Left excuses Obama’s deal with the devil for Bergdahl release

Tabliban releasedNews and opinion travel fast on today’s information superhighway. No sooner does a feckless Barack Obama jubilantly announce in the Rose Garden that a “prisoner of war” is being returned to his family after five years in captivity than the vultures in the media begin to pick apart the story. Among their discoveries are that the soldier in question, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, voluntarily “walked away from his unit” in 2009 and that soldiers who served with him call him a deserter, and worse. The prisoner exchange that led to Bergdahl’s freedom, moreover, was not an even-up swap. It involved the return to the Middle East of five extremely dangerous high-level Taliban players in the war on terror.

If that’s not enough, yesterday the Washington Post revealed that Bergdahl’s father, who sports an unkempt beard similar to the ones the mullahs wear, published a tweet last week directed at a Taliban spokesman, reading:

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

Lest there be any question that Robert Bergdahl was not keen on the American public knowing his views, he deleted the tweet, though screen grabs of it remain.

The White House, which by the purest coincidence consummated this deal around the time its new job-killing EPA regulation hit the fan, was expecting high fives from the media — not questions. Instead, members of his military are now evaluating whether Sgt. Bergdahl should face a court martial. And the beleaguered White House has yet another “phony scandal” on its hands.

Luckily for Obama, his backers in the press have galloped in on their black steeds, hoping to rescue him for another buzz saw. Michael Crowley, writing at Time, posits that “Obama didn’t negotiate with ‘terrorists’ for Bergdahl.” Crowley then goes on to contradict himself and writes that Obama did negotiate with terrorists but that it’s OK because other presidents have done it, too. He never explains how multiple wrongs, if we accept his premise, make a right, but his parting observation is less-than-supportive of the White House:

Obama may have cut a lousy deal. But he hardly violated a sacred American principle.

Michael Tomasky of the Daily Beast comes up with a more inventive argument for why the bullies in the media and court of public opinion should lay off Obama. He writes:

Let’s imagine that on Saturday night, the news had emerged not that Bowe Bergdahl was being freed but that he’d been murdered by his Taliban captors. What do you suppose we’d be hearing from Republican legislators? You know exactly what: Barack Obama is the weakest president ever, this is unconscionable. Which, of course, is exactly what we’re hearing from them now that the U.S. Army sergeant, held by the Taliban since 2009, has been freed. And it’s going to get worse. I’m even tempted to say forget Benghazi — Bergdahl may well end up being the flimsy excuse for the impeachment hearings they’ve been dreaming of before all this is over.

Then he picks up Crowley’s everybody-does-it argument. But wasn’t Obama supposed to be a different breed of president? Didn’t he promise to change the way Washington worked?

Obama wasn’t alone in that immodest prediction. One liberal commentator wrote late in 2008, mere weeks before Obama took the oath of office, that the president-elect had “already signaled that he’s going to do grand things, huge things – dare I say heretofore unimaginable things.”

The author of those words? Michael Tomasky.

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