Bergdahl case more muddled than the initial return of Brody in ‘Homeland’

Nicholas Brody, in Rebekah Brooks mode.

Nicholas Brody, in Rebekah Brooks mode.

No, I’m not saying he’s a terrorist or anything. I’m talking about the very beginning of the TV series — the initial, apparent situation of Gunnery Sgt. Nicholas Brody, freed after years in the hands of terrorists.

Initially, to the public at least, the situation seemed entirely straightforward — an American hero had been returned to his country and the bosom of his family (never mind the situation with his wife, which that phrase brings to mind). Delta Force had gone and gotten him — no negotiating with terrorists — and brought him right home. The country had a celebration, and everyone acted as though he would of course (being a Marine) have completely uncomplicated feelings toward his country. Politicians of the flag-waving sort couldn’t wait for him to run for office.

That he turned out to have been brainwashed into becoming a terrorist, in a case of Stockholm Syndrome taken to the nth degree, was a surprise to everyone except the viewer.

By contrast, we have the curious case of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, which has degenerated over the weekend from being a topic of celebration to a point at which, if you type “Bergdahl” into Google, the first guess you get is “Bergdahl deserter:”

Google Bergdahl

From the beginning, there was something… off… about this case. Something I kept trying to shove aside because I wanted to be happy for this soldier and his family.

The first hint was a mention, in the first news story I read, that Bergdahl had fallen into Taliban hands after “walking away” from this unit. Say what?

Then I saw the parents celebrating with the president. OK, POTUS wouldn’t do a thing like this if there were anything fishy about the case, would he? So it must be what it seems to be — the joyous return of the last American held by enemy forces in either the Iraq or Afghanistan theater. So, hurrah.

I was shoving aside my reaction of, “Wait a minute. We don’t negotiate with terrorists, do we?” I was ignoring my concern that we were putting five hard cases back on the street. So what if the Qatar one-year cooling-off thing didn’t comfort me much? Never mind that if they hadn’t renounced the Taliban in all these years at Gitmo, why would a year in Qatar keep them from rejoining the jihad? I decided to take the president’s “no man left behind” explanation at face value, and move on.

I set the whole thing aside until this morning, when I saw another picture of the Bergdahls on the front of the WSJ. Which made me think again, just how young are these people? The sergeant’s Mom is kind of a babe, and his Dad… well, I’d been suppressing my reaction to the Dad’s appearance. It occurred to me maybe he had sworn not to shave or trim his beard until his son was home — and I’ve seen references to that effect since. But I was still curious about them, and started to search.

That’s when I got the “deserter” reference. I first brushed past it, seeking info about the Bergdahls mère et père, but then came back and pursued it, and quickly found:

  • Statements by his parents saying they understood they couldn’t see their son for awhile, or even speak with him, because he had to “decompress.” Huh. OK. Does this mean the military is making sure it doesn’t have a Nicholas Brody case on its hands? Odd case of life reacting to fiction, if so. Odder still because the president was doing a victory lap on getting this guy back.
  • The claims by some of his comrades that he was a deserter, and that better men were killed hunting for him. A claim that, disturbingly, Chuck Hagel doesn’t refute. This is the most disturbing element of this whole story.
  • Allegations out there that Bergdahl’s father, Robert, tweeted the following before deleting it:



… which would be weird on a couple of levels, not least because it made it sound like releasing people from Gitmo was the Dad’s actual motive here — rather than an unfortunate thing that was necessary for his son to be freed. Which would be the kind of thing you’d expect from a Dad invited to celebrate with the president at the White House.

The complaints I read about yesterday from members of Congress, GOP members of Congress, about not being in the loop — that I had ignored. Members of Congress are always seeing themselves as entitled to information that I don’t necessarily think is owed them.

But the point made by John McCain that these were very bad guys we were letting go — that worried me.

And it particularly worried me if what we got in return was a guy who may be facing charges for the circumstances in which he was captured.

This is just a very weird case. And it’s particularly weird that the president would take such political risk — negotiating with the Taliban, releasing their people without consulting Congress — for a soldier whose story is so very muddled.

I find myself wondering if there’s something we’re not being told. Maybe Sgt. Bergdahl was on a mission, say — sent into Taliban hands as an agent provocateur and so to those in the know, there’s nothing suspect in his behavior, or … But then I think, I’ve watched too many movies and TV shows with strange plots.

