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Into the Fog, as Predicted

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When the President traded five high-value Taliban commanders for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, in patent violation of United States law, we were told that there would be, in good time, a full investigation into the circumstances under which Bergdahl left his unit and wound up with the enemy.  But a full investigation would take weeks, perhaps months.  In the meantime, the first priority was to see to Sgt. Bergdahl's health.  There would be, so we were assured, an accounting later whether Bergdahl was, as many in his unit charged, a shirker and a deserter.

I was skeptical.  I wrote a little more than three months ago:

I [may have] overestimated the President's willingness to act directly and take responsibility for letting Bergdahl off the hook.  It now appears more likely that, while I was correct in saying there isn't going to be any honest investigation, there may not be any pardon as such, either.  Why should there be? Why should there be, that is, when the President can just believe  --  not unintelligently  -- that, if dragged out for long enough, the whole thing will disappear into the fog of even more prominent scandals?

And sure enough.  The Hill newspaper has this Friday afternoon newsdump story titled, "Army Won't Release Bergdahl Review." 

Goodness gracious!  Still, I can take only piddling credit for prescience.  Anyone with the IQ of a tomato understands that this Administration's promises of "accountability" in the by-and-by are nothing but the first step of "dragg[ing] it out for long enough [so that] the whole thing will disappear into the fog of even more prominent scandals."

6 Comments

This is a thoroughly disgusting Administration and rotten to the absolute core.

Guys died looking for this deserter.

The matter of the legality of the trade is worthy of discussion/criticism, but the matter of the investigation is not. I laud the CID and JAG for keeping their cool, under intense scrutiny, whilst they investigate the matter of Bergdahl's disappearance.

If Mr Otis had quoted more than the headline, the facts of of the non-release would seem a little less controversial.

I quote from the first few paragraphs: "The Army is looking into whether Bergdahl deserted his post or was absent without leave, both of which would bepunishable under military law and force him to forfeit hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages accrued during captivity.
Army Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl completed a review of this case this week, but Hall declined to set a timeline for a final decision.
“At this time, it would be inappropriate to speculate on the potential results or the amount of time the review process will take to complete," Hall said. "

Here's to you, Gen Dahl, for standing up to the critics and naysayers

I'm not blaming anyone for keeping his cool. I just don't want an indefinite coverup. Do you?

Let me ask two questions:

1. Is the public entitled to know the facts surrounding Bergdahl's disappearance and the President's decision to trade five high-value terrorist commanders for him?

2. If so, when? Only post-election?

Hello Mr. Otis,

1. Yes
2. When they finish the investigation and make a final determination whether to charge him or not.

Would you expect a criminal investigation on say, a murder, to make its findings public before they brought charges against a suspect?

Thank you for your direct answer.

To give you an equally direct answer: An investigation by a military officer is not like that of a civilian grand jury, whose operations are secret under centuries of common law.

The Army already has a review of Bergdahl's conduct. The public's right to know in this instance outweighs whatever "right" Bergdahl has to keep that review hushed-up until it's politically less costly to the Administration to release it.

Courts marshal -- if there ever is a court marshal, which I seriously doubt -- can be screened off from the influence of publicity to a much greater extent than exists in civilian society.

I would like the Administration to release the facts it so loudly promised us.

I am not sure what you mean by right to know. If you are referring to right to know in the FOIA sense, then someone should make that request. If you mean in the political accountability sense, that's a matter of opinion. I am willing to wait to know, in that sense.

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