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Dealing for Bowe Bergdahl: American failure

What a mess. What a mixed message. What nose-thumbing at the law. What a slap to those American soldiers who paid the ultimate price in Afghanistan. And nothing quite like marking other Americans for hostage-taking.

We refer, of course, to President Obama’s weekend “deal” to bring home Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, held captive by the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan for the past five years. In an exchange that The New York Times, in a news story, hilariously called “an important achievement,” America gets back a disillusioned GI who might have gone AWOL and the terrorist world gets back five top Taliban commanders with U.S. blood on their hands and eager for more (after their farcical one-year monitoring in Qatar).

Tsk, tsk, apologists for “humanitarian gestures” will chide us. “This was the right thing to do,” they’re already saying, citing Official Washington pronouncements that Sgt. Bergdahl’s health was deteriorating. But that appears to be a dubious claim at best. And the five tradees really don’t pose much of a threat, they add. That’s delusional.

Not only has the Obama administration established a standard that the United States will negotiate with terrorists, it broke a law requiring congressional notification well in advance of such deals, places Americans abroad at a grave risk for capture (and why not if you can get back five terrorist killers for one American?) and further cements Mr. Obama as being dangerously deferential in the prosecution of foreign policy.

“An important achievement”? That’s a critical failure in our book.


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