Patterico's Pontifications

5/31/2014

Obama Breaks the Law: His Deal With the Taliban Directly Violates Statute

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:58 pm

Another lawless act from a lawless president:

Among other complications, there was a potential legal obstacle: Congress has imposed statutory restrictions on the transfer of detainees from Guantánamo Bay. The statutes say the secretary of defense must determine that a transfer is in the interest of national security, that steps have been taken to substantially mitigate a future threat by a released detainee, and that the secretary notify Congress 30 days before any transfer of his determination.

In this case, the secretary, Chuck Hagel, acknowledged in a statement that he did not notify Congress ahead of time. When Mr. Obama signed a bill containing the latest version of the transfer restrictions into law, he issued a signing statement claiming that he could lawfully override them under his executive powers.

“The executive branch must have the flexibility, among other things, to act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers,” he wrote in the signing statement, adding that if the restrictions “operate in a manner that violates constitutional separation of powers principles, my administration will implement them in a manner that avoids the constitutional conflict.”

An administration official said the circumstances of a fast-moving exchange deal made it appropriate to act outside the statutory framework for transfers.

“Acting outside the statutory framework” is their new code for breaking the law.

As for the notion that the signing statement makes this violation of law OK? Flashback to Barack Obama as a candidate in 2008:

“Congress’ job is to pass legislation,” Obama explained. “The president can veto it or he can sign it. But what George Bush has been trying to do as part of his effort to accumulate more power in the presidency. … He’s been saying, well I can basically change what Congress passed by attaching a letter saying ‘I don’t agree with this part or I don’t agree with that part, I’m going to choose to interpret it this way or that way.’”

“That’s not part of his power, but this is part of the whole theory of George Bush that he can make laws as he goes along,” he went on to say. “I disagree with that. I taught the Constitution for 10 years. I believe in the Constitution and I will obey the Constitution of the United States. We’re not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end-run around Congress.

You just did.

That promise went the way of Obama’s 2009 pledge to reform the VA, and to reject multi-billion dollar helicopters. It is, as the phrase goes, an inoperative statement.

Impeach.

Thanks to Dana.

214 Responses to “Obama Breaks the Law: His Deal With the Taliban Directly Violates Statute”

  1. Every day it’s something worse.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. That promise went the way of…

    Betcha the media won’t be pointing out this or Obama’s campaign blathering about forswearing signing statements anytime soon.

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (d3cdd0)

  3. I was down to impeach back in August 2009.

    http://patterico.com/jury/2009/08/26/seven-months-later/

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  4. The President has the authority to ignore procedural laws in exigent circumstances. Like a suitcase nuke in Manhattan. But not because some “deal” awaits his signing. They’ve had this deal on the table for years now, and just because the last wrinkle is ironed out (or they say it is, they could be lying) does not make it a national security imperative, or even important to anyone other than the soldier or the happy Taliban.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  5. he’s such a little little man

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  6. he is no man
    he is a monster

    karen burkart (9be025)

  7. I am starting to write a new national anthem, “I’ll be back on my feet, as soon as my shoes wear out”.

    nk (dbc370)

  8. I was poking around CDR Salamander’s site. This was his most recent Fullbore Friday.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Geto5JJKrOw

    We could do this, yet we are so weak we will allow the students of the Harvard Review to deprive us of our rights?

    Steve57 (61329d)

  9. You know how many hours of maintenance it took took to keep those planes flying for an hour?

    Steve57 (61329d)

  10. So its not May anymore. Barely.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  11. Silly, Pat. Trix are for kids and impeachment is a political act.

    Honor? In the seat of power for this republic?

    Besides, whatever would Roberts substitute for the Rehnquist chevrons?

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  12. As an aside, now that it is June there’s an anniversary that needs celebrating.

    http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-pac/midway/midway.htm

    Battle of Midway, 4-7 June 1942

    Steve57 (61329d)

  13. time for the sturdy oak branch to do it’s job.

    mg (31009b)

  14. As a reminder, who was the sturdy oak branch?

    Battle of Midway, 4-7 June 1942.

    None of the carriers nor was Mikuma, going to live.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  15. Grand tidings. Sincerely, the oak tree.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  16. Obama has exceeded his authority in multiple instances with ObamaCare alone, and many other areas.

    This was apparently a very bad deal due to the level of terrorists being freed and the questions surrounding the “captured” soldier and his father. https://twitter.com/CodyFNfootball is the feed of a fellow soldier and eyewitness to the events of the period leading up to the disappearance beginning about 5 pm EDT on 6/31, go down to that point (“F*** what you know, I was there”) and work back up for the whole thing.

    But on the issue of Presidential authority, it cannot be correct to state Obama overstepped it here even if he did violate the statute. Presidents have used signing statements for a long time, although Obama did campaign against them his statements don’t affect their validity. His signing statement specifies this provision as one he does not recognize. This is a case of wartime combatants (legal or not) and the statute (and the one it replaced) clearly intrude into the President’s authority. This can only be resolved by the courts, and neither Congress nor the President want that because for the loser, their purview would be forever the lesser.

    Estragon (ada867)

  17. Vicious animals are at their most dangerous when they’re cornered. The scandals surrounding Obama keep building momentum and the narrative will soon reach critical mass if the establishment media keeps asking pointed questions and demanding answers instead of accepting empty double-talk.

    Unable any longer to deflect attention from Benghazi, IRS, and the VA with the usual shinny-rabbit gambits, Obama is now reduced to forcing personally damaging incidents into the public arena, baited with juicy revelations which include exposing himself to opprobrium and ridicule, in the effort to keep the most disastrous revelations under wraps and off the media’s radar screens till he’s ready to drop the pretense and bare his fangs.

    ropelight (2e5434)

  18. obama didn’t know this happened until he read it in the news paper. All negotiations wer conducted by a low level clerk in Cincinnati who was not properly supervised.

    Jim (145e10)

  19. I’m willing to consider that something came up that necessitated a fast response by this administration. Possibly the Taliban set a hard deadline and threatened to kill or torture Bergdahl unless the deal proceeded ASAP.

    I’m also willing to consider that the Alien Grays interceded on our behalf and will resettle these released terrorists somewhere in the vicinity of Alpha Centauri rather than releasing them back into the war zone.

    If you ask me “What do you think happened?”, my response would be “I think Obama made this deal in order to have another “SQUIRREL!” to help deflect attention from his miserable performance.

    That’s the difference between what I’m willing to consider and what I think happened.

    Russ from Winterset (830aac)

  20. It would be interesting to see what this presidency would be like without the MFM running interference for him.

    JD (065ca0)

  21. “Battle of Midway, 4-7 June 1942″

    I’m reading an interesting book, “Shattered Sword,” which is the story of Midway from the Japanese side. Pretty interesting so far. The Aleutians attack was not a diversion. They really thought that was important.

    I can’t pay attention to Obama. It is too much like a horror movie and I hate those.

    Mike K (cd7278)

  22. JD, if they stopped carrying his water an honest look at his record would make Nixon look like Coolidge by comparison.

    Russ from Winterset (830aac)

  23. 19. Russ from Winterset (830aac) — 6/1/2014 @ 6:36 am

    my response would be “I think Obama made this deal in order to have another “SQUIRREL!” to help deflect attention from his miserable performance.

    That’s the difference between what I’m willing to consider and what I think happened.

    The deal probably happened because Obama had just announced the U.S. wold completely leave afghanistan by the end of 2016 = the end of his term – this is some kind of a goal, an achievement he wants to have for his post-presidency – but they told the Taliban that keeping an American prisoner might hold that thing back. They were afraid the deal would slip away if it wasn’t carried out right away. Notice by the way, where the prisoners are going: the location of Al Jazeera.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  24. “When the President does it, it’s not illegal…”

    Rusty Bill (56910d)

  25. Steve57 (61329d) — 6/1/2014 @ 1:05 am

    It only took them seven-years to open that “Goldwater Vietnam War Plan” folder.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  26. Mike, I know a little about the Aleutians campaign, but not very much. Does that book claim that the Japanese wanted to use those islands in an “island hopping” campaign that would give them a doorway into the North American continent, or were they pulling a Stonewall Jackson and trying to get into a defensive position to bait America into attacking them? When Jackson did that during the Civil War, he had great success against Union commanders.

    Either way, I think they underestimated the difficulties of fighting on frigid islands where permafrost kept them from building airfields and other heavy structures.

    Russ from Winterset (830aac)

  27. He’s probably right, though. The clause is probably unconstitutional, exactly as he said in the signing statement. It’s long-established law that the disposal of prisoners of war is none of the business of the judicial branch (which is why they’re not entitled to habeas corpus), so it makes sense that it’s none of Congress’s business either, and the Commander in Chief has exclusive and plenary authority.

    The signing statement absolutely did make it OK. Yes, he blathered otherwise during his campaign. So what? He was wrong then. There’s no question that he was wrong then, and he probably knew it, but even if he was ignorant enough to believe what he was saying it doesn’t change anything. He may have taught the constitution for 10 years, but I doubt he’s read it seriously even once. Presidents are entitled to their own view of the constitution, and if they believe a law is unconstitutional they’re not bound to obey it. That’s what signing statements are about.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  28. And yes, by all means impeach him, but not for this. He’s deserved impeachment for years now.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  29. Sammy @ 23:

    You used 3 times as many words as I used to say the same thing. You getting paid by the word here?

    Russ from Winterset (830aac)

  30. Impeach the first black President?

    There are fools and then there are damn fools. It is the latter who currently use the term “impeach.”

    Frankenstein Government (04643d)

  31. Mike, my impression of the Japanese rationale for invading the Aleutians was that they wanted to force America to respond equally to the occupation of American territory AND the attempted invasion of Midway. By splitting our forces between the two campaigns, they figured their chances of taking Midway and consolidating their hold on the Central Pacific would be greater.