I don’t know what to think. I know that it’s now hard to greet this soldier’s return with complete, unalloyed joy. Which is a terrible shame. I don’t like having this reaction. I hope what I learn going forward sweeps all doubts away…

54 thoughts on “Bergdahl case more muddled than the initial return of Brody in ‘Homeland’

  1. Lynn T

    On the time to “decompress” thing — the U.S. military has done this for a very long time with people who have been in very hazardous settings for a long time. My uncle, a Navy deep sea diver who was at Pearl Harbor and on three ships that were sunk in the Pacific, was sent to a farm in New England for months before communication with the family was permitted. Don’t read too much into it this time.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yeah, and I wouldn’t have thought anything of it by itself. I would expect the transition to be difficult. It was just that, along with everything else.

      I mean, I wonder if the debriefers are quizzing him on the circumstances of his capture… or are they really leaving him alone to decompress. For now.

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    Now there’s this release from Lindsey Graham, sticking to the policy implications of a) releasing terrorists that the Obama administration had until now seen fit to keep at the prison the president can’t quite bring himself to close (which would tend to support the idea that the administration agrees they’re baddies), and b) the fact that it gives bad guys all over the world a new motive to kidnap Americans:

    Graham Requests Hearing on Exchange of Taliban Leaders for Sergeant Bergdahl

    WASHINGTON ­– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today wrote Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin and Ranking Member Jim Inhofe to request an immediate hearing on the exchange of five high-ranking Taliban leaders for the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.

    Graham’s letter is below and attached.

    Dear Chairman Levin and Ranking Member Inhofe:

    I write today requesting an immediate hearing on the exchange of five high-ranking Taliban leaders for the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. While I appreciate an American was released from captivity, this decision by the Obama Administration has serious implications for our future national security.

    The five terrorists released were the hardest of the hard-core. They held positions of great importance within the hard-core anti-American Taliban, including the Chief of Staff of the Taliban Army and the Taliban Deputy Minister of Intelligence. They have American blood on their hands and surely as night follows day they will return to the fight. In effect, we released the “Taliban Dream Team.” The United States is less safe because of these actions.

    I fear President Obama’s decision will inevitably lead to more Americans being kidnapped and held hostage throughout the world.

    There are also questions about why the Administration failed to comply with the law. We need a thorough review of this decision and I urge you to hold a hearing on this matter as it has profound implications for our national security.

    With President Obama’s announcement of a total withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2016 – basically canceling an insurance policy to protect our homeland – and now releasing five Taliban leaders, it’s safe to say last week was a great week for the Taliban.

    Thank you for your consideration on this most important matter.


  3. Bart

    If, and I say “IF” with Bill Clinton parsing, Bergdahl walked away from his post with a compass and a canteen of water as reported and the response from members of his platoon about him being very negative, this exchange has major implications beyond what is public knowledge as reported. If Bergdahl was a “prisoner of war” but the ones released from Gitmo were “detainees”, how can it be both ways if the “detainees” released were captured during combat operations? And, how is it that the administration is able to violate the “30 Day” notification rule and not expect a strong reaction.

    Final query, if he deserted and the Taliban took him in, how is it that he can claim he has been a prisoner for 5 years?

    However, as is the usual practice, the media and Obama supporters will report on his release for a few days and then it will become old news and in a few weeks if the subject is brought up, Hillary’s comment, “What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?” will become the response from Hagel and the administration.

      1. BigDog

        Its my understanding that Sargent Bergdahl was never listed as a POW. He was listed as “Missing”.

  4. Bryan Caskey

    There are plenty of stories out there about how he was captured that paint Bergdahl in a negative light. There are stories that range from AWOL to desertion. Most portray him as a guy who just deserted his unit. If he deserted his unit, that needs to be established by more than rumors. That’s for the military to decide in a court-martial. Until then, I’m willing to cut him some slack.

    Yes, I also saw that soldiers were killed while looking for him. I see people tossing that out there in a way to blame Bergdahl, but I’m not buying that. The guys who died looking for Bergdahl – that was their job, and that is the deal that our soldiers make. When they say “we will leave no man behind”, it doesn’t have an exception for kids who wander off for some reason that we’re not 100% sure about. We bring them home. Then we sort things out.

