Is Bowe Bergdahl The GOP’s New Benghazi?

It looks like Bowe Bergdahl may become Republicans’ new Benghazi. 

President Barack Obama on Saturday proudly announced the release of the only known American prisoner of war in Afghanistan. But the GOP appears determined to turn what seemed like a big win for the White House into a major thorn in the commander-in-chief’s side.

Republicans are piling on Obama for releasing five Taliban militants in exchange for Bergdahl, suggesting the president negotiated with the enemy. They’re also complaining that he did not notify Congress before the swap. Complicating matters are questions about the circumstances under which Bergdahl, now 28, disappeared  in 2009 – with some of his former colleagues declaring him a deserter and claiming U.S. soldiers were killed as a result of searching for the Idaho native.

For his part, Obama has been playing a lot of defense over the prisoner exchange for Bergdahl, who was being held captive by what’s believed to be the Haqqqani terrorism network since 2009.

Obama’s announcement of Bergdahl’s release comes at a rocky time for the president – and a mere day after Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned following reports that VA hospitals falsified waiting lists.

Some observers are asking whether the Obama Administration may have miscalculated on how Bergdahl’s release would be perceived.

“You have to question how well they thought out these optics,” Republican strategist Ford O’Connell said. 

Still, O’Connell, the GOP strategist, warned Republicans have the potential to shoot themselves in the foot.

“Republicans need to tread lightly on this highly sensitive subject matter,” he said. “Not all the facts are on the table. There are a lot of unanswered questions. What they really need to be doing is pushing for accountability and transparency, otherwise they could go down the wrong rabbit hole and it could blow up in their face.”

Read more from Aliyah Frumin at MSNBC.com

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