally change under duress due to catastrophic events that were created by the mindset.


  882. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 8:23 am Paul C. Schulte

    Mike –

    In fairness, however, the new formulation is a logical extension of Dick Cheney’s notion of what I prefer to call the theory of the urinary executive.

    So, this makes Obama the Urinator-in-Chief?


  883. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 8:32 am Paul C. Schulte

    Mike – so, we should just shoot prisoners on the spot? It has been done and we could institute this policy. Just what would you have us do with prisoners of war?


  884. Karen, you are dodging the question and facts. The question and challenge was to find where there was criticism of Bush over releasing 500+ Taliban POWs for nothing. Then the other question was to find such criticism when it was revealed that many of them returned to the battlefield. When you can find such and show it to the rest of us, you have failed.

    You also asked for questions, and I gave you a bunch of them. I hope that you have enough honesty and self respect, to at least answer them in your own mind, if not replying in public.


  885. Max1 I was not serious about you supporting the starving to death of the POWs. I thought you would understand that since I was using that example as one in which Congress can pass a law that is clearly illegal, but you would support applying the law no matter what just for political gain or talking points. It is you who is being dishonest in demanding a suspension of common sense and decency to demand strict observation of the law while not doing the same for ALL laws Congress passes. It is clear that the President has the LEGAL power to release and control POWs under the Constitution since he is the CIC. That is part of his office and is CLEARLY within his rights. The only difference I have with Obama on this is that he needs to admit that they ARE POWs and follow the rules regarding them. The ONLY valid complaint is that Obama needs to comply with international conventions we are bound by regarding POWs. Bush refused to admit that they were POWs to avoid the strictures against torture and allow observers into Gitmo. It is very curious that Prof Turley can see NO difference between Bush and Obama since Obama banned torture, and tried to close Gitmo. Blaming Obama for not closing it is disingenuous to say the least, ESPECIALLY since Turley NOW supports the law that was designed to NOT close it.

    For those folks who are against what Obama did in supposedly violating a law that is clearly illegal, I would hope, a vain one I am sure, that they would apply the same logic to the case of the poor Marine who went into Mexico with a bunch of guns. The guy clearly committed a CRIME, and a felony to boot. Some here would expect Obama to urge the President of Mexico to REFUSE to enforce Mexican law in the interest of justice and common sense. I imagine that the Turley’s of the Mexican legal establishment would be up in arms if the Mexican Pres. did that. I on the other hand think that common sense and decency should be applied to ALL when enforcing the laws. That means that some folks in authority DO have the discretion as to who, when and where the laws are applied. So when Obama sees that a part of the ACA law was causing a hardship, he agreed to forgo applying or enforcing some provisions. This being reasonable and granting exemption rather than being seen as common sense, was attacked as being wrong and part of an imperial President! He is damned if he does and if he doesn’t. The only people such arguments convince are brain dead GOP hacks and zombies.


  886. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 9:07 am Paul C. Schulte

    randyjet – we could use some sort of citation to the 500+ Taliban released by GW Bush. I have looked and I cannot find anything like that.


  887. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 9:31 am swarthmoremom

    http://thinkprogress.org/world/2014/06/03/3444366/former-bush-official-blasts-gop-bush-would-have-agreed-to-bergdahl-swap/“Though Cheney told Fox News on Monday that he would not have agreed to the deal, Bellinger stressed that the Bush administration “returned something like 500 detainees from Guantanamo.” Statistics from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence show that only 6 percent (5 in total) of Guantanamo detainees released during the Obama administration have potentially engaged in militant activities. That compares with a rate of nearly 30 percent under the Bush administration.

    “I’m not saying this is clearly an easy choice but frankly I think a Republican, a president of either party, Republican or Democratic confronted with this opportunity to get back Sgt. Bergdahl, who is apparently in failing health, would have taken this opportunity to do this,” he added. “I think we would have made the same decision in the Bush administration.”


  888. According to all reports from Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers… he willingly left his post to defect, and has himself since made statements in support of that claim. By virtue of that action, and his statements in support of fact, he is a “deserter”. He should have been left to the enemy that he so willingly left his duty post to join. Now that he is back in the custody of the military, Sgt. Bergdahl should be court-martialed, and if found guilty of said high crime he should be shot.