    The fact that it doesn’t seem to make sense can be explained by the fact that Japan realized that their failure to sink any of our carriers at Pearl Harbor was a major failure. I think they figured that attempting to split our forces would give them a better chance to at least create a stalemate in the Pacific.

    Russ from Winterset (830aac)

  32. “When the President does it, it’s not illegal…”

    For some things that’s perfectly true. For instance, the president cannot leak. By definition. If the
    president reveals classified information, or authorises someone else to do so,
    then by definition it’s not leaking.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  33. Mr Technical admin guy, the comment box is now far too wide.
    I can’t see the right side, so I have to break up my comments
    into shorter lines, and sometimes I forget to paste them
    together before posting. Like this.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  34. When Reagan traded arms for hostages with Iran, the right was fine with it and decided it made Ollie North a hero.

    When Obama trades POWs for POWs, it’s time to IMPEACH!! and is somehow unprecedented.

    But hey, if you guys want to try to impeach Obama over bringing Bergdahl home, bring it. I can’t imagine a more boneheaded political move.

    Wisco (d2e4dd)

  35. When Reagan traded arms for hostages with Iran, the right was fine with it and decided it made Ollie North a hero.

    Nobody made North a hero for dealing with Iran; nobody on the right was OK with that. He was properly made a hero for arming the Contras, and for standing up to the communists’ allies in Congress who had forbidden it.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  36. But hey, if you guys want to try to impeach Obama over bringing Bergdahl home, bring it. I can’t imagine a more boneheaded political move.

    And politics should control what is right?! This deal stinks. It’s immoral, even if it isn’t illegal. It’s as bad as the deals the Israeli government has made in exchange for prisoners, which have resulted in thousands of deaths, both of soldiers and of civilians.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  37. The law is just a suggestion.

    DejectedHead (06f486)

  38. The law is just a suggestion.

    No, the law is the law, and the president is bound by it, unless it isn’t really a law, because it contradicts the constitution. Which gives the president plenary power over certain things, such as foreign affairs.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  39. PS: It may be politically impossible to impeach 0bama. It’s not as if there’s any chance at all that the senate would convict, so even at best it would be a futile gesture, and the political cost may be so high that we can’t expect the House to pay it. But that political calculus doesn’t extend to Holder. The House has for years had more than enough grounds to impeach him, and I don’t believe the political backlash would be anywhere near what it would be for the president. In my opinion the House has a constitutional responsibility to impeach him. (I think it has a responsibility to impeach 0bama too, but I recognise the difficulty and understand why it has shirked.)

    Milhouse (b95258)

  40. For instance, impeaching Clinton was morally and legally the right thing to do, even knowing that the Senate would refuse to convict him, but it cost the Republicans dearly.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  41. Obama does not believe he is subject to America’s laws. If there is a path around the law or to subvert the law, he will take it. His will be a legacy of lawlessness, incompetence, buffoonery and failure

    Colonel Haiku (6f7a2b)

  42. A legacy of blatant lies, insufferable narcissism and un paralleled weakness.

    Colonel Haiku (6f7a2b)

  43. It is the dishonesty, incompetence and weakness that make our times among the most dangerous we’ve seen. The best that will come of this will be that Americans gain an understanding that national security and the future of our civil society should not be entrusted with the Left.

    Colonel Haiku (bf4d30)

  44. At least Milhouse is consistent. I don’t remember anyone complaining about Bush’s use of signing statements. My whole (young) life has been one long reinforcement of the lesson that there’s nothing inexorable about the law. It is whatever the winners say it is.

    Leviticus (197563)

  45. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/01/us/bowe-bergdahl-american-soldier-is-freed-by-taliban.html?hp&_r=0

    Last sentence in Paragraph 7:

    American officials feared leaks could scuttle the deal.

    What doe sthat tell you?

    Probably, they kept it secret for the very precise reason that the provision wa sput into law in the first place!

    They were, of course, afraid that the government of Afgahnistan would object, and this was in fact a betrayal of Afghanistan, but the only way they could scuttle the deal is by contacting people in the United States Congress.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  46. BOOOOOOOOSH

    The Leviticus Who Saves You the Trouble (197563)

  47. The notification clause was inserted into the statute so the people’s representatives would have an opportunity to consider the wisdom and propriety of such an act and to ascertain the public’s willingness to acquiesce in the decision. That’s what Obama objected to at the signing and it’s exactly why his Administration violated the law and broke faith with Congress and with the American people, because if they got wind of what he was up to they’s have screamed out in protest so loud their anguished cries would have reverberated in the halls of Congress and in the polling booth on election day.

    ropelight (2e5434)

  48. Patterico reminded us — Barack Obama did for one.

    nk (dbc370)

  49. Mr Technical admin guy, the comment box is now far too wide.

    I second that.

    It’s too bad too because if this website attracted more readers and posters — if only because greater variety and higher mesage board activity help make things livelier — that would be great. I know it’s Pat’s own blog and such, but when I see the volume of crud that liberal sites like the Huffingtonpost.com generate, I certainly want counterparts to them to do equally well.

    As for Obama, he’s a daily reminder of just how much corruption, of all shapes and forms, creeps into a society when the left has the upper hand. I realize that a few very liberal, socialized nations in northern Europe somehow manage to eke things out year by year (due partly to oil wealth from the North Sea, although in the case of places like Sweden, even it’s reportedly ratcheting back some of its free-for-all do-gooderism), but that requires a society have fairly good, stable demographics.

    Unfortunately, too much of the USA doesn’t exactly have enough of that, our typical urban slopfests being a testament to that. Of course — surprise, surprise — Obama and his ilk are doing their best to make that truer and truer as each day goes by.

    Mark (99b8fd)

  50. ropelight (2e5434) — 6/1/2014 @ 9:19 am

    That’s what Obama objected to at the signing and it’s exactly why his Administration violated the law and broke faith with Congress and with the American people, because if they got wind of what he was up to they’s have screamed out in protest so loud their anguished cries would have reverberated in the halls of Congress and in the polling

    It might have scuttled the deal, too, and Obama did not want to leave any prisoner’s behind when he pulled the last U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.

    Obama would have scuttled the deal rather than take election losses or face other consquences in Congress of disapproval.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  51. Obama broke his promise to close Gitmo his first year in office.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  52. I don’t remember anyone complaining about Bush’s use of signing statements.

    Hmm, good old-fashioned moral equivalency enters the picture.

    “Ya know Venezuela is a crummy nation, but the US…”

    Mark (99b8fd)

  53. The comment preview, below, is not and is within the page. Use that as your monitor. Like this. How much wood could a wouldchuck chuck if rubber baby buggy bumpers sold picked peckers by the seashore?

    nk (dbc370)

  54. Whiners aren’t winners. Actually, I thought the changes in the comment box were Patterico’s subtle way of forcing people to write shorter, more focused comments.

    elissa (021085)

  55. Of course, the interesting part is the brokers for this deal, which happens to be Qatar, the seat of Centcom, and Al Jazeera, where Yusef Quradawi, the founder of the Union of Muslim Scholars, which issued fatwas against Sadat, American troops in Iraq, and Qadaffi, which funds the Al Nusra Front,
    and supports the more extreme elements like the Nour (Salafi) party in Egypt and Watan, in Libya,

    narciso (3fec35)

  56. The text entry box is resizeable; little gadget in the lower right corner of the box. It would be easier to find and use in one of the left hand corners.

    htom (412a17)

  57. And the resizing goes away. :( Perhaps leave the size in a cookie when the comment is submitted?

    htom (412a17)

  58. Re: 44… that may be the case in New Mexico, where law enforcement shoots to kill first and asks questions later, but it’s sure not the way it is in the other 49 (or 56, in MensaMan’s mind).

    Colonel Haiku (c799d6)

  59. I don’t see on of these boxes, on this computer, and, while having a click give only the start of italics, bold or quote, instead of both the start and the stop at the same time, is an improvement, it’s more cryptic now to somebody new.

    Blockquote no longer freezes the Preview, but if you use the preview as the comment box, you have no cursor.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  60. So the question is who he was willing to make the deal for, a statelet that has in the past given sanctuary to at least one AQ figure, and has strong ties to practically every Salafi group from SouthWest Asia, to Equatorial Africa,

    narciso (3fec35)

  61. 23. 29. Russ from Winterset (830aac) — 6/1/2014 @ 7:13 am

    You used 3 times as many words as I used to say the same thing. You getting paid by the word here?

    You said this was a “SQUIRREL!” to help deflect attention from his miserable performance. I didn’t think so.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  62. For some things that’s perfectly true. For instance, the president cannot leak. By definition. If the president reveals classified information, or authorises someone else to do so,
    then by definition it’s not leaking.

    This maybe the current situation under the law, but it is NOT inherent in the Presidential power. Congress could pass a law creating an independent Declassification Authority, and saying that only it could declassify stuff, and the President would have to abide by it. They could enforce it by docking the WH budget $10 million every time something “leaked.”

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  63. “were they pulling a Stonewall Jackson and trying to get into a defensive position to bait America into attacking them”

    They did not know what the conditions in the Aleutians were like and thought they were far more important to us than they were.

    They also thought the US navy was demoralized and frightened and would have to be lured out of Pearl Harbor. They had no idea that there would actually be a response at Midway. They had plans to reinforce the AL operation, the Aleutians, after Midway was occupied.

    They missed the significance of the Coral Sea battle. Also, it deprived them of two of their six big carriers. Very interesting to see the battle from the other side. I recommend the book. I’ve read at least six or seven books about Midway and there are many misunderstandings in the American version of the story. None of the Japanese admiral was a flyer, for example.

