What We Just Don’t Know About Bergdahl

At the Plum Line today, Greg Sargent conducts a careful accounting of the emerging and very conflicting evidence about Bowe Bergdahl’s conduct before and after his capture in Afghanistan; the attitude of military leaders towards the exchange and the precedents it follows and sets; and the legality of the action. He also notes that many members of Congress from both parties are reacting to the saga before they make much of an effort to sort through or pursue the facts, and suggests a closed briefing by administration officials of the Senate Armed Service Committee on Tuesday may clear the air, at least to those allowed to participate.

But what Greg’s fine summary makes plain to me is that on many aspects of this case, we just don’t have the answers yet. Indeed, the information gap about Bergdahl is a prime reason the administration decided it would be dishonorable to just let him rot in Taliban custody. That makes it all the more shameful that so many gabbers have instantly pounced on the most negative characterizations of Bergdahl (and his parents, for that matter) available and treated them as though they came down from Mount Sinai on tablets. Yes, I understand they view this whole episode as nothing more than a rock to pick up and throw at Barack Obama, but there are actual facts buried not too far under the surface, and it should not be that difficult to wait a few days or weeks for them to be unearthed.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.