Critical Bergdahl Comrades Republican Agents

Afghanistan Captured SoldierI am still in a dizzy regarding my reaction to the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from Taliban captivity and all the accusations and critical shots being taken at the White House, Bergdahl’s Father, and Bergdahl himself in it’s wake. So I’m awaiting the facts before making any bold decisions in the form of a post. But I will say that the politics being played around this event by the Right is striking.

 

Let’s first look at the accusations against Bergdahl through quotes from a NYT article from June 2nd:

The furious search for Sergeant Bergdahl, his critics say, led to the deaths of at least two soldiers and possibly six others in the area.

Yet…

Pentagon officials say those charges are unsubstantiated and are not supported by a review of a database of casualties in the Afghan war.

A second former senior military officer, who also was briefed on the Bergdahl investigation, said there was no direct evidence that diversion of surveillance aircraft or troops to search for Sergeant Bergdahl encouraged the Taliban attacks, or left other American troops vulnerable. “This was a dangerous region in Afghanistan in the middle of the ‘fighting season,’ ” the officer said in an email, adding that although the search “could have created some opportunities for the enemy,” it is “difficult to establish a direct cause and effect.”

And…

A review of the database of casualties in the Afghan war suggests that Sergeant Bergdahl’s critics appear to be blaming him for every American soldier killed in Paktika Province in the four-month period that followed his disappearance.

Now, I am not calling anyone a liar and I’m sure that these men in uniform believe what they believe, but the most troubling Republican antic is this:

Two of Bergdahl’s former comrades – Joshua Cornelison and Cody Full – gave interviews to the Wall Street Journal, Fox News and the Daily Mail suggesting the soldier had endangered the lives of fellow soldiers by voluntarily leaving his base.

They pair also spoke to the New York Times, which disclosed the interviews had been “arranged by Republican strategists”….

The series of interviews was facilitated by Capitol Media Parters, a PR firm owned by Richard Grennell, Mitt Romney’s former foreign policy spokesman.

This was from The Guardian yesterday. 

 

 

 

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Please Leak CIA Torture Report!

1446d9b7-3c4d-45e0-8c88-f29afad5ccc6-460x276A good op-ed in The Guardian by Trevor Timm pleading that some official in the government release a full copy of the report on the torture of prisoners captured under the guise of the war on terror.

Though voted to be released by the Senate Intelligence Committee, a leak of the full report will be the only way to see all of the important info we as citizens need to know before the CIA takes a black marker to it.

The problem is that, as Timm lays out, is that the CIA itself will be redacting sections of the report themselves (along with other agencies) when the investigation was centered on the CIA itself.

Unbelievable.

Read Here.

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Who Are Al Qaeda’s Associated Forces?

The_Pentagon_January_2008-620x412A good piece on Salon.com by Cora Currier of ProPublica asks the question who these “associated forces” are of Al Qaeda’s who the White House is always mentioning? Shouldn’t we know the answer to this question when the U.S. is currently killing members of these forces with our drones, in our name?

Read Here.

Thank You, Ms. Thomas

Helen-Thomas-38119-1-402A great obit. in the NYT on former White House press corps member Helen Thomas. You would probably just know her as that pushy old bat twisting the latest Press Secretary’s arm at daily White House press conferences if you didn’t know any better. But she was a pioneering female reporter in a man’s world a great journalist outright in and of itself.

Read Here.

kathleen-parker-114x80I have heard more analysis and pundit opinions than I care to remember regarding the “threat” against Bob Woodward by the White House’s Gene Spurling. But what is important here is the access of the press, as Kathleen Parker at The Post explains, to the most powerful people in the country. So this is a very good op-ed on this matter. But the only problem with it is it singles out the Obama administration as particularly harsh towards the press when the Bush administration was out threatening to revoke press credentials when Ari Fleischer was press secretary. So it runs both ways.

Read Here.