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Bergdahl released after 5 years

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  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    I don't have all of the details yet but a US captive has been released in Afghanistan. After 5 years of captivity, he's been released with an assist from Qatar. He seems to have been traded for 5 captives from Gitmo. He was the last US soldier held in captivity in this conflict. McCain is questioning if the best decision was made. McCain was a professional POW. Bergdahl was too. Arrived in Afghanistan 5 years ago. Taken prisoner about 1 month later.

    I think it's crazy when your most notable event of your service is related to being found/caught/captured...... some think this involves bravery. I think it's stupidity. If at any other job in the world - this was to happen - you would be dismissed.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    Watching his parents talk on the White House lawn, especially his dad, shocked me into really trying to wrap my head around what it would mean for a human being to be in that situation for 5 years. When his dad made the comment about his son having a hard time speaking English, that's when it struck me for whatever reason. Assuming that Bergdahl was fluent in English beforehand, what your life experience must be for, what, almost 2000 days in captivity for you to forget or have trouble remembering a language that used to come so naturally. Can't honestly begin to fathom what he went through. I too am short on details of the exchange. But even still, I'm glad that that experience is now over for him. Although 're-integration' will no doubt be a long and difficult battle for him.


  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Al Jazeera, June 1, 2014: US soldier freed in Taliban prisoner swap

    Al Jazeera provides some more insight into the prisoner exchange. They quote Obama and a White House spokesperson, and I'll extract those quotes here:

    "I'm also grateful for the tireless work of our diplomats, and for the cooperation of the government of Qatar in helping to secure Bowe's release.

    "We've worked for several years to achieve this goal, and earlier this week I was able to personally thank the Emir of Qatar for his leadership in helping us get it done," Obama said.

    "The Qatari government has given us assurances that it will put in place measures to protect our national security."

    A senior White House official also told Al Jazeera that the US administration would not transfer any prisoners from Guantanamo "unless the threat they may pose to the US can be mitigated".

    He said the Taliban prisoners would be "subject to restrictions on their movement and activities".


    Those opposed to the exchange dogmatically cite US precedent (policy?) that we NEVER negotiate with terrorists...never, never, ever!

    I can certainly understand why we would have such a policy as it opens up a new avenue for terrorists to extract their demands...kidnap an American and use that person in negotiating demands. However, in this case as we are planning to end combat operations, and leave Afghanistan with dates certain, the retention of Bergdahl would have diminishing negotiating value to the Taliban. And at the same time we want to reduce the number of high profile prisoners at Gitmo if we ever expect to close it, so in a sense it's a win-win.

    However, I will guarantee this: As soon as one of the Taliban prisoners is caught in another act of terrorism against the west, the Republicans and their Fox News propaganda outlet will make it headlines.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote: Al Jazeera, June 1, 2014: US soldier freed in Taliban prisoner swap

    Al Jazeera provides some more insight into the prisoner exchange. They quote Obama and I'll extract those quotes here:

    "I'm also grateful for the tireless work of our diplomats, and for the cooperation of the government of Qatar in helping to secure Bowe's release.

    "We've worked for several years to achieve this goal, and earlier this week I was able to personally thank the Emir of Qatar for his leadership in helping us get it done," Obama said.

    "The Qatari government has given us assurances that it will put in place measures to protect our national security."

    A senior White House official also told Al Jazeera that the US administration would not transfer any prisoners from Guantanamo "unless the threat they may pose to the US can be mitigated".

    He said the Taliban prisoners would be "subject to restrictions on their movement and activities".


    Those opposed to the exchange dogmatically cite US precedent (policy?) that we NEVER negotiate with terrorists...never, never, ever!

    I can certainly understand why we would have such a policy as it opens up a new avenue for terrorists to extract their demands...kidnap an American and use that person in negotiating demands. However, in this case as we are planning to end combat operations, and leave Afghanistan with dates certain, the retention of Bergdahl would have diminishing negotiating value to the Taliban. And at the same time we want to reduce the number of high profile prisoners at Gitmo if we ever expect to close it, so in a sense it's a win-win.

