Posted tagged ‘Obama and Bergdahl’

Bergdahl Rescue Mission ‘Haunts’ Navy SEAL Team Member Eight Years Later

November 9, 2017

Bergdahl Rescue Mission ‘Haunts’ Navy SEAL Team Member Eight Years Later, Washington Free Beacon, November 9, 2017

Bergdahl’s case became politically fraught after former President Barack Obama traded five high-level Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for his release in 2014. The circumstance further deteriorated when then National Security Adviser Susan Rice said the private had served with “honor and distinction.”

Toussaint, who now serves as an officer with a San Antonio-area police department, said the Obama administration’s characterization of Bergdahl was a “slap in the face” to the men who risked their lives searching for the private and a disgrace to Remco’s sacrifice.

As for Bergdahl’s sentence, he asks, “What kind of a message does that send to the world, the military, and the victims who suffered because of this?”

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Retired Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike Toussaint, a burly Navy dog handler, grudgingly wiped away tears as he described the barrage of insurgent gunfire that killed his military service dog, Remco, during the search for Army Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Though he was never called to testify, Toussaint served as a prospective witness in the case against Bergdahl, who last week received a dishonorable discharge from the U.S. Army, but avoided prison time for desertion, misbehavior before the enemy, and endangering troops.

The military judge ordered that Bergdahl’s rank be reduced from sergeant to private and required him to surrender $1,000 a month from his pay for 10 months. The sentencing arrived eight years after Bergdahl abandoned his outpost in Afghanistan in 2009 before the Taliban held him captive for five years.

Toussaint called the sentencing “disgusting” and said Bergdahl should have received life in prison for his “reckless” actions.

Nine days after Bergdahl’s desertion, SEAL team members Toussaint and Remco were sent on a hostage rescue operation in southeastern Afghanistan to search for the missing private. He said the team, led by Senior Chief Petty Officer Jimmy Hatch, knew prior to the July 8 mission that Bergdahl voluntarily left his post, despite earlier reports stating he was captured on patrol.

“We all agreed we were going to go get him—he’s an American, that’s our job—but we all wanted to have a talk with him,” Toussaint said.

Hostage rescue missions are inherently dangerous, and Hatch testified last week that the operation to rescue Bergdahl was no different. He recalled expressing concern prior to the operation that someone would be killed or hurt given the hasty planning and grueling conditions.

Toussaint said he had no doubt the enemy knew they were coming. His unit came under heavy fire even before their two helicopters landed, leaving the team surrounded while they disembarked.

As the unit advanced to the position where they believed Bergdahl was being held, Toussaint, Hatch, Remco, and a third shooter peeled off to pursue two men wearing traditional Afghan dresses. Toussaint said they had to operate on the assumption one of the two men could be Bergdahl, limiting their engagement options.

When the two men disappeared into a field, Remco moved ahead to detect their location. Toussaint watched as Remco ran through a spray of bullets before he was shot in the head and killed.

Moments later, Hatch was shot in the right leg, shattering his femur and effectively ending his career. He subsequently endured 18 surgeries over a two-year span.

“It all happened real quick,” Toussaint said. “I remember seeing Remco get within a couple feet of their location and then he got shot in the head and came flying back out, I mean literally flying out. Right about that time … because it all got chaotic real quick … Jimmy who was right to my right, got shot. I remember hearing him, I could tell he was in pain, and then all I remember was kind of like a fireworks show.”

Toussaint said he ran into an onslaught of gunfire and grenades to kill the two militants. He grabbed Remco by his vest and dragged him back to Jimmy, where a couple of U.S. servicemen had arrived to administer first aid.

Toussaint choked back tears as he recalled carrying Remco onto a helicopter that airlifted him and Jimmy to a nearby hospital.

“I hadn’t accepted that he was mortally wounded at that time, I think it was just denial,” he said as he described clipping off Remco’s vest and trying to revive his breathing.

After accompanying Jimmy and Remco to the hospital, Toussaint and the third shooter went back out to the battlefield to search for Bergdahl.

