Question: Does anybody actually consider Fox “news” anymore? Surely, there has to be a different word to describe Fox. A new word. Maybe…”angertainment?” All right. “The Islamusement Kenyatrix?” Eh. How about the “Reverse Caucasocasualty Outrageathon, presented in Obamaphobic TERRORSCOPE 3-D!!” Okay…it’s got potential. At this point, we shouldn’t be surprised at anything that comes out of the Fox angertainment mill — especially when it involves “secret documents” and “undisclosed sources.”
Yesterday, James Rosen appeared on the O’Reilly Factor (home of conservative mutual facturbation) and today posted a follow-up article on Fox’s blog regarding “secret documents” obtained by Fox “News.” These documents supposedly stated that while in captivity with his Haqqani captors, Bowe Bergdahl may have “converted to Islam,” declaring himself a “mujahid” (warrior for Islam), and a fighter in the jihad against America.
The situation reports (regular SITREPS) were said to have come from the Eclipse Group, one of many shadowy contractors the government pays to do stuff elsewhere. The Eclipse Group is composed primarily of former intelligence officers and operatives led by Duane R. Clarridge. You may recognize the name — he was the former CIA operations officer indicted for lying to Congress during Reagan’s Iran-Contra Affair, and who was pardoned in 1992 by George Bush Sr.
According to Clarridge, he was under official Army contract to monitor Bergdahl from 2009 to 2010, but the Army terminated his contract. Afterward, he took it upon himself to (supposedly) invest $50,000 of his own money to monitor the captured soldier.
During his contracted time, Clarridge’s group delivered 13 SITREPs to the government on Bergdahl’s location and condition. Here’s the breakdown of Bergdahl’s timeline. We’ve highlighted the additions from Rosen’s report:
6/2009 — Taliban captures Bergdahl after he leaves his post, after leaving behind a note saying he was disillusioned with the war and the Army. “The future is too good to waste on lies,” he said.
7/2009 — Taliban releases video of Bergdahl
4/2010 — Another video released.
5/2010 — “July 2010 SITREP stated that two months prior, in late May, “negotiations between the Haqqani and representatives of the missing US soldier collapsed.” At that point, the report said, Bergdahl was moved to a more secure location. “
6/2010 — “Bergdahl was “in ill-health, and has been collapsing.” A SITREP dated one week before Bergdahl’s ill-fated escape attempt placed him in the Bazaar area of Miramshah, and noted that “he seemed not to be tightly controlled.”
6/2010 — Escape attempt #1. Recaptured after five days. Captors construct metal cage and keep him inside. “The [source] confirmed that the soldier had been missing for five days and when he was recovered, he was a little worse from wear (lack of food; a bit slimmer) but otherwise in good health.”
Late 2010 — Pentagon investigation determines Bergdahl left his post, causing the military to downgrade their search efforts.
8/2011 — After learning language and making friendly with captors, Bergdahl is permitted to walk around outside with guards, and help them hunt for small game in the hills.
9/2011 — Escape attempt #2. Bergdahl takes advantage of lax security, and escapes for three days.
8/2012 — “Conditions for Bergdahl have greatly relaxed since the time of the escape. Bergdahl has converted to Islam and now describes himself as a mujahid. Bergdahl enjoys a modicum of freedom, and engages in target practice with the local mujahedeen, firing AK47s. Bergdahl is even allowed to carry a loaded gun on occasion. Bergdahl plays soccer with his guards and bounds around the pitch like a mad man. He appears to be well and happy, and has a noticeable habit of laughing frequently and saying ‘Salaam‘ repeatedly.“
6/2012 — Conservative website Human events reignites story, saying: “Notably absent from the discussion has been any commitment from President Obama that the country will not leave its own behind.” Conservative sites light up with accusations that Obama be kicked out of the Oval Office for not recapturing (security risk) Bergdahl.”
9/2012 — Obama labels Bergdahl’s Haqqani captors a terrorist organization.
1/2014 — Haqqani release new video of Bergdahl, who seems to be in poor health.
Now, out of all this, you might think that Fox and Rosen’s analysis would be:
“Gee…maybe he was playing nice so he could get a chance at an escape, just like he did twice before.”
“Is this SITREP even accurate? How did they know he was doing this stuff?”
And those are good questions. Clarridge’s answers, effectively:
“A terrorist who knew a terrorist in the compound told us the American soldier had embraced Islam and declared himself a Mujaheddin.“
So, there it is then. A guy who knew a terrorist told a guy who used to be in the CIA before he lied to Congress and got his contract cancelled, and he reported it to Fox News.
Now that’s what we call air tight. Case closed, then.
Except, it isn’t, because Marine Corps General James N. Mattis, who served at Central Command, where Clarridge reported, said he received “bits and pieces of news” from the Eclipse Group, but he never heard of these particular SITREPs. In fact, having deposed the services of the Eclipse Group, the military’s own intelligence units painted a very different picture.
“We were always looking for actionable intelligence. It wasn’t just the IC [intelligence community]. We had tactical units that were involved in the fight. We had SIGINT.” (radio and communication intercepts) “Any collaborators who were on the other side and who came over to our side. We kept an eye on this. There was never any evidence of collaboration.”
And that would make sense, considering the fact that Clarridge’s “converted to Islam” report was almost two years ago, and Bergdahl in the times we’ve seen him since doesn’t exactly look to have been treated as a member of the family.
Is it possible then, just possible, that the terrorist lied to the other terrorist who lied to the professional liar who lied to the military to get his contract back and then went lying to a network known for its incredible lies?
Well, seven left turns makes one right…so, who knows?
That’s angertainment, folks.