Obama Made the Right Decision on Bowe Bergdahl

David Brooks and Charles Krauthammer defend the move

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 6, 2014 12:58 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama is taking much flak over his decision to negotiate with the Taliban for the freedom of Bowe Bergdahl, but two columnists on the right come to his defense today. "Obama made the right call," writes David Brooks in the New York Times. Even if Bergdahl is proven to be a deserter who criticized his own country, "it doesn't matter," writes Brooks. He's still an American, and an essential "all-for-one-and-one-for-all" principle about citizenship was at stake. "Soldiers don’t risk their lives only for those Americans who deserve it," he writes. "They do it for the nation as a whole." In the Washington Post, meanwhile, Charles Krauthammer picks apart the common arguments against Obama's decision.

We don't negotiate with terrorists? "Nonsense. Of course we do. Everyone does, while pretending not to." Obama didn't inform Congress? He's commander in chief, and this was within his rights. It will endanger national security? Well, yes, but "no shame here, merely a lamentable reality." And those allegations against Bergdahl? We don't know yet whether he is, in fact, a deserter, or far worse, a defector. "What to do? Free him, then try him. Make the swap and then, if the evidence is as strong as it now seems, court-martial him." Both columnists, however, think Obama botched the rollout of the news in a big way. In Brooks' words, it was "a political stunt filled with inaccurate rhetoric and unworthy grandstanding." Click for Brooks' full column, or for Krauthammer's full column.

President Obama walks with Jani and Bob Bergdahl, parents of Bowe.
President Obama walks with Jani and Bob Bergdahl, parents of Bowe.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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