    Mike K (cd7278)

  64. Ar­ti­cle 1, Sec­tion 8 – Pow­ers of Con­gress, The United States Constitution we find this little sentence:

    To de­clare War, grant Let­ters of Mar­que and Reprisal, and make Rules con­cern­ing Cap­tures on Land and Water.

    The statute is constitutional.

    gbm (cd49e9)

  65. As for the president having absolute power in foreign affairs, as Milhouse keeps asserting, I don;t seem to find that in my copy of the Constitution. In particular he does not have the power to Declare War, to make treaties or to dispose of the assets of the United States. He cannot spend money that is not appropriated for the purpose and even his COmmander-in-Chief role does not allow him to issue orders to members of the Armed Forces that the Congress has forbade (e.g. murdering prisoners). This release is one of those illegal orders.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  66. The statute is constitutional.

    And even if it was not, the President cannot simply ignore it. Nation of laws, not of men, and all that.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  67. It would be easier to find and use in one of the left hand corners.

    What would you drag where, then?

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  68. why he ignores Citizen’s United, injunctions against drilling moratoriums, pronibitions against funding ACORN

    http://therightscoop.com/cruz-i-do-not-think-the-way-to-deal-with-terrorists-is-through-releasing-other-violent-terrorists/

    narciso (3fec35)

  69. It’s six little blue dots forming a triangle in the lower right corner of the bordered box I’m typing in right now. Upgrade your browsers, or ignore the box you’re typing in and use the comment preview to monitor what you’re typing.

    Is sweating the small stuff turning off the airconditioning in a daycare?

    nk (dbc370)

  70. So, what to do? Sue? Does Congress have standing to insist signed laws are obeyed? I would think they are harmed each and every time a President willfully ignores a law, making the legislative process more difficult. But maybe not. So…

    I humbly suggest censure. This is as much a political act as impeachment, perhaps more purely so since it has no effect except saying “We find you are an a-hole and unfit for your office.” Also, the House can do it on its own, by a majority vote. There’s probably enough built up for 10 censures.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  71. Upper left corner, arrow points \ , drag towards center, box closes, drag away from center, box opens.

    htom (412a17)

  72. The advance notification clause isn’t unconstitutional till SCOTUS pronounces it so. And, the issue was never about conducting foreign policy or the disposal of POWs it was about notifying Congress prior to releasing terrorists from GITMO so the people’s representatives have an opportunity to consider the wisdom and propriety of such an act and to ascertain the public’s willingness to acquiesce in the decision.

    Additionally, signing statements are just that, opinions expressed at signing, but not laws unto themselves or even modifications of the underlying statute. The President can veto the bill and it won’t become law (unless Congress overrides his veto), but no president can pick and choose the parts he personally approves and reject the parts he doesn’t like unilaterally. If the President signs the legislation, it becomes law.

    Presidents, and citizens alike, are entitled to their own personal view of the Constitution, but not to their own official interpretations. Presidents, swear an oath to uphold the Constitution in its entirety, not just the parts of it they find convenient.

    “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

    Presidents are absolutely bound to obey the law, even if they believe the law is unconstitutional it’s still the law, and temporary office holders have no authority to put themselves above the law, that’s what kings and dictators do. Obama may think he’s a king, and he may act like a dictator, but he isn’t either one. He’s every bit as subject to the law as you or me. Once we allow Presidents to decide for themselves what the law is or isn’t we open the door and invite despotism and tyranny to take up residence.

    ropelight (2e5434)

  73. Japan had fought a pre WW1 war with Russia to the North of their home islands, and IIRC their northernmost island has conditions that approach what’s found in the Aleutians. But the fact that their leadership at the time had misunderstandings about the conditions on the ground would make them human. Plus, the extra distance from Attu in the Aleutians to Japan compared to Japan’s northernmost island created an exponential logistics problem that the Japanese probably didn’t realize would be there.

    Of course, you’re right that the Coral Sea battle gave them a false sense of hope because of the US Navy’s ability to get the Yorktown back in the fight in a matter of days.

    That book sounds fascinating. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Russ from Winterset (830aac)

  74. Hey, at least we did better than the Israelis usually do. They have to give up a couple of hundred Palestinians for their guys. The Gilad Shalit swap was more than 1000 to 1, and the 1000 all had blood on their hands.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  75. U.S. Code › Title 18 › Part I › Chapter 63 › § 1343
    18 U.S. Code § 1343 – Fraud by wire, radio, or television
    Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. If the violation occurs in relation to, or involving any benefit authorized, transported, transmitted, transferred, disbursed, or paid in connection with, a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency (as those terms are defined in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122)), or affects a financial institution, such person shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.

    18 U.S. Code § 1346 – Definition of “scheme or artifice to defraud”
    For the purposes of this chapter, the term “scheme or artifice to defraud” includes a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.

    We’ve got the SCOAMF dead to rights, and the statute of limitations will not have expired by the time he leaves office.

    nk (dbc370)

  76. yes, they released five how profile killer, capos not underbosses,

    About a previous atrocity, which was downplayed in the events of Isla Vista;

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27654505#

    you might have a clue, why they lowballed this story,

    narciso (3fec35)

  77. At least Milhouse is consistent. I don’t remember anyone complaining about Bush’s use of signing statements. My whole (young) life has been one long reinforcement of the lesson that there’s nothing inexorable about the law. It is whatever the winners say it is.

    Hi Leviticus! I always love it when you comment, and I am going to write a longer comment than usual, because a) I want to encourage you to interact more, and b) I always find your comments valuable.

    So. There are a multitude of issues there.

    First let me address the implicit accusation of hypocrisy. I said in July 2008, still during Bush’s administration, that I disagreed with Bush’s view that the AUMF overruled FISA. In that post, I expressed skepticism about the Article II arguments advanced by John Hinderaker and the other advocates of strong presidential powers. These are the same sorts of Article II arguments that Milhouse is relying on. As I explained last year, expansive Article II claims of power “struck me as too much of an assertion of kingly powers” during Bush’s years, and continue to concern me with Obama as president.

    As far as signing statements go, if you can find a post where I argued that any president’s signing statement should be allowed to change the meaning of a law, go nuts. I don’t think you can. I don’t think that any such statement should be used as definitive evidence of the meaning of a law, any more than “legislative intent” should be used — because the meaning of a law must be evident from the words used in the statute. Legislative expressions of the interpretation of the law, and executive signing statements, all might be relevant in a very tangential sense to the central issue: how should the words be interpreted according to the objective original understanding of those words held by the people subjected to the laws. But as Justice Scalia has often noted, the subjective understanding of lawmakers (and by extension the president) is not relevant to the issue except as it illuminates the most reasonable way for those words to be interpreted in an objective manner — because statements of “intent” and signing statements are subject to abuse by people trying to win an interpretive argument that they may have lost when it comes to the actual wording of the law.

    I understand that your complaint may be, not that I (or other Obama critics here) explicitly approved of Bush’s signing statements, but that we were silent about them. Two points there.

    First, everyone learns as they go through life, and I have soaked in the arguments made by people who have paid special attention to the positions of the founders on the structure of our government. I don’t think I have done any crazy about-faces on anything, but I know a lot more about history and constitutional law today than I did in 2008 or earlier. Hopefully, in six more years, I will be able to say the same about my knowledge in 2020 as compared to my knowledge in 2014.

    Second, though, I am not sure that Bush went as far as Obama has gone here — although I don’t know that for sure, and I will say that if you can prove that he did, I will happily condemn any Bush action that goes as far as Obama has gone here.

    I think the most important question here is whether a president has used his “signing statement” as a way to completely invalidate a portion of a law that he signed as unconstitutional — and, worse, has he subsequently violated that law, and defended his actions by arguing that his signing statement trumped a clear provision of law by unilaterally writing that provision out of the law? If Bush ever did either, I hereby condemn it — just as I ultimately condemned his actions in violating FISA (which I initially supported, but then changed my mind about, as I encountered a better argument and thought about it more — all of this is in the links above).

    If a president is confronted with a law with an unconstitutional provision, he has one choice under the Constitution: veto it. This is the route James Madison took in 1817 when he vetoed a public works bill that he considered wise and important — but not authorized by the Constitution. To do what Obama did — unilaterally issue a signing statement purporting to write a provision out of law, and then blatantly and knowingly violate the provision in the statute — is an affront to the rule of law and should be punished.

    As for this statement: “My whole (young) life has been one long reinforcement of the lesson that there’s nothing inexorable about the law. It is whatever the winners say it is.” I think that is a very insightful statement and there is a lot of truth to it. I am coming around to that position more and more with each passing day.

    It’s great to hear from you, as always.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  78. “It’s too bad too because if this website attracted more readers and posters — if only because greater variety and higher mesage board activity help make things livelier — that would be great. I know it’s Pat’s own blog and such, but when I see the volume of crud that liberal sites like the Huffingtonpost.com generate, I certainly want counterparts to them to do equally well”.

    Mark (99b8fd) — 6/1/2014 @ 9:22 am

    I agree, Mark. I have enjoyed having all the different posts by Pat, JD, Dana, and JVW. I would like to see the return of former posters such as DRJ (where are you?) who help(ed) keep the posts fresh and interesting. I wonder how many others besides myself would welcome a guest post by a veteran or an M.D.?

    I am almost ashamed to say that I do not pay for a subscription to this site, but I would (subscribe) if it were to hit a sort of critical mass by expanding the number of voices that Pat trusts. I speak only for myself when I confess that it is the comment section that keeps me coming back. Let me use a restaurant analogy: place with 3 menu options and great clientele = good place to go. place with 20 menu options and great clientele = great place to go. But that’s just me.

    felipe (098e97)

  79. In my not so humble opinion, the definitive history of Midway is Miracle at Midway by Gordon Prange and company. He might be better known for At Dawn We Slept, about Pearl Harbor. It’s on Kindle, though my copy is a well-worn paperback…

    Interesting to compare the two battles–in both cases, the Imperial Japanese Navy took horrendous risks, but they seemed to have a better sense of the strategy at Pearl. (I’ll leave the analysis of the wisdom of the objectives as an exercise for the student….)

