Every Time the Sun Comes Up, I’m In Trouble

So let me get this straight. A young soldier who was clearly having a hard time with the most awful thing human beings do, war, should not be rescued because: (a) it’s not crystal clear how he was captured, or (b) he sent a few emails home questioning the war, or (c) the people we are fighting are “terrorists” so we can’t negotiate with them as we would in any other POW situation, even though we call what we’re doing a “War on Terror”?

And this is coming from the people who still support a war where we wasted, squandered, frittered away and otherwise burned up $6 trillion?

This is the “debate” we’re going to have the next couple of days? Can things get any more stupid than this?

It’s Monday morning and I want to drink like it’s Friday night.

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180 replies
  1. 1
    Betty says:

    What you said times a thousand!

  2. 2
    Jado says:

    The people who are “debating” this are the Village idiots and the Republicans – why do you expect anything like reason from them? The Kenyan Muslim Fascist Commie Usurper did something – it’s automatically wrong, and here’s Marty with the explanation as to WHY it’s wrong.

  3. 3
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    This is who they are. As I said on the earlier thread, I don’t think the GOP has any idea how bad this looks to a rational observer.

  4. 4
    Robert Paehlke says:

    I don’t think I have ever agreed more strongly with a post. Republicans and their wholly owned media establishment feel compelled to cast doubt on everything no matter how positive. We are finally starting to put Bush’s eight years of idiot foreign policy behind us, let’s just celebrate that. I like to think that most people will see the conventional media for the fools that they are.

  5. 5
    Wag says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    I’m GLAD the GOP has no idea of the optics of this situation. Keep it up, GOP!

  6. 6
    rikyrah says:

    they hate this President more than they love the troops.

    I already knew that.

    Glad that they’re showing their asses.

  7. 7
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Wag: Agreed.

  8. 8
    gene108 says:

    This is the “debate” we’re going to have the next couple of days? Can things get any more stupid than this?

    I think a large subset of Americans are hard-wired for stupid.

    Look at the bug fuck crazy hostile opposition to universal healthcare.

    I think a lot of us underestimate the knuckle dragging stupidity of our countrymen and women.

  9. 9
    NorthLeft12 says:

    But when some reasonable people point out that the Israelis traded one thousand prisoners for one soldier all you hear are ……..crickets?

    Would it ever be possible for President Obama to get a shred of credit for getting a good deal?

    Yet Cruz says publically that he would have got this soldier back with some super duper military strike force [I assume Chuck Norris, Rambo, and John McClane were all on standby] without getting laughed out of the building?

    Strange country you have there. Very strange.

  10. 10
    gene108 says:

    @rikyrah:

    If you pay attention to the MSM the GOP is making valid points, while the White House is ducking serious questions.

    WaPo’s top two stories this AM:

    Mixed Reaction to Bergahls Recovery by Service Members Who Consider Him a Deserter

    Joy over Bergdahls release gives way to questions

    In short, the Republicans have won this media cycle.

    The question is does anybody pay attention to the MSM anymore?

    I hope not.

  11. 11
    Aimai says:

    Yes. The national conversation is going to be just this stupid or worse. SATSQ

  12. 12
    satby says:

    They hate not just the President, but everyone who isn’t them or who doesn’t agree with them. Pure tribalism.
    Every single one of us who doesn’t subscribe to every hateful thing they believe is “the other” and their mortal enemy now. It’s gone beyond political differences and parties and become a cult of crazification.

  13. 13
    Rob says:

    “Cruz says publically that he would have got this soldier back with some super duper military strike force”

    No Republican remembers what happened with President Carter’s April 1980 attempt to rescue the 52 diplomats taken hostage by Iran?

    No Republican remembers that President Obama killed Osama bin Laden just 3 years ago?

  14. 14
    cintibud says:

    I saw on CBS this morning an interview with a vet who had been a POW along with John McCain. He did well explaining the difficulty of the adjustment Bergdahl will be facing. But then the interviewer asked him if the swap should have been done, I was shocked when he equivocated, saying he was disturbed about the “negotiating with terrorists. WTF?

  15. 15
    Wag says:

    @NorthLeft12:

    Would it ever be possible for President Obama to get a shred of credit for getting a good deal?

    No. Total resistance is the only answer.

    And the sky is yellow and the sum is blue, the opposite of what Obama claimed.

  16. 16
    Betty Cracker says:

    Here’s what confuses me about the GOP reaction: What did they think we were supposed to do, just leave the guy there? The circumstances under which Bergdahl went missing are murky, and I fully expect the military to investigate that, debrief him, etc.

    But right now, we don’t really know what happened. And even if it turns out he deserted his post and is indirectly responsible for other soldiers getting killed trying to find him, that’s a matter to be taken up after the facts are known, and it still doesn’t mean the right thing to do was leave him captive in Afghanistan.

  17. 17
    Bulworth says:

    Just when I think wingnuts have reached peak derp, they just keep raising the bar.

  18. 18
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    It’s even worse than that MM. The “terrorists” were once the “legitimate” gov’t of a country we invaded so we could “install” a gov’t more “friendly” to our interests. No matter how legitimate our motivations, that is what we did and who we are fighting.

  19. 19
    JPL says:

    @Betty Cracker: What about the uproar if he was left behind? The President has been in a no win situation, since he was elected.

  20. 20
    srv says:

    Ah, no. If he really walked off voluntarily, you can easily search the intertubes or reddit for the list of guys who got killed looking for him. The Taliban quite enjoyed taking advantage of our team running around outside the FOBs.

    If he deserted, he should be tried. They can assess his mental state or whatever before or after, IDK how that works with the UCMJ.

    Making a hero out of him in the absence of evidence is a bit like that female truck private who got captured by the Iraqis – a story that was quite pilloried at this blog.

  21. 21
    maya says:

    But the worst part of all this is that Obama left the greatest American soldier ever, Scooter Libby, on the battlefield.

  22. 22
    gene108 says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Here’s what confuses me about the GOP reaction: What did they think we were supposed to do, just leave the guy there?

    The GOP reaction is simple. Every day is a new contest. If the GOP is not winning and/or bad news about Obama is not being spread, that means Obama is winning by default as the President.

    The GOP saw an opportunity where Obama might win a news cycle and they had to make sure they could come up with a play to win and they seem to have succeeded.

    It helps, when the refs, i.e. the MSM, are in your pocket, but that’s another issue.

  23. 23
    rea says:

    Does “terrorist” actually mean something, or is it just a label we put on people we don’t like? Guerrilas who attack military targets aren’t usually regarded as terrorists.

