It has been a virtual mantra of U.S. policy for decades that we do not negotiate with terrorists and never never pay ransoms. That is why a new report is so startling even though it has received relatively little attention. The Pentagon reportedly gave an unspecified but large amount of money to an Afghan for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and then found out the money and the Afghan disappeared without a trace. The Pentagon is denying that it tried to pay a ransom for Bergdahl.
Archive for the ‘Military’ Category
We have previously discussed how filmmakers are releasing fake videos such as the recent profiling video out of New York — a practice that is not only dishonest but highly counterproductive for groups seeking to address such abuses. Now it appears that a moving video of a Syrian boy heroically rescuing a little girl under fire is a fake, but director Lars Klevberg, 34, is heralding his hoax as a wonderful success and is entirely unapologetic for misleading millions of people.
We previously discussed how the White House opened admitted that it was delayed the increasingly unpopular immigration plan until after the election. Now it appears that another radioactive issue is being slow marched until after the election. The Army has completed its investigation into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s disappearance from his base in Afghanistan five years ago. However, Pentagon sources have said that any release will have to come after the election and there is no guarantee that the findings will be made public.
We have been discussing the trillions of dollars spent on Iraq and Afghanistan while we cut environmental, scientific, and educational programs on the state and federal levels. Now, we are only a couple of weeks into the newest war against Islamic State but we have already spent an estimated $1.1 billion. Of course, President Obama has stated that he does not require any congressional approval for the war, which has been described by his Administration as having an indefinite duration. In the meantime, our latest war has been a bonanza for weapons manufacturers, including a $251 million deal to buy more Tomahawks from Raytheon Co after we unloaded on the Islamic State.
There is an interesting dimension to the ongoing circumvention of the Constitution over our latest undeclared war. While some Administration officials are finally calling our attacks in Syria as a “war,” the discomfort over defining this indefinite campaign has led to equal discomfort over naming it. After two months of airstrikes and statements that the campaign will likely go on for years, the Administration still have not named this war. The choice would now seem obvious: Operation Voldemort, the war which must not be named.
While the outgoing Afghan President continues to denounce the United States and praise China and Iran, the Obama Administration has been pressuring Afghanis to allow it to keep roughly 10,000 troops in the country with the obvious commitment to spend billions and billions more on the war. The agreement has now bee signed. This is being heralded as a long-awaited success for the Administration – a curious achievement for those who want us out of the country and money spent on badly needed domestic programs of education, science, and infrastructure.
Iraqi pilots are rechecking their coordinate calculations after they mistakenly dropped food, water and ammunition to Islamic State militants rather than besieged Iraqi forces fighting the militants. It is the latest blunder by a military that, despite billions and billions in U.S. training and equipment, continues to face regular desertions and defeats in the field.