    The only negotiations that should ever be done with an enemy is at the point of an appropriate weapon. Now, thanks to our illegitimate Imposter in Chief (aka The Obamination) we now have 5 more very capable enemy leaders soon to be back on the field of battle. The illegal action by Obama will do nothing more than cause additional American servicemen’s lives to be lost… and Bergdahl’s sorry traitorous a$$ isn’t worth a single fingernail clipping from a one of them.

    For those of you who are idiotic enough to here lend your voice in support of Obama’s latest illegal action and his usurpation of authority by unilateral action… It is with great hopes and sincerity that you and all of your family members are within appropriate range of the next terrorist act committed by one of the 5 individuals he has released… and it is with even greater hopes that you live to regret your current stand on this issue.


  889. it’s for gitmo prisoners not necessarily taliban


  890. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 9:43 am swarthmoremom

    http://www.lawfareblog.com/“The modern use of signing statements that invoke the Commander-in-Chief power to disregard congressional regulation of military operations – and especially congressional notification requirements – originated in the second term of the Reagan administration (see page 1083 ff. of this piece by Barron and Lederman). It is no accident (see n. 590) that “[t]he dramatic shift coincides with Richard Cheney taking office as Secretary of Defense.” A few years earlier, Representative Cheney was the Ranking Member on the Iran-Contra Minority Report. The Report is as full-throated a defense of Executive power vis a vis Congress as you will find. It is relevant here for its constitutional defense (p. 477 ff.) of the Carter administration’s failure to comply with statutory notification requirements (in the covert action context) for several months in exercise of the president’s “constitutional obligation to protect American lives.” To put it mildly, Vice-President Cheney did not adopt a narrower view of the exclusive Commander-in-Chief power vis a vis Congress during the George W. Bush administration, when he and his Office advocated for many types of Commander-in-Chief overrides of congressional statutes. Nor did the Vice-President advocate for working with Congress “to avoid a major confrontation,” either as Secretary of Defense (when he often confronted Congress on it regulation of DOD and led the charge for defying Congress on Desert Storm), or during the Bush administration (when he was the leading voice for not working with Congress, and instead for going-it-alone under Article II, on military commissions, detention, surveillance, interrogation, and other issues).


  891. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 9:46 am swarthmoremom

    That seems to be correct, pete :)


  892. i heard an admiral the other day say (i’m paraphrasing so no quotation marks) when a sailor goes into the water first we pull him out, then we determine if he fell in or he jumped.


  893. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 9:54 am Paul C. Schulte

    In the Bush prisoner releases, as best I can tell, they all were cleared by intensive interviews and found not to be a danger to the US when released. Some where not guilty to begin with but got caught in sweeps. There do not seem to be 500+ Taliban.


  894. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 9:57 am Nick Spinelli

    Leon Panetta just reiterated what he, and virtually everyone told Obama back in 2012, that this was a horrible deal. The only person consulted in 2012 who was in favor was John Kerry. He was sucking up for the Sec. of State job. Obama is a used car salesman dream.


  895. max:
    “mespo727272
    In the pursuit of saving that one life, Liberty for the rest of us must become banished?”

    ******************

    Not sure I follow how negotiating for a prisoner exchange endangers our freedom. We released 5 alleged terrorists to perhaps fight again and they released one to do likewise. I’d trade 5 terrorists for 1 American any day and consider it a Jack-And-The-Beanstalk day in my favor.


  896. MarieK;

    “Nothing like a distraction built into a distraction and then leaving town. Bergdahl should be left in the hands of the military to decide his guilt or innocent. No matter what is being reported, we can’t have all of the facts and I would prefer to suspend judgement on who Obama traded him for.”

    *************************

    That about sums it up as well as one can. Brava.


  897. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 10:04 am Paul C. Schulte

    SWM – doesn’t it really depend on what your definition of ‘modern’ is. Signing statements have a long history.


  898. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 10:08 am Nick Spinelli

    Folks are missing a KEY point. Up until last Saturday, neither the 5 Taliban, NOR BERGDAHL were ever called POW’s by the US. The day of the exchange was the FIRST time, any of the six were classified POW’s. The POW status is what the Taliban sought and it’s a huge deal. Like this entire swap, our Imperial President consulted w/ no one on this major change in policy. Our King merely bestowed this status, on all 6.


