Rich Galen

I have spent a good deal of time considering how to approach this column.

We know about the "fog of war" when first reports of action are typically incorrect because of the confusion borne of people shooting at each other.

There is also the "fog of five years" when memories that might have been, contemporaneously, crystal clear have become fogged with retelling, hearing others retelling, or just plain forgetting certain parts and innocently filling in the blanks.

Finally, there is the Galen/Gore Gallop wherein if we tell a story long enough we think it actually happened, even if we made it up in the first place.

I don't know (and neither do you) what the arrangements are to keep track of those five Taliban leaders who are now in Qatar.

Are they living it up in a Ritz Carlton? Or are they in just slightly nicer prison cells from their accommodations in Cuba? Are the Qataris keeping tabs on them, or do we have to commit some number of security/intelligence operators to watch what they do?

Let's assume that someone in the State Department, the CIA, or the Pentagon went to someone at the White House and said, "We've got a deal to get this kid back."

And, let's assume that the best deal the Qataris could make on our behalf were those five Taliban.

It appears to me that whoever at the White House makes these kinds of decisions, said:

"Let's hit it hard."Let's bring Bergdahl's parents to Washington and do a Rose Garden announcement announcing their kid is coming home after five years in captivity.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at