Toussaint later received the Silver Star for pursuing the two men and ending the engagement, “allowing his teammates to provide lifesaving combat casualty care to his wounded team leader,” according to the award citation. Remco also received a Silver Star for sacrificing himself “as he aggressively engaged the enemy, drew effective fire onto himself, and gave his teammates the split seconds needed to change the balance of the fight.”

Toussaint said that night continues to haunt him eight years later.

He remembers Remco, who he described as a “complete live-wire,” sitting uncharacteristically still and looking somberly into his eyes before charging toward the enemy. He said the moment felt like an intuitive goodbye.

“That and the fact that I relive watching him getting him shot—those two—those are the two that tend to stick with me and they probably always will,” he said. “But the reality is he did his job. He did exactly what we told him to do.”

Toussaint said Remco’s death has been harder to accept given the circumstances of the mission.

“We knowingly went out in hazardous situations, it’s just part of the job,” he said. “It’s not like I didn’t accept the reality of any of us not coming home on any given night, that’s just the realistic truth to it … but to have that night take place only because—solely because—we had a selfish American that walked off a base, it just makes it harder to swallow.”

The defense maintained during the sentencing hearing that Bergdahl couldn’t be blamed for the series of consequences stemming from his desertion, given the chain of events included decisions made by others. Bergdahl’s attorneys also argued Trump’s comments on the case impacted their client’s ability to receive a fair sentencing.

Though the defense had told the judge a dishonorable discharge would be acceptable, Bergdahl’s chief defense lawyer told the New York Times last week he would challenge the ruling so his client could receive health care and other “benefits he badly needs” from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Bergdahl’s case became politically fraught after former President Barack Obama traded five high-level Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for his release in 2014. The circumstance further deteriorated when then National Security Adviser Susan Rice said the private had served with “honor and distinction.”

Toussaint, who now serves as an officer with a San Antonio-area police department, said the Obama administration’s characterization of Bergdahl was a “slap in the face” to the men who risked their lives searching for the private and a disgrace to Remco’s sacrifice.

As for Bergdahl’s sentence, he asks, “What kind of a message does that send to the world, the military, and the victims who suffered because of this?”

The Bergdahl Obamanation

October 17, 2017

The Bergdahl Obamanation, Power Line,  Scott Johnson, October 17, 2017

Sperry anticipates the October 23 sentencing hearing next week will “include dramatic testimony about three troops seriously injured during search-and-rescue missions launched to find [Bergdahl]. Two of them suffered disabling injuries: Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Mark Allen, who in 2009 was shot in the head searching for Bergdahl, leaving him confined to a wheelchair and unable to talk; and Navy SEAL Jimmy Hatch, who was shot in the leg on another search the next day, leaving him with a permanent limp.”

Obama is not a good liar, but he is a bold one. His boldness is in part a function of his confidence that he will never be called on his lies.

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The mainstream media foster the great forgetting of the facts and lies about underlying Bowe Bergdahl’s plea of guilt to charges of desertion and (even more seriously) misbehavior before the enemy. Nicholas Fondacaro documents the suppression of the record in the NewsBuster post “Nets forget Obama admin championed Bergdahl as a ‘hero’ coming home.” Fondacaro includes the ABC News report on Bergdahl’s plea yesterday (video below). It represents the evidence of absence. (The video is at the link. — DM)

National Security Adviser Susan Rice was President Obama’s designated liar. Her shamelessness must have been her foremost qualification for the high office she disgraced.

Obama sent her out to the Sunday gabfests to have her declare that Bergdahl had served “with honor and distinction.” And that’s not all. “Sergeant Bergdahl wasn’t simply a hostage,” she asserted, “he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield.” And further: “We have a sacred obligation that we have upheld since the founding of our republic to do our utmost to bring back our men and women who are taken in battle, and we did that in this instance.” Video is posted here.

Obama himself arranged a Rose Garden event including Bergdahl’s parents. Calculated deceptions permeated Obama’s statement. Here it is verbatim (video here):

Good afternoon, everybody. This morning, I called Bob and Jani Bergdahl and told them that after nearly five years in captivity, their son, Bowe, is coming home.

Sergeant Bergdahl has missed birthdays and holidays and the simple moments with family and friends, which all of us take for granted. But while Bowe was gone he was never forgotten. His parents thought about him and prayed for him every single day, as did his sister, Sky, who prayed for his safe return.

