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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, June 03, 2014

 
War of the Worlds rolls on

by digby

Well at least it isn't Move-On "politicizing" the military. That would require a congressional rebuke:
A former Bush Administration official hired, then resigned, as Mitt Romney’s foreign policy spokesman played a key role in publicizing critics of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the released prisoner of war.

The involvement of Richard Grenell, who once served as a key aide to Bush-era U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton and later worked for Romney’s 2012 campaign, comes as the Bergdahl release has turned into an increasingly vicious partisan issue. 
The New York Times reported that “Republican strategists” had arranged an interview for them with men who served in Afghanistan with Bergdahl, who was released after five years of imprisonment by the Taliban in a controversial prisoner swap deal. In the article, the men express their anger at Bergdahl for leaving the base, causing other soldiers to risk their lives looking for him.

The same soldiers also did interviews with The Weekly Standard, the Daily Mail, the Wall Street Journal, and Fox News.

Cody Full, one of the soldiers quoted in the New York Times and other stories, tweeted yesterday about Grenell: “I want to thank @richardgrenell for helping get our platoon’s story out.” Grenell retweeted the tweet, calling Full a “true American hero.”

Grenell is the guy known for juvenile tweeting, John Bolton worshiping and being forced out of the Romney campaign when the his voters found out he was gay. Whatever.

What's more interesting here is that soldiers apparently believe that a fellow soldier should be left on the battle field because his political views make them suspect he was a deserter. That's a precedent they might not want to set.

I'm genuinely puzzled by this. Do they honestly believe that the US government should have just let this guy rot forever based only upon the "feelings" of some of his fellow soldiers? I can see them insisting that he be investigated or that he be court martialed or something, but to say that he should have been left behind seems a very bizarre position for a soldier to take.

Prisoner swaps have been around forever. George Washington arranged them in the Revolutionary War. And I don't think anyone has ever suggested that they not be done on the basis of the soldier's political leanings or the suspicion they might have deserted. And these Guantanamo prisoners aren't al-Qaeda, they're Taliban, enemy soldiers in the Afghan War. They are no different than the Nazis we swapped or the Japanese prisoners of war. They aren't supermen.

And as far as the men who died searching for this fellow, keep in mind that this happens from time to time, as Marines will even go after the bodies of their dead comrades and be killed in the process. (Blackhawk Down was a situation like that.)

There's something about this conflict that continues to make some Americans see it as an unprecedented threat of such magnitude that rules which have been in place for centuries are no longer operative. They still think of it on the scale of an alien invasion. Still. 13 years after 9/11. I honestly thought that the smoke would have cleared by now. It's extremely unnerving --- and dangerous --- that it hasn't.

I've been saying for some time that this notion the Republicans have been vanquished because of their lunatic right wing is premature. Yes, they are on the run on some of the social issues like gay marriage and pot. (Women'srights, not so much.) Huzzah. And both parties are on board with the Big Money Boyz agenda --- their differences are mostly pretense. But the national security card is a very, very potent card and they aren't giving it up.  Watch how your allegedly victorious Democratic Party reacts when they are challenged on it. I suspect it won't be pretty.


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