Sgt. Bergdahl becomes a political football

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The freeing of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after five years in Taliban captivity in exchange for five Taliban captives held in the military’s Guantanamo Bay prison has generated more fury than celebration.

Republican legislators rail that the Taliban prisoners are murderous, with Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, claiming that three of the five are likely to return to the battle. Some are outraged the president “negotiated with terrorists,” cutting a deal with the Taliban.

Democratic legislators led by California Senator Dianne Feinstein are in high dudgeon because they weren’t given 30 day notice, as required by law.

Some in the military are furious because Bergdahl was captured when he left the base alone without permission. American soldiers reportedly lost their lives in the effort to find him. Some scorn Bergdahl as a deserter, if not a traitor.

The president has been savaged for making the trade. Bergdahl’s father has received death threats in emails. His hometown canceled a scheduled celebration, worried about violent demonstrations by outsiders.

All this, to my mind, says a lot more about the horrible divisions in America, than the actions of Sgt. Bergdahl or the president.


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