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Patience, fairness trashed

Thanks for a thoughtful and reasonable June 5 editorial on the Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl scandal. I call it a scandal because Americans trash patience and fairness to attack President Obama.

Any illegality in the swap is petty compared to Guantanamo’s existence. Bergdahl bears no more responsibility for individual deaths than we who pay taxes for misguided military adventures. And Hailey, Idaho, has become a lightning rod for patriotic hatred.

This episode should teach us about declaring every veteran a hero and provide context for the punishments of Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and Sgt. Robert Bales.

On our way to perpetual war, we chose to terrorize terrorists rather than negotiate with them. Shipping long-term, uncharged, tortured Guantanamo prisoners has no downside, legal or not. A good negotiation would empty and close that prison, make constructive demands of the Taliban and show the world we are not bent upon destroying Islam.

We need politics for this situation, but not the kind that shows how greedy, mean and shallow we can be. Prosecuting Bergdahl is a waste, unless we prosecute the top of the chain of command who first took us into this unwinnable and illegal war.

Rusty Nelson



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