  899. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 10:09 am Paul C. Schulte

    Mespo –

    I’d trade 5 terrorists for 1 American any day and consider it a Jack-And-The-Beanstalk day in my favor.

    . Next exchange they get dropped off at your doorstep.


  900. and btw marshal infidel, i see you have a picture on your hovercard of john wayne aka “the duke”.
    just thought you might appreciate this little story;

    Historian William Manchester, in a 1987 article in The New York Times Magazine, recalled an encounter with Duke during World War II:

    After my evacuation from Okinawa, I had the enormous pleasure of seeing Wayne humiliated in person at Aiea Heights Naval Hospital in Hawaii. Only the most gravely wounded, the litter cases, were sent there…. Each evening Navy corpsmen would carry litters down to the hospital theater so the men could watch a movie. One night they had a surprise for us. Before the film the curtains parted and out stepped John Wayne, wearing a cowboy outfit…He grinned his aw-shucks grin, passed a hand over his face and said, ‘Hi ya, guys!’ He was greeted by a stony silence. Then somebody booed. Suddenly everyone was booing. This man was a symbol of the fake machismo we had come to hate, and we weren’t going to listen to him. He tried and tried to make himself heard, but we drowned him out, and eventually he quit and left.


  901. There is a known knowns here: President Obama, like President Bush before him is breaking the law. Because Bush did it is not a reason to be O.K. with Obama doing it. In fact, that is a very dangerous analysis which this government encourages.

    With each successive president breaking the law and getting away with it, presidential lawlessness is normalized. President Obama has now grabbed dictatorial powers that exceed those grabbed by Cheneybush. The next president will grab even more while her or his followers excuse and cheer.

    It is really horrifying to see how many citizens excuse and cheer the destruction of the rule of law, the basis of a functioning society. Someday, the party one serves will throw many of its own worshippers under the bus. This will happen because it can happen and it always happens throughout history when people abandon law for a cult of personality and party.

    There are perfectly legal ways to deal with detainees in Gitmo. It is not only legal to stop indefinite detention and torture which Obama engages in, it is our law. Even Obama’s now closest confidants and certainly his many citizen worshippers will rue the day that they gave up the law in exchange for temporarily feeling good by associating with the powerful. It is a poor and dangerous bargin.


  902. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 10:29 am Paul C. Schulte

    pete – William Manchester was famous for fictionalizing his wartime career. His books on the Pacific campaign are described as part memoir, part fiction. I would distrust anything Manchester said about WWII except that he was in it and dropped out of officer candidate school. He was wounded at Okinawa and did receive the Purple Heart.


  903. Nick, The FACT is that as CIC any President has the power to declare persons POWs as do the military. In FACT during WWII, FDR had and used the power to declare an American citizen a traitor and a spy and put him on trial by court martial. His fellow German spies were executed after a military trial. So cite some legal precedent or law that does NOT allow for this.

    The only reason Bush refused to call them POWs is so that he could torture them, and deny the Red Cross access to them. You also fail to state HOW this is big DEAL or how it impinges on our fight against the Taliban. It seems like they have been doing fine without the services of these five. Unless you think that they can produce weapons by picking them out of their BUTTS, then there is no rational reason to state that they will be a greater danger to the US. Of course, given the propensity of the GOPers to magical thinking, this may well be their reasoning.

    I would hope that they will have been implanted with some tracking devices, and so I am against their not going back to Afghanistan now. By staying away for one year, it ensures that any such device will run down and become inoperative. Given this possibility, they may well find themselves not so welcome as some folks think.


  904. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 10:43 am Nick Spinelli

    A defiant Obama dug in during a presser in Belgium w/ David Cameron. He declared his swap was legal and correct. He claimed this is just DC whippin’ up controversy. However, the groundswell started across the nation by soldiers who served in Afghanistan. And the “DC” outrage is bipartisan. “If the President does it then it’s not illegal.”


  905. Jill you state: “With each successive president breaking the law and getting away with it, presidential lawlessness is normalized. President Obama has now grabbed dictatorial powers that exceed those grabbed by Cheneybush. The next president will grab even more while her or his followers excuse and cheer.”

    Great point. I’ve heard similar views before.