    Red County Pete (e7bc03)

  80. Now, Pat, if you would only address the most critical issue being discussed:
    The Comment Box, and its interaction with the RH column when that column contains text.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  81. Is there anything 0 has said that hasn’t been inverted or flipped or denied or ignored, anything at all that he may be trusted on? OK, he likes to play golf. Never mind.

    htom (412a17)

  82. if you have technical beefs about the ongoing upgrades here, make sure you include what browser/OS combo you’re using, so the Admin Guy can locate the problem.

    for instance, i’m using FF29 on a Vista SP2 box, and comment box & preview functions are w*rking just fine for me… still no strikeout function, but the link functionality is back, so that’s a fair trade off in my book.

    as for Bergdahl, from all accounts he deliberately deserted to the enemy with malice aforethought, and should be, IMHO, court-martialed for his crimes.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  83. Red I just read somewhere that 6 soldiers lost their lives looking for him. That’s tragic.

    Gazzer (0e6aeb)

  84. Admin guy, comment box border is too long as it extends into the grey column on the right.

    IE11, win7 home premium x64

    felipe (098e97)

  85. I an viewing the site in windowed mode. So every column is rescaled width-wise except the comment box which is of constant width.

    felipe (098e97)

  86. Mike K @21, Shattered Sword is an excellent book.

    It’s one of those books that can actually influence your daily life. As the book analyzes why the Japanese lost at Midway, it introduces the elements of failure formalized by other authors. Which are useful for organizing your thoughts if say you’re starting a business.

    1) Failure to learn the lessons of the past.
    2) Failure to adapt to changing conditions on the battlefield.
    3) Failure to anticipate future changes.

    The last is of course does not mean decision makers need a crystal ball. Simply that they must consider foreseeable events. For instance, the Japanese were aware of the evolving technology of radar. As well they should; the Yagi antenna was vital to the development of radar, and it was a Japanese innovation.

    Yet at the start of WWII the Japanese had developed what must be admitted to be the finest optical fire control system for naval gunnery the world had ever seen. Unfortunately, it had already been rendered obsolete by radar.

    We see this in politics a lot. Entirely predictable events are called “unintended consequences.” They are admitting they plan to fail to anticipate future developments.

    If you’re into this sort of thing, I recommend Black Shoe Carrier Admiral: Frank Jack Fletcher at Coral Sea, Midway & Guadalcanal.

    I’ll quote the blurb, weird question marks and all:

    An abundance of new evidence demanded this reevaluation of Frank Jack Fletcher, the ?black shoe? admiral who won his battles at sea but lost the war of public opinion. A surface warrior?in contrast to a ?brown shoe? naval aviator–Fletcher led the carrier forces that won against all odds at Coral Sea, Midway, and the Eastern Solomons. These and other early carrier victories decided the Pacific War not only because they inflicted crippling losses but also because they denied Japan key strategic positions in the region. Despite these successes, by 1950 Fletcher had become one of the most controversial figures in U.S. naval history and portrayed as a timid bungler who failed to relieve Wake Island in December 1941 and who deliberately abandoned the Marines at Guadalcanal.

    Fletcher got a raw deal. When he took charge of the carriers, his overriding instruction was, “Don’t lose them.” You’ll see that in Shattered Sword, when Nimitz tells Fletcher and Spruance not to risk the carriers unless they can reasonably conclude they’ll inflict more damage to the enemy then they’ll take themselves. It would be a hard choice, like Wake, but they can take back Midway later. They couldn’t for the sake of the defense of Hawaii lose the carriers.

    He’s accused by the Marines of abandoning them at Guadalcanal. But he was fighting a war of attrition he couldn’t win. When you look at the aircraft he was losing, and how quickly his carriers and his screening forces were running through fuel (they didn’t train like they fought back in the depression cuz they didn’t have the $$) he just couldn’t stay there. Then there was the fact that there was only a single oiler operating out of Noumea. One Japanese submarine could have cut the lifeline his whole fleet depended upon.

    Good book. It shows how history is never really settled. Like science. It’s based quite a bit on the papers someone discovered among the belongings of a deceased WWII vet, a Marine on Fletcher’s staff.

    I suppose history will be revised further, as the old guys die and their descendants poke through their belongings and discover their diaries, journals, documents, pictures, and films.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=759_1370809886

    83 year old American Spitfire pilot sees his crash landing for the first time

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oM91pg2LfUI

    World War 2 as you have never seen it: rare colour footage of D-Day landings

    Steve57 (61329d)

  87. I agree, Mark. I have enjoyed having all the different posts by Pat, JD, Dana, and JVW. I would like to see the return of former posters such as DRJ (where are you?) who help(ed) keep the posts fresh and interesting. I wonder how many others besides myself would welcome a guest post by a veteran or an M.D.?

    I miss DRJ. I know I am not the only one. I think she came to find the commentariat on this site intolerant of Tea Partiers. I’m not sure that’s right, as I am probably properly considered a Tea Partier, and it’s my site. But I think she found the commenters unnecessarily hostile and dismissive, and that was her decision. She’s her own person. But yes, I miss her deeply. The site is not the same without her presence.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  88. this was part of an earlier thread, I figure Hornaday will not venture an opinion here;

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/06/islamist-extremist-arrested-for-shooting-4-dead-at-brussels-jewish-museum/

    narciso (3fec35)

  89. Russ, Mike, my understanding from various sources is that the Japanese took Attu and Kiska to extend their outer ring of defense following the Doolittle raid.

    And, yes, it was a stupid move. But then so was starting a war they couldn’t possibly win.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  90. How do I find out what version of Internet Explorer is running in a Windows XP computer?

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  91. Sammy, you will find a little blue circular icon of a question mark in the upper right-hand corner just below the “x” box icon. click it and chose the button “about internet explorer”

    felipe (098e97)

  92. How do I find out what version of Internet Explorer is running in a Windows XP computer?

    Under Help on your Menu bar, select About Internet Explorer. A dialog box should appear noting the version number.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  93. Patterico, I don’t think that your comment is entirely the case regarding DRJ. I mean, I greatly dislike the “Purity Uber Alles” memes I read here sometimes, and in particular the snarky and insulting commentary toward folks who aren’t “sufficiently pure” to meet some awfully high standards (like the whole bizarreness that the majority of Americans are aching for someone “sufficiently conservative”—based on no evidence I have seen, electorally). The “over the top” comments don’t seem all that different from the weirdnesses I read on progressive sites, sometimes.

    So if I get irritable about all that, I try to not post. Life is too short, and to each their own.

    Folks are entitled to their own opinions, and people who disagree with me are not stupid nor evil. But it’s not my blog, and again, life is too short. And with one or two exceptions, no one has been unpleasant with me over disagreements. To each their own.

    With DRJ, my perception of her experiences here was different. Yes, she was very much in the TEA camp, and would sometimes get more than a little bit purity minded. But several times, people seemed to get unpleasant to her personally. Sometimes it seemed to have to do with misunderstandings, and folks reached out to apologize (because there are few people, ever, to be more civil and kind-spirited than DRJ).

    Other times, not so much.

    Now, everyone is all grown up here, and despite what I hear on campus, no one has a guarantee about not getting feelings hurt. But a few people went over the top with DRJ, for reasons I still don’t understand. That says a lot about them, and very little about DRJ.

    My own contributions are are minor and not important. DRJ, on the other hand, was a significant contributor, a positive presence, and remains much missed. Let me emphasize how important blogs like this are to lurkers who don’t post. I don’t have the stats, but I would guess that only a small percentage of those who read this blog post comments. And the calm, respectful voice that DRJ brought to the comments lent balance and gravitas.

    And I think that >>99% of the posters (and lurkers) here would agree with the value that DRJ brought here, and wish DRJ happiness and joy and hope for her return.

    Simon Jester (d7f85d)

  94. 87. weird question marks and all

    These questions marks are probably from an electronic file.

    This usually means it is character that the software cannot interpret. It’s asoftware convetnion sometimes to replace such charactes by question marks.

    The question marks are almost certainly quotation marks, but some high-ASCII characters wer probably used – one for left quotation marks and one for right quotation marks. The question mark after the word warrior is probably some kind of a dash.

    Actually, I think I can cut and paste the left and right quotation marks – just like it seems I can cut and paste Hebrew letters into here, so, anyway, it should probably be something like this:

    An abundance of new evidence demanded this reevaluation of Frank Jack Fletcher, the “black shoe” admiral who won his battles at sea but lost the war of public opinion. A surface warrior — in contrast to a “brown shoe” naval aviator–Fletcher led the carrier forces that won against all odds at Coral Sea, Midway, and the Eastern Solomons…

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  95. 91. 92. How do I find out what version of Internet Explorer is running in a Windows XP computer?

    felipe (098e97) — 6/1/2014 @ 2:11 pm

    Sammy, you will find a little blue circular icon of a question mark in the upper right-hand corner just below the “x” box icon. click it and chose the button “about internet explorer”

    What “x” box icon? The icon for Internet Explorer is a big e and doesn’t lead you to “About Internet Explorer”

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  96. the “x” box icon is the button you click on to close a window.

    On the menu bar, the there should be an button right after the “tools” button. mine looks like a question mark. Yours might say “help”, or “info”.

    felipe (098e97)

  97. Hadoop (f7d5ba) — 6/1/2014 @ 2:11 pm

    Under Help on your Menu bar, select About Internet Explorer. A dialog box should appear noting the version number.