He wasn’t forgotten by his community in Idaho, or the military, which rallied to support the Bergdahls through thick and thin. And he wasn’t forgotten by his country, because the United States of America does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind.

As Commander-in-Chief, I am proud of the servicemembers who recovered Sergeant Bergdahl and brought him safely out of harm’s way. As usual, they performed with extraordinary courage and professionalism, and they have made their nation proud.

Right now, our top priority is making sure that Bowe gets the care and support that he needs and that he can be reunited with his family as soon as possible.

I’m also grateful for the tireless work of our diplomats, and for the cooperation of the government of Qatar in helping to secure Bowe’s release. We’ve worked for several years to achieve this goal, and earlier this week I was able to personally thank the Emir of Qatar for his leadership in helping us get it done. As part of this effort, the United States is transferring five detainees from the prison in Guantanamo Bay to Qatar. The Qatari government has given us assurances that it will put in place measures to protect our national security.

I also want to express gratitude to the Afghan government, which has always supported our efforts to secure Bowe’s release. Going forward, the United States will continue to support an Afghan-led process of reconciliation, which could help secure a hard-earned peace within a sovereign and unified Afghanistan.

As I said earlier this week, we’re committed to winding down the war in Afghanistan, and we are committed to closing Gitmo. But we also made an ironclad commitment to bring our prisoners of war home. That’s who we are as Americans. It’s a profound obligation within our military, and today, at least in this instance, it’s a promise we’ve been able to keep.

I am mindful, though, that there are many troops who remain missing in the past. That’s why we’re never going to forget; we’re never going to give up our search for servicemembers who remain unaccounted for. We also remain deeply committed to securing the release of American citizens who are unjustly detained abroad and deserve to be reunited with their families, just like the Bergdahls soon will be.

Bob and Jani, today families across America share in the joy that I know you feel. As a parent, I can’t imagine the hardship that you guys have gone through. As President, I know that I speak for all Americans when I say we cannot wait for the moment when you are reunited and your son, Bowe, is back in your arms.

So, with that, I’d like Bob to have an opportunity to say something, and Jani, if she’d like as well. Please…

Obama’s statement foregoes outright lies in favor of falsehood by implication. In retrospect, we can see the calculated duplicity in it.

We have Obama’s fake bonhomie with the Bergdahls. We have the portrayal of Bergdahl as a heroic prisoner of war. Unlike Susan Rice, Obama omitted any assertion fact regarding Bergdahl’s capture. The heroic portrayal is implied in the depiction of Bergdahl’s deprivations. We have Obama’s negotiation with terrorists and exchange of a deserter for five-high ranking Taliban terrorists as a triumph of martial valor, fidelity to military tradition and brilliant diplomacy, all in the service of American ideals.

When undermining the United States, Obama frequently resorted to the refrain: “That’s who we are as Americans.” He didn’t give us the facts. He didn’t give us an argument to support what he had done. He gave us his refrain. Don’t play it again, Barry.

The Taliban treated Bergdahl as a high-value hostage. Obama accorded Bergdahl a similarly high value as a pawn to be used in his project of closing Guantanamo and getting out of Afghanistan. Here are brief profiles of the five Taliban butchers Obama offloaded for Bergdahl.

In today’s New York Post Paul Sperry revisits the deal. Sperry reports: “The Pentagon itself refused to list Bergdahl as a POW. That’s because an internal 2009 Army report found he had a history of walking off his post and more than likely deserted. It also found he shipped his laptop back home to Idaho, and left a note expressing his disillusionment with the war, before ending up in the arms of the Taliban.”

Sperry anticipates the October 23 sentencing hearing next week will “include dramatic testimony about three troops seriously injured during search-and-rescue missions launched to find [Bergdahl]. Two of them suffered disabling injuries: Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Mark Allen, who in 2009 was shot in the head searching for Bergdahl, leaving him confined to a wheelchair and unable to talk; and Navy SEAL Jimmy Hatch, who was shot in the leg on another search the next day, leaving him with a permanent limp.”

Obama is not a good liar, but he is a bold one. His boldness is in part a function of his confidence that he will never be called on his lies.