While it is rare for NBC News to publish a hard-hitting piece of journalism criticizing the Obama Administration, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd has an explosive report that seemingly confirms the United States government fully intended to release the five high-level terrorists from Guantanamo Bay even without the Taliban agreeing to release Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
In an article published on NBCNews.com entitled “What the Bergdahl Story is Really About: Gitmo,” Todd and fellow reporters Mark Murray and Carrie Dann tackle a question “more important” than ‘did the Obama Administration break the law’ or ‘was it worth it’: “What does this all mean for the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba?”
The article states:
To us, that’s the big story that many are missing here. Yesterday in her press briefing, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf suggested something ON THE RECORD that had been hinted at OFF THE RECORD or ON BACKGROUND for days: that the five Taliban prisoners who were released in exchange for Bergdahl were probably going to be released anyway, because they weren’t among those who were slated for prosecution. “There are three buckets of people in Guantanamo that remain,” Harf said. “There are those who are approved for transfer. That’s 78. There are about 30 who have been referred for prosecution in some way. These five are in that middle bucket and were unlikely -- might have been, but unlikely -- to be added to the group that was going to be referred for prosecution. So it is quite likely that eventually, in line with our commitment to close Guantanamo Bay, they would be transferred.” Harf said later, “We should get something for them.”
So there you go… The Obama administration’s rationale for all of this may have simply been about starting the process of emptying Gitmo. And it certainly now appears that among the reasons the White House decided to set up a Rose Garden announcement last weekend was about trying to deflect the start of the Gitmo debate -- by focusing attention on Bergdahl. Of course, the focus on Bergdahl become the story.
Yes, this is actually a report from NBC News.
On radio this morning, Glenn reacted to the blockbuster report and explained why he actually believes President Obama would have been better off being open about his real motivations from the beginning.
“Well, if the president would have come out and said that in the first place, for me, I would have had a possible – not probable, but possible – better reaction to it,” Glenn said candidly. “I would have disagreed with it. But at least I would have had a better reaction to it because the trade doesn't make any sense at all. So they have lied to you now. What they did was not a trade.”
Instead, what narrative did the Administration choose to spout for five days? The phony notion that – five years later – we suddenly had a “sacred” responsibility to bring Bergdahl home regardless of the cost.
“The United States has always had a pretty sacred rule, and that is, we don’t leave our men or women in uniform behind,” President Obama said at a press conference in Poland earlier this week.
“We didn't have a sacred responsibility. That's not what we were doing. That's not what we were doing,” Glenn said disgusted. “We were releasing the Taliban guys and went, ‘You know what? We might as well get something for it. So let's get that guy, too.’”
Read the NBC News report in its entirety HERE.
Front page image courtesy of the AP