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Misguided “Win-Win” Situation? Obama: “This Is a Good Thing” and Military Analysts: “Strategic Win for Taliban”

Tue June 03 2014 6:55 am
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Bergdahl’s parents, Bob Bergdahl and Jani Bergdahl speak at White House. The parents of U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl joined President Obama as they await their son’s return.

“The recovery and reintegration of Bowe Bergdahl is a work in progress,” Bob Bergdahl told reporters Sunday in Boise, Idaho, just one day after his captive son was set free from the Taliban in Afghanistan. At the White House Rose Garden, Bob Bergdahl spoke rhetorically of wondering if his son still remembers English and “spoke to him” in Arabic and Afghanistan’s language Pashto. The communication was obviously appealing to the emotions of the audience, and perhaps intended as an expression for a future viewing of the video by his son. At the end of the Rose Garden presentation announcing the release of Bowe Bergdahl, President Barack Obama gave mother Jani Bergdahl a kiss on the cheek, and whispered “this is a good thing.”

Bergdahl arrived Sunday morning at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, a U.S. Defense official said. However, there has been no word on Bergdahl’s condition. Bowe Bergdahl, age 23 at the time of his capture, was last seen in a video obtained by the U.S. military in January in which he appeared in diminished health.

CNN’s Barbara Starr outlines how exactly the United States executed the prisoner exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Although a tense mission, U.S. special operations forces recovered Bergdahl without incident early Saturday local time at a pickup point in eastern Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan. American officials said the government of Qatar brokered the deal.

After Bergdahl was released in Afghanistan, a series of secret procedures was set in motion so each side knew the other side was meeting their obligations of the trade of Bergdahl for five Taliban terrorists from Guantanamo Bay. Qatari officials were already at Guantanamo and took custody of the detainees as a U.S. Air Force aircraft carrying them left the U.S. Navy base in Cuba on Saturday afternoon.

The freed Taliban are described as major strategic players for the Taliban, not just foot soldiers.

5 Taliban Leaders Back in Qatar; the Taliban terrorist group considers their release a major victory.

Josh Korder, former U.S> Army Sergeant: ‘He’s At Best a Deserter, And At Worst a Traitor.’ CNN’s Tom Foreman reports on the multitude of complex issues surrounding the recent release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

A reporter asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Sunday whether Bergdahl had left his post without permission or deserted — and, if so, whether he would be punished. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel didn’t answer directly. “Our first priority is assuring his well-being and his health and getting him reunited with his family,” Hagel said.

Was the prisoner exchange that freed Bergdahl legal? Joe Johns reports on whether the President is allowed to bypass Congress when authorizing a prisoner swap.

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Monday there will be hearings on whether the Obama administration broke the law in trading five Taliban Guantánamo Bay detainees for Bowe Bergdahl.

“My perception is he broke the law by not informing Congress 30 days before,” Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., said in an appearance on MSNBC, referring to a 2013 law that requires the administration to notify Congress before detainees from the detention camp are released.

There is brewing anger over the mystery of why five terrorist were released for one soldier, who many veterans believe is a deserter. Meanwhile critics argue the White House has presented the exchange as a resounding triumph in the White House Rose Garden complete with celebratory hugs and kisses, and Bob Bergdahl speaking in Arabic and Afghanistan Pashto to his son Bowe Berghahl, who the Pentagon never listed as a Prisoner of War.

According to a former senior military officer briefed on the investigation of Private Bowe Bergdahl’s disappearance, Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl left behind a note in his tent sometime after midnight on June 30, 2009, saying he had become disillusioned with the Army, claiming he did not support the American mission in Afghanistan, and explaining that he was leaving to start a new life. He disappeared off the remote military outpost in Paktika Province on the border with Pakistan and took with him a soft backpack, water, knives, a notebook and writing materials. He left his weapons and body armor.

It has been a busy couple of weeks for Afghanistan and the United States.

A little over a week ago there was a White House leak that outed a CIA chief. The CIA official’s name, identified as “chief of station,” was included in the White House press office’s basic list of senior officials President Obama met with during his surprise visit to Afghanistan on Sunday. The list of 15 names apparently came first from the military, and was circulated by the White House press office.

The list then went to a much wider audience after the information was reviewed by the White House, when it was included as part of what’s known as a “pool report,” which in this case was filed by The Washington Post’s Scott Wilson.

CNN’s Brianna Keilar speaks to Ryan Lizza and Bob Baer about the political and security implications of the CIA leak.

President Barack Obama also surprised troops Memorial Day weekend with a secret visit in Afghanistan.

John King, Juana Summers & Alex Seitz-Wald weigh in Obama’s surprise visit to Afghanistan following the VA scandal.

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