SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

June 18, 2014

Armerding: Don't listen to those who knew Bergdahl best, Obama says

(Continued)

Besides all of the administration’s rushing to judgment, which is condemned when anybody else does it, there is the standard tactic of Obama and his team of accusing anyone who questions what they do of “politicizing” it. In this case, critics are accused of making poor Bergdahl a “political football.” This, the president said with a sorrowful shake of his head in an interview, was just another one of those controversies “whipped up in Washington.”

Actually, that’s true, but not in the way the president intended. It was indeed whipped up in Washington — by Obama, who was trying to gain political mileage out of the exchange with a Rose Garden event featuring Bergdahl’s parents, who just happened to be in the area.

It was after some people started questioning Bergdahl’s credentials as a hero captured on the battlefield that it suddenly became unseemly to “politicize” it.

Finally, there has been plenty of handwringing on the left about the “hate” directed toward Bergdahl who, they say, simply opposed what they believe to be an unwinnable war.

They have a point. Bergdahl should not be labeled something that has not been proven. But, if it is proven, military desertion is worth some context. At one time in our history, there were similar efforts to find and bring back deserters — but only so they could be hanged, shot or imprisoned.

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Taylor Armerding of Ipswich is an independent columnist. Contact him at t.armerding@verizon.net.

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