    However, I will guarantee this: As soon as one of the Taliban prisoners is caught in another act of terrorism against the west, the Republicans and their Fox News propaganda outlet will make it headlines.
    Again as I said many times before: that is what you get if you invade other countries; so nothing to cheer about. Hopefully this guy has learned that there are also other people on this world than only Americans. Also he learned another language as well and what poverty and religion means in those cultures. The US should stop pushing our way of life as the only one what counts around the world
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    Not just Fox but every other Main Stream Media will jump on that bandwagon, and they would be right in doing it because it would be called news reporting, now the talking heads of talk radio and all of the TV political pundits is another matter altogether, they will, twist, turn invert and subvert the topic in every way which way possible , with the question is the freedom of 1 soldier worth the death ( put a number here) of American citizens caused by the release of these former detainee's? I, myself, dread that day.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    johnnycee Wrote: Not just Fox but every other Main Stream Media will jump on that bandwagon, and they would be right in doing it because it would be called news reporting, now the talking heads of talk radio and all of the TV political pundits is another matter altogether, they will, twist, turn invert and subvert the topic in every way which way possible , with the question is the freedom of 1 soldier worth the death ( put a number here) of American citizens caused by the release of these former detainee's? I, myself, dread that day.
    Sorry, that is what you get with our present attitude around the world; if you put a drone up their ass, don't you think they love us to death?
    Also if you invade any country are you surprised they shoot at you, or kidnap you? This must be one of the most "ignorant" countries in the world.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    I believe some people on this post is very ignorant of the fact here is a case were parents experience their son coming home after five years as a POW with some of the most cruelest people on earth, the Taliban. They use children and cowardly acts of terror to fight their cause for their interpretation of Islam. Islam is a peaceful loving religion, but because of the Taliban and Al-Quida we have idiots justified in terror around the world. It's not just about Americans, it's about the world and the insane spread of terror. Americans are perfect for victims because we fight against terrorism. For any person that does not believe in terror, just wait till it comes near a media event closer to your home. America needs to support NSA's data mining and law enforcement to hold the trend back from terror to our families, friends and our country. If America is so wrong in what you proclaim as messing with other countries, than explain why this country has the highest number of immigration from other countries. Why are people tripping over each other to come to America? America must be doing something right, if most countries around the world try to stop the immigration movement to America.

    Yes, it's a glory moment for this young man coming home. Most of the America desires shutting down that military held prison of terror suspects. Yes, after all these years, they are still suspects because they have not been convicted, they are detained indefinitely. So, in respect for bringing home one of own hero's, I say release the bastards, and the next time you mess with America in terror, you will not have to worry about detainment, you'll be dead.

    Thank you President Obama and his administration for working out the details and keeping it secret from the those that would destroy the negotiations. I'm sure the parents of this young man appreciates their son coming home and would have only one complaint, why did it take so long? Now we have the idiot Republicans and Tea Partiers blaming Obama and his administration for not releasing information prior to the deal. Why would anybody want to tell a treasonous group of politicians bent only on keeping Obama to a one term presidency about how the negotiations were being made? I think the Republicans and Tea Partiers should keep their damn mouths shut before the parents talk how they fell about their inactions. This is a shoot-your-self- in-the-foot moment for the Republicans and Tea Partiers. Their true colors and character never surprises me when they speak after successes in the Obama administration. I know definitely how I'm voting the next several decades............straight Democratic ticket. Remember I'm from a State that voted for a dead guy (Democrat) rather than let a Republican get a vote. Our state has the heralded distinction of voting in a dead politician, but of course another Democrat was sworn in. A politician came to my door canvassing for his election coming this 2014. My first question, "are you Republican and can I see an ID? He should me identification that indicated he was Democrat and running in the forthcoming 2014 election. Of course, I gladly said, "You'll have my vote, if you make it through the Primary.". In my State, Missouri, Democrats in office are a minority, which I hope to part of a change.

    In closing, I'm happy for the return of this young serviceman and may God Bless America and President Obama for orchestrating this success.

  • Center Left
    Independent
    Charlotte, NC
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    The only thing that comes to my mind (other than frustration, happiness for his return, and sadness he was in this situation so much of his life) is,

    WHY did it take so long to release him? Why?