  24. 24
    DissidentFish says:

    Yeah, I just woke up ‘cuz I’m working the night shift tonight, I turned on the TV and four serious, pretty-faced Today show folks are treating the idea that the coming home of a captured American soldier is a bad thing as if it’s not completely insane. Is this a nightmare? Am I still in bed?

    If so, I’m hoping the nightmare started on election day, 2000.

  25. 25
    Elizabelle says:

    I think this is another Terry Schiavo moment, where the GOP has gone way beyond what your average American believes. It is good to have a soldier back to his loving parents.

    They’re only hearing their own echoes, though, and the Beltway press is delighted to comply.

  26. 26
    Svensker says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    You speak sense. Therefore, you are unintelligible to wingnuts.

  27. 27

    Apparently it was OK for Unocal (now part of Chevron) to “negotiate with terrorists.” *

    * Memory Hole Alert

  28. 28
    Elizabelle says:

    We could contact the TV stations and newspapers and tell them they look and sound ridiculous carrying the Republicans’ water on this.

  29. 29
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @srv: Making a hero out of him in the absence of evidence

    Link, please, to where anyone here has made either a hero or a villain out of him.

  30. 30
    dmsilev says:

    Obama went about it wrong. He should have sent the Taliban anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles along with a cake. Or is that approach only allowed when Ronaldus Magnus was dealing with the Iranians?

  31. 31

    I cribbed a comment from someone down thread for this Ugly Americans post. I mean it really is ugly, how much some folks hate Obama and everything he does so much that they can’t even for one FUCKING second set aside the criticism to be glad an American POW is coming home.

  32. 32
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @rea: A “terrorist” is any one who uses a smart bomb suicide bomber.

  33. 33
    jonas says:

    @Betty Cracker: Exactly. I can understand how some of his comrades are pissed, seeing as several soldiers were killed trying to track him down, and it’s not clear why he left his post. But that’s for the military to sort out once Bergdahl has recovered. In the meantime, he was an American POW and we did what we had to to get him home. Had he died in captivity, I’m sure every Republican within a 1000 miles would have been lining up for photo ops with his distraught parents, asking “why didn’t our President do anything?” and pundits on Fox would be screaming 24/7 about another Benghazi where the President just stood by while terrorists killed an American soldier.

  34. 34
    Cacti says:

    They’re angry at this soldier for not dying, so that his corpse could be used as a political prop against the POTUS.

  35. 35
    Elizabelle says:

    From the WaPost:

    Congressional Republicans and others [others who?] focused on a series of concerns that are likely to reverberate [you know, like an echo!!] in coming days: whether the deal breached U.S. policy forbidding negotiations with terrorists, whether sufficient safeguards were in place to ensure that the released Taliban prisoners do no further harm to the United States [‘cuz f*ck Qatar, where they’re headed] and whether Congress was informed about the prisoner trade, as required by law.

    Separately, some inside the military raised questions about the cost associated with rescuing Bergdahl, who drifted away from his unit five years ago under curious circumstances.

    …. “It is disturbing that these individuals would have the ability to reenter the fight,” Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) said in an interview on the CBS’s “Face the Nation” show Sunday. “These are the hardest of the hard core,” said McCain, who was held prisoner for more than five years in Vietnam after his plane was shot down during the war.

    [Did you know that John McCain was a POW? Did you know? Also, might not his captors have considered McCain the hardest of the hardcore at one point? They did not snatch him off the streets of Milwaukee, either. He brought the fight to them. … So, do we always take the views of captors the most seriously? Do we never act expediently, and creatively, to achieve our objectives? Even while a Democrat??]

  36. 36
    Patrick says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I used to be a Republican. But I have no clue what they are thinking these days. Hell, they are mad at Obama for not quickly saving our embassy personnel at Benghazi. On the other hand, they think he acted to quickly to save Bergdahl. What the hell???

    As somebody else wisely said upthread, these is like Terri Schiavo all over again.

  37. 37
    rikyrah says:

    That’s right, Harry.

    Bring this to the floor AGAIN, and make them take another clear vote AGAINST THE TROOPS.

    And then kick it over to Orange Julius and press his incompetent ass as to why he won’t bring it to the floor.

    ………………………

    Bernie Sanders Makes Republicans Put Up or Shut Up With New Bill To Expand Vets Benefits

    By: Jason Easley
    Sunday, June, 1st, 2014, 2:24 pm

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is making Republicans show how much they really care about veterans by introducing a new bill that would expand veterans benefits.

    ……………………….

    It’s put up, or shut up time for Republicans. In February, Senate Republicans blocked a bill to expand veterans’ benefits because they claimed it was too expensive. Republicans want the VA to have the ability to fire senior executives quickly, and some have called for vets to be able to go into the private health system for care during this current crisis. Sanders’ legislation gives Republicans what they were asking for.

    The legislation also gives Senate Republicans a chance to right the disgraceful wrong of February by voting to authorize the construction of 27 new clinics and facilities. House Republicans are currently pushing a $600 billion tax cut for business, so don’t be fooled by Republican cries that the $21 billion veterans’ bill is too expensive.

    \
    http://www.politicususa.com/20.....efits.html

  38. 38
    EJ says:

    From the CNN story:

    Said Bergdahl’s former squad leader, Greg Leatherman: “I’m pleased to see him returned safely. From experience I hope that he receives adequate reintegration counseling. I believe that an investigation should take place as soon as healthcare professionals deem him fit to endure one.”

    IMHO Greg Leatherman is one of the few people making sense about this. I’m glad we got him back, but the whole situation is strange as hell. Not sure how many people read the Rolling Stone story from a couple of years ago, but RS is hardly a right-wing rag, and the story raised a lot of serious questions about both Berghdal’s behavior and the overall level of discipline and competence of his unit. If nothing else we should get to the bottom of how exactly he came to be captured, because thus far we’ve got several stories, none of which make complete sense.

  39. 39
    Belafon says:

    Can things get any more stupid than this?

    People on twitter are declaring that the NRA has gone liberal because they asked the Open Carry people to stand down. The NRA sees a possible backlash coming.

  40. 40
    beth says:

    Once his parents appeared with the President, his reputation was sealed. I’m sure we’ll be hearing about their countertops any moment now.

  41. 41
    Betty Cracker says:

    @EJ: I read the RS piece, and it is an odd story, not just about Bergdahl, but the deployment and the unit breakdown. The way I look at it is that since we had no earthly business still being in Afghanistan in 2009, nothing good was going to come from that deployment, and a lot of bad things happened, as is inevitable when you’re poking your nose around a place you should have gotten the hell out of in Bush’s first term.

