A Prisoner Dilemma

Friday, June 13, 2014


The exchange of American POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban prisoners in Guantanamo has set off a political firestorm whose flames have been fanned by wild speculation in the absence of clear facts. Brooke wades through the breathless conjecture to ponder what's really behind this controversy.

Hosted by:

Brooke Gladstone

Comments [5]


It's true; the Bowe Bergdahl story turned partisan in a wholly unrealistic way.

Credit the Commander in Chief for that partisanship.

Of course no one wanted Bergdahl to rot as a captive. Of course we wanted him back. I don't think it is at all a stretch (and the left's term "Swift Boating" has no place) to suggest that soldiers were at a minimum put in harm's way trying to locate and retrieve him.

But the Rose Garden appearance with the parents? And you left out Susan Rice's pablum about Bergdahl's serving "with honor and distinction." You know what Susan Rice sounded like, saying that? Like a Washington, D.C. academician/politician who never spent a day in the Army and who can spit out patriotic soundbites like Siri spits out directions to the nearest Starbucks.

The right thinks that Obama really wants to just get the hell out of Afghanistan, above all. And that he wants to close Gitmo, above all. Politics, above all. It would really be interesting, if anybody could prove that the right wing is wrong about those presumptions. The problem is, the right is... right.

Jun. 20 2014 10:55 PM
Patrick Taylor

Many of the same people screaming for Bergdahls head were screaming for his release a few months ago. I'm a registered Democrat, and I do think he needs to be investigated. I also think that he should be respected, and that he should be given the chance to defend himself before we collectively decide he's a traitor. I never would have thought I'd see the day when it was ok to take a dump on a POW to score political points. It's ironic that it's the flag-wavers who wrap themselves in the flag and call themselves patriots that are doing it.

Jun. 17 2014 06:38 PM

Love you guys but this angle of the story was actually showcased by The New YOrk Times, quoting Rolling Stone Magazine -- in 2012.

Naive and unpolitical even for Obama.

Jun. 15 2014 08:45 PM
KadeKo from suburban USA

Imagine the hail of crap, up to and including death threats (see Natalie Maines) if we lefties were to publicly rail against getting an American POW released ten years ago.

What changed? What possibly could have changed?

Jun. 15 2014 09:43 AM

The real news is that such a high percentage of Democrats disapprove of the release despite five plus days of the media reporting this as a partisan issue while cheerleading the exchange. Had the public been polled the day after the exchange took place, before the media was able to go into campaign mode, no doubt the results would be different. Even in deep blue NYC I have heard plenty of Democrats express shock over this swap.

It is also pretty dishonest to fail to mention that the majority of those polled identified as independents R-24, D-28, I-39. Independents disapproved of the swap 44- 32. A close look at the poll information Pew provides, seems like the results were broken down and fiddled with until they were able to attain the desired result.

Jun. 15 2014 07:17 AM

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