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Posts published in “Day: June 7, 2014”

Rarely so simple

idaho RANDY

We hate unresolved questions. And we hate not knowing for sure what to think about something. Good? Bad? We want to know where to slot it.

The Bergdahl case probably will gnaw at a lot of people for quite a while. We aren't completely sure what to make of him, or what we should have done – or should do now – about him. War, messy and unpredictable beast it is, has a way of producing irritating loose ends like Bergdahl.

Go back a year, and what did we know? That U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, whose home town was Hailey, had been held by the Taliban for four years. On June 20 last year, Idaho's congressional delegation issued a joint statement on the possibility of a prisoner exchange: “Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Bowe Bergdahl and his family. His safe return has always been of the utmost importance to us, and his well-being is something we raise with senior administration officials whenever possible.”

Why would the delegation have said anything much different than that “his safe return had always been of the utmost importance to us”? He and his family were, among other things, United States citizens and constituents.

Such quotes have been a constant from the beginning. In July 2009: “With the Pentagon now confirming his identity, we add our thoughts and prayers with others for his reunion with family, friends and Army colleagues. Private Bergdahl represents Idaho and his nation courageously.”

On April 8 this year, Senator Mike Crapo, in an interview with KBOI-TV, reported on a trip to Afghanistan: “And with every one of those meetings at highest levels, I raised the issue of Bowe Bergdahl. I'm pleased to report that not only had they heard of him, they were co-ordinating among themselves. It is a priority for them.” But he also suggested, based on what he'd heard, the idea of extracting him forcibly, rather than negotiating a release, was not realistic.

These recitations aren't gotchas; to the contrary, they're what most people would expect any congressional delegation to say. That's true even with this: Reports that Bergdahl may have walked away from his post, may have deserted, have surfaced and flown around the Internet for a long time. (“May” is a key word here: This is a subject hotly debated, not yet resolved.) Anyone who has followed the Bergdahl case even peripherally has not been surprised to see them surface again now. (more…)

On the front pages


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)

Battle over Canyon Co fair continues (Boise Statesman)
Seattle shooting blocked by student (Boise Statesman, Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
Bergdahl getting support in Hailey (IF Post Register)
Nuclear controls going more digital (IF Post Register)
Looking ahead to state party conventions (Moscow News)
Pocatello gay initiatve vote challenged (Pocatello Journal)
Revived semi-pro baseball team sells out (Pocatello Journal)
New sign code adopted for Sandpoint (Sandpoint Bee)
Snake River coating caused by algae bloom (TF Times News)

Hatchery salmon numbers to be reduced (Coos Bay World)
Former Waremart store may be call center (Eugene Register Guard)
Lane primary election winners certified (Eugene Register Guard)
Klamath sheriff gets armored vehicle (KF Herald & News)
Reviewing possible library district (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Tuition frozen for Oregon undergrads (Ashland Tidings)
Seattle shooter stopped by student (Medford Tribune)
Umatilla tribe buys back 400 tracts (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Umatilla forest plan under review (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Salem area graduations (Salem Statesman Journal)

Follow about the SPU shooting incident (Seattle Times, Spokane Spokesman, Tacoma News Tribune, Everett Herald, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic, Kennewick Herald, Longview News, Olympian)
School security enhanced in area (Everett Herald)
Woodland detective sues chief on sexual harassment (Langview News)
Half of people say justice system unfair (Olympian)
Pharmacy service firm cuts at Liberty Lake (Spokane Spokesman)
More battles on oil trains at Vancouver (Vancouver Columbian)