If you would, please allow me to add one more thought to last night’s commentary.
We have heard all the criticism leveled at the president for bringing home a soldier that the right has deemed a traitor. Consider for a moment an alternate scenario…one that we have not seen considered in the debate.
Assume the facts are as is but the president decided NOT to make that exchange. What if we learned at some point in the future that the president had the option of exchanging Bergdahl for five Taliban prisoners…but declined?
It is 2016. The war is over. In accordance with international law all the Guantanamo prisoners have been released. But the Taliban still has Bergdahl. Or maybe he was executed when the president refused to deal. What if we learn at some later date that this president decided that the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl’s disappearance deemed him unworthy of our best efforts to bring him home? What if we learn that he could have secured Bergdahl’s release by handing over five al Qaeda prisoners that he was going to have to release anyway…but decided not to? What would that narrative sound like? Can you imagine the conflagration that would occur if we learned that this president appointed himself Bergdahl’s judge and jury (as his critics have) and decided that Bergdahl’s life was NOT worth saving? Can you imagine the reaction of our military men and women upon learning that in the eyes of their commander-in-chief the age old adage that we leave no one behind is not a resolute statement of fact but a political calculation?
What if the president said: “No”? What would that debate sound like?