Bergdahl, Snowden and the Misguided Right

The Right is furious at President Obama for releasing five top Taliban operatives from BSGuantanamo Bay in exchange Army PFC Bowe Bergdahl.  The uproar is loud as not only has Obama negotiated with terrorists, but he – WE – got the raw end of the deal.  Add to that the emerging circumstances of Bergdahl’s acquisition by the Taliban followed up by the President’s apparent violation of a law that he signed last year requiring he give Congress a 30-day notice before freeing prisoners from Guantanamo.

Michelle Malkin has followed the Bergdahl story since its beginning in 2009.  She has interviewed and corresponded with Bergdahl’s U.S. Army comrades who have revealed him to be a man far from the “honorable” soldier portrayed by the White House.  According to troops of Bergdahl’s unit, Blackfoot Company, 1-501 Infantry (Airborne), 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division:

On the morning of June 30, 2009, “PFC Bergdahl completed a guard shift, removed his equipment, weapon and sensitive items, and left OP MEST with several Afghan security forces personnel. He took a compass, a couple bottles of water and two knives and his journal. His exact intentions may never be known, but he willingly walked off OP MEST and was secured by enemy forces not long after. Many of my brothers died because of PFC Bergdahl’s actions…”.

John Sexton of wrote of even more disturbing ramifications of Bergdahl’s faux “capture:” Sgt. Evan Buetow, Bowe Bergdahl’s team leader there was an alarming increase in the IED attacks after Bergdahl disappeared.

“Following his disappearance, IEDs started going off directly under the trucks. They were getting perfect hits every time. Their ambushes were very calculated, very methodical,” Buetow told T(CNN). Buetow says it’s possible the attacks were a coincidence but adds that “We were incredibly worried” that Bergdahl was giving information to the enemy, either willingly or under duress.”

OK.  We get it.  It is appears more and more that PFC Bowe Bergdahl was a deserter, a dissenter and aided and abetted our enemies in such a manner as to cause the death of American troops.

Yet, Edward Snowden was all of those things as well.  And though deaths cannot be attributed to his treason, they very well could in the future.

I’ve had a very … intense exchange with a gentleman via Facebook.  He is among those who believe Snowden to be a paragon of liberty and deserving of praise.  The gentleman is clearly very passionate and has well intentioned and patriotic concerns for the country.  His vitriol towards me and anyone who tries to point out the fallacies in the Snowden story, however, is sadly typical of the far right, libertarians and those come to be called the Tea Party.

I asked him to turn his conspiratorial bent to Snowden as he and others have to Bergdahl and NSA.  Snowden claims to have over a million documents, yet made public a minuscule fraction of them.  What HASN’T he revealed?  Maybe information that refutes the more salacious stuff?  Documents refuting or rejecting the supposed “snooping” programs?

Has anyone EVER seen any internal email from the NSA Inspector General or General Counsel that either shut down a potentially contentious activity or mandated changes to make it compliant with the law and the 4th Amendment?  I have. And just because none have been made public in the Snowden case doesn’t mean they don’t exist. (Before people jump in with “AH HA! NSA does try to spy on us,” those IG and GC edicts were towards activities that JUST MIGHT be interpreted as possibly illegal.  And, yes, such qualifiers are common.  The GC at NSA is notorious for being excessively cautious, so much so that its interpretation of the 4th Amendment makes Rand Paul look like Eric Holder)

I suggested my Facebook pen pal ask, “What of these million documents have been given to the Russians that will now give them military or cyberwarfare advantage?  Are you pleased that your hero has given our adversaries information that can easily mean the death of our troops on the battlefield?  Look at what Bowe Bergdahl’s former mates say happened to THEM after he went over to the Taliban (more accurate IED attacks, etc.). What Snowden did is thousands of times worse.”

Vladimir Putin’s was already a dangerous man and he has, coincidentally (?), become more brazen since Edward Snowden became a Tea Party hero and ran to Moscow with a suitcase of classified files.

Most of what NSA does is related to its combat support role.  There can be no doubt that Snowden has given Vladimir Putin information on U.S. military communications, our intelligence collection against Russian and Chinese and Syrian and Jordanian and Pakistani and Taliban and PLO and Hamas and Hezbollah military, political and financial operations.  It is also more than likely that communications support from NSA to our troops regarding IED operations has also been compromised. 

How is it, then, that Edward Snowden is any less a traitor than Bowe Bergdahl?



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