    “I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” James Madison

    “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” James Madison

    “I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such: because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well-administered; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a Course of Years and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.” Benjamin Franklin


  906. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 10:44 am Nick Spinelli

    Obama is depending on all the cultists. He really needs them now because he has lost the MSM and Congressional Dems for the most part. So, all cultists, keep your powder dry and run toward the gunfire!


  907. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 10:49 am Paul C. Schulte

    randyjet – the courts have agreed with Bush’s stand on the prisoners in this regard. However they have said they must get minimal care under the Geneva Convention. And it would be Red Crescent access to them, btw.


  908. Randyjet, precisely. When Presidents think laws are more important than humans then we are in huge trouble. Those advocating that ALL laws, even unjust ones be followed, are becoming authoritarian. If we hold Snowden who is a heroic figure here to the same authoritarian standard of adherence to all laws all the time, then Snowden would not be viewed as the hero he is. So what is it? When Snowden breaks laws for the good of humans it’s ok? But when the President of the United States breaks laws for the good of humans it is wrong? It’s a double standard and hypocritical.


  909. The right wing depends on stupid people.


  910. How close was Obama’s unilateral release of 5 Taliban leaders to an act of war by the US against Afghanistan?

    They were not released to the custody of Afghanistan or even to a 3rd party in careful concert with Afghanistan. Obama basically returned them to the warring non-state party seeking to restore terroristic rule over Afghanistan.

    Their danger to the US and even the West in general pales in comparison to the danger that Obama has increased for Afghanistan and the Afghan people, most of all any Afghans who committed their life to the American promise.


  911. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 11:06 am Nick Spinelli

    “You’ve been hoodwinked, bamboozled, run amuck.” Malcolm X


  912. Nick his hometown cancelled the celebration because of the American terrorists who do not belive in waiting for facts and have no problem making threats against people, their families and towns. It was kowtowing to a mob and terrorist mentality. (Has nothing to do with Bergdahl, we have see this with other posts from the professor, commencement speakers forced, or decide to, not speak due to threats and outrage expressed against them/their views. Don’t care what you think about Baghdahl, this is not to be celebrated.


  913. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 11:08 am Paul C. Schulte

    If the right wing depended on stupid people then we would be trying to get the votes of progressives.


  914. Let me understand this. We released 5 detainees or POW’s, that international law would have mandated their release at war’s end for one American POW? Anyone who has had a family member missing or alleged to be in enemy hands would take this deal in an instant. Just how exactly did we get our Vietnam POW’s, including John McCain back? The Army will investigate Bergdahl’s alleged illegal acts and he will be punished if he is found guilty under the UCMJ. We have left too many military members behind, we should always strive to get them all back.


  915. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 11:11 am Nick Spinelli

    Eric, Politics is layered. This is a strong backhand to Karzai. Obama has been b!tch slapped by Karzai and this is a zinger to him w/ the elections coming up. There are NO RESTRICTIONS on these killers. They can use the internet to stir up trouble in the upcoming elections. Yes, our Machiavellian prez is working many spinning plates. But, they’ve gotten away from him this time. He depends on loyal, cultists, w/o any mind of their own, to keep those plates spinning. Ed Sullivan would book this act.


  916. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 11:11 am Paul C. Schulte

    leejcaroll – according to the hometown, which is small (8000) they could not handle the crowds


  917. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 11:13 am Nick Spinelli

    leej, This is interesting. Do you think it was wrong for universities to cancel speeches by conservatives because of progressive backlash?


  918. Karen s wrote: And the reason why these wars drag on is because we had no definable, achievable goals. ” and this is a result of whom? Oh right Mr. Bush who lied us into the Iraq war in he first place and had no definable achievable goal when he got us into Afghanistan.
    Let the military hammer them into submission? Really. That is not what the job of the military is. In addition who brought you the start and biggest weapons supply used by the Taliban and Iraq? Reagen. the hero of the right. Anatomy of a Victory: CIA’s Covert Afghan War

    By: Steve Coll, Washington Post, July 19, 1992

    “In all, the United States funneled more than $ 2 billion in guns and money to the mujaheddin during the 1980s, according to U.S. officials. It was the largest covert action program since World War II.”

    http://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/pol/wtc/oblnus091401.html


  919. How about those abolitionists? Terrible lawless people breaking those laws to facilitate escaping slaves and sending them to free states. Why do we see them in a favorable light so many years later? Hmmm.


  920. randyjet:

    So I have no honesty or self respect?

    Honestly, why you people jump to ad hominem over the most absurd things is beyond me.

    I remember Bush getting hammered from dawn to dusk. He walked outside of a room and he was criticized. I remember he was criticized for not letting Gitmo prisoners go, and then he was criticized for letting go supposedly low risk. I was there.

    I don’t know who can say with a straight face that Bush didn’t get enough criticism. Excuse me while I go laugh until I fall over. Gotta go take my son to school now and do other, more interesting things than read quarrels over nothing.


  921. Nick I think it is wrong to cancel speeches because of conservative backlash or progressive backlash. You want to take my comment out of context and make it say something it didn’t Mine point is it is wrong in this country for people to act in a mob/terrorist behavior to get their way, (I used the prof posts because most people here can immediately know without my having to go into long explanation)

    Paul I have seen members of the town speak on the news. They have grave concerns about safety because of the calls, tweets, and other forms of harassment. “He is a traitor, he should be put to death, that kind of thing, similar to what we have seen here. This makes it a country of men (and speculation, gossip, supposition) and not a nation of law, which seems to be fine for way too many folks on this thread, and thruout the country.


  922. Hi Paul:

    All the articles slamming Bush’s releases are based on this Director of National Intelligence Report. It shows the number of released prior to 2009 and by 2012.

    http://www.dni.gov/files/documents/September_2013_GTMO_Reengagement_UNCLASS_Release_FINAL.pdf

    They captured a great many enemy combatants, many of them young (the average lifespan in Afghanistan is not good, so we see more teenage soldiers). Through the years, after interrogation and review, as many as they thought possible were “cleared for release,” so as not to keep lower risk prisoners indefinitely. Then these were tracked to determine if they reengaged in terrorism, communicated with each other, and so on. About 19% of the pre-2009 released reengaged in terrorism, although there has been debate about the threshold. There have been relatively few releases since 2009. This data is used to help determine the threat of future releases.

    There has also been debate that the longer the men are held, the less likely they are to return to terrorism. But, again, it depends on the person and circumstances.


  923. leejcarroll: “Mr. Bush who lied us into the Iraq war”

    No, he didn’t. Excerpt from http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2014/05/operation-iraqi-freedom-faq.html :

    Q: Did Bush lie his way to war with Iraq?

    A: No.

    One, Bush’s presentation of intelligence did not and could not trigger OIF. By procedure, only Iraq’s noncompliance could trigger enforcement, and only Iraq’s compliance could switch off the enforcement.

    The entire burden of proof was on Saddam to prove Iraq was compliant and disarmed. The US held no burden of proof in the Iraq enforcement. Iraq’s guilt was established as fact from the outset and presumed in the enforcement of the Gulf War ceasefire and UNSC resolutions. The imprecision of intelligence due to Saddam’s deception was a known issue from the outset and accounted for with Iraq’s presumption of guilt and burden of proof.

    In other words, if Bush had presented no intelligence on Iraq’s weapons, the compliance-based enforcement procedure would have been the same because Saddam was guilty until he proved Iraq was compliant.

    Two, it is undisputed that Iraq was noncompliant. At the decision point for OIF, Iraq had failed to sufficiently account for documented NBC stocks along with other violations.

    The public controversy is over Bush’s presentation of intelligence on latter Iraqi NBC stocks and programs. In the context of the Saddam problem, Clinton and Bush officials were obligated to judge the intelligence in an unfavorable light for Iraq, and 9/11 compelled US officials to increase their wariness due to Saddam’s belligerence and guilt on terrorism.

    The intelligence that Bush presented was the intelligence that was available. Bush’s mistake was presenting the intelligence inapposite of its actual, circumscribed role in the Iraq enforcement. For ODF, Clinton had cited to Iraq’s noncompliance when he declared “Iraq has abused its final chance” and classified Saddam as a “clear and present danger”. Clinton’s citation of noncompliance as the reason for bombing Iraq matched the operative enforcement procedure.

