Fact Checker Says John McCain DID Flip-Flop On Bowe Bergdahl
John McCain: Obama Released the ‘Jihadists Responsible for 9/11′ to Get Sgt. Bergdahl
Published on Jun 8, 2014
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Sunday asserted that the five Taliban members traded for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was being held prison of war, were “hardcore military jihadists who are responsible for 9/11″ and should have been detained indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay or some other U.S. prison.
“First of all, I wouldn’t release these men,” McCain told CNN host Candy Crowley.
“Ever?” Crowley wondered.
“Not these men,” McCain insisted. “They were judged time after time during their confinement in Guantanamo, they were evaluated and judged as too great a risk to release. That was the judgement made.”
The Arizona Republican argued that Bergdahl knew when he joined the military that he was taking “certain risks, and among those risks are wounding, death, imprisonment. That’s why we cherish and love all of those men and women who serve so much.”
Crowley pointed out McCain had supported a prisoner exchange with the Taliban to save Bergdahl earlier this year.
McCain, however, insisted that the president had chosen the wrong prisoners, but refused to say exactly which detainees he would have selected.
“First of all, we’re not sending everybody home,” he chuckled. “We are going to send them — even if we close Guantanamo — we are going to send them to facilities inside the United States of America, that’s been the plan all along.”
“Second of all, I believe we should keep these people because they are hardcore jihadists who are responsible for 9/11,” McCain continued. “Of course, nobody wants to release people who are responsible for 9/11, and these people that are released that were Taliban governing worked hand-in-glove with al Qaeda.”
Retired Air Force Col. Morris Davis, who was the former top prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay, told MSNBC on Saturday that the prisoners released in exchanged for Bergdahl were so inconsequential that he did not even know who they were.
“My role as chief prosecutor was to review the information we had on the detainees to determine which ones we could potentially bring war crimes charges against,” Davis recalled. “When I saw the names of the five individuals, when they were reported last weekend, my first reaction was, ‘Who are they?'”
“I never saw the names before, which means there was not enough information to even make it on our list of potential prosecution,” he explained. “To trade five of them for a U.S. service member, in my estimation, and I’m often critical of President [Barack] Obama, I think they struck a pretty good deal.”
WaPo Fact Checker: Yes, McCain Flip-Flopped on Bergdahl Release Deal
Published on Jun 6, 2014
Yesterday John McCain insisted that he did not flip-flop on support for the deal to release Bowe Bergdahl, and anyone who says he did is a “lying” “Obamaphile.” Well, Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler looked into McCain’s denial and concluded that yes, he did, in fact, flip-flop.
Kessler goes through all the facts of the case; McCain was aware of who was being considered for the prisoner exchange, he said previously he was “inclined to support” a deal to trade five Taliban commanders for Bergdahl, and his given reason for not flip-flopping is that he brought up “details” back then that would have to be decided on. Kessler writes, “His previous dispute had been on releasing the men as a confidence-building measure, not on the character of the men themselves. He certainly did not say he would have objected to these men being part of the prisoner exchange.”
Kessler also calls McCain out for acting like the trade was a “surprise” when it’s clear he was aware of the facts ahead of time, and concludes that he flip-flopped. McCain may have thought he left himself an out when he said his support was dependent on the details. But then he can’t object to the most important detail — the identity of the prisoners — that was known at the time he indicated his support. McCain earns an upside-down Pinocchio, constituting a flip-flop.
Rachel Maddow Jabs John McCain Hypocrisy on Bergdahl – The Rosetta Stone of What’s Wrong in DC
Published on Jun 5, 2014
6-4-14 – (MSNBC) – On Wednesday night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow announced that she has discovered the Rosetta Stone, the “secret decoder ring” by which all of U.S. politics in the Obama administration can be interpreted. She began by pointing to a Charlie Rose Show appearance by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) from some weeks ago in which the senator gave his prescription for how President Barack Obama should handle the Russian incursion into Ukraine.
“I think first I would try the Magnitsky, which as you know, targets individuals and their bank accounts and their ability to travel,” said McCain. “I would try that first. Then, obviously, I would look at other areas, throw them out of the G8, of course, it should be the G7.”
Then, when President Obama did exactly those things, McCain went on Imus in the Morning to bash him, joking that Putin must be “reduced to tears” not to be included in the G8 anymore.
“See?” Maddow said. “This is the Rosetta Stone, this is the magic decoder ring that tells you how Washington works right now. Say that President Obama should do something, then pray that he doesn’t actually do it, because if he does actually do it, you’re going to have to come out against the thing that you have been recommending all along.”
“It’s amazing,” she said. “John McCain, I’d have to make you up if you didn’t exist.”
Case in point: Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the prisoner of the Afghanistan war whose return Obama traded five Guantanamo prisoners for.
Weeks ago, in an interview with Anderson Cooper, McCain said, “I would be inclined to support such a thing,” with regards to swapping the five Taliban combatants held at Guantanamo for Bergdahl, particularly in light of the “rapid deterioration” of Bergdahl’s health seen in videos released to the Pentagon by the Taliban.
That, said Maddow, was Step One: McCain suggests Obama do something. Then comes Step Two, in which the president actually does it.
“Step Three?” Maddow said. “Well, now John McCain has to pretend to be against his own idea.”
Arizona’s senior senator obliged by saying on Wednesday, “This decision to bring Sgt. Bergdahl home — and we applaud that he is home — is ill-founded. It is a mistake and it is putting the lives of American servicemen and women at risk and that to me is unacceptable to the American people.”
Sighing heavily, Maddow said, “Sen. McCain did not think that very same exchange of prisoners would be ‘unacceptable to the American people’ when he himself suggested it in February. But once Pres. Obama did it and got Bowe Bergdahl home that way, well that’s when the senator had to complete Step Three of his magic decoder ring process and come out against his own idea as a terrible, outrageous and dangerous idea because Pres. Obama actually did it.”
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