It's Wednesday, and in a couple of hours I'll be sitting in for Rush and guest-hosting America's Number One radio show. I hope you'll tune in either on one of over 600 radio stations across the country or via iHeartMedia livestream. I've no idea what's going to turn up on today's broadcast, but, in case this story doesn't arise, I'd like to say a word about it here:
On Monday Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty to charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. He will be sentenced next week. To all but a mendacious Administration and its accomplices among the court eunuchs of the Obama media, the truth about this man was obvious from the day of his release by the Taliban three-and-a-half years ago.. Me on June 3rd 2014:
In years to come, when archaeologists are prowling through the ruins of our civilization and wondering how it all happened, I would offer this snapshot. Here's the history of America's longest war in two anti-American losers, John Walker Lindh and Bowe Bergdahl, confused young men with a gaping hole at the heart of where their sense of identity should be, stumbling through the Hindu Kush trying to "find themselves".
In the fall of 2001, the first confused anti-American loser trying to find himself, John Walker Lindh was on the enemy's side - and was tried, convicted and jailed for life [CORRECTION: 20 years].
By the spring of 2014, the last confused anti-American loser of the Afghan war, Bowe Bergdahl, was on our side - and was honored by the President with a family photo-op in the Rose Garden and declared by the laughably misnamed "National Security Advisor" to have "served the United States with honor and distinction".
That remains one of the most disgusting images of the last eight years: A deserter who betrayed his comrades being celebrated as a man of "honor" at the People's House by the highest officials in the land. Me again, from later that week:
On last night's Hugh Hewitt Show, Hugh and I discussed the continuing fall-out over the Bergdahl/Taliban deal, of which every aspect - whether you come at it from the terrorist end, the deserter end, the legal end, the pajama-boys-with-the-keys-to-the-White-House end - gets more revolting as the days go by. Apropos the President's determination in his remarks in Brussels to dig in deeper, I said this:
MARK STEYN: 'Obama's words in Brussels today, for example, saying "Well, this was a father and his child, his 28-year old... whatever that is, Grade 23 child. You know, every parent wants to get their Grade 23 child back ...and we don't leave anyone behind. The fact is he walked out and he left America behind, this guy - and he did it, by the way, on the advice of his father. He wrote to his father saying, 'I hate America, it's a horror, I want to renounce my citizenship.' And his father emails back, 'Follow your conscience."'
HUGH HEWITT: 'Oh, my God.'
I don't think this point has been emphasized enough. Yes, one can argue that it's appropriate to cut Bergdahl Jnr some slack - thankless war, out on the front line, the strain of it all beginning to tell... But what's the father's excuse? He gets communications from his son indicating he's about to crack. He knows that out there, beyond their vulnerable encampment, is a primitive tribal society where pretty much everyone would either ransom his boy or cut to the chase and saw his head off to make a blockbuster jihadist snuff video for the bazaars of Jalalabad. Surely any responsible parent would say, "Look, I know it can't be easy for you out there. But there are people who wish to do you harm beyond the fence. Stick with it, talk to your platoon leader... You're serving honorably in a worthy cause..." You don't encourage him to take a one-way ticket into the badlands of Afghanistan.
And just to underline that: the justification for Bergdahl Snr's wacky behavior - the Taliban beard, the invocations of Allah, the Arabic and Pushtu, the pledge that the death of every Afghan child will be avenged - the justification for all this is that, well, he's also been under a lot of strain. He hasn't seen his kid for half-a-decade. That could unhinge anyone. Give the guy a break...
But the point is he was pulling this strange stuff before his son was kidnapped.
Which makes that Rose Garden ceremony even more bizarre in its weird optics - the President of the United States embracing a Taliban sympathizer at the White House. There was no need to hold such an intimate photo-op. Yet Obama chose to do it. Why?
As I said to Hugh:
'I remember I had a lunch with a very prominent Republican figure just before Obama became president, and I was all unnerved about it, and he said well, don't worry, you know, okay, Obama doesn't seem to know anything, he's a community organizer, he's a left winger. But the usual guys are going to be in charge. And he implied that around Obama, there would be like Lloyd Bentsen figures preventing this stuff from happening. And the reality is the only Lloyd Bentsen figure in this administration, the Lloyd Bentsen part is being played by Joe Biden, which is dumber than getting it played by Leslie Nielsen. There's just nobody, there's nobody with a serious worldview in this administration.'
That's the benign explanation - that the President's a know-nothing surrounded by 12-year-old pajama boys. The alternative is far worse.
That Rose Garden ceremony was repulsive. Coming on the eve of today's D-Day observances, it invites comparisons that reflect very poorly on us.
And yet, as with so much else, Obama got away with it. Me one last time, on June 9th 2014:
Pace Susan Rice, there are three dishonorable men in that short photo-op: a deserter who broke his oath, a father who sympathizes publicly with the enemy ...and a president lying before the nation, to make them complicit in that dishonor. Mr Obama is unworthy of the men who fight on "his" behalf.
Of that trio, only one man has received his just deserts. And half the country see no problem with what the other two guys did.
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