Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Jani and Bob Bergdahl speak to the media during a news conference at Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho, on Sunday, June 1, 2014. Their son, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is back in American hands, freed for five Guantanamo terrorism detainees.
WASHINGTON – Five years a captive from the Afghanistan war, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is back in American hands, freed for five Guantanamo terrorism detainees in a swap stirring sharp debate in Washington over whether the U.S. should have negotiated with the Taliban over prisoners.
U.S. officials said Sunday that Bergdahl’s health and safety appeared in jeopardy, prompting rapid action to secure his release. Republicans said the deal could place U.S. troops in danger, especially if the freed detainees return to the fight. One called it “shocking.” Arizona Sen. John McCain said of the five detainees, “These are the hardest of the hard core.” More here.
Do you think the prisoner swap was the right call?
The Taliban is once again playing a cynical game with the fate of Idaho U.S. Army soldier Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (pictured). As a carrot for broad negotiations to end the Afghanistan war, at least for U.S. forces, the terrorist group has proposed an exchange of Bergdahl for five of its most dangerous leaders from the Guantanamo Bay prison. The Taliban floated the same idea a year ago and, according to some accounts, the U.S. and the group have talked off and on about a deal going back at least two years. But he remains in the hands of his captors, who are apparently taking relatively good care of their prize; Bergdahl is their only known captive. Bergdahl’s family and community have been heartened by the latest proposal/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here. (AP/US Army photo)
Question: Has a member of your family been a prisoner of war?
The Afghan Taliban are ready to free a U.S. soldier held captive since 2009 in exchange for five of their senior operatives imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay as a conciliatory gesture, a senior spokesman for the group said Thursday. The offer follows this week's official opening of a Taliban political office in Doha, the capital of the Gulf state of Qatar. The only known American soldier held captive from the Afghan war is U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho. He disappeared from his base in southeastern Afghanistan on June 30, 2009, and is believed held in Pakistan/Kathy Gannon, AP. More here. (IntelCenter photo taken in 2010 of Idaho soldier Bergdahl)
Question: Should the U.S. accept this prisoner swap?
This Christmas will be the 3rd Bowe Bergdahl has missed with his family since being held captive in Afghanistan by the Taliban. Recently reports came out that Bowe was recaptured after a short three-day escape in August or early September and appeared to be in good health. A well-read national publication called the Daily Beast, an affiliate of Newsweek Magazine, says the soldier tried to escape. Quoting a Taliban source, the Daily Beast reported that Bergdahl told his captors that he wanted to find civilianvillagers who would help him and notify the U.S. I can’t help but wonder Why if the Daily Beast reporter can get close enough to his captors to get this information, why can’t the U.S. military? We want Bowe home. What is being done?/Idaho Conservative Blogger. More here. H/T: iSightOnline. (AP/IntelCenter photo of captured Bowe Bergdahl on Dec. 8, 2010)
Question: Has the American government done enough to get Idaho soldier Bowe Bergdahl home from Afghanistan?
Darrell Rusk provided this photo today of his son, Marine Pfc. Colton Rusk, with Eli, a black Labrador being retired from military service following the death of the younger Rusk. Colton's parents are adopting the bomb-sniffing dog who the military says loyally rushed to their son's side when he was fatally shot. The 20-year-old Texan died in December during a gun battle with Taliban fighters. (AP Photo/courtesty of Darrell Rusk)
DFO: This is a heart-breaking photo. It makes me think of my niece, a lieutenant in the Army National Guard, who just returned to the Middle East for her second tour of duty. She was deployed in Afghanistan first. Now, she's in Iraq. Sometimes, we forget that many families still have loved ones in harm's way.
Question: Do you have a loved one currently deployed in either Afghanistan or Iraq?
This image provided by IntelCenter today shows a framegrab from a new video released by the Taliban containing footage of a man believed to be Spc. Bowe Bergdahl, the only known American serviceman being held in captivity in Afghanistan, a group that tracks militant messages on the Internet said Wednesday. Story here. (AP Photo/IntelCenter)
- 2 WSU football players face pot charges/Vince Grippi, SR
- Boise State AD working to keep Petersen, coaches/Brian Murphy, Statesman
- Repeat offender gets 100 months for 100 mph/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels
- Ex-guv candidate Rammell charged with poaching/Spokesman-Review
- Zags, Cougs continue rivalry in Pullman tonight/Vince Grippi, SR
- Idaho suspends wolf management plan/Rich Landers, Outdoors Blog
- New Idaho sheriff shoots himself in the hand/Associated Press
- GOP legislators in Montana target abortion for 2011/Charles Johnson, Missoulian
- NW Montanan jailed for joking about bank robbery/Eric Schwartz, Inter Lake
- High schooler who forgot hunting rifle in trunk faces expulsion/AP
- Orbusmax Special: Bedridden Idaho man faces 1982 murder charge here
Good morning, Netizens…
KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai threatened over the weekend to quit the political process and join the Taliban if he continued to come under outside pressure to reform, several members of parliament said Monday. (AP News Wire)
Of course, cartoonist David Horsey’s question, as perhaps others might be whether the United States should be supporting the Karzai government.
On one hand we continue battling the Taliban, standing in favor of women’s rights and progressive democracy, on the other hand the Karzai government threatens to join the Insurgency responsible for so many American deaths. Which side do we support?
This frame from the video released Friday purportedly shows Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, 23.
KABUL, Afghanistan – The Taliban released a video Friday of an American soldier captured in Afghanistan, showing him apparently healthy but spouting criticism about the U.S. military operation.
In Idaho, Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl’s family pleaded on Christmas Day for his release and urged him to “stay strong.”
Bergdahl disappeared June 30 while based in eastern Afghanistan and is the only known American serviceman in captivity. Full Story.
Good evening, Netizens…
David Horsey makes a minor point appear quite innocuous while he overlooks one stark fact that somehow has eluded most of the policy-makers in Washington, DC. As far as I know nobody has won a war in Afghanistan. Perhaps I made a minor error in stating this, but thus far, I have not yet found a victor. None.
So if, as Mr. Horsey so aptly put it in his cartoon this morning, Obama is bugged by the Taliban insurgency, so be it.
We either have to discover a viable means of obtaining victory in a country where no one else has, or simply lick our wounds and retreat. Which will it be?