  42. 42
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @EJ: I’ve seen some articles (don’t have the links at my fingertips right now) that say that the army isn’t going to do anything to Bergdahl even if the worst rumors are true. They figure that time served as a POW in A-stan is more than adequate punishment for any transgression.

  43. 43
    LeftCoastTom says:

    This is the “debate” we’re going to have the next couple of days? Can things get any more stupid than this?

    There is no Peak WingnutStupid.

  44. 44
    Bugboy says:

    When you are a soldier going “But my buddies wouldn’t have died if X”, you might want to think a little deeper about why you are there and why your buddies are getting killed.

    Or not, because being a soldier means following orders. Your buddies died because following orders. If you have a problem with that, maybe you shouldn’t be a soldier?

  45. 45
    Just One More Canuck says:

    “Can things get any more stupid than this?”

    Peak stupid, like peak wingnut, is a myth – it doesn’t exist

  46. 46
    Mike in NC says:

    @gene108: When we moved out of NoVA several years ago I was thrilled to cancel the WaPo, and we haven’t missed it one bit.

  47. 47
    Belafon says:

    @Bugboy: Following orders doesn’t mean you don’t necessarily have concerns about them. I get “orders” at work all the time that don’t make a lot of sense. At the same time, writing home to your parents about why things are messed up is not the same as not following orders. Soldiers have been writing home about the problems of war since the first clay tablet mail system was started.

  48. 48
    MomSense says:

    @gene108:

    I think a large subset of Americans are hard-wired for stupid.

    Look at the bug fuck crazy hostile opposition to universal healthcare.

    I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. The Republicans start these wars off books, without adequate troop levels, plans, body armor, etc. Then they underfund the VA throughout the Bush administration. They completely ignore problems at Walter Reed. They continue to deny funding to the VA after 2009. The Republicans oppose Medicaid expansion keeping 250,000 veterans uninsured. Then when problems come to light at the VA they scream about wait times and inadequate services? Huh?? WTF did they think would happen if they refused to fund the VA? What about the 250,000 veterans who don’t have insurance because they refused to expand medicaid? Do they want veterans to have health care or not??

    And I don’t even know what to make of their insanity around Bergdahl. They wouldn’t get away with this mess if we had a functioning press.

    The only consistent thing for the GOP is opposition to the President.

  49. 49
    gnomedad says:

    @gene108:

    In short, the Republicans have won this media cycle.
    The question is does anybody pay attention to the MSM anymore?

    You mean the librul lamestream media?

    Just shoot me now.

  50. 50
    EJ says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Yeah, I’ve read that. In terms of justice, if he did do anything wrong (and I really don’t know), I’d be inclined to agree. But I still think we should find out what happened.

  51. 51
    Cervantes says:

    @Rob:

    No Republican remembers that President Obama killed Osama bin Laden just 3 years ago?

    In fact, Seal Team Six tried to rescue Bergdahl back in 2009. You can read about it in the 2012 book by “Mark Owen” (pp. 107-115). There is a brief account in this 2012 CSM article in which, among other things, Bergdahl’s mother expresses frustration with the President.

    And then there is yesterday’s CSM article, in which, among other things, there’s an account of how Bergdahl’s father encouraged him to listen to his conscience:

    Dear Bowe, In matters of life and death, and especially at war, it is never safe to ignore ones’ conscience. Ethics demands obedience to our conscience. It is best to also have a systematic oral defense of what our conscience demands. Stand with like minded men when possible. dad

  52. 52
    priscianus jr says:

    @Elizabelle: I think this is another Terry Schiavo moment, where the GOP has gone way beyond what your average American believes.

    Exactly.

  53. 53
    priscianus jr says:

    @Bugboy: Or not, because being a soldier means following orders. Your buddies died because following orders. If you have a problem with that, maybe you shouldn’t be a soldier?

    “‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’
    Was there a man dismay’d?
    Not tho’ the soldier knew
    Someone had blunder’d:
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die:
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.”

  54. 54
    EJ says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Well, I dunno. I’m inclined to say we should get to the bottom of it as best we can, rather than just say “well, it was a fucked up situation” and wash our hands of it. From a criminal justice perspective, I don’t really care if Berghdal did in fact desert – if he did, I’d say 5 years in a Taliban prison is probably punishment enough. But it’s clear that a lot of stuff went wrong and it’s pretty likely that whatever happened it directly or indirectly led to US servicemen getting killed – so I think it’s well worth investigating.

  55. 55
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Jado: @Wag: @Betty Cracker: There is no good response that POTUS could have made to this situation. Every day Sgt. Bergdahl was held by the Taliban was a day the GWoT was failing and that good servicepeople were being abandoned; conversely, arranging his release and return is a failure of the GWoT because a) negotiations with Teh Terrrrrrists™ was involved and b) releasing Gitmo detainees is bad because Everyone Knows they’ll do bad things once released. REMINDER: the criticism is coming from the same idjits who never complained about the loss of life until BHO was elected, at which point TABMITWH and nothing was acceptable anymore.

  56. 56
    Cervantes says:

    @MomSense:

    They wouldn’t get away with this mess if we had a functioning press.

    Actually, I’d say we do have a functioning press.

  57. 57
    ET says:

    I don’t know if it will turn out he is a deserter or not – but only time will tell. Which is the point.

    But it is not like there has never been prisoner exchanges before and if Republicans want to act like there hasn’t been or somehow it is different because terra-ists, that just makes me want to sigh and pull the covers over my head. I am sure it is all about looking muscular but honestly I just can’t deal with their whining.

  58. 58
    JPL says:

    @beth: I doubt that they have granite counter tops, but according to a Mother Jones article written in 2013, the family has a large book collection.
    Someone might to look at those titles.

  59. 59
    Betty Cracker says:

    @EJ: I agree it’s worth investigating, and I’ll bet the military is doing that right now. Also agree that any transgression on Bergdahl’s part has been more than repaid.

    @boatboy_srq: Well, he could have declined to escalate the conflict via the “surge” and started winding the Afghanistan war down immediately after taking the oath of office for his first term, but then the GOP would have accused him of cutting and running, so yeah, a no-win situation.

  60. 60
    OGLiberal says:

    CNN headline is not “happy parents” but basically, “Dirty Hippy Traitor’s Release Questioned by Some”. Yeah, yeah, I get that some dudes died looking for him…but even if he was a deserter, wouldn’t you go looking for him simply because you don’t want him giving the bad dudes info…and wouldn’t dying be a possible, if undesirable, part of the mission? Not trying to sound cold but comes with the territory. And even if he had no secrets to give away, maybe he was just a stupid, scared kid? Maybe that would be enough to try to find him/get him home?