    Now, if it is established that Bergdahl just deserted his unit to join the Taliban and assist their cause, then he’s out of “slack” and he needs to face the punishment for desertion in a combat zone.

    A completely different issue is the actual terms of this deal. Releasing five of the baddest Taliban guys in Gitmo is a pretty high price. As Brad points out, these five guys aren’t going to go back to Afghanistan and start a knitting club. They’re hardcore killers who will perpetrate more evil given the opportunity…which we have just given them. That’s an undeniable reality of the deal we just made.

    Decisions like this are tough, and the Commander in Chief should weigh the positives and negatives carefully. Some deals are worth doing, and some are not. We cannot pay ANY price to regain a prisoner, as some costs are just too high. Was this too high a price? I don’t know, but the argument can be made that it was. Our leverage with the Taliban was certainly decreasing, as our Commander in Chief had announced our troop draw-down, and our date for pulling all troops out.

    The real loser in this deal is the government of Afghanistan, since the only thing they get is some bad guys coming back who will be able to wreak havoc and kill innocents in an attempt to bring down the Afghanistan government.

    I really couldn’t care less about Congressmen being upset about not being informed.

    1. Brad Warthen

      First, if we’re soon losing our leverage, whose fault is that?

      As for the Afghan gummint being the loser… Their reaction adds to the muddiness. They’re thrilled at the return, not of Bergdahl, but of the five Taliban. Except they’re ticked that there’s a delay, that the Taliban won’t be returning to fight against them immediately.

      Which kinda makes you wonder why we’re laying so much on the line for these people… Which would make me say let’s withdraw yesterday, except I then remember why we were there in the first place….

      Gimme a war in which we know who the good guys and the bad guys are, without guessing…

      1. bud

        Gimme a war ….? The neo-con mind is always thinking about war. Which is one reason we’re always having to deal with these difficult issues. How about we give peace a chance.

        1. Juan Caruso

          “Gimme a war ….? The neo-con mind is always thinking about war. ” Bud, of course.

          We have not had a legitimate war sins WWII, bud. Since then, all of the “conflicts” you call “war” have NOT been declared by our Congress!

          Congessional lapse has resulted a huge loss of U.S. blood spilled, treasure spent, and political culpability AVOIDED. I was there for Nam, were you? No!

          Take a serious pause, cease your incessant, partisan mindset, and admit the obvious: Democrat-driven administrations got us into Korea and Nam my myopic friend.

          1. bud

            Have I ever defended Johnson for Nam? Johnson sullied what was otherwise a brilliant domestic agenda by his horrendous policies in southeast Asia. Juan, if you think I defend Democrats for warmongering you don’t know me very well.

    2. Barry

      I’m not willing to cut him any slack.

      Just saw a fellow soldier who served with him say on CNN that he walked away from his unit and he had no sympathy for him- and this guy served with him.

      He scoffed at the idea that the Government is now saying – that we didn’t know the facts. He said the facts were known and that numerous soldiers that served with the guy had long ago given their statements on this guy and they were basically exactly the same.

      Also say a liberal terrorist expert this morning say on tv that the 5 released from Gitmo would be back with the Taliban very soon and that we would hear from them again- in a bad way.

  5. Kathryn Fenner

    My problem at first was the five to one ratio.
    The whole thing is weird, and maybe, like you, I watch too much TV, which is not real life, rather, at most accurate, a heightened version of it, and spiraling into melodramatic fantasy from there.
    If he was a soldier who did not desert, whatever the definition of that is, but was taken captive while off base in a nondeserting capacity, that he was not popular or highly regarded, or that his dad is a wacko, is irrelevant.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      What’s relevant is: We traded five really bad guys for one of ours. I’d like to know whether he really WAS one of ours, in his own mind as well as in terms of his behavior. I mean, if this thing ends in court martial for Bergdahl, I have to wonder whether he was worth it.

      As for his Dad… was he always kind of like this — given to praising Allah “Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim”) while at the White House to celebrate his son being released by Islamist extremists, going on about how he wants to empty Gitmo — or did this situation force on him a case of Stockholm Syndrome By Proxy, so that he came to identify with his son’s captors?

      As to what Bryan said: “The guys who died looking for Bergdahl – that was their job, and that is the deal that our soldiers make.” Yes, and as long as they are convinced he is their brother in arms, they don’t bitch about it. But these DID bitch about it, and CNN didn’t have to search long to find guys who would, which in and of itself is unusual. The normal thing for volunteer soldiers to do when contacted by a reporter is close ranks, say they’re happy to have their brother back, and generally act like they’ve got a salute stapled to their foreheads.