    I don’t see any Help – and am not sure what you mean by the Menu bar?

    There’s a box with a question, mark both on the bottom line of the screen – wich seems to e Language Bar help – all I want with that is NOT to change the language.

    Next to Tools on the top there’s one – it says you can also be Alt-L

    There is is. Internet Explorer 8 copyright 2009. Running under Windows XP.

    There are no boxes for italics bold quote etc. at all. (but I know how to do some manually.)

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  98. OS name: Microsoft windows XP Professional.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  99. If all else fails, try clicking “alt” and “x” on your keyboard. Then choose “about internet explorer” from the menu.

    felipe (098e97)

  100. Felipe. The question mark was not just below the upper right hand corner X (to close a window) but 3 levels down and a bit to the left. It is to the right of Tools.

    Beow the X – if I have even realized that was the X you meant is a box containing two greater than signs >> – actually probably IBM ASCII 175.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  101. Alt-X gets absolutely nothing.

    I knew it was always trying to introduce me to Internet Explorer 8, but I didn’t know if that was the actual version installed..

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  102. Good, you got there. Now upgrade to IE11. But something tells me you are stuck with IE8. Support has ended for winXP, I think.

    felipe (098e97)

  103. What’s New –>

    Your browser is now updated

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  104. I’d rather not upgrade because something could change that I wouldn’t like.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  105. I too had wondered where DRJ had gone. I also miss her insights. Echoing Mr Jester, I read every comment on most threads, but seldom comment. However, it is the only site I comment on.

    Gazzer (0e6aeb)

  106. I need this kind of 1 on 1 tutoring for Android. Not that that is useful for typing.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  107. You are absolutely right, Sammy. An upgrade could ruin a perfectly working system with unintended consequences – leading to further expenditures.

    felipe (098e97)

  108. It is also that it wouldn’t be ruined, but have some changes made in the way it works.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  109. I have 3 OS on my rig. winXP pro for business, vista for games, and win7 home premium for browsing and tech compatibility.

    felipe (098e97)

  110. “I think she came to find the commentariat on this site intolerant of Tea Partiers.”

    Patterico – I think she felt Tea Partiers should be above criticism. There’s a difference.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  111. obama and company are extremely poor negotiators.

    They jumped at the very first minimally acceptable offer, and were afraid to believe it would last. They also may have bought into disinformation that there was danger to Bergdahl There was almost certainly no risk to Bergdahl in waiting.

    They could have exchanged him for 1 prisoner and a partial ceasefire lasting for a period of time.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  112. Simon Jester,

    Oh, I don’t mean to suggest that DRJ did not feel that people were nasty to her personally — because some were. But (while I could be wrong) I think she saw the nastiness as emanating from intolerance of Tea Party positions.

    But I really shouldn’t try to speak for her, because I don’t know for sure.

    I disagree with daleyrocks’s view that she felt Tea Partiers should be above criticism. I think she felt — and I agree — that personal insults should be out of bounds.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  113. “Snark is never brilliant”. – Steve57

    partial list of the guilty:

    felipe
    colonel haiku
    daleyrocks

    List of the damned:

    Elephant stone

    felipe (098e97)

  114. Hey! Who threw that tomato?

    felipe (098e97)

  115. felipe, put me on the list. I said it’s never brilliant. I never said it’s never appropriate or, indeed, at times called for.

    It’s just not brilliant.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  116. I know the village was missing it’s idiot, but why did they have to put him in the Pentagon;

    http://hotair.com/archives/2014/06/01/hagel-this-prisoner-swap-might-produce-peace-negotiations-with-the-taliban/

    narciso (3fec35)

  117. felipe – My snark is above the Admiral’s pay grade.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  118. Patterico – We will have to disagree, but I don’t want to speak for DRJ either.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  119. Obama won’t be ever be impeached because the PR disaster that would surely result. And no one has standing to challenge him otherwise. He may not know the Constitution but he sure knows Constitutional (and Administrative) Law.

    Lorem Ipsum (cee048)

  120. It is all in their holy books, narciso. We just need to read them.

    Why they are at war with us, and why they are at war with Israel. Even the idea of peace is insane. Just because we don’t take their religion of conquest seriously doesn’t mean they don’t take their religion seriously.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  121. 118. felipe – My snark is above the Admiral’s pay grade.
    daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 6/1/2014 @ 3:10 pm

    True dat.

    I never took the commander’s course in snark.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  122. An exciting, new, TV show!

    “Celebrities of Snark”*

    Starring:

    Steve “Who cut the cheese”? 57
    Daley “He who smelt it, dealt it” rocks
    Colonel “He who denied it, supplied it” Haiku
    felipe “I got nuthin’” the nobody

    *Translated from the original latin by Sammy Finkleman

    felipe (098e97)

  123. And thanks for the promotion. Or, oh wait! Let me guess. When you call me Admiral you’re being snarky.

    I get it.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  124. And he did this unlawful act to free a deserter! If he is hoping for a negotiated settlement to the war from Mullah Omar, forget it. They are laughing at him just like Putin is.

    Oh, and he’s probably a traitor, too. His Muslim dad thanked Allah at the WH press gaggle. (See gatewaypundit.)

    All this to maybe get a few more votes in November.

    How low can this guy go?

    Patricia (be0117)

  125. felipe, if you need someone to put together the PowerPoint presentation to pitch the concept to network execs, I can help.

    I’m not particularly good with actual weaponry but I’m the epitome of the PowerPoint Warrior.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  126. Steve, we’re gonna need the cooperation of ES who is slated to be play the part of “the damned”.

    felipe (098e97)

  127. Yes it’s called a Hudna, it’s only a temporary peace;

    http://twitchy.com/2014/05/31/i-feel-so-safe-obama-assurance-qatar-will-monitor-released-taliban-leaders-fails-to-comfort

    I mentioned some reasons, why they are not the best guarantors of a deal,

    My Monty Python and Princess Bride references don’t count,?

    narciso (3fec35)

  128. Narciso, the list is assembled in descending order of stupidity, so you don’t make the grade. Wait, what?

    felipe (098e97)

  129. OK, but be advised I’ve given PowerPoint presentations to all levels up to and including Presidential aides, the Director of Naval Intelligence, and the Deputy Director of the CIA.

    Somewhere in a box I haven’t bothered to unpack, I’ve got a letter from Admiral Studeman thanking me for one of my PowerPoint presentations, such was the the power of it. Get it? Power Point?

    So if you need PowerPoint, I’m your guy.

    The employment of PowerPoint was my major contribution to the art of Naval warfare.

    I can be so freakin’ proud.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  130. I hope if Admiral Studeman runs across this, he’s not offended. I actually appreciated that letter. Really. Which is why I kept it.

    I just wish I could have done more than I did.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  131. Steve, you just ascended two places on the snark list. A singular feat considering you were already at the top! Never underestimate the power of self-snark.

    felipe (098e97)

  132. Patricia, as far as Bergdahl goes it’s a bit early to judge whether he’s a deserter or not. Let alone a traitor. He may prove to be. But we don’t know yet.

    But I agree with you that we made a bad deal.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  133. felipe, I learned snark from a zen master at a mountain dojo in Japan.

    But I never took the commander’s course in snark like daley.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  134. “Snark thyself” – Virgil

    “Snark is the sincerest form of stupidity” – Thomas Edison

    “Madam, I am drunk and you are snarky. Tomorrow I will be sober, but you will still be snarky” – W.C. Fields (I think)

    felipe (098e97)

  135. Ah, my meds have arrived. Until the next missed dose, see you later.

    felipe (098e97)

  136. Not W C , but Winston Churchill. who also said, “History will be kind to me. For I intend to write it.” And he did!

    Gazzer (0e6aeb)

  137. I have enjoyed having all the different posts by Pat, JD, Dana, and JVW.

    I am almost ashamed to say that I do not pay for a subscription to this site

    Same here, Felipe. I appreciated DRJ even more so because commentary from right-leaning women is always interesting and valuable to me.

    I think of certain instances through the years when I’ve heard chauvinistic people (ie, mainly guys) sputter about disliking someone running for office because that person is a female, and my thinking “would you therefore favor a liberal Democrat male over a conservative Republican female?”

    And, yep, the importance of a person’s ideology has been heightened to me due in part to my visiting this forum through the years and seeing how people think or not think. Which is why the description of a person being a “Tea Partier,” as applied to DRJ or others, is overly vague to me. From my POV, she was merely a person who leaned right and so I almost never disagreed with her. I also wasn’t aware she ever tussled with people in these threads to such a great degree she’d feel put off enough to stop posting here. I tend to scroll past back-and-fro jousts that strike me as overly personalized, so that could be the reason for my obliviousness.

    This forum also is the reason I’ve looked more closely at issues that I should have been better informed about anyway. For example, finally (finally!) learning just how bad (and bigoted too) Franklin D Roosevelt was, or why the traditional opposition towards same-sex marriage actually is more valid than even I was aware of originally, or why Islam (ie, based on its founder) is a surprisingly corrupt and unappealing theology. So Patterico.com is a valuable learning tool to me.

    Mark (99b8fd)

  138. Well, my meds haven’t arrived.

    But it is Sunday. If you haven’t attended services, here’s your religious experience for the day.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1il5m8_italian-nun-wows-the-voice-judges-with-alicia-keys-no-one_music?start=7

    And yes, she’s actually a nun. Sister Cristina Scuccia of the Ursulines.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  139. 137. He didn’t exactly say it that way: (The part about writing a history is correct, but not the rest)

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/History

    “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.”

    Winston Churchill

    Actual quote is:

    For my part, I consider that it will be found much better by all Parties to leave the past to history, especially as I propose to write that history.