    They’ll turn this kid into the American Taliban and is parents into hippy Obama lovers who just want publicity – I mean, looks at dad’s beard! And Obama will be accused of just wanting a photo op to distract from BEHGHAZI!!!!!!! and the VA scandal and Ron Fournier will accuse Obama of not leading because he didn’t take a machete and chop off Eric Shinseki’s head the moment the VA scandal came to light. And this kid will be one veteran (among many, I assume) that tire swinging war cheerleader Fournier (and McCain, et al) doesn’t really care about. If Obama were a true leader, he would have drone striked not only this kid’s Taliban captors but the wussy boy himself. That’s what Reagan would have done, just like he sent the cavalry into Beirut after our boys got blown up there and show those Mooslems a thing or two. (this was right before he personally led the invasion of Iran, we he kick some mullah ass and installed Ben Franklin as Emperor of Persia)

  61. 61
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @EJ: It should be made very clear that desertion has a very specific definition. It is going without any intention of coming back. AWOL is not desertion. And for that matter, wandering outside a perimeter fence is being AWOL. Getting lost isn’t being AWOL.

  62. 62
    JPL says:

    MSM will soon drop this story because the next scandal is coming shortly. As soon as, the EPA announces new pollution control standards, MSM will question the President’s authority.

  63. 63
    JPL says:

    double post

  64. 64
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Bulworth: It’s maddening that the MSM is playing along with the wingnuts on this issue (and every other issue as a matter of fact). Why isn’t it a great thing that this American prisoner of war is being returned home to his grateful parents? That should be the focus of the media.

  65. 65
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Just because it’s extremely unlikely that the US will ever again fight a declared war against another nation’s standing army doesn’t mean that we should in any way re-think the concept of “negotiating with terrorists” – at least not while a Democrat is president. While our current stance sends a clear message to the troops in the field that they are totally fucked should they be kidnapped or captured it does serve the purpose of enabling people who have never served to feel that they’re contributing to the war against whatever the war is against.

  66. 66
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Good Christ. You all saw the pictures, right? Does anyone think it looks like this poor fucker’s been living it up for the last five years?

    And we’re going to have some sort of debate on his patriotism? Are you fucking kidding me?

    Christ, this country. If I could just convince my wife to agree, I’d be out of here and settling someplace else tomorrow. Country full of insane assholes.

  67. 67
    boatboy_srq says:

    @priscianus jr: More like “where the GOP showcases that it has gone way beyond what your average American believes”, IYAM. There are still far too many GOTea pols who can play sane for the cameras; here’s one more instance where the mask gets ripped away. They’ve become extremist: Mourdock, Akin, et al seem far more accurate representations of the modern GOTea’s id than even Boehner or McConnell. As abhorrent as the current spectacle is, we need more of it and more like it, because without these glimpses the high-functioning Teatards can hide behind the ones that present as at least somewhat rational.

    When your choices at the ballot box are between the at-least-marginally competent and the b#tsh!t-crazy, there really is no choice.

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The IMPORTANT thing is to criticize the blah Presznint no matter what he does.

    They’ve let their racist hatred take over their feeble simulated brains. They have nothing left but their hate.

  69. 69
    RaflW says:

    Whether it’s blaming a rape victim for wearing a short skirt, or blaming a POW for the Afghan quagmire, the GOP is consistent: someone is to blame, and it’s usually someone powerless.

    The party of “personal responsibility” has been a clever lie all along. They mean, we’ll hold some person responsible, ’cause we ain’t never getting caught holding the bag.

  70. 70
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    I saw on CBS this morning an interview with a vet who had been a POW along with John McCain. He did well explaining the difficulty of the adjustment Bergdahl will be facing. But then the interviewer asked him if the swap should have been done, I was shocked when he equivocated, saying he was disturbed about the “negotiating with terrorists. WTF?

    @cintibud: How was McCain released from captivity? Did he click his ruby slippers together and find himself back in Panama City, Florida?

    We all know he didn’t fly out of the Hanoi Hilton as he would have crashed before he could make it out of the country.

  71. 71
    RSA says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Here’s what confuses me about the GOP reaction: What did they think we were supposed to do, just leave the guy there?

    If it were a Republican president in Obama’s position, he’d have done the same thing. Wingnuts would lionize Bergdahl (leaving military inquiries for later, in secrecy, and asking “Who doesn’t love the troops?”) and spin stories about the released Guantanamo prisoners having been microchipped for tracking (or even had implanted bombs). It would be another step forward in the War Against Terrorism.

  72. 72
    shawn says:

    But 5 more potentially dangerous guys are now out on the streets! FIVE OF THEM! How is the best equipped, most powerful military on Earth supposed to deal with FIVE BAD GUYS AT ONCE?!

  73. 73
    D58826 says:

    @jonas: You don’t have to speculate. Just look at all of the ‘tears’ being shed because Obama left 4 Americans to die in BENGHAZI!!!!!!!!!!

  74. 74
    shelley says:

    And there’s the danger this might distract from Benghazi, Benghazi…!

  75. 75
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I’ll continue to hammer on the question of why would the army promote the guy to E-5 while he was in captivity if it suspected him of desertion?

  76. 76
    Johnnybuck says:

    It really doesn’t matter what he did, or didn’t do. We sent him over there, and we’re responsible for bringing him back. Period.

  77. 77
    bemused says:

    However Bergdahl got into the hands of the Taliban, he could have learned information that would be valuable to the US and others from five years among them. Republicans don’t care about anything but blowing everything up.

  78. 78
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: For example, a certain Texas Air National Guard Lieutenant never bothered to report for duty at his new assignment in Massachusetts. At first, he’s AWOL. After 30 days, he’s deserted.

  79. 79
    JPL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: MSM will not ask that question.

  80. 80
    rikyrah says:

    PAGov: Wolf Up 20 Points on Corbett, Over 50%

    Posted on June 1, 2014 by Jon Geeting #

    The Republican-leaning polling firm Rasmussen has some terrible news for Republicans in the first poll of the general election. Democratic nominee Tom Wolf is beating Republican incumbent Tom Corbett by 20 points, and leads on all issues, with only 14% undecided. Wolf is winning over 50% of likely voters.

