BREAKING: Officials: Congress not told of swap because Taliban threatened to kill Bergdahl if it leaked .
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 5, 2014
Last night Rachel Maddow kicked some serious GOP hypocrisy ass. Please watch the video above as she reveals her "secret decoder ring" that "decrypts the behavior" of Republicans and their Obama Derangement Syndrome. Maddow systematically documented the blatant hypocrisy of GOP public officials, starting with John McCain. She ticked off tweet after tweet and video clip after video clip of Republicans supporting the president's policies only to do a 180 once President Obama did exactly what they suggested.
Her decoder ring wasn't all that secret, but Rachel did manage to condense their two-face-itude down to chewable bites that even a Republican could digest... and then spit out, as they are wont to do.
Which brings me to this morning's MSNBC broadcast of Andrea Mitchell Reports with Kristen Welker subbing as host. She forgot to wear her secret decoder ring, but the relentless GOP hypocrisy was still revealed, loud and clear.
Two examples stood out to me, examples that somebody on air should spotlight. But we all know that won't happen. So allow me:
1. Republicans are swarming all over President Obama's recent remarks that he "makes no apologies" for the way he handled Bowe Bergdahl's release after being held prisoner for five years by the Taliban:
Again, "pro-life" Republicans are indignant and shocked! shocked! about that. How dare the President of the United States refuse to apologize for an "illegal" act such as saving an American soldier's life?!
Near the Iraq war’s 10th anniversary — as many stepped forward to revisit their criticism of the conflict — Bush made no mention of weapons of mass destruction, “enhanced interrogation techniques” or other controversies.
But he reflected on the “realities of the situation 10 years ago”: that the Iraq invasion had bipartisan support and that seeking regime change in Iraq had also been the policy under Clinton.
“It’s easy to forget what life was like when the decision was made,” Bush said.
Since he left office, Bush has been a punching bag for Obama, Democrats and even some Republicans. But while he said “nobody likes to be criticized all the time,” he brushed aside the constant pummeling.
“I’m comfortable with what I did,” he said. “I’m comfortable with who I am.”
He made no apology for his fraudulent war and the thousands of military and civilian deaths, the torture, the lies.
On Thursday, June 5, Kristen Welker, NBC's White House Correspondent, asked Congressman Peter King (R-NY) as she filled-in for Andrea Mitchell on Andrea Mitchell Reports: "Are Republicans trying to swiftboat Bowe Bergdahl?"
Congressman King shot back: "To compare what was apparently done to John Kerry or allegedly done to John Kerry to this, every allegation that's being made by these troops are the people in the field with him. They are the ones we should listen to. These are men who served with him, who felt betrayed by him. No one has a better knowledge than they would have."
So this is not Swiftboat the Sequel because the Swiftboaters say they served with Bergdahl.
This part must have slipped what's left of King's mind:
Several members of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT) served in the same unit as Kerry and one, Stephen Gardner, served as a crewmember on Kerry's boat. A number of Kerry's SBVT critics were present on accompanying Swift Boats at one of the combat events for which Kerry was decorated with the Bronze Star Medal and a third Purple Heart. Another SBVT member, Dr. Louis Letson, was the physician who claims to have treated Kerry for his first Purple Heart wound. Larry Clayton Lee was the sole SBVT member to participate in the event for which Kerry was awarded the Silver Star. No SBVT member participated in events related to the award of Kerry's second Purple Heart.
In addition to questioning the merit of many of Kerry's service awards, SBVT decried his post-Vietnam anti-war activity and disputed the truthfulness of his subsequent testimony about the conduct of the American military as demonstrated in that war. Many political observers saw this as reflecting the "true reason behind the Swift Boat campaign." All of the allegations referencing Kerry's Vietnam service and awards were made during Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign while Kerry's post-Vietnam anti-war activity had long been a subject of controversy.
Defenders of John Kerry's service record, including nearly all of his former crewmates, have stated that SBVT's allegations are false.
The Swiftboaters claimed to have been "in the field with [Kerry], served with him, felt betrayed by him." The parallel is clear, the comparison Welker drew is valid. But all of that is irrelevant, because his previous (alleged) behavior is separate and apart from the obligation to rescue one of our own.
The only difference is that this time, the Swiftboaters are using Bergdahl as an excuse to go after a sitting president, because they couldn't defeat him during the two presidential campaigns. Both of them. The ones from which Obama emerged victorious. Both times. Twice.
This just in via The New York Times:
A classified military report detailing the Army’s investigation into the disappearance of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in June 2009 says that he had wandered away from assigned areas before — both at a training range in California and at his remote outpost in Afghanistan — and then returned, according to people briefed on it.
The roughly 35-page report, completed two months after Sergeant Bergdahl left his unit, concludes that he most likely walked away of his own free will from his outpost in the darkness of night, and it criticized lax security practices and poor discipline within his unit. But it stops short of concluding that there is solid evidence that Sergeant Bergdahl intended to permanently desert.
Again, this will all be sorted out, and more facts will emerge that can and will be dealt with once Bergdahl recovers. Then we can all stop speculating and get to the truth.
Meantime, rescuing an American soldier should be seen as a good thing. More about that here: Hagel unaware of any "soldiers dying as a result of efforts to find, rescue Sgt. Bergdahl." In that post is a video from The Rachel Maddow Show that addresses the question, "Do we leave no soldier behind in captivity? Is that an American value, an American military principle? Or, do we leave some of them behind, because some of them frankly aren't worth it, according to the Fox News channel?"