      This was unusual, and the open hostility tends to suggest that this may be the consensus within the unit. Either that, or the reporter just found the two or three guys who would have sad this…

      1. bud

        As for his Dad… was he always kind of like this — given to praising Allah “Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim”) while at the White House to celebrate his son being released by Islamist extremists.

        Praising Allah in a nation that protects religious freedom is NOT un-American. If a Christian extremest just released a hostage no one would criticize a parent for praising Jesus.

  6. Bart

    The Daily Beast, most definitely not a Republican or conservative leaning site, has an article by Nathan Bradley Bethea, titled:

    “We Lost Soldiers in the Hunt for Bergdahl, a Guy Who Walked Off in the Dead of Night”

    “For five years, soldiers have been forced to stay silent about the disappearance and search for Bergdahl. Now we can talk about what really happened.”

    “It was June 30, 2009, and I was in the city of Sharana, the capitol of Paktika province in Afghanistan. As I stepped out of a decrepit office building into a perfect sunny day, a member of my team started talking into his radio. “Say that again,” he said. “There’s an American soldier missing?”

    But first, you have to click on the lead story by MIchael Tomasky titled:
    “Bowe Bergdahl Is the Right’s New Benghazi”

    “Buckle up: The right is going to try to turn the Taliban prisoner swap for ‘deserter’ Bowe Bergdahl into a Willie Horton moment for the president—and they’ll ride it to January 2017.”

    There you have it. One is an article by someone who was there and another by a pundit who was not. A pundit who did not have to remain silent surrounding Bergdahl’s desertion or risk his life searching for a missing soldier who had abandoned his fellow soldiers.

    It has already started, “What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?”. Why bother? The white wash will be complete soon enough.

    1. Doug Ross


      I’ve found that sometimes when certain words are used or too many links are included, a comment will be sent to the “timeout chair”. It’s probably just a bad algorithm.

      Anyway, Brad should institute some type of login facility that would allow for registered users to post, delete, and edit comments. Typing on small screens like phones and Kindles leads to typos that my old eyes don’t catch until 2 seconds after I click “post comment”.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      I can’t tell, Bart. But you probably made a passing reference to a name of someone who is on the official watch list.

      This happens frequently. It’s the price we pay for living in a world of spammers and trolls…

  7. Brad Warthen Post author

    The Obama administration has to be questioning itself in light of these headlines, only two days after the announcement:
    NPR: “In Bowe Bergdahl’s Release, As Many Questions As Answers”
    The Guardian: “US defends Bergdahl prisoner swap”
    WashPost: “Joy over POW release leads to questions”

    I find myself wondering whether the problems that became IMMEDIATELY apparent, which reporters were able to run down over a weekend (no mean feat), caused anyone in the White House to say, “wait a minute…”

    I find myself wondering whether Jay Carney’s departure the day before the announcement had anything to do with this. Probably not, but when such questionable judgment is displayed — the president appearing with the eccentric parents of a guy that his comrades in arms are furious at, touting the trade of him for five terrorists as a good deal — you wonder whether anyone stood up and said, “I’m not having anything to do with this.”

    Tell you one thing (if you’ll forgive another appeal to fiction): Leo McGarry would have found a way to head off this mess…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      My wife watched a “West Wing” with me over the weekend, and there was a situation in which President Bartlet was indulging himself in one of his frequent bouts of silliness, and Leo brought him to heel and straightened him out, and my wife said, “Why isn’t HE the president?”

      Because guys like Leo don’t run. They just keep the ones who do in line. At least, they do in a universe that makes more sense than this one.

      This administration (as could all) could use a Leo…

  8. Brad Warthen Post author

    Above, I dismissed the concerns of Congress that they didn’t get advance notice on this. So did others. Even the WSJ editorial board, eager as always to kick the president, brushed that concern aside as irrelevant.

    But something is dawning on me. If the president had delayed to give Congress time to weigh in, maybe this would have been handled better…

    1. Bryan Caskey

      Maybe the White House should have just run it by the commentariat here. Anyone think this trade was a good in the total cost/benefit analysis?