    Wolf isn’t going to win 25% of Republicans – if there’s one thing campaigns are good at, it’s reminding partisans of what they hate about the other party. But it doesn’t seem outlandish to expect an above-average number of Republicans to defect to Wolf or stay home this cycle. Tom Wolf is a moderate-seeming business owner, and the generic Republican campaign formula of painting the Democratic nominee as some kind of secret leftist radical seems particularly unlikely to work on him given his background.

    http://www.keystonepolitics.co.....t-over-50/

  81. 81
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @shawn: Well, what you do is you call in the Bundy Militia to take care of things.

  82. 82
    aimai says:

    @Belafon: He’s talking about the soldiers who complained about having to try to rescue Berdgahl, not the kid himself writing home and complaining about the war. Which, by the way, the Republicans are all for when soldiers (supposedly) complain that they won’t fight in Obama’s wars or refuse to serve under him or take orders because he is an “illegitimate president.” How soon Republicans forget that when it is one of their own questioning a democratic commander in chief then there is no talk of traitors or executions.

  83. 83
    feebog says:

    Apparently, from the link provided in the earlier thread, most of his hometown neighbors in Haily Idaho are squarely behind Bergdahl and his parents. I wonder what is going to happen when these good folks, many of them staunch Republicans, are faced with the blowback from prominent Wingnuts.

  84. 84
    Mandalay says:

    @RSA:

    If it were a Republican president in Obama’s position, he’d have done the same thing. Wingnuts would lionize Bergdahl (leaving military inquiries for later, in secrecy, and asking “Who doesn’t love the troops?”) and spin stories…

    You have a point. That is exactly what they did to Pat Tillman.

  85. 85
    Belafon says:

    @aimai: Thanks for the clarification. I wonder if that’s what the newsmax headline is about as well:

    Troops Accuse ‘Deserter’ Begdahl

  86. 86
    Elizabelle says:

    President Obama to wingnuts, Republicans, and their enablers** frothing over Bergdahl release:

    “Please proceed.” (silently: “asshats”)

    ** Yes. Aware of the Venn diagram possibilities.

  87. 87
    RaflW says:

    @JPL:

    MSM will soon drop this story because the next scandal is coming shortly. As soon as, the EPA announces new pollution control standards, MSM will question the President’s authority.

    Yep. The Press is uber bored with Obama. They are steaming mad that the worst “scandal” is the bullsh*t Benghazi, and dammit, ratings are down and we need a Preznit in trouble! It’s in the script that 2nd term presidencies have scandals to keep the courtiers busy and clutching their pearls.

    Obama’s such a loser, he can’t even scandal properly.

  88. 88
    Liberty60 says:

    Its still an article of faith among wingnuts that hippies spit on returning soldiers. At least they didn’t call for them to be executed.

  89. 89
    Cassidy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: once someone is AWOL for thirty days they are DFR. Upon return, they’ll usually be charged with desertion, but it’s difficult to prove that the individual had no intention of returning. Oftentimes, the SM will plead guilty to lesser charges and time in return for dropping the desertion charge.

  90. 90
    Helen says:

    @OGLiberal: You forgot “defeated communism” in Reagan’s stellar list of accomplishments. Don’t ever forget that “..tear down this wall” was all the USSR needed to hear. Foreign policy – so easy and clear.

  91. 91
    Cassidy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That’s actually an easy answer. Suspecting him is one thing. As with anything involving speculation and UCMJ, negative action can’t be taken without proof. OTOH, the regs specifically require that POW/MIA be promoted as they would be. They can exist simultaneously.

  92. 92
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay: Yet Pat Tillman expressed many of the same concerns prior to his death that Bergdahl did prior to his capture.

    What is different? Oh…melanin enhanced commander in chief.

  93. 93
    scav says:

    He’s either our kith or our kin or both. We get him home and as safe as possible and break out the fatted calf. Any of the clan that wants to have a brawl can do so at the traditional tim and place; in back, after a few drinks. There are a good number in this country that have lost their minds, hearts and bladders. Why they should all push their way onto the stage and break into synchronized pirouettes at the drop of any hat still manages to be baffling if no longer unexpected. But they certainly seem to be laser-dots to the playful kitten media.

  94. 94
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cassidy: That fits with my memories. My main point, though, is that people who are throwing around the term desertion have no fucking idea what they are talking about. Off of the stories I have read so far, the worst thing this guy may have done is some Article 15 worthy violation of orders about going outside the compound.

  95. 95
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @scav: Playful kittens on line two, and they’re snarling.

  96. 96
    different-church-lady says:

    A young soldier who was clearly having a hard time with the most awful thing human beings do, war, should not be rescued because : (a) it’s not crystal clear how he was captured, or (b) he sent a few emails home questioning the war, or (c) the people we are fighting are “terrorists” so we can’t negotiate with them as we would in any other POW situation, even though we call what we’re doing a “War on Terror”? the president is black.

    Can things get any more stupid than this?

    Yes. SATSQ.

  97. 97

    If this guy did desert his post, then I can understand the anger about the deaths of other soldiers trying to find him.

    That said, we’re America. Just because one of our own may have broke his obligations to us, doesn’t mean we break ours to him. We find him, bring him home, and then let the facts come out in an inquiry.

  98. 98
    Cassidy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yup. No one’s a deserter until convicted of desertion. Anyone who says otherwise is talking out their ass.

  99. 99
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cassidy: Yet the MSM twits will not ask or seek an answer to that question.

    They’re too busy with their “heh, indeedy” nodding approval of the Rethug howler monkeys.

  100. 100
    Cervantes says:

    @O O: You can’t conclude anything from that fact, neither good nor bad.

    Bergdahl disappeared in June, 2009. The promotions occurred in June, 2010 and June, 2011. As he was legally, technically, in good standing throughout, he was promoted twice, automatically, in absentia. He was not tried, judged, convicted, or sentenced in absentia.

    There is an on-going investigation.

  101. 101
    RaflW says:

    From earlier FP item:

    … Republicans on Capitol Hill worry that the swap of these Taliban leaders for American hostage Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is a prelude to a bigger move—the emptying out of Guantanamo entirely.

    The GOP feels they have to discredit Bergdahl as part of attacking the release of Gitmo prisoners. For some reason I’ve never comprehended, releasing anyone from Gitmo is admission of total failure, per the twisted, incomprehensible GOP playbook.

    If Bergdahl is treated as a hero, or even just a neutral person in a happy, family-reuniting moment of national pride, then harping on a Gitmo release looks cheap.

    So somehow, in said playbook, looking like shitheels by attacking Bergdahl is better.

    I think.

    If I try and sort out the loop-de-loops of GOP win the day strategery.

