Tag: Taliban

In defense of the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap

CNN is now reporting that U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will be charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Even though the military has not yet made a formal announcement regarding the Bergdahl case, CNN cited two sources, one of which was Sgt. Bergdahl’s attorney, in its report, which leads me to believe that CNN’s report is likely, but not certainly, accurate.

While the Republicans will inevitably use this opportunity to criticize President Barack Obama for swapping five Taliban members who were in U.S. custody in exchange for bringing Bergdahl back home, I will use this opportunity to defend the prisoner swap that brought Bergdahl back home to stand trial before our country’s military court system.

I think it’s absolutely disgusting that Republicans would rather allow the Haqqani terrorist network, a sworn enemy of the United States and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members, to effectively harbor an alleged criminal in Bergdahl than bring Bergdahl back to the U.S. to stand trial before a military court for desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. If it takes swapping five Taliban members for Bergdahl in order for Bergdahl to face military criminal charges for deserting the Army, that’s what it takes.

If a U.S. civilian fled to a foreign country to evade prosecution for crimes they allegedly committed in our country’s jurisdiction, the U.S. has, in my opinion, a responsibility to do everything necessary and proper to have the alleged criminal extradited back to the U.S. in order to stand trial here. The same principle applies with the Bergdahl case; the only differences are that Bergdahl is a U.S. Army member accused of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, Bergdahl was held in captivity by a sworn enemy of the U.S., and that Bergdahl will stand trial in a U.S. military court because of a prisoner swap between the Taliban and the United States.

George W. Bush-era CIA torture program violated human rights and made America less secure

The report by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the CIA’s program of torturing enemy combatants who¬†were captured by the U.S. in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, which was active during the administration of former Republican President George W. Bush, has been declassified, and here is the executive summary of the report.

According to the report, the George W. Bush-era CIA’s detention and torture program, among other things:

  • Didn’t help the CIA get intelligence from detainees
  • Violated the human rights of detainees
  • Put American national security at an even greater risk by impeding national security efforts at other federal agencies
  • Wasted American taxpayers’ money
  • Detained individuals who didn’t meet the legal standard for detention
  • Was badly mismanaged and unaccountable
  • Hurt our country’s standing in the world

Additionally, the George W. Bush-era CIA lied to Congress and the media about the detention and torture program’s activities, and had repeatedly impeded oversight by various government entities, including the Office of the CIA Inspector General.

Long story short, the CIA’s program of torturing enemy combatants in U.S. custody was one of the most disgusting things that the U.S. federal government has ever done and served no purpose whatsoever. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and other officials involved in the program should be charged with perjury, war crimes, and other applicable offenses.