    Speech in the House of Commons (January 23, 1948); Cited in The Yale Book of Quotations (2006), ed. Fred R. Shapiro, Yale University Press, p. 154.

    He had already written a history of the First World War, in which he had played a part. Now he was writing a history of the Second World War.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  140. R.I.P. Jay Lake, science fiction author

    Icy (44f704)

  141. R.I.P. Ann B. Davis, played “Alice” on The Brady Bunch

    Icy (44f704)

  142. S F, I stand corrected. I should not have used quotations marks when paraphrasing.

    Gazzer (0e6aeb)

  143. R.I.P. Mary Soames
    Winston Churchills last surviving child.

    mg (31009b)

  144. I forget the name of the Frenchman who said “It’s worse than a crime. It’s a blunder.”

    But that applies to this prisoner exchange.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad Bergdahl is back. Even if it turns out his motivations were not entirely on the up and up. But again I emphasize we don’t know that yet.

    Powerline has a good post on what’s wrong with this.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/06/hagels-phenomenology-of-negotiation.php

    The nullity involved in pairing a member of Obama’s Team of Nitwits with Gregory for an interview is chilling.

    Gregory asked Hagel if the swap of five Taliban detainees held at Guantanamo for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl represented negotiation with terrorists. Hagel responded: “We didn’t negotiate with terrorists. As I said and explained before, Sergeant Bergdahl was a prisoner of war. That’s a normal process in getting your prisoners back” (the transcription here is mine).

    Umm, no. There is nothing normal about this.

    We have a delusional administration that sees itself as the culmination of Marxist inevitability. So they make ridiculous pronunciations about how Putin is acting as if it’s still the 19th century. As if that’s damning, while Putin is getting away with it. Instead of dealing with reality, they talk about some imaginary arc of history. As if we’re going someplace, and they’re the masters of the universe who know where that is.

    I recall Obama pronouncing something about how “this is how wars end in the 21st century” when he announced his retreat from Afghanistan. Again, umm, no. There’s nothing new about retreat. It is infantile to imagine that one side quitting the field means a war has ended.

    And now Obama has returned five combatants to the battlefield.

    There will be a price to be paid. I wish my meds had arrived so I wouldn’t be aware of that fact. How the h3ll did we become so stupid as to put the Columbia University freshman class circa 1980 in charge? I didn’t vote for this. Who did? Roger up.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  145. It’s like the Eagles around 1995

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/06/taliban-leader-mullah-omar-celebrates-release-of-gitmo-detainees/

    getting the band back together,

    narciso (3fec35)

  146. Gitmo freezes over.

    Gazzer (0e6aeb)

  147. Possibly the Taliban set a hard deadline and threatened to kill or torture Bergdahl unless the deal proceeded ASAP.

    And so Obama basically knuckled under to gain something on the domestic political front, while taking a big hit on the international scene that the American media will helpfully not report on.

    Given that American service personnel will still be in Afghanistan until the end of 2016, there will be more opportunities for the Taliban to capture another soldier and trade him/her for more Gitmo inmates.

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (d3cdd0)

  148. Hagel, further defending the president’s actions (in two separate Wapo pieces today):

    “We believe that the President of the United States, as commander in chief, has the power and authority to make the decision that he did under Article II of the Constitution,” Hagel said. Obama has hesitated at times to assert his executive power without seeking congressional approval.

    “We believed that the information that we had, the intelligence that we had, was such that Sgt. Bergdahl’s safety and health were both in jeopardy and, in particular, his health was deteriorating,” Hagel said. “It was our judgment that if we could find an opening and move very quickly … that we could get him out of there, essentially to save his life.”

    Obama’s national security advisers were “unanimous that this was the right thing to do” and Hagel had signed the transfer order, he said. Qatar has agreed to supervise the five released men under unspecified conditions, and to keep them from leaving that country for one year.

    Hagel also confirmed that Afghan President Hamid Karzai was not informed of the operation in advance and was told afterward in a call from Secretary of State John F. Kerry.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  149. The administration, in their defense of their actions, coming at this from another angle: their actions are consistent with the U.S. pledge to leave none will be left behind on the battlefield. (Benghazi?)

    Also, Susan Rice made the rounds this morning and further spoke to the above point.

    insisted that Obama acted within his power as commander in chief, framing the choice as one to secure the release of a prisoner of war who had been captured in battle — rather than one that amounts to negotiating with terrorists.

    “Sergeant Bergdahl wasn’t simply a hostage, he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield,” Rice said. “Regardless of who may be holding an American prisoner of war, we must do our best to bring him or her back.”

    “It was our sacred obligation, given the opportunity to get him back,” Rice said. “And we did so in a way that has brought him back safely into American hands. We did so in a way that resulted in the Taliban prisoners being monitored and kept in a secure way in Qatar.”

    Dana (9a8f57)

  150. If they wanted credibility they should have sent someone other than Rice, I think. She has a sort of a checkered history on the Sunday morning shows.

    elissa (c99800)

  151. Not by their lights, they rolled her out on Russia, now this, there could be a nuke going off, and they would debate the fallout patterns,

    narciso (3fec35)

  152. Dana, all I can say is that when you announce that peace at any price is your goal, or getting a prisoner returned at any price is your goal, you’ve just give your worst enemy the chance to name the price.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  153. 151. If they wanted credibility they should have sent someone other than Rice, I think. She has a sort of a checkered history on the Sunday morning shows.
    elissa (c99800) — 6/1/2014 @ 5:30 pm

    What if they just want to give us the finger?

    Steve57 (61329d)

  154. Yes, Steve57 – hence, five of the very worst of the worst being set free. You’ve surrendered any position of strength and upper hand. But that is what this administration is about – acquiescence and surrender. The United States has now revealed what lengths we will go to for that peace at any price. This personifies this White House.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  155. Dana, that foretells what we can expect of a deal with Iran over nuclear weapons. Or of a Arab-Israeli peace deal.

    On the bright side we can expect this…

    http://apresski.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/bikini-skiing-snowboarding-pics.jpg

    … to continue til the end of June. Thanks to my carbon belching ’71 ELCO hot rod and the un-catalytic converted ’76 Scout Traveller.

    Just doing my part. You can thank me later.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  156. Bizarre indeed. There is a whole lot more to this story than we now know.

    But in the weeks before his capture, Bergdahl had made murky statements that suggested he was gravitating away from the soldiers in his unit and toward ­desertion, a member of his platoon told Rolling Stone.
    “He spent more time with the Afghans than he did with his platoon,” former Spc. Jason Fry told the magazine in 2012.
    As a teen, the home-schooled son of Calvinists took up ballet — recruited to be a “lifter” by “a beautiful local girl,” Rolling Stone reported — “the guy who holds the girl aloft in a ballet sequence.” The strategy worked — Bergdahl, who also began dabbling in Budd­hism and tarot card reading — soon moved in with the woman.
    Even as a teen, he could fire a .22-caliber rifle with precision.
    At age 20, he traveled to Paris and started learning French in hopes of joining the French Foreign Legion. His application was rejected, and he was devastated, the magazine reported.
    Bergdahl would drift for years, working mainly at a coffee shop near home. He briefly considered moving to Uganda to help villagers being terrorized by militias before deciding on a different ­adventure.

    http://nypost.com/2014/05/31/the-bizarre-tale-of-americas-last-known-pow/

    elissa (c99800)

  157. If you count the Toyata Tacoma, which admittedly has only 169 ponies, I’m the proud owner of nearly 800 hp of climate change.

    Just wait until I build the bar stool.

    http://www.ridelust.com/a-480-horsepower-bar-stool/

    We’ll be skiing until August.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  158. I tell folks my rod is flex fuel. It burns gas and rubber…

    Gazzer (0e6aeb)

  159. Even as a teen, he could fire a .22-caliber rifle with precision.

    Who couldn’t? This is weird?

    elissa, unless we’ve gone entirely overboard on the PC (of which I’m not discounting completely) the Army will investigate the circumstances of Bergdahl’s excursion outside the wire.

    Unless the world has changed entirely, that’s what they did in the case of Charles Jenkins back in 2004.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  160. Yes, it’s that time of the year.

    The Valdez Fly-In has come and gone.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX3sq00kdKE

    Steve57 (61329d)

  161. Got STOL?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVimgxRVM08

    It’s like milk. Only better.

    And it’s for airplanes.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  162. I tend to be lenient in my approach to PWs. It may turn out to be that Bergdahl is a deserter, maybe even a traitor. Now that he’s back we’ll find out.

    His name is reminiscent of another PW. Doug Hegdahl. The incredibly stupid one, as the North Vietnamese called him.

    http://talesofseasia.com/doug.html

    …He got them off target by comparing farms in North Vietnam and South Dakota. He didn’t realize that even then the Communists were categorizing him to gauge his usefulness to their cause. His dad had about ten motel units, numberless vehicles and all kinds of land – but no water buffalo. No water buffalo meant in Vietnamese parlance that he was a “poor peasant”. This is just as well, as Communists had murdered over 20 million “rich peasants” in their various revolutions, because those folks are unreconstructed capitalists. A little be miffed at first, Doug caught on right away – he is a quick study – it was to his advantage to play out the poor peasant act to the bitter end.

    Tired of the verbal jousting the Communist cadres told him that he would have to write an anti-war statement for them. He joyously agreed. The interrogators were dumbfounded. This was the first Yankee to agree to do anything without being tortured first. They brought out the paper, ink and pens. He admired them all and then stated: “But small thing. I can’t read or write. I’m a poor peasant.” This was quite credible to the Vietnamese since their poor peasants could neither read nor write. So they assigned a Vietnamese to him to teach him penmanship, spelling, grammar and sentence structure. Immediately his learning curve went flat. Eventually, the interrogators gave up in disgust, writing a confession for him and having him sign it in an illegible scrawl. He admitted to the war crime of shelling the presidential birthplace of Ho Chi Mihn and signed it as Seaman Apprentice Douglas Brent Hegdahl III United States Navy Reserve, Commanding Officer, USS Canberra. No one has ever seen this piece of paper.

