Just about anyone has to feel good about the release of Hailey’s Bowe Bergdahl.
The young soldier was captive of the Taliban in Afghanistan for nearly five years and the subject of countless prayers, yellow ribbons, and pleas from his parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl.
However, his release and eventual return to what we assume will be civilian life will be the subject of strong debates among those who question the circumstances of his capture. “Hero or villain?” will be the question as the national media join the discussion.
The delicate issue for the military and Obama is ride the wave of euphoria about the release and deflect questions of HOW Bowe was captured — without his weapon. It will be an interesting story to follow.
U.S. Senator James Risch is on the senate intelligence committee and he indicated during an interview with the legacy media that President Obama and his administration had breached a deal with congress to give 30 days warning before any prisoners would be released from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba.
Bergdahl was traded for five enemy combatants and administration officials say secrecy was needed to save the soldier.
Then there is the issue of negotiating for freedom — in essence paying a ransom. It has long been USA policy to stand tough and not negotiate for fear of encouraging other kidnappings.
Bob Bergdahl has talked about son Bowe’s quest to “help the people of Afghanistan,” but he carefully avoided using the term “fighting.” The articulate parent held a press conference at Gowen Field Sunday, but answered no questions. His massive beard is a concession to the Afghan culture and he revealed he had also learned the language as well.
While it would be nice for Bowe to return to the adoration of all Americans, we suspect the homecoming may be somewhat muted, despite the good photo-op for a big July Fourth Parade. We still have a month to go for the parade scenario to work out.
Former TWA pilot B. Christian Zimmerman of Cascade was held hostage in Lebanon by Muslim Terrorists aboard flight 847 in June 1985. His release was timed to get him home in time for a July Fourth parade down Cascade’s Main Street. He is now an ordained Lutheran minister preaching in Ontario.