Short version: Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban in 2009. Today, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel reported that the US government had made arrangements via the government of Qatar to exchange five Taliban terrorists held at Gitmo for Sgt. Bergdahl. The swap was duly made and Sgt. Bergdahl is now on his way home.
I say the following fully respecting the fact that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl*and his family/loved ones might have an extremely understandably different opinion on the situation:
- The people we exchanged for Sgt. Bergdahl will end up running terrorist operations in Afghanistan if we're lucky, and Afghanistan and abroad if we are not. And they will likely be doing it considerably sooner than a year from now.
- The Taliban will step up their kidnapping campaigns, because from their point of view said campaigns have been proven to work.
- Democratic, liberal, and progressive partisans will freak if you point out either #1 or #2 to them. That particularly smarmy freaking that the more obnoxious examples do when they think that they've got the moral drop on you.
It's a heck of a thing when your only hope is Maybe they put a remote tracker in one guy's gut or some other techno-thriller nonsense. Unfortunately, no, this is not a Tom Clancy novel and we do not have a Jack Ryan in office. And I'm sorry that I have to be the one that gets to tell people hard truths like Rewarding kidnapping gets more people kidnapped. But apparently telling people the things that they don't want to hear is part of the entire 'Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy' thing.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: The Daily Beast (via Hot Air) has a list of the people that we traded. ...We gave up some bad people in exchange for Sgt. Bergdahl. Ethnic cleansers, military leaders, drug lords; to its credit, the Beast seems almost as apprehensive about this move as I am. But check out their comments section for some prime examples of #3.
*I'm glad he's home safe, and I wouldn't blame him in the slightest if Sgt. Bergdahl chooses to focus on that fact. But SecDef Hagel clearly wanted the man released in the worst way; we know this because Hagel pretty much chose the worst way to get him freed...