      Oh, and just as a kicker, the five terrorists we let go aren’t looking like they’re being closely watched. Apparently, Obama thought they would be under close watch for a year by Qatar. ABC is reporting the five guys came home “with no sign they are under any sort of custody or guard”.

      This keeps getting better and better. I guess the Obama Doctrine of “Don’t do stupid shit” is more of a goal, as opposed to an accomplishment.

  9. bud

    Just for the record I’m not defending Obama on this. It seems like a sketchy decision but maybe there’s something we don’t know just yet.

  10. Phillip

    How’s this for a theory? In Gitmo, those 5 Taliban leaders were in a legal limbo: we couldn’t seem to bring them to a kind of trial, and we didn’t want to arbitrarily release these “worst of the worst.” Now that they are being returned to Afghanistan, we of course know their identities, and given our apparent ability to target active terrorist threats via highly sophisticated methods, might they have just traded imprisonment in Gitmo for a date with a drone on some dusty Afghan or Pakistani road?

    1. Barry

      It’s a theory.

      Maybe they will be on Dancing With The Stars next season too.

      Or soon appear in a tweet holding a sign that says #StandagainstGitmo

    2. Bryan Caskey

      If that’s the plan is to kill the Gitmo detainees a/k/a terrorists, that’s too clever by half. Also assumes we can track them and get them before they kill more people. Reports are saying the 5 guys are already not in any sort of custody.

      How did the White House think this was gonna look? Bergdahl’s platoon members are all saying he just walked out. Burden of proof to show otherwise (in the court of public opinion) is now on the White House.

    3. Norm Ivey

      I had the same thought–even sinking momentarily to the conspiracy level of implanted GPS devices to make them easier to track. We wouldn’t do that, would we?

    4. Dave Crockett

      As long as we’re throwing out speculation…here’s one my wife came up with last night:

      According to the report on NBC, the folks in Qatar insist that if the five don’t walk the straigh-and-narrowt line, the Qatari government will toss them in jail there. Since we (the U.S.) haven’t been able to work out how to try these Gitmo indefinite ‘detainees’ (much less execute them), how ’bout we work up a way to ‘release’ them to someone else and let (encourage, support) them to exact an Eiger Sanction on the bad guys under some pretext? We keep our hands ‘clean’ and five of the ‘worst of the worst’ from Gitmo are permanently dispatched.

      Dunno if Bergdahl was the right person to employ the trade…but it is an interesting piece of outrageous speculation.

    5. Kathryn Fenner

      Thanks for articulating a fuzzy sentiment I had, Phillip. The hugely disproportionate release must have been done for a good reason. Clearing out Gitmo and using the released detainees as bait is good, too.

  11. scout

    Somewhere I saw a report that made out like the Dad’s behavior was a calculated act so as not to anger or provoke his son’s captors. Maybe he is too psychologically invested to let the act go until he actually is physically reunited with his son.

    Just speculating. The whole thing is definately odd.

    1. Barry

      His fellow platoon members describe the guy as a loner ( and an odd-ball)

      They have been clear-he took off.

  12. Brad Warthen Post author

    Bret Stephens in the WSJ today raises all the concerns I do, but without any attempt to give Bergdahl or the Obama White House any benefit of doubt at all.

    He leads off with a highly decorated former Special Forces operator saying the appropriate welcome home may be a firing squad, and continues in that vein.

    Sorry I can’t link to anything beyond the headline and lede. WSJ has put EVERYTHING behind a pay wall now, having no consideration whatsoever for bloggers.

    But the thrust is that the White House simply doesn’t care whether whether Bergdahl dishonored his uniform and got comrades killed by his behavior. (He quotes a piece from Rolling Stone in 2012 about Bergdahl, in which a White House aide said, “Frankly, we don’t give a sh__ why he left,” they just wanted him back. I’m trying to picture Josh Lyman or Sam Seaborn saying that. OK, maybe Toby would.) He believes that’s true. I worry that he may be right, but I don’t want to think so.

  13. Bryan Caskey

    In all seriousness though, assuming hypothetically Bergdahl is a deserter from his unit in a time of war (and that assumption is looking more probable to be correct with each passing day) the fundamental question is:

    Is it worth trading five hardened terrorists for the return of a deserter?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Well, yeah. That’s the question.

