We'll get to Hillary soon enough, but first, two more flashbacks. Katie raised one of them yesterday, but we can never get enough of Susan Rice. The administration's hand-picked Benghazi propagandist also praised Bowe Bergdahl for having served with "honor and distinction," even after former platoon mates began sounding the alarm that he was, at best, a deserter. The military reached that same conclusion years prior to Bergdahl's release, for which the US government negotiated with terrorists and agreed to release five high-ranking Taliban commanders. National Security officials say several of those terrorists are likely to rejoin the jihad; one has already openly vowed to do so. Then there were the legions of Democratic hacks who cast aspersions on those who leveled (warranted) misconduct accusations against Bergdahl. White House aides whispered to the media that Bergdahl was being "swift-boated," which was technically true: His former brothers in arms were accurately blowing the whistle on his betrayals and setting the record straight. Here was Donna Brazile claiming that those allegations were nothing more than a Republican conspiracy to make President Obama look bad:
A Republican PR firm has been publicizing accounts that Bergdahl might have gone AWOL just to make the President look bad.— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) June 8, 2014
Oops. President Obama does look bad here, but not because of Republican lies, or whatever. He looks bad for effectively negotiating with terrorists, for cutting a bad deal, for releasing five dangerous jihadis, for breaking the law by stiff-arming Congressional oversight, and by dressing up his decision as a patