Jon Stewart got it exactly right with his Daily Show routine on the conservative media mania over the Bergdahl exchange with Taliban leaders from Gitmo. He called it “Home is Where the Hate Is” encapsulating the hatred being expressed toward Sgt. Bergdahl and President Obama.
We’ve talked before about my feelings about Bergdahl (we don’t leave troops behind and we don’t convict people without a trial – well we aren’t supposed to), but let’s reflect for a moment on the men who were exchanged for his return. None of the men released has ever been associated with attacking the United States. The chief prosecutor of Gitmo detainees has said they weren’t even on his radar (in contrast, the driver of bin Laden was tried and convicted even though he never participated in any attack anywhere).
They were leaders of the Taliban who were Afghans fighting in Afghanistan, which makes them enemy combatants, not terrorists. They were bad guys no doubt, and I have no doubt there is a drone with their names on it, but no more evil than the hundreds of Vietnamese exchanged for our POWs, or any other enemy combatant in every war we have ever fought.
In contrast to these Taliban leaders who never attacked the United States, the Southern Poverty Law Center has been documenting dozens of terrorist attacks on American soil from right wing groups. The most recent was the attack was the slaughter of police in Las Vegas by two white supremacists.
In fact, in the time that these Taliban leaders have been imprisoned in Gitmo since Bergdahl’s capture there have been no attacks on America by Taliban and at least 35 deaths of Americans by American right wing terrorists. If the chicken hawks in Congress were really concerned about our national security, then they would be going after right wing extremists.
I would be a lot more worried about the right winger next door than a Taliban in a cave 8,000 miles away.