    …Because they thought him stupid they would let him go out in the cell block courtyard during the siesta to sweep up the grounds period monitored by only one sleepy peasant guard. I thought that was great since it kept him from skipping and I could get some rest. However, curiosity got the better of me and I started to watch him through a peep hole we had bored in the cell door. He’d go sweeping and humming until the guard was lulled to sleep. Then Doug would back up to a truck, spin the gas cap off the standpipe, stoop down and put a small amount [Small, because it’s goin’ to be a long war, sir.] of dirt in the gas tank and replace the cap. I watched him over a period of time do this to five trucks.

    Now, I’m a liberal arts major who shot himself down, so all I can do is report what I saw. There were five trucks working in the prison; I saw Doug work on five trucks; I saw five trucks towed disabled out of the prison camp. Doug Hegdahl, a high school graduate from the mess decks fell off a ship and has five enemy trucks to his credit. I am a World Famous Golden Dragon [VA 192] with two college degrees, 2000 jet hours, 300 carrier landings and 22 combat missions. How many enemy trucks do I have to my credit? Zero. Zip. Nada. De Rien. 0. Who’s the better man? Douglas Brent Hegdahl, one of two men I know of who destroyed enemy military equipment while a prisoner of war.

    Later on, Doug, having left his eyeglasses on board Canberra, discovered that he had difficulty linking up isolated cell blocks throughout the prison compound with his defective distance vision So he went to the authorities and asked if he could read some of their propaganda. They were delighted. Here was a prisoner, without being tortured, volunteering to read their swill. But then Doug cautioned them with his “Small thing [They never learn]; I cannot read without glasses.” So they trotted out a dime store clerk who fitted him with glasses by trying one on after the other until Doug said he could see. . His near vision was OK. Unbeknownst to the clerk, he was fitting Doug out for distance vision. Now, in between sweeps and gas tanks he was able to link up the cell blocks not only by sweeping in code but now also using the deaf spelling code.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  163. “…that resulted in the Taliban prisoners being monitored and kept in a secure way in Qatar.”

    That’s certainly not going to last long…

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (d3cdd0)

  164. Oh, Susana, oh won’t you lie for me?
    I’m busy on the golf course, with grass stains on my knee.
    I’ve never heard of Berghdal, the target is Karzai,
    We’re selling him out to Pakistan,
    Susana won’t you lie?

    nk (dbc370)

  165. “He spent more time with the Afghans than he did with his platoon,” former Spc. Jason Fry told the magazine in 2012. As a teen, the home-schooled son of Calvinists took up ballet….The strategy worked — Bergdahl, who also began dabbling in Budd­hism and tarot card reading — soon moved in with the woman.

    At age 20, he traveled to Paris and started learning French in hopes of joining the French Foreign Legion.

    That figures.

    So the questionable logic and screw-the-US-Congress strategy behind the release of a US POW in exchange for 4 Islamic terrorists are exacerbated by the US POW having all the trademarks of being a devout Obama-loving, US-is-no-better-than-elsewhere liberal, and certainly not a staunch US-loving conservative.

    Par for the course.

    BTW, Ronald Reagan’s biggest (and really only) major blunder in his 8 years in the presidency was when he went against his better (and generally right-leaning) judgement and sentiments by secretly negotiating with hostage-taking Iran. And, hence, the mess of the Iran-Contra affair.

    Since Obama has that type of weakness to the nth degree, I expect him to eventually announce he’ll be hosting a White House dinner in honor of Nidal Hasan.

    Mark (99b8fd)

  166. I have my questions as to why Bowe Bergdalhl went missing in the first place, as well as concerns about his and his family’s weirdness. But had he betrayed his country entirely and gone over to the enemy, he wouldn’t have remained a prisoner.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  167. The primary objective is to make nice-nice with the Taliban Pakistani SIS, by giving them back their people, and Bergdahl is the pretext. I know this from my sooper seekrit intelligence — so sooper seekrit only I know it. Or I’m just guessing.

    nk (dbc370)

  168. Just playing devil’s advocate, but maybe he played POW to facilitate the swap…

    Gazzer (0e6aeb)

  169. I think they’re so clueless in the Obama Administration that they don’t even realize (except for the moles)- or, maybe a bit more likely, are in denial (helped along by the moles) that they are dealing with the ISI.

    And they don’t understand what’s going on with Qatar, either.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  170. gazzer, let’s just say that I wouldn’t want to be on a bus with him or standing near him in a crowd.

    elissa (c99800)

  171. Elissa, I doubt that Barry would either.

    Gazzer (0e6aeb)

  172. Denis McDonough (who has never been a soldier and has no understanding of the profession) negotiated this exact deal back in 2012, but they made the decision not to go forward with it because of fear it would be “Obama’s Willie Horton” in the election.

    Now, he has no more elections.

    Kipling said a few words on Dane-Geld that apply in the situation at hand.

    The Israelis have been willing to swap swarms of terrorists for on captured IDF guy, and all it’s got them is more murders and more murderers trying to snag more IDF troopies to spring their fellow terrs. Anyone who thinks this is good policy should probably talk to Bibi Netanyahu and see what he thinks about it.

    Oh wait, these guys don’t talk to Netanyahu. Never mind.

    Kevin R.C. O'Brien (e11465)

  173. i don’t understand why they would send a widely-recognized lying whore like Susan Rice out to defend their actions

    they’re not even trying anymore

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  174. Even I know that, Sammy, and I’m the only one who thinks I have intelligence. Bush sold out to Pakistan before the first Tomahawk was dropped in Afghanistan. Then he sold out to the opium traffickers behind Karzai. It’s always been an unholy mess and if I fault Obama it’s for laziness and dishonesty. Nobody, in the whole history of Afghanistan, has been “competent” in dealing with those people. The Pakistanis hooked them with religion for the time being but they’ll bite off that line pretty soon, too, and go back to being honest barbarians, killers, kidnappers, and thieves.

    nk (dbc370)

  175. This was ibn Dunham’s release of the Gitmo Afghanis. A Muslim Sgt. defects with the support of his Muslim family and our government illegally releases enemy combatants so the traitor can visit home.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  176. Mr. gary if you ask me I think the horror that is America is disGUSting.

    Like when you get dog poo poo on your hands or you try sea anemone at sushi.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  177. I don’t want to be too cynical, skeptical and sarcastic about Obama and his minions, but even the story involving POW Bergdahl may take the proverbial cake. Even that may be reaching a point of absurdity.

    But I place a lot of blame for ongoing circumstances not just on Obama, but on all the people throughout this country who favor politicians like him. I feel that even more strongly because Obama’s poll ratings, while drooping, have yet to sink as low as that of George W Bush’s, meaning there are more Americans who have the warm fuzzies for someone as disreputable as Obama than for someone who was a far more decent human being and president.

    We have met the enemy and he is us—or at least all our lunk-headed fellow Americans who lean left, such as Robert and Bowe Bergdahl.

    Allenbwest.com, June 1: Take a look at this tweet from released Army SGT Bowe Bergdahl’s father — which has since disappeared from his account.

    Folks, this is either a very bad case of Stockholm Syndrome or something far more nefarious is at stake. Regardless, there is more to this than meets the eye of Obama making a unilateral decision and announcement on a Saturday — when he believes no one is watching.

    This is not just going to slip away and we’re not going to get caught up in the emotion of Bergdahl’s release. He wasn’t “captured” — he deserted his assigned post.
    ___________

    Robert Berhdahl
    @bobbergdahl

    @ABalkhi I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, ameen!

    2:43 PM – 28 May 2014
    ___________

    Mark (99b8fd)

  178. And as I said earlier, six soldiers died looking for this man.

    Gazzer (0e6aeb)

  179. well at the time of 9/11, their ISI chief was rather friendly with the Taliban and some might even say AQ, heck, Bearden couldn’t tell that Hamid Gul was pulling the wool over his eyes, they needed a Pashtun, and Karzai seemed to fit the role, the original special forces wave did well, but then State had to get involved,

    narciso (3fec35)

  180. Elissa quoted above part of an article in the New York Post, now linked at the drudgereport, but left out the most telling segment of it. The following all by itself makes perfect sense now, in that a US president who embraced a preacher and close adviser (until controversy ensued) who loved to bellow “Goddamn America!” should want to curry favor with a US enlistee and his father who apparently share the same sentiments.

    nypost.com: Bowe Bergdahl would detail his disillusionment with the Afghanistan campaign in an e-mail to his parents three days before he went missing.

    “I am sorry for everything here,” he wrote. “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.”

    “I am ashamed to be an American. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools,” he concluded. “I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting.”

    Bob Bergdahl responded in an e-mail: “OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!”

    Mark (99b8fd)

  181. 179. Yeah, believing is over for me too.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  182. happyfeet @176. Unintentional self-parody.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  183. this is who was running the Islamabad station at the outset,

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/profile/robert-grenier.html

    he’s known moatly for backstabbing Scooter Libby, and being unwilling to focus on any one target as head of the CTC, we were in good hands

    narciso (3fec35)

  184. He wasn’t “captured” — he deserted his assigned post

    Reports seem to indicate he wasn’t happy where he was. He was held prisoner.

    He learned what the Taliban really were like. If he talked to anyone before he left the base, he probably didn’t understand what was going to happen with him. He may have thought he’s going to spend some time living among the ordinary people in Afghanistan.

