5 to 1, baby 1 in 5

Discussion in 'Free Speech Alley' started by mancha, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. mancha

    mancha Alabama morghulis

    Ok, this has got to be a hot button topic.

    Bowe Bergdhal. Deserter? Victim of unfortunate circumstance? Was the price paid too much? Did the Obama administration break the law by going behind Congresses back? Maybe it was necessary because nothing gets done in Congress and this decision had to be made. But does it set Obama up for scrutiny. I think so. This will be a political issue.

    Our recently retired (one day before the announcement of the swap) Press Secretary said last year nothing would be done without consulting Congress.
    2013 Quote: "As we have long said, however, we would not make any decisions about transfer of any detainees without consulting with Congress and without doing so in accordance with U.S. law."

    I have gone back and forth on this one. It certainly makes a statement that we will not leave a soldier behind. Very honorable commitment. However, we traded away 5 of the most notorious Taliban for someone who is now looking like a deserter. The administration gives vague assurances that they will never be a problem again but that seems like a weak promise.

    It is a tough call but I think the wrong decision was made. Time will tell.

  2. LaSalleAve

    LaSalleAve when in doubt, mumble

    Jesus Obama sneezing sets him up for scrutiny. He did this he will get blasted by Republicans, had he not he would still get blasted by republicans.
  3. Winston1

    Winston1 Senior Member

    Tough one here. Obviously I have little confidence in the president's decision making kills so I am prejudiced. I think there several considerations.
    1) The fact that his fellow soldiers were pissed and felt he was a deserter, mourned those killed searching for Bergdahl and were pissed at the swap.
    2) It could have been against the law as Obama didn't consult congress and it certainly broke several of his promises (no surprise there)
    3) It does fulfill an oft stated maxim not to leave any comrade behind
    4) It is unlikely that the Taliban released will really be a major assistance to the Taliban. They are too old and out of touch to be of real impact.

    So there is some balance but the weight of the decision falls on the side of the soldiers and the law. I would rather trust the decision of Bergdahl's team than the politicians.
  4. mancha

    mancha Alabama morghulis

    My slightest suspicion is that the Murderous Five had their real eyes replaced by Google eyes and we have struck a new high in counter intelligence. My slightest suspicion also is that Bergdhal was converted and he will now be embedded in the US to attempt to kill the Vice President. His wife has great tits and his daughter is fucked in the head. But you see I am too much into pop culture for those to be good suspicions.
    Winston1 likes this.
  5. mancha

    mancha Alabama morghulis

    Given what we are learning, I think the Republicans would not do the deal. Now, if they were in charge and the Democrats learned of this, then the Dems would be up in arms that the deal wasn't done. But there is not many statements coming out about the morality/ethics of the prisoner swap itself (without political grandstanding that it wasn't handled the correct way).

    I am curious what the split on this situation is. Maybe it is not a party thing but something else.
  6. mancha

    mancha Alabama morghulis

    Also, there may be a larger motive than a simple prisoner swap. Of course there is. These guys are a pawn in a larger game. Good faith swap with the Taliban to further peace talks? I don't know. This seems like a poker move to me.
  7. LaSalleAve

    LaSalleAve when in doubt, mumble

    Unfortunately in today's politricks, whatever anyone does the other side opposes. Me personally we have drones, and can probably find this asshole. Bug him, trade him for our guy, and follow the bug. Chances are you find a roaches nest.
    mancha likes this.
  8. Bengal B

    Bengal B Founding Member

    When I saw the title of this thread I thought it was about a song by the Doors.

    5 to 1 baby, 1in 5. No one here gets out alive
  9. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

    There are always tradeoffs in matters like this. It is in the best interests of the US to carefully consider them and not just be dogmatic or make knee-jerk reactions. My thoughts:

    1. Obviously we cannot leave Afghanistan without arranging for recovery of our prisoners. There is a long precedent for this in every war we have fought. It doesn't matter if he got captured while fighting, while out walking like a dumbfuck, or if he was drunk, stoned, or looney. He's one of ours and we get him back. Even if he was a deserter. But somehow I don't think so. The Army would have made much more of it he was known to have deserted. He certainly didn't do any anti-American videos or anything.

    2. There is also precedent for not giving Congress too much warning on sensitive matters like this. Ronald Reagan himself secretly and illegally sold missiles to Iran in return for civilian prisoners and never told Congress about it at all. That was only revealed when Oliver North got caught giving the profits from that to illegally fund the Nicaraguan Contras. North fell on his sword to protect Ronny.

    3. Prisoner swaps are also standard procedure after a war. To get back our 560 POWs in Vietnam, we not only freed North Vietnamese and Viet Cong prisoners but also agreed not to prosecute NV officials with war crimes they are known to have committed. The Israelis routinely trade 250 prisoners for a single Israeli prisoner.

    4. What else are the Guantanamo prisoners useful for except as bargaining chips? It was a questionable move for Bush to make the fight against Al Qaida into a "War on Terror" rather than an international law enforcement effort. The Al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners should have been prosecuted in US courts and be serving life sentences in Super-Max federal prisons. Instead, they have been determined to be Prisoners of War by the Geneva Convention and at the conclusion of the "war" must be released. We have already violated many Geneva Convention rights of these prisoners and consider them criminals, yet we refuse to try them in US courts and sentence them.

    Sooner or later we will have no choice but to try them or release them. The GOP has resisted attempts to try them in US courts, for reason that are difficult to understand. Obama wants to close Guantanamo but cannot unless the prisoners are tried and sentenced or released. Better to release a handful in exchange for our last POW than simply release them in a few years anyway.

    Meanwhile the rest of them sleep in cinder-block dorms, socialize, play soccer, and plot their martyrdom together. If they are POWs, we must release them soon. If they are criminals, we must try them soon. If they are neither . . . the problem lingers on.

    It's time to recognize that we cannot hold criminals forever without trial by our own laws and we must prosecute them, convict them, and sentence them to a cell for 23 hours a day with an hour alone in a courtyard for exercise. No one has ever escaped from a Super-Max prison.

    5. Might these prisoners return to the fight? A few have already, but the fight they return to is the Taliban fight for control of Afghanistan, not the terror campaign against the US. We have released none of the prisoners that engaged in terror attacks against us, only those that were fitting in the battlefields. After 13 years in prison most of those released think they have done their duty and have no interest in being recaptured. Others are simply in no condition for further fighting due to age and infirmities, including mental health issues. I think we don't need to worry about them much.

    6. When released these prisoners must go somewhere. Best they go to friendly states like Oman, who has an interest in keeping an eye on radicals. Oman has promised to keep them for a year, probably in fairly comfy house arrest. One wonders how eager they might be to return to the caves and guerrilla fighting in Afghanistan. But they won't be our responsibility any more. If they piss off the Omanis, they will be executed. And anything could happen to them since they are not under our guard and not our responsibility.

    Hell, our secret CIA corporate mercenary army may be able to make them disappear for a mere $50 million per perp. :D
  10. shane0911

    shane0911 Veteran Member Staff Member

    We do not negotiate with terrorist. Deplorable decision by Barry. What else did you expect?
    gyver likes this.

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