      We already lost six soldiers KIA looking the guy five years. Six soldiers, then five terrorists who will kill who knows how many first chance they get… at what point does it get to the point to be too high a price for this one guy who at least seems to have been a less than stellar soldier?

      I keep imagining a conversation like this during that manhunt for Bergdahl when he went missing:

      Private Reiben: You wanna explain the math of this to me? I mean, where’s the sense of riskin’ the lives of the eight of us to save one guy?
      Captain Miller: Twenty degrees. Anybody wanna answer that?
      Medic Wade: Reiben, think about the poor bastard’s mother.
      Private Reiben: Hey, Doc, I got a mother, all right? I mean, you got a mother. Sarge’s got a mother. I mean, shit, I bet even the captain’s got a mother.
      [he turns and looks at Miller, who has a bemused expression on his face]
      Private Reiben: Well, maybe not the captain, but the rest of us got mothers.

    2. Barry

      Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida) rasied the same question this afternoon (Tuesday). He said if he did walk away at all- it wasn’t a good deal to trade him for 5 terrorists.

  14. Kathryn Fenner

    The Army does not abandon a soldier without a trial. A bunch of guys’ opinions doesn’t change that. Like Bryan said….

    1. Barry

      That’s not the issue- trading 5 terrorists for him is the issue.

      There is no use to paint this as a “he walked away so we just left him behind” situation- when clearly that’s obviously not the case.

  15. Phillip

    Right, Kathryn, and forget about what “a White House aide” said: Gen. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said this: “The questions about this particular soldier’s conduct are separate from our effort to recovery ANY U.S. service member in enemy captivity… Like any American, he is innocent until proven guilty. Our Army’s leaders will not look away from misconduct if it occurred.” Bryan made this point further up the thread. And more threatening than the 5 we released (and know), are the dozens whose identity and whereabouts we don’t know (speaking of potential leaders and plot-facilitators), in a world where there are thousands of Muslim extremists who would wish us harm. And while I don’t really think they were released just SO they could then be killed via drone, I’ll put money that at least one of them, maybe more, will end up “conveniently” in the same location as another US drone target one of these days.

    1. Barry

      and Dempsey knows better- and he knows that’s not the issue.

      The issue is trading 5 terrorists for him – not leaving him behind.

      The Joint Chiefs Chairman doesn’t need to play poltical games either. It’s not becoming.

  16. Barry

    BTW- Evan Buetow- his former team leader just told CNN’s Jake Tapper (4:15pm-4:20pm) that he was a deserter and he believes he was feeding the Taliban information about their position in the 2 days after he left their unit.

    Buetow said he heard over the radio from an interpreter that “an American” in a village 2 miles away from their position was looking for a Taliban member that spoke English. Buetow believes this was clearly Bergdahl because the village was so close by and immediately afterwards the Taliban tactics improved and it was if ” they knew our tactics.”

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Wow. Well, that’s way worse than going AWOL. It’s even worse than desertion. We’re talking treason most foul. That would indeed be cause for dusting off the firing squad, if one believes in capital punishment.

      I certainly hope it’s not even close to being true.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      If there is the slightest chance to believe that anything like that, or even anything remotely approaching that, could be the case — and certainly the White House was in a position to be aware of any such allegations — what on Earth was the president of the United States doing standing with those parents celebrating this return?

      You know, if military authorities believed there was any chance that such charges could be brought against him, it might almost have been worth giving up five Taliban that we can’t seem to figure out what to do with in order to get our hands on somebody we could put on trial.

    3. Brad Warthen Post author

      If ANYTHING like that were the case, and the White House had reason to know before Saturday, it would be WAY worse than an administration functionary doing a little spinning on talk shows about Benghazi…

      1. Bryan Caskey

        I can still see bringing him home, but not for the five guys we gave up. And also, not doing a public White House Rose Garden ceremony like the guy is some hero. Bring him home quietly, with no public fanfare at all. Heck, maybe even don’t tell us. Just do the deal, then assemble a court-martial. How stupid do you have to be to have a Rose Garden Press conference?

        This whole thing has a Catch-22 feel to it.

        Lt. Col. Korn, XO: [speaking to Yossarian] All you have to do is be our pal.
        Colonel Cathcart: Say nice things about us.
        Lt. Col. Korn, XO: Tell the folks at home what a good job we’re doing. Take our offer Yossarian.
        Colonel Cathcart: Either that or a court-martial for desertion.

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