    Bush cited to Iraq’s noncompliance as Clinton had done for ODF, but Bush also cited to the intelligence, despite that the intelligence could not trigger enforcement. Propagandists pounced on Bush’s error of presentation, but the mistake does not change that Iraq was noncompliant at the decision point for OIF and Bush properly applied the enforcement procedure.

    Three, it is undisputed that Saddam was in violation on non-weapons issues, such as illicit trade outside the Oil for Food program and humanitarian and terrorism standards. They were also triggers for the military enforcement. Saddam’s non-weapons obligations are often overlooked, yet they were as serious as Iraq’s weapons obligations. For example, the no-fly zone was the most visible, dangerous, invasive, and provocative component of the ‘containment’, yet the no-fly zone was not part of weapons-related enforcement. Rather, it enforced UNSC resolution 688, which demanded an immediate end to the repression of the Iraqi civilian population.

    Four, albeit irrelevant to the enforcement procedure at the decision point for OIF, the post hoc Duelfer Report shows Iraq was in broad violation of its weapons obligations – just not in the same way suggested by the pre-war intelligence.


  924. Clearing prisoners for release, on our own terms, sends a far different message than giving the Taliban/Al Qaeda the power to demand 5 top members in a swap.

    One says we did it because we felt like it. The other sends the message that a bunch of goat herders got 5 of their top guys back for 1 deserter.

    This isn’t like going to war with Germany, capturing POWs, and then we give them all back when the war is over.

    This wasn’t just a war on Afghani soil. These men belonged to terrorist networks that routinely plan jihad terror attacks on Americans. They’re not done when we pull out of Afghanistan. Al Qaeda tried to attack us many times, and were successful at times, before the Afghanistan war. And they will continue to do so after it.

    There has been debate here about whether Gitmo prisoners should be granted trials here in the US. But these were 5 top men, and they were released after relatively few years, not trial. Snowden’s wikileaks outlined their involvement. How would you feel if one of the terrorists who crashed planes into the Twin Towers was hypothetically in our hands, who killed thousands of people, and we just let him go after 12 years, going around Congress to do so, all to get a deserter back?


  925. Snowden broke laws to get that information.


  926. And then Snowden published that info, which is illegal. Snowden is a hero, no?


  927. i, citizen:

    We are a country with no memory and too many complicit in rewriting history.

    Thousands of people died in a terrorist attack. Saddam was claiming he was going to bomb the West, and refused to allow inspection. If people were saying, we’re going to kill thousands in plane crashes, and the US did nothing about it, people would have been calling for blood. Oh, wait, that pretty much is what happened. Intel communities jealously guarded info and didn’t share it with each other to put the puzzles together. We had more lax security. The nation was infuriated. But we learned. There is no way after 9/11 that a President would say, well, OK then, we’ll just wait and see what happens. Hope you don’t mean what you say about nuking us.


  928. Annie good point Snowden broke laws, for sure, no question and many think he should get a free pass. Bergdahl has not been proven to have broken any law but he is a traitor etc. If you like what someone is or does then he should escape the rule of law, if you don’t he should not be afforded the principles of it? Missed that day in civics class..


  929. Mike Appleton: “Yes, it appears that the categorical imperative has been redefined with respect to the presidency in accordance with the Yoo doctrine of presidential authority. I would describe it as the hypothetical arbitrariness principle of executive authority.”

    Mike,

    Why not call it the Divine Right of Kings?


  930. Exactly Leej. I’ll expand that thinking to include the charges that the President’s actions in bypassing Congress were illegal and impeachment worthy. Snowden breaks laws for good purpose=good. Obama breaks laws for good purpose =bad. It’s hypocritical at best, duplicitous at worst.


  931. Rafflaw: “Let me understand this. We released 5 detainees or POW’s, that international law would have mandated their release at war’s end for one American POW?”

    So pulling out of Afghanistan ends this “war on terror?”

    You don’t believe that for a minute.


  932. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 12:36 pm Paul C. Schulte

    leejcaroll – the day you missed in civics class was the day they discussed situational ethics.


  933. Karen S,

    At the same blog, excerpt from http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2013/03/10-year-anniversary-start-Operation-Iraqi-Freedom-thoughts.html :

    The link between 9/11 and Iraq is not a major part of my take on the issue because the Bush administration did not claim Saddam was behind the 9/11 attacks, and the Iraq problem, which included Saddam’s guilt on terrorism, and the operative procedure to resolve the Iraq problem were mature by the close of the Clinton administration – before 9/11.

