Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Tale of Three Prisoner Releases
The hostages huddled in the airport awaiting the plane that would bring them from Iran back to the United States. I imagine it was a rather anxious time wondering if it was real and not a sick Iranian joke. On the other side of the world, stressed families also waited to see if they were truly going to see their loved ones again.
This was all part of two-track negotiations with Iran. One track was the effort to convince Iran to cease its attempts to build nuclear weapons. As part of that, the U.S. agreed to release funds we'd had frozen for decades. In addition, we were to release some of Iran's hostages and they were to release some of ours. It was all very intertwined and complex.
There's still not much trust between Iran and America so sensibly, the Obama administration made the decision not to turn over their money - $400 million - until our hostages were safely released just in case Iran decided to renege. This seems like the soul of commonsense to me.
But, of course, conservatives were outraged, outraged, I say! In their eyes, it was paying ransom for hostages. In the administration's eyes, it was getting the maximum benefit from something that was going to happen anyway.
Can you even imagine the Republican screaming if Obama hadn't gotten our hostages released? Then they would have been yelling furiously about how the president abandoned them because he simply didn't care!
It was the same with Bowe Bergdahl. The Republicans ranted and raved because the administration didn't get our soldier back from the Taliban. Our sacred honor was at stake. America NEVER abandons it's own!
So, Bowe Bergdahl came home, not to a hero's welcome, but to face charges of desertion. But that wasn't enough for Republicans. Now they said, we should not have wasted our time and effort to rescue him. Now they said he was a filthy deserter who should be hanged on the spot! We doan' need no steenken' trial!
Documents released from the first investigation, which have not previously been disclosed, indicate that the Army’s 22-member investigative team, which spent two months interviewing scores of witnesses and compiled the report that formed the initial basis for prosecuting Sergeant Bergdahl, never proposed that he could be tried on the most serious charge he now faces which carries a sentence of up to a year in prison.
And how did that happen? The usual pissing and moaning by the right from people who don't know what the hell they are talking about and should never have poked their noses in an on-going trial.
John McCain, for instance, who stated Bergdahl "clearly deserted his post" and who promised to hold congressional hearings if Bergdahl isn't sufficiently punished in a way McCain approves of. And yes, our favorite presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has insisted all along that Bergdahl is a "dirty, rotten traitor".
And then there was Andrew Tahmooressi, the former Marina who was arrested and imprisoned in Mexico for 7 months for bringing guns across the border. He said he made a wrong turn...and perhaps he did.
Of course, the Obama administration had absolutely nothing to do with Tahmooressi's release. According to one conservative source, Donald Trump sent money to the ex-Marine whom Obama had "left to rot in Mexico".
And how do they know there weren't negotiations going on behind the scene? Well, they just do. The Mexican judge released Tahmooressi from jail out of the kindness of his heart. American officials had absolutely nothing to do with it.
So, the Obama administration obviously can't win with these folks. They got the Iranian hostages released....bad. They got Bowe Bergdahl released....bad. They didn't get Tahmooressi released, that credit goes to someone else....bad.
Do you think they would ever admit anything Obama did was good? Do they simply bald-faced lie or are they so far gone in Obama hate that they believe what they say?