  102. 102
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cervantes: Hmm. Normally (well, back when I was in the Army) promotion to E-5 was not automatic. A promotion board made up of unit NCOs would recommend advancing troops to E-5.

  103. 103
    Paul in KY says:

    @NorthLeft12: That is something that should be pointed out.

  104. 104
    scav says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: The legendary Kittens of Logical Measured Response have been Found!. Hallelujah! I’ll tidy myself up and offer myself as sacrificial victim post haste. Rub tuna over my body, quick catnip shampoo and conditioner, the whole nine yards.

  105. 105
    Paul in KY says:

    @cintibud: He would be an old former pilot officer. Definitely would skew GOP.

  106. 106
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Sounds to me like the guy left to “help the Afghanis” by proseltyzing them, and got caught. Some people don’t like that shit. Keep that book banging stuff to yourself.

  107. 107
    Cassidy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: For POW/ MIA it’s automatic since they can’t be there to submit a packet and appear before a board. I believe it’s based on once the SM meets minimum TIS/ TIG requirements, they’re automatically promoted. I could be worn about that, though, and don’t care enough to look it up.

  108. 108
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: I just discovered that promotion to E-5 has become basically automatic. It was not so in the past.

  109. 109
    Tommy says:

    I am the first male in my family that has not served for like five generations. Serving is like the family business. My father is “cool” I didn’t enlist. “Cool” that I might be a hippie liberal. Father was over the other day. Listening to NPR. Heard this news. As I said in another comment he stood up and clapped. We bring our own home. I could care less if the guy was AWOL. I mean in the grand scheme of things if he was, it is like at a 2 for me. He served his nation and we did’t forget he had not come home.

  110. 110
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    There is no good response that POTUS could have made to this situation.

    The Sergeant might have deserted, or he might have been captured. All that was known for sure was the Taliben was holding him as a POW. Obama did the right thing because if he did then every soldier would be going into combat thinking they are going to leave me here to die if some asshole in Washington who has never heard a shot in anger decides I wasn’t heroic enough.

  111. 111
    WaterGirl says:

    Dear GOP, you know we can hear you, right?

    h/t John Oliver (from an interview with some crazy right winger a few months ago.)

  112. 112
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cassidy: If you’ve been DFRd, that’s kinda the basis for the UCMJ action.

    Bergdahl was never DFRd, since he got promoted twice.

  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Quick nitpick: the people of Afghanistan Afghans, not Afghanis. The Afghani is their currency. It’s a common mistake.

  114. 114
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    So the GOP message to the troops is ‘if you ever get captured by the enemy, please kill yourself’?

  115. 115
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne: They’re Afghans. Like the sweater. And the canine.

  116. 116
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937: Funny, that was pretty much Uncle Joe Stalin’s position on Red Army soldiers who got captured.

  117. 117
    Cassidy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I know. Was saying that no one automatically becomes a deserter.

  118. 118
    Cervantes says:

    @O O: Right.

    Of course the rules are a little more baroque than the word “automatic” normally implies in the real world. Here’s the relevant code; or rather, MILPER MESSAGE NUMBER: 05-243 AHRC-MSP-E DA, if you’ll pardon the vernacular.

  119. 119
    scav says:

    @A Ghost To Most: “proseltyzing?” seriously? you read any of his emails home?

    “I am ashamed to even be American,” he told his parents in his last email before disappearing, quoted in Rolling Stone. “These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid, that they have no idea how to live. We don’t even care when we hear each other talk about running their children down in the dirt streets with our armoured trucks … We make fun of them in front of their faces, and laugh at them for not understanding we are insulting them.”

    I swear I read somewhere that he and some cohorts at some front position had been wandering over to visit other outposts, but that’s apparently been going on since at least the civil war. Trading US coffee rations for something Confederates had a lot of (alcohol? forget) seems to have been a side occupation of pickets.

  120. 120
    Emma says:

    @A Ghost To Most: tell me you’re joking. Please. There is no evidence of desertion, at least nothing that has been made public. There is no evidence of anything, period. He could be a deserter ; he could have wanted to take a leak; he could bea deep cover CIA agent. We know bubkis.

  121. 121
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @RaflW:

    The GOP feels they have to discredit Bergdahl as part of attacking the release of Gitmo prisoners. For some reason I’ve never comprehended, releasing anyone from Gitmo is admission of total failure, per the twisted, incomprehensible GOP playbook.

    Yes, exactly. It’s like keeping those prisoners in perpetual torment GITMO is some kind of trophy for the GOP.

  122. 122
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @A Ghost To Most: WTF?

  123. 123
    D58826 says:

    If Obama had gotten Bergdahl back and the Taliban had thrown in the Holy Grail the GOP would complain

  124. 124
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    Can things get any more stupid than this?

    Have we had Sarah Palin’s donation-seeking freedumb-excretion on the subject? Has Joe the Unaplumber belched forth his “opinion” about how Bergdahl’s return to the US doesn’t trump his corn-stee-chew- shun-all raaiights? Has Glenn Beck explained how this is really about Obama’s mission to enslave us all to the Lizard People?

    I doubt we are even 50% of the way to peak stupidity on this issue, which I find deeply depressing.

  125. 125
    catclub says:

    @dmsilev: I would have Carney say that in addition to trading prisoners, we also sent weapons to Iran. … Then correct himself.

  126. 126
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @catclub:

    Carney stepped down and was replaced last week, IIRC.

  127. 127
    Patrick says:

    I find it amusing that the Republicans criticizing Bergdahl have for the most never ever fought in any of our wars.Shameful!

  128. 128
    Citizen_X says:

    If we had a GOP President who had arranged this the Repubs would be pointing out anybody who questioned Bergdahl as a crazy partisan who hates the troops.

    And they’d be right.

  129. 129
    catclub says:

    @Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers): He said he is stepping down mid-june. I just heard his voice on the radio.

  130. 130
    Mandalay says:

    Regarding the claim that we should “never negotiate with terrorists”, is there actually any law on the books that expressly forbids this, or is it just an informal policy? If the latter, what was the origin of that (silly) approach? I assume it is post-Reagan.

  131. 131
    Cervantes says:

    @Mandalay:

    I assume it is post-Reagan.

    Why would you make that assumption?

  132. 132
    Bulworth says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Yeah, I don’t know what the end game with Gitmo is supposed to be. Are we just supposed to keep the people we have inprisoned there forever?

  133. 133
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Say what you want about the ethos of the NKVD, Dude…

  134. 134
    PurpleGirl says:

    @OGLiberal:

    …looks at dad’s beard!

