Thursday, June 5, 2014

Looks like maybe Bergdahl is being 'Swiftboated'
to try to make political hay against Obama

If this video does not play for you, it is the second interview here, from 6/4/2014, with the author of the article and another reporter from Afghanistan, with Reuters.

From the New York Times (article cited above)
Can Bowe Bergdahl Be Tied to 6 Lost Lives? Facts Are Murky

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 — even as critics of Sergeant Bergdahl contend that every American combat death in Paktika Province in the months after he disappeared, from July to September 2009, was his fault.

All across Afghanistan, that period was a time of ferocious fighting. President Obama had decided to send a surge of additional troops to improve security, but they had not yet arrived. In Paktika, the eight deaths during that period were up from five in the same three months the previous year. Across Afghanistan, 122 Americans died in that period, up from 58 in 2008.

In addition, a senior insurgent commander known as Mullah Sangeen, who was part of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network, had been carrying out attacks in the area for several years. A joint military statement by American and Afghan security forces released a month before Sergeant Bergdahl vanished warned that the mullah had brought in “hundreds of foreign fighters.”

Facts are often obscured in the fog of the battlefield, witnesses have incomplete vantage points and the events are five years in the past now. But an archive of military reports logging significant activities in America’s war in Afghanistan offers a contemporaneous written record of events in Paktika that summer. The archive was made public by Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Pvt. Bradley Manning, who is serving a 35-year prison sentence for the leak.
The first two deaths the critics link to Sergeant Bergdahl involved a major assault by insurgents on a combat outpost called Zerok on July 4, 2009. Their view is that the Taliban knew the Americans were stretched thin by the search mission and took advantage of that opportunity to try to overrun it.
Where does my claim about swiftboating come in? Here, the fact that all these interviews of angry men who are claiming things about Bowe Bergdahl that do not appear to be true (however much they might believe it) is being arranged by GOP strategists. Those strategists make their livings off smearing people, especially our President.

They don't care if they also smear a member of our military - just like they did not care if they lied about now Sec. of State Kerry. It's all grist for the smear campaign mill, and facts be damned. Conservatives don't know or need or want to know what the facts are. They just gin up excuses for hating the president, and lies are fine for that.

From the Huff Po:

GOP Strategists Are Arranging Media Interviews To Attack Bowe Bergdahl
On Tuesday, BuzzFeed identified Richard Grenell, who once served as an aide to U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and later worked for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, as playing a key role in publicizing Bergdahl's critics.

"My role was to ask the firm to help facilitate the interviews for free. Brad Chase agreed to do it. He is handling all the requests. He isn't political. I originally spoke to Cody, the leader, via Twitter then asked the firm," Grenell told The Huffington Post's Sam Stein.

Certainly Bergdahl's release on Saturday raises legitimate questions about the circumstances surrounding his capture, the legality of the exchange and whether it merited the release of five Guantanamo Bay detainees. But the fact that Republican operatives are shopping around interviews behind the scenes meant to stir opposition to the Obama administration threatens to turn the debate over a prisoner of war into another partisan slugfest ahead of the November midterm elections.

The OTHER reason to call this out as shit-picking to smear the President, factually or otherwise (preferably NOT factually, looking at the overall performance) - also from the Huff Po:

Conservatives Have Hilariously Forgotten How Badly They Wanted Bergdahl Home

Radio producer and collector of social media hypocrisy Matt Binder has tapped into a new Twitter goldmine: conservatives apparently forgetting their adamant support for bringing captured Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl home at any cost.

These conservatives tweeted for years about Bergdahl, urging leaders to leave no man behind. But when President Barack Obama's administration succeeded in doing just that, their messages about the soldier took quite a different turn.

Here are some of the funniest backtracks Binder found (read the tweets from the bottom up):

View image on Twitter

this lady has 9 total tweets. first on morning of Bergdahl's release before his release (P.S. she made the petition)

View image on Twitter

Click over to Binder's Twitter feed for more.

While conservative Twitter's Bergdahl backlash is unquestionably over the top, Republican lawmakers have also changed their tune on America's only prisoner of war in Afghanistan. As The Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel and Sam Stein reported Tuesday, GOP lawmakers upset with Obama for releasing five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Bergdahl repeatedly urged the administration to do everything they could do to bring him home.

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