Writings and observations

frazier DAVID
FRAZIER

 
Boise
Guardian

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.

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Frazier

obama bergdahl

Standing in the White House Rose Garden the afternoon of May 31, President Barack Obama spoke about the recovery of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl — an American soldier who spent nearly five years in captivity during the war in Afghanistan. Standing with Sgt. Bergdahl’s parents, Bob and Jani, from Hailey, the President said that “while Bowe was gone, he was never forgotten.”. (image capture/White House)

 
After the crush of the primary election and its immediate aftermath, things quieted down a bit and ease off with the passage of Memorial Day and the (de facto) arrival of summer.

But there was news. The release of long-term POW Bowe Bergdahl made regional news at the end of the week. In Oregon and Idaho, the parties pulled themselves together (as much as they could) as work begins for the general election. And the last stages of prep begins for the summer recreation season.

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Briefings

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Bergdahls talk at Boise (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
EPA emission rules impacting Idaho (Boise Statesman)
Pullman high school graduation (Moscow News)
Idaho federal lands group hires attorney (Moscow News)
Senate Education panel changing (TF Times News)

Parking plans back to Corvallis council (Corvallis Gazette Times)
Plans for independent grocery at Creswell (Eugene Register Guard)
Charter school okayed at Eagle Point (Medford Tribune)
National view of OR senate race (Medford Tribune)
Online health information in OR program (Portland Oregonian)
Law enforcement cuts in rural Oregon (Portland Oregonian)
Tracking collars on two more wolves (Salem Statesman Journal)
More plans for tsunami emergencies (Salem Statesman Journal)

Discussions planned on homeless (Everett Herald)
Mukilteo ferry move get federal grant help (Everett Herald)
Liquor prices up, sales down (Vancouver Columbian, Kennewick Herald, Longview News)
Debate over exchange, freed POW (Kennewick Herald)
Significant erosion near Zintel Canyon Dam (Kennewick Herald)
Two dead Ranier climbers ID’d, climb in review (Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune, Vancouver Columbian, Olympian)
Transgender health bills considered (Olympian)
Voters Tuesday consider smart meter plan (Port Angeles News)
Lawsuit filed against timber harvest (Port Angeles News)
Impact of $15 minimum wage (Seattle Times)
Briefs I-90 closures this week (Spokane Spokesman)

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First Take