Right-wing attacks on recently-released POW Bowe Bergdahl have been absolutely relentless. Todd Kincannon, the former GOP chairman of the election commission in Simpsonville, SC, suggested executing Bergdahl. Republicans have been repeatedly lying about the Bergdahl situation in an attempt to damage President Obama, not caring about the effect their actions are having on Bergdahl — who was repeatedly tortured by his captors–and his family.
Recently, Shep Smith spoke out against his colleagues at FOX News’ repeated characterizations of the rescued POW as a terrorist or deserter.
“If you desert or commit treason, you have to be proved to have done so. We can’t just decide because some people come on television and yakety yak, and we’ve got a report of this and a report of that and that’s what happened. As the Army said, as the Pentagon said, you bring them home. You bring them home first, and then you investigate,” he said on the June 3rd edition of his show.
“You don’t make judgements at the opportunity to bring that young man home….But the idea is we don’t leave people in the enemy’s hands. The enemy saw him as an American soldier. This young man suffered. He was caged, Chris. His parents suffered. And yet people want to argue about the father’s beard. They want to say they shouldn’t have a parade. Let the military decide. The military is best positioned not us sitting here on this panel and not all the political people on the Republican side who have flip-flopped, flip-flopped, Chris in the most craven way. Unbelievable…”he said.
Republicans have not always hated Bergdahl. Sarah Palin, for example, recently posted on Facebook that Bergdahl is ” . . . A soldier expressing horrid anti-American beliefs.” However, if we step into the Wayback Machine™ and skip off to 2009, Palin had a different take: ”Todd and I are praying for . . . Bowe Bergdahl, his family, and all his fellow soldiers who are putting their lives on the line to defend our freedom. . .”
John McCain once supported an exchange for Bergdahl. ”Obviously I’d have to know the details but I would support ways of bringing him home, and if exchange was one of them, I think that would be something I think we should seriously consider,” he told CNN in February.
However, since the hate train began rolling, McCain’s attitude changed. ”It is disturbing that these individuals would have the ability to re-enter the fight, and they are big, high-level people, possibly responsible for the deaths of thousands,” he said more recently.
These unabashed attempts to use anything and everything to discredit President Obama is, unfortunately, the norm in Conservativeville. Somehow, right-wingers seem oblivious to the transparency of their attempts. Yes, if Bergdahl is a deserter, he should be prosecuted and if enough evidence is presented, he should be punished. If he collaborated with terrorists — which is highly unlikely — he should be punished. However, is is absolutely unacceptable to leave him stranded simply because of speculation and it is abhorrent to greet him after half a decade in captivity with the media lynching he has received from the Right.
However, as has been proven repeatedly, they will willingly eat their own if it means a chance to rail against the President. In fact, in this case, that is exactly what is happening.
Congratulations to the few who have the courage to stand up for what is right.
h/t: Crooks and Liars