    Are there any cut-n-dry reasons anyone?
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    AmcmurryFreedom Wrote: I believe some people on this post is very ignorant of the fact here is a case were parents experience their son coming home after five years as a POW with some of the most cruelest people on earth, the Taliban. They use children and cowardly acts of terror to fight their cause for their interpretation of Islam. Islam is a peaceful loving religion, but because of the Taliban and Al-Quida we have idiots justified in terror around the world. It's not just about Americans, it's about the world and the insane spread of terror. Americans are perfect for victims because we fight against terrorism. For any person that does not believe in terror, just wait till it comes near a media event closer to your home. America needs to support NSA's data mining and law enforcement to hold the trend back from terror to our families, friends and our country. If America is so wrong in what you proclaim as messing with other countries, than explain why this country has the highest number of immigration from other countries. Why are people tripping over each other to come to America? America must be doing something right, if most countries around the world try to stop the immigration movement to America.

    Yes, it's a glory moment for this young man coming home. Most of the America desires shutting down that military held prison of terror suspects. Yes, after all these years, they are still suspects because they have not been convicted, they are detained indefinitely. So, in respect for bringing home one of own hero's, I say release the bastards, and the next time you mess with America in terror, you will not have to worry about detainment, you'll be dead.

    Thank you President Obama and his administration for working out the details and keeping it secret from the those that would destroy the negotiations. I'm sure the parents of this young man appreciates their son coming home and would have only one complaint, why did it take so long? Now we have the idiot Republicans and Tea Partiers blaming Obama and his administration for not releasing information prior to the deal. Why would anybody want to tell a treasonous group of politicians bent only on keeping Obama to a one term presidency about how the negotiations were being made? I think the Republicans and Tea Partiers should keep their damn mouths shut before the parents talk how they fell about their inactions. This is a shoot-your-self- in-the-foot moment for the Republicans and Tea Partiers. Their true colors and character never surprises me when they speak after successes in the Obama administration. I know definitely how I'm voting the next several decades............straight Democratic ticket. Remember I'm from a State that voted for a dead guy (Democrat) rather than let a Republican get a vote. Our state has the heralded distinction of voting in a dead politician, but of course another Democrat was sworn in. A politician came to my door canvassing for his election coming this 2014. My first question, "are you Republican and can I see an ID? He should me identification that indicated he was Democrat and running in the forthcoming 2014 election. Of course, I gladly said, "You'll have my vote, if you make it through the Primary.". In my State, Missouri, Democrats in office are a minority, which I hope to part of a change.

    In closing, I'm happy for the return of this young serviceman and may God Bless America and President Obama for orchestrating this success.

    You do not seem to get it that it is us who create all these terrorists because of our meddling in their world; ask the guy who just got released on how these people live; who are we to dictate others on how to live or have an culture other than ours; it is their land and people we have no bussiness at all to fight them. The 9/11 clan has been rightfully wiped out; so why kill others who had nothing to do with it; they will now look for revenge. Would n't you do the same thing if you would be attacked by strangers?
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Dutch some people fail to realize that for every action there is a reaction. This story has nothing to do with a US soldier being released after five years but everything to do with the very reasons he was there and even worse, why did he want to be there! It has nothing to do with protecting the USA and everything to do with bad decisions people make in their lives every day. This soldier made a bad decision when he joined the military and he paid the price as so many others before him have.. Others like him don't want to admit it or face reality, it's a lot easier to call him a great, patriotic American who suffered for his country rather than the simple truth - he made a bad decision for what ever reasons and paid the penalty. Unfortunately it's because people can't even understand the real story here that they will continue to be used and suffer the consequences and then blame someone else for their misfortunes in life.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    We are all happy that he's back. No one disputes that.

    Now to the other, untold, side of the story: Why was he a POW for nearly 5 years? Because he walked off his post. He walked away from his base right into the hands of the Taliban, by most or all accounts.

    But he's a former POW, and we are happy that he's back so he will be given a pass for all the people who risked their lives looking for him, for all the time and money expended, all the lives put at risk.