    No, even wingnuts have beards (see, Duck Dynasty) but his father does have a pony tail. That’s the key thing — hippies had pony tails, Native Americans, and many Mexicans have pony tails. Some AAs who have long dreads have them in pony tails. The Other have pony tails.

    Good Rethuglicans have buzz cuts and are clean shaven.

  135. 135
    shortstop says:

    @satby:

    Pure tribalism.

    This. We keep looking for them to respond to reason, because those of us over 35 or 40 remember when there were Republicans who could be rational or disagree with each other, but this is now only about The Team for them. Nothing else matters at all; nothing else will penetrate their consciousness.

  136. 136
    Elizabelle says:

    @Bulworth:

    The right: Uh. Yes. National Security!

    Q: And they have never had a fair trial?

    The right: They’re not Americans. In fact, they’re enemy combatants. ‘Cuz we say so.

  137. 137
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @catclub:

    I see. I was misled by Even The Liberal New Republic which has a piece on the theme of “Maybe Jay Carney Wasn’t So Bad After All”.

  138. 138
    shortstop says:

    @scav: Where are you getting that catnip shampoo? I haven’t been able to find it since that place on Diversey closed coupla years back.

  139. 139
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Noting for the record that some non-Rethuglicans also have buzz cuts and are clean shaven because our wives don’t like scratchy facial hair and long hair is a bother to dry after showering.

  140. 140
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers): Well, Carney didn’t do what I would have done, which would have been to send the entire White House Press Corpse to bed without its supper.

  141. 141
    Tone In DC says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    …You all saw the pictures, right? Does anyone think it looks like this poor fucker’s been living it up for the last five years?

    And we’re going to have some sort of debate on his patriotism? Are you fucking kidding me?

    Christ, this country. If I could just convince my wife to agree, I’d be out of here and settling someplace else tomorrow. Country full of insane assholes.

    Damn, I thought I was the only one thinking that today.
    Admittedly, I was pretty much through after the birther shit went on for YEARS.

  142. 142
    Rob says:

    @Cervantes 9:50 am: Thanks for that information. I wasn’t aware of that.

  143. 143
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    On the subject of whether we have attained peak stupidity, Raw Story has a piece about – why yes, another gun-fondler, worth reading:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201.....-shot-him/

    A Minnesota man was arrested last week after pulling a shotgun on a neighbor who was teaching his 7-year-old daughter to ride a bike.

    According to the arrest complaint, 61-year-old Gary Drake began making comments about the father’s tactics May 25 as he taught the girl to ride on the cul-de-sac they shared.

    The father told his neighbor, “I’ve got it,” which apparently angered the older man.

    “If you don’t like my advice, get off my street,” Drake told the man, who reminded his neighbor he didn’t own the street.

    This apparently angered Drake even more, and police said he went inside to retrieve a Remington 870 shotgun.

    He came back with the weapon and threatened to kill the father, but Drake’s wife came outside, pulled the gun away from him, and physically dragged her husband back inside.

  144. 144
    Bugboy says:

    @Belafon:”Following orders doesn’t mean you don’t necessarily have concerns about them.”

    I get that and I agree. But these guys aren’t writing home about the hot weather, they are blaming the guy who was missing for being ordered to, you know, look for the guy who was missing. It really doesn’t matter why the guy was missing, does it?

  145. 145
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers): It sounds to me like Mr. Drake felt threatened and was just standing his ground. I mean, if that kid had a bag of Skittles, there’s no telling how things could have ended.

  146. 146
    StringOnAStick says:

    That whole “we require a 30 day consultation period with Congress” policy was something attached to the last defense authorization bill. At the time Obama said it was more important to get the bill passed (to keep the military going) than to veto it over that provision, so he did what Bush did many, many times and issued a signing statement that said he’d be free to not follow that bit of congressional interference in presidential prerogative it conditions warranted. The MSM is omitting this fact in their breathless reporting of “Obama went against the RULES”. I guess the fact that congress had torpedoed negotiations for this guy’s release in 2012 made Obama fairly sure he’d need that signing statement at some point.

    From what I can tell, this young man has a lot in common with the internal moral wrestling that Pat Tillman went through about the war and how it was being conducted, and even a similar background. Books, and lots of them (hmm, very suspicious). Parents who took ethics very, very seriously and passed that on to their kids. Bergdahl gets credit in my book for being appalled when he sees an Afghan kid killed by a US armored vehicle, and even more so when his fellow soldiers laugh and joke about it. He just sounds like someone who was so appalled by the sort of awful stuff that happens in war, that the moral standards we claim to hold as a nation are not how everyday soldiering is conducted. Naïve? Yeah, maybe. Did he deserve to die in the hands of the Taliban for being naïve? Some rethugs say yes, and I say that sends a much stronger message to our troops than the crap the rethugs are claiming now. Like “now there is a stronger incentive to capture out troops”, oh, and there was no incentive before? Morons.

  147. 147
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    Those 7 year old girls armed with fathers and bicycles are the worst. Ronald Reagan taught us that!

  148. 148
    D58826 says:

    Without re-litigating the Vietnam war and it’s aftermath, the GOP and conservatives were quite vocal about the POW’s that may/may not have been left behind.

  149. 149
    Patrick says:

    @D58826:

    Last time I checked, McCain was a POW…

  150. 150
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers): WOWZER. And the gun nut told the police that he should have shot the neighbor. MN doesn’t have SYG so not sure if he would have gotten away with murder like Zimmerman.

  151. 151
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    If anyone needs something to amuse them, there’s a piece about the latest from the mighty marchers of Operation American Spring, plus an unintentionally hilarious video of them in action:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201.....ite-house/

    At the height of Operation “Beginning Of Tyranny Housecleaning,” OAS fell far short of its expected attendance, with charitable estimates placing the number of attendees at approximately 450. Since that time, a handful of protestors have remained, and every day they stand in front of the White House and yell at it.

    The group published a letter today asking other protest movements to “[t]ake advantage of the powerful vessel OAS has established on the D.C. Mall to get your worthy message in front of America and the lawless occupiers of leadership.”

    A video of this “power vessel” can be found below. In it, eight men, three women, and one dog can be seen marching, military style, in front of the White House. When they stop, they turn toward it and yell “Remember! Benghazi!” repeatedly.

  152. 152
    Tone In DC says:

    @Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers):

    Bike riding lessons (with a seven year old) in a cul-de-sac is now reason to Stand your Ground? In Minnesota? And I thought I had it bad in Humidity Central.

    I’m liking that term ammosexual more and more. Funny how the Eastwood-wannabe’s wife got the weapon away from him and dragged him back inside the house.

