One person's thoughts may change the world
Francis Gary Power. Now that’s a name you have not heard in a long time, unless you regularly watch the history or military channel. Long story short, Power’s what shot down over the old Soviet Union on a spy mission in his U2 plane at over 70,000 feet. He was subsequently captured, tried and convicted of espionage, and was to serve a 10 year sentence. He was traded in a prison swap, for captured spy KGB Colonel Vilyam Fisher. He was treated with a cool reception at first for not taking his cyanide pill once captured. They also looked down upon him for not destroying his plane ( self destruct ), before it was captured intact on the ground. Easy things to do while being shot down by a SAM missile at over 70,000 feet. Yea, right…
Years later, the United States was involved in an arms for hostage scandal, selling arms to the Iranians for military spare parts, get some hostages released, and help fund the Contras, an anti-government terrorist group fighting a war in Nicaragua. Basically arms for hostages. Now, the United States has what it calls a long standing policy of not dealing with terrorists demands. Yet, on several occasions, they have violated this agreement, getting around it one way or another.
A few weeks ago, bowe Bergdahl was released by the Taliban, which the United States, specifically the President and his cabinet members, are saying it was not a terrorist deal, or swap. Now, I listened to Susan Rice, the National Security Advisor, explain it away as not a exchange for a hostage. This is one of the few times I am in disagreement of the President ( Obama ), at the rational for “trading” 5 Gitmo prisoners for 1 guy who has been suspected of dereliction of duty; leaving his post.
When a Stanford scholar, Truman scholarship award winner, and Oxford graduate tries to explain it away on Meet the Press ( Susan Rice ) and doesn’t convince me, I have an issue. One guy would have been a fair swap, but 5?! It looked to be a under-balanced deal to me. Now the administration has access to information that I am not privy to, and they say his failing health prompted the deal, which seems to have violated the law as to when and how Congress was to be informed about this. Did she or the Secretary of Defense remind the President of this??
Now, the Republicans smell a little blood in the water, and a few of them are trying to start circling. It also raises the question as to “What about Gitmo?”. Congress has blocked all reasonable means for the President to close it. They can’t come to the United States to be tried, and no other country wants them. They have been languishing there for years. Many of them have been cleared to be let go.
Also, will this raise the threat of soldiers being kidnapped and held for ransom? I say no, it won’t. Our soldiers are already in harms way. Kidnapping them is already on a terrorist’s agenda. But more importantly, our soldiers are trained to not let themselves be vulnerable to such acts, and, every soldier is trained in “escape and evasion” – whew, I remember that, that training was no joke.
In the end, our policy about captured soldiers is flexible, given the circumstances and opportunity. We are not dealing with individuals who are adhering to the Geneva convention “rules of war”. Take a look at it, it’s a very interesting set of documents. The one thing I found interesting is, if we follow the “law” or “rules”, the dropping of 2 nuclear bombs seem to have violated the Geneva convention about the abuse and killing of civilians in war. But here is what the law is, and what it states…
“The law requires the defense secretary to notify relevant congressional committees at least 30 days before making any transfers of prisoners, to explain the reason and to provide assurances that those released would not be in a position to reengage in activities that could threaten the United States or its interests.”
Given the precarious condition of the Middle East, I’m not sure these 5 guys will make a difference. Are these guys such high level that they will find the time, effort, money, and means to launch an attack on America, and its interests, or, get bogged down in the sectarian violence that has grasp the Middle East? I think the latter will occur….
We are not good at following rules… None of us… my fellow heathens…
Welcome to the real world Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl
Up next, IRAQ….