    He had actually asked before he left if he could leave the base with some of his equipment or supplies. Something like that.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  185. they put an inordinate trust in Qatar, despite the fact that they have proven untrustworthy, for reasons I have spelled out,

    narciso (3fec35)

  186. Among them, providing sanctuary to Chechen leader Zandarbichev, which didn’t sit well with Volodya,

    narciso (3fec35)

  187. seriously Mr. Sammy

    to have Susan lying whore Rice remonstrating to a water-carrying propaganda slut like Candy Crowley that the bergdahl blunder was some kind of genius time-sensitive masterstroke isn’t even worthy of a Parker Stone parody – it’s onanistic slappy slappy purely for food stamp and the lunch lady’s amusement

    and it’s just pathetic

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  188. Some of the people at Instapundit are suggesting that the “swap” of Bowe may be a cover for a different swap for somebody/something else that we don’t know about and they don’t ever want us to know about. Not completely implausible AFAIAC.

    elissa (c99800)

  189. this smells like John Kerry and some idiot pentagon piggies staying up late at night in a not so hidden bunker smelling their own farts

    and the next morning they pitched their Brilliant Scheme to Food Stamp who said yes yes yes but only if lying whore Susan Rice can have some tv time

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  190. 191. Some of the people at Instapundit are suggesting that the “swap” of Bowe may be a cover for a different swap for somebody/something else that we don’t know about and they don’t ever want us to know about. Not completely implausible AFAIAC.

    elissa (c99800) — 6/1/2014 @ 8:42 pm

    Could be true. Just saying, I don’t see any reason to charge blindly into the La Brea tar pits. At this moment.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  191. you have to get over the fence first Mr. 57 which would be really hard to do without peeking

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  192. I’m a patient cat, Mr. feets.

    And who’s to say I haven’t already been up on the roof, looking down into the yard.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  193. the only person you would think would be worth all the cloak and dagger, with be Sheikh Rahman, I don’t he could go to Doha, though,

    narciso (3fec35)

  194. you may be patient Mr. 57 but we’re already seeing Bowe Bergdahl for Senate bumper stickers appearing on Arizona highways

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  195. 178. gary gulrud (46ca75) — 6/1/2014 @ 7:49 pm

    A Muslim Sgt.

    No, he was a private. He was promoted two times while in captivity/AWOL. I’m not sure he was Muslim. His father sounds more Muslim than was.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/01/us/bowe-bergdahl-obama-frees-pow-of-taliban-five-years.html
    ,blockquote> As he stood at the president’s side, Robert Bergdahl said that his son was having difficulty with English after spending so much time with the Taliban, then said “bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim,” a common Arabic phrase meaning “in the name of God, most gracious, most compassionate,” and then spoke a few words in Pashto, a language of Afghanistan.

    Hours earlier on Saturday, while Sergeant Bergdahl was on an American military helicopter after his release, he wrote on a paper plate with a pen — because the noise was so loud — “S.F.?” for Special Forces, seeking to find out who was taking him away.

    The men on the helicopter yelled back, “Yes, we’ve been looking for you a long time!”

    At which point, according to a senior defense official, Sergeant Bergdahl broke down crying.
    It sounds like he thought it was a rescue, not an exchange.

    Is this the same person I remember reading about years ago? Did this happen more than once? Maybe the other case in Iraq.

    Here’s a story from 2 years ago:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/14/us/bowe-bergdahls-unlikely-journey-to-life-as-a-taliban-prisoner.html?pagewanted=all_r=0&pagewanted=print

    defects with the support of his Muslim family

    His father may have been teling him bad things. In the 2012 article he says he thinks they were sending soldiers out of roads to be attackked by ED’s so they have some intelligence about where the Taliban were.

    It may have been more a desertion than a defection. The Taliban told their people they had captured him in a latrine, Bergdahl himself claimed in a Taliban-released video that he’d lagged behind in a patrol, and the army said he’d walked off a remote outpost during a counterinsurgency mission.

    In the news now is that he didn’t like the fact than army truck had run over a small boy and they didn’t seem to feel it.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  196. happyfeet @190. to have Susan lying whore Rice remonstrating to a water-carrying propaganda slut like Candy Crowley that the bergdahl blunder was some kind of genius time-sensitive masterstroke isn’t even worthy of a Parker Stone parody..

    Truth is stranger than South Park.

    Obama doesn’t think there’s something crippled about Susan Rice’s credibility.

    Jay Carney, maybe.

    Sammy Finkelman (c3c6b4)

  197. Mr. feets @197, even I have to admit Bergdahl would be an improvement over what Arizona keeps sending to the Senate.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  198. McCain? Really?

    Steve57 (61329d)

  199. Oh! Oh! They both were taken prisoner and held for about the same number of years.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  200. As happy said, something about this whole story stinks. I would not say that except:

    Obamacare
    Unemployment
    The economy
    VA
    Benghazi
    IRS
    Cash for Cars
    Syria
    Libya
    Russia and Ukraine
    Israel
    Immigration
    GM
    Quantitative-easing
    Minimum wage
    Green energy
    Bail-outs
    Shovel-ready jobs
    War on Women
    Gay marriage
    Global warming
    The Obama doctrine

    I could go on. Regardless many of those are no longer stories. Why? Because the President, his handlers and the press don’t want them to be stories. The administration knows it can make a big deal about one thing or another for one or two press cycles and then all will be forgotten.

    Next week’s story will be whether Obama bypassed Congress to release the Taliban members from Gitmo legally. The spin will be what matter does it make? He did what he had to do to rescue an American. All criticism is political, racist and what difference does it make, an American is free.

    By Tuesday, it will be something else and the VA just fades away. And Obamacare, what is that?

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  201. well the hunt for the SkyDragon is this week’s upcoming meme, however this might make this story linger:

    http://twitchy.com/2014/06/01/bob-bergdahl-now-tweeting-for-more-guantanamo-releases/

    Obamacare will still be an issue, because it’s a boot we all feel,

    narciso (3fec35)

  202. 177. nk (dbc370) — 6/1/2014 @ 7:45 pm

    Bush sold out to Pakistan before the first Tomahawk was dropped in Afghanistan.

    What he did was, after threatening Mushareff, is accept them as an ally. I don’t he understood at all about the ISI – otherwise he would have blamed them for September 11th, or wanted to make really, really sure they weren’t involved.

    When Osama bin Laden was being chased out of Afghanistan, and cornered in Tora Bora, Bush and Rumsfeld relied on Pakistan to guard that side of the border. That was the mistake, not what Kerry later said, which was that Bush and Rumsfeld had not sent enough troops to the Tora Bora area. (Kerry said nothing about Pakistan)

    And we all know that Pakistan was turning over insignificant people to the U.S., and some innocent people, and not the most important Talkiban or al Qaeda people, and especially, no citizens of Pakistan.

    And the U.S. government trusted them!

    Really, only moles can explain all of this.

    Then he sold out to the opium traffickers behind Karzai.

    Maybe half-accepted them.

    The original mistake, was made by Reagan,- even if you argue that there was little choice with some of it – when he allowed Pakistan intelligence to direct where and and to whom aid to resist the Soviet Union would go. They chose, and actually created, Islamists, and didn’t help anybody else.

    This mistake was repeated by Obaam in Syria. Except here it wasn’t Pakistan but Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

    It’s always been an unholy mess and if I fault Obama it’s for laziness and dishonesty. Nobody, in the whole history of Afghanistan, has been “competent” in dealing with those people. The Pakistanis hooked them with religion for the time being but they’ll bite off that line pretty soon, too, and go back to being honest barbarians, killers, kidnappers, and thieves.

    I don’t think there’s natural violence. There is some personal violence, but the sikhs weer warriors, too. Oh, the ISI rganized Sikhs too, for a while, and sent bombs to be put on 2 Air India planes in 1985 (one bomb was caught) and they assassinated Indira Gandhi, and later they probably were behind the Tamil Tigers, but they seem to have dropped all these other movemnets and religions and now just about all terrorism is Islamic. The IRA has even retired. The Basques are a tiny remnant, mostly concerned with avoiding arrest and prosecution. In Latin America, it was always business.

    Sammy Finkelman (c3c6b4)

  203. Yes, in part, Carter had cut off contacts with Zia after the coup, until the time of the Soviet invasion, the ISI’s more militant wing, typified by Gul, Colonel Sultan and co, did prefer the likes of Hekmatyar HIG, Younis Khalis, (godfather of the Taliban) Raisul Sayyaf and others over Massoud, Rabbani and co,

    narciso (3fec35)

  204. …Really, only moles can explain all of this…

    Well, moles and Teh Sammeh™!

    Seriously, dude, take a step back. Nk has given you some good advice, and you should listen. Look at the history of his posts.

    Simon Jester (f510e9)

  205. 206. Good point, maybe. Carter made the decision to help an Afghn insurgency.

    But it didn’t ramp up, and it didn’t become clear what was going on, and it didn’t get tilted to Islamists, and it didn’t go on for years that way, until after Reagan was president.

    Sammy Finkelman (c3c6b4)

  206. Barry-O’s just getting warmed up. Time’s running out for him to fundamentally transform our great nation. He won’t be idle for the next two years. Watch for daily updates to the law according to Obama. You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

    creeper (f020d1)

  207. 198. Begone, defacer of whitespace. A pox on you and your minders.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  208. 210. Understood and forewarned.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  209. Bergdahl’s family isn’t Muslim at all – just radical apparently.

    This trade may also an agreement Obama made with Afghanistan – that all releaed afghans were to go to Afghanistan. Although what Karzai has in mind in complaining that they are going to Qatar, is not clear, unless he wants to threaten to arrest them.

    Sammy Finkelman (c3c6b4)

  210. Can you imagine how deep the bunkers would be in the WH by now if the press hated Obama?

    Kevin M (b357ee)


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