Just 5 days ago, the Obama administration orchestrated the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from a Taliban-controlled prison in Afghanistan in exchange for 5 Guantanamo Bay detainees. Since his release was announced, the online debates as to whether or not Bergdahl was a deserter, abandoning his post in Yahya Kheyl in an Eastern province of Afghanistan, has divided the country during a time that would normally be a celebration for a POW returning home.
Because of the nature of the capture, the negotiation with terrorist leaders to bring Bergdahl home, and the unclear matter of his deserter status, President Obama made a formal apology to the nation today for acting without proper consent, and breaking laws that required Congress to be notified of any prisoner exchanges.
“I was unaware that Bergdahl was an… [alleged] deserter. I was doing my best to bring home a man who had suffered five years in a Taliban prison.” Said President Obama. “I have disgraced myself and my country for dealing with terrorists, for bending laws that I myself signed, and for trading the lives of 5 men in Guantanamo for the life of one man, who may or may not even deserve to have been saved.”
Obama went on to say that he believed that Bergdahl had suffered while he was in Afghanistan, but that didn’t excuse him of running out on his duties, and that the US is extremely embarrassed that they wasted such a good trade on a man who has disgraced his country in this way.
“If this was a proud man, a young man who stood for something great, then this trade would have been worth releasing 100 people from Guantanamo in exchange. I had actually considered letting 10 people go, but the Taliban, they started with 5 and I decided there was no reason to counter that number. Now that I have learned what I have about Bergdahl, I would have no problems trading him back. I’ll even take just 3 people back in exchange.” Said Obama.
Bergdahl will return his hometown of Hailey, Idaho within the next few weeks, although not to the fanfare that was originally scheduled. Plans for a parade in his honor, as well as entire hometown celebration, were abandoned after news of his deserter status began to spread across the internet. Originally planned for July 28th, the town’s official word is that they don’t have the resources to contain the amount of people expected. It is quite possible, though, that the backlash from the internet, as well as threats, hatred, and menace aimed at the town for planning a celebration had something to do with their cancellation.
“The City of Hailey believes in due process, and we are very happy to let the process unfold,” said the city’s mayor. “In the meantime, our celebration will focus on [Bowe’s] release and the relief of his family and those who live here.”