There has been no shortage of criticism surrounding the release of Bowe Bergdahl, and a now-deleted tweet is joining the roster of things being picked apart. As the Washington Post reports, Bergdahl's father, Bob, last week tweeted the following: "I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, ameen." Though it has since been scrubbed from Twitter—without explanation, though the media has asked—it was apparently directed at a Taliban rep and was posted only four days before news of the prisoner exchange broke. And it has some of those critics railing against the Bergdahls and their perceived "contempt for their own country," writes the Post. More:
- Bergdahl was a frequent topic of question at a press conference President Obama held in Warsaw, Poland, today, and Politico has some standout lines, on the administration's moves ("Regardless of the circumstances, whatever those circumstances may turn out to be, we still get an American soldier back if he’s held in captivity. Period. Full stop. We don’t condition that."); on what Bergdahl was doing when he was captured ("We obviously have not been interrogating Sgt. Bergdahl. He is recovering from five years of captivity with the Taliban."); and on whether he could possibly be court-martialed for desertion ("That’s not something that we’re discussing at this point because our main priority is making sure that the transition that he is undergoing after five years of captivity is successful.")
- Joint Chiefs Chair Martin Dempsey was less cagey, telling the AP today that the Army may yet pursue desertion charges against Bergdahl.
- What was the turning point amid years of negotiations? Sources tell the AP there was no singular breakthrough, but that two terms of the swap were changed in the final days of negotiations: The Taliban agreed the freed detainees wouldn't leave Qatar for a year—it had been pushing for exemptions for things like medical reasons—and the US agreed to release all five detainees at once, not one or two at a time as previously offered.
- The AP points out that Bergdahl wasn't technically a prisoner of war. Read its interesting explanation here.