President Obama must have actually believed he was going to score political points for bringing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl home. Why else would he have invited Bergdahl’s parents to the Rose Garden for a celebration? I guess it never occurred to him that Americans might not approve of the release of five Taliban leaders in exchange for Bergdahl, who deserted his unit before he was captured.
Now that everything is hitting the fan, Obama is doing what he does best – blaming others. He is pinning the blame for the Bergdahl swap on Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. (Via The Lid)
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel – not President Obama – executed the administration’s final call to proceed with the prisoner exchange of five ranking Taliban detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, administration officials told Congress today in a classified briefing today.
“They indicated [it was] Secretary Hagel [who made the final call],” House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon, R-California, told reporters following the briefing Monday evening. “It was the president of the United States that came out [in the Rose Garden] with the Bergdahls and took all the credit and now that there’s been a little pushback he’s moving away from it and it’s Secretary Hagel?”
Officials also told Congress that 80 to 90 people within the administration knew of its plans to go forward with the controversial swap, exacerbating tensions between the White House and members of Congress.
“They made it clear that there were 80 to 90 people who knew ahead of time about the Bergdahl release,” Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told reporters. “There was a sense of anger that members of Congress didn’t know about this. Obviously, if there is secure information — members of Congress knew about the capture of Osama bin Laden — and yet 80 to 90 staff in the White House knew about this. (Read More)
In related news, in 2012 Obama reportedly wanted to free the five Taliban detainees without any trade at all. But now the whole thing is Hagel’s fault?