  153. 153
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @Tone In DC:

    Dementia plus guns is clearly the way to preserve Joe the Unaplumber’s Constitutional Rights.

  154. 154
    bemused says:

    @Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers):

    No way an excuse but sounds like drinking was a factor. If he is also a Foxbot, this is not a recipe for rational behavior. 61 and probably white too.

    I’m shocked the NRA came out saying the gun nuts carrying to Chipolte, etc were being irresponsible. A little late for that kind of talk from them after poking all those nests of dumbass morons.

  155. 155
    Tone In DC says:

    @Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers):

    LULz.

    Don’t get me going on Sam the Sham. Let the NRA hire him as a intern. Maybe they’ll put him in the basement of their K Street office building (or wherever it is around here) with all of their Heston memorabilia.

  156. 156
    HRA says:

    Spot on, mistermix.

    When I began reading the “news” and remarks in other places, right away I was reminded of Vietnam and how those vets were treated. I could not understand why we were there and yet, I felt a deep sorrow for those who had no choice in having to go there. I had the same feeling when the Gulf War began. I did understand about the training camp in Afghanistan and thought it would be in to destroy it only. Then came Iraq with the search of the invisible WMDs for days. More vapid excuses followed and all it did was kill more troops and Iraqi citizens.

    In these past years of the Iraq idiocy, I experienced seeing my once paperboy when he was home from Fallujah with an unusual haunting look in his eyes. I knew he was not well and he still isn’t well. A few years later an out of town great nephew was diagnosed with PTSD. Family reports were confident he was doing very well and working to help others live until one day he walked out onto to a main highway in front of a semi.

    Yes, this smear campaign against Bowie Bergdahl is disgusting.

  157. 157
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @bemused:

    He admitted to drinking during the day, but explicitly denied that it was a factor in his behavior.

  158. 158
    bemused says:

    @Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers):

    Of course he would.

    If I was a neighbor in that lovely looking area, I would be pretty pissed off.

    He may well have some other kinds of problems mentally other than alcohol abuse.

  159. 159
    shortstop says:

    @Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers): Because he’s a drunk douchebag every single day of the year.

    Say, I’ze been away and missed the “0th of his name,” “1st of his name,” etc., joke. Someone patiently explain it to me?

  160. 160
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @shortstop:

    It’s a Game of Thrones reference. Tommen First of his Name and so forth. I think there’s also been a problem with Word Press and the names of some folks on here, leading to changes and modifications in nomenclature.

  161. 161
    amk says:

    @Cacti: Bingo. They wanted another sacrificial goat to bolster their failing benghazi meme.

  162. 162
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @amk:

    Bolstering a meme with a goat does sound like a thoroughly teabagger way of doing things.

  163. 163
    shortstop says:

    @Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers): Gotcha, thanks.

    Speaking of GOT, I’d like to report that the 2014 International Airline Movie Hayes Commission has determined that two men exchanging a brief kiss is not suitable for in-flight viewing. What is? A bevy of prostitutes naked from the waist up, cavorting with a little person wearing a…large smirk. Just keeping y’all updated.

  164. 164
    Patrick says:

    @bemused:

    No way an excuse but sounds like drinking was a factor.

    You are right. It is not an excuse. If it was, then driving while intoxicated should be fine as well.

  165. 165
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    It’s actually a Ronald Reagan quote, telling the press that the US doesn’t negotiate with terrorists while we were quietly cutting and running from Lebanon and selling arms to Iran in private while calling them terrorists in public.

    IOW, yet another piece of manufactured Republican bullshit that some sad sacks think was real, like the Laffer curve.

  166. 166
    D58826 says:

    @Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers): That is the sorriest looking bunch of sad sacks I’ve every seen . I would rather trust my luck on the Titanic than that ‘power vessel’

  167. 167
    bemused says:

    @Patrick:

    He sounds messed up in multiple ways to me. I’m glad no one got physically hurt although the poor little girl will probably have nightmares along with her parents. If I was a neighbor, I’d be hoping the guy doesn’t get to come home for a very long time.

  168. 168
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Mnemosyne: Remember those 8 hostages in Lebanon in the 1980s- reporters, CIA agents and whatnot. They lingered there for years. I’m sure they were all released based on our shear willpower alone. I’m sure they were just released because the bad guys were afraid of us.

  169. 169
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @D58826:

    Is it me, or does the dog look embarrassed by the whole thing?

    I had to laugh at the imitation military language: “Detail, halt!” indeed!

  170. 170
    Joel says:

    These assholes should be sent to af-pak and they can sort out the mess themselves.

  171. 171
    Paul in KY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: His position was don’t become a prisoner. Fight until they have to kill you. Do not be taken alive.

  172. 172
    Paul in KY says:

    @Lurking Canadian: Ninjas can kill you with skittles. Heard it on the internet…

  173. 173
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Perhaps if I’d said “there’s no response POTUS could have mad that would make the Reichwing Teahadists happy” the snark might have been more clear.

  174. 174
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s actually a Ronald Reagan quote, telling the press that the US doesn’t negotiate with terrorists while we were quietly cutting and running from Lebanon and selling arms to Iran in private while calling them terrorists in public.

    It pre-dates his presidency. He started bashing Carter with it during the campaign in 1980.

    IOW, yet another piece of manufactured Republican bullshit that some sad sacks think was real, like the Laffer curve.

    True enough.

    @Suffern ACE:

    Remember those 8 hostages in Lebanon in the 1980s- reporters, CIA agents and whatnot. They lingered there for years. I’m sure they were all released based on our shear willpower alone.

    Reagan’s official diary entries for June, 1985 are instructive on this subject. You can find them in his autobiography, An American Life (1990).

  175. 175
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Paul in KY: What are we, Klingons? Should we put little suicide pills for our boys to take if they find themselves too injured to fight?

  176. 176
    Paul in KY says:

    @Suffern ACE: That was Joe Stalin’s thoughts on matter.

  177. 177
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    It pre-dates his presidency. He started bashing Carter with it during the campaign in 1980.

    If the rumors about the October Surprise have any truth, then the quote is even more hypocritical than I thought.

  178. 178
    voncey says:

    @JPL: Didn’t CNN already tell us that the public isn’t interested in climate change?

  179. 179
    Pam says:

    I am about to rip out my hair over the awful coverage of this. When, in the history of our country, has a POW been treated so horribly by the media and a political party?

  180. 180
    john fremont says:

    @D58826Although they dropped the controversy about the last Vietnam POW Robert Garwood SYNC down the memory hole.

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