    However, the 9/11 attacks, coupled with the uncovering of a WMD “international proliferation network”, did significantly boost the urgency and political will to resolve the Iraq problem expeditiously.

    President Clinton explained the link between 9/11 and Iraq:

    Noting that Bush had to be “reeling” in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, Clinton said Bush’s first priority was to keep al Qaeda and other terrorist networks from obtaining “chemical and biological weapons or small amounts of fissile material.”

    “That’s why I supported the Iraq thing. There was a lot of stuff unaccounted for,” Clinton said in reference to Iraq and the fact that U.N. weapons inspectors left the country in 1998.

    “So I thought the president had an absolute responsibility to go to the U.N. and say, ‘Look, guys, after 9/11, you have got to demand that Saddam Hussein lets us finish the inspection process.’ You couldn’t responsibly ignore [the possibility that] a tyrant had these stocks,” Clinton said.

    President Bush concurred with his predecessor that the 9/11 attacks increased the urgency to resolve the Iraq problem:

    Some citizens wonder, after 11 years of living with this problem, why do we need to confront it now? And there’s a reason. We’ve experienced the horror of September the 11th. We have seen that those who hate America are willing to crash airplanes into buildings full of innocent people. Our enemies would be no less willing, in fact, they would be eager, to use biological or chemical, or a nuclear weapon.

    Knowing these realities, America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud. As President Kennedy said in October of 1962, “Neither the United States of America, nor the world community of nations can tolerate deliberate deception and offensive threats on the part of any nation, large or small. We no longer live in a world,” he said, “where only the actual firing of weapons represents a sufficient challenge to a nations security to constitute maximum peril.”

    President Bush’s implementation of the preemptive doctrine in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks was an extension of the preemptive doctrine implemented by President Clinton in response to the escalating Islamic terrorist campaign that culminated in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


  934. Well, let’s compare Snowden with Obama:

    1) I have not read all of Snowden’s releases. They need to be categorized into “whistleblower” and “gratuitous releases that jeopardized covert ops and personnel.” I do not know if any of his releases placed undercover ops or anyone else in danger. For example, did he release the names of anyone embedded in Al Qaeda? That needs to be determined before I can label him as entirely altruistic.
    2) Snowden was aware that the US government was breaking the law. If he went through channels, it would go through officials who were BREAKING THE LAW. It would be unlikely that his information would ever get into public knowledge, and business would continue as usual, while he would inevitably have been arrested for notifying up-line on classified docs.

    So Snowden released classified documents to let the American people know that their government was breaking the law and spying on them without a warrant, among a great many other things. He sacrificed himself to release this knowledge.

    Obama breaks the law to get what he wants or to engage in fraud on Americans. When Congress opposed the prisoner swap, he broke the law and went around them. Professor Turley has written several articles on the Imperial Presidency, so I won’t rehash them here. But Obama breaks the law to benefit himself. Snowden broke the law to tell Americans their government was lying to them, spying on them, and going rogue, breaking is own laws.

    But I cannot label him “a hero” because I don’t know if he limited his releases to “whistleblowing” or if he released it all, even legal classified docs.

    I never got the whole argument that it’s OK for someone to break the law because this other guy did. I’m sure a lot of people in prison would love for things to work that way.


  935. i, citizen:

    “However, the 9/11 attacks, coupled with the uncovering of a WMD “international proliferation network”, did significantly boost the urgency and political will to resolve the Iraq problem expeditiously.”

    Exactly.


  936. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 12:39 pm Paul C. Schulte

    Annie – just to make you feel better I think Bergdahl should be tried as a deserter, Snowden tried as a traitor and Obama impeached. Feel better now. :)


  937. on 1, June 5, 2014 at 12:40 pm Nick Spinelli

    leej, After reading your comment about liberal “or conservative” backlash cancelling speeches @ universities, I searched if there was any conservative backlash of scheduled university speeches. Of course, I couldn’t find any.You see, universities have become McCarthy like in controlling only the speech these liberal monoliths allow. Mayor Bloomberg gave a commencement speech @ Harvard a few weeks ago. He shocked the audience by calling the tactics used on campuses Orwellian and antithetical to what a university should be.