    But I'm glad he's back with us, and another chapter in President Obama's useless and wasteful war in Afghanistan is closed.

    It's right to wonder how long until one of these five criminal murderers takes more American lives? And when it happens, IF it happens, it will be real news and should be reported.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Yes PGR, you said it absolutely right; I do not have to add anything to it.

    However I'll give AMC an answer on what was stated by him:

    ----------than explain why this country has the highest number of immigration from other countries. Why are people tripping over each other to come to America? America must be doing something right, if most countries around the world try to stop the immigration movement to America.

    This again shows that you are a very isolated thinker. Guess what Europe and all the well to do countries face the same thing. For instance in the Netherlands there are slowly but surely more foreigners than real Dutchies, a huge influx of: Maroccans, Lybia-rs, Syria, East block countries; plenty of Ukrainiers, Polish, Romenia, Turks plenty of them etc. The Dutch have huge problems with them, because they are holding up their hands or steal or rob or kill. Other western European countries have the same thing. This is the result of all our wars and discrimination inwhat they want and believe; other countries are affected by it; how come we have so many Vietnamese here? So many Cubans.? It would not be the case if we would have accepted that they have their own idea's of being ruled by whatever; communists or Muslims/Hindu's are people too. Maybe I do not agree with their phylosophy but it is none of our bussiness; lets run this country properly before pointing fingers at other thinking people. Are you surprised that there is an influx of immigrants all over the globe into the more wealthy countries? If you have no food on the table, what are you going to do? Search were they do have food, I guess. So pls. do me a favor and think a bit farther than your fridge. This is not the only country with an imigration problem. Start thinking why that is the case. Have you seen lately the millions of people parked in the desert in Jordania in the heat in tents already since this conflict started. Go ahead eat your big steak and beer in your uniform; make a selfie of it.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    pr Wrote: Dutch some people fail to realize that for every action there is a reaction. This story has nothing to do with a US soldier being released after five years but everything to do with the very reasons he was there and even worse, why did he want to be there! It has nothing to do with protecting the USA and everything to do with bad decisions people make in their lives every day. This soldier made a bad decision when he joined the military and he paid the price as so many others before him have.. Others like him don't want to admit it or face reality, it's a lot easier to call him a great, patriotic American who suffered for his country rather than the simple truth - he made a bad decision for what ever reasons and paid the penalty. Unfortunately it's because people can't even understand the real story here that they will continue to be used and suffer the consequences and then blame someone else for their misfortunes in life.
    I guess he should be glad he did not get shot in the first place like many of his buddies; may be hopefully he learned something of it related on how some of the rest of the world lives and fights for their beliefs.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    Dutch, it appears you hold immigration distant from your acceptance and have a fear for all those that settle in your prime State. You write of specific immigrants like a disease to your precious environment. Guess what, all of America are immigrants, even the first settlers, the American Indian. Scientists show a human exodus from South America and what is now Asia and Europe as creating the tribal units we call Indians. Yes, they were here first, as we know, but we are always excited for new discoveries locating remains of a distant relative several thousand years earlier than what we knew.

    Get over it. Immigration is what makes America greater and as a world location for bettering one's life.

    I am so happy for that family to get their son back. It's a breath of fresh air. Leave no soldier behind is more than just a saying or thought, it is a priority in keeping our armed forces secure.

    If all of you are so adamant about our Armed Forces and have poor words to say in their behalf, than why do you live in America? What does America mean to you? Quit torturing yourself with these critical statements and just leave to go to a country you'll feel happier living in. America doesn't hold you here against your will. Just pack up, take your finances/banking, sell your property and leave. I think you'll feel better for it. Many of us who believe in this country and what our fore fathers fought for realize just how beautiful America is and worth staying here. Our America will continue to improve and will fight for our freedom. So, just go and leave America to Americans.

  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Unfortunately, without people who question America and demand it behave responsibly in the world (like Dutch, Tony and others here) America will continue it's slide into oblivion and self-destruction! It's precisely people who believe anything and everything America does is good and right that the rest of the world laughs at us and we become more and more irrelevant than we already have. Love it or leave it is not a solution for the problems we face, it's the cause!