Secretary of State John Kerry defended the trade of five top Taliban “generals” for the terrorist hostage Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl this way:
To leave an American behind, in the hands of people that torture him, cut off his head, do any number of things, and we would consciously choose to do that? That’s the other side of this equation. I don’t think anybody would think that is the appropriate thing to do.
Indeed, no one was thinking that, much less arguing it. The thrust of the criticism of the trade has centered on the trade, not on the idea of getting one of our own back; Kerry’s ascription to the contrary is facially false.
For instance, we could have worked a different deal, trading other prisoners, not from Gitmo, for the hostage Bergdahl.
We could have worked a different deal, trading something else for the hostage Bergdahl.
There’s reason to believe that we knew where Bergdahl was being held with enough specificity to just go get him.
Of course, Kerry knows that, which makes his “choice” a cynical and dishonest offering. The question is what does he gain with such claims? What can his boss, President Barack Obama do for him for this support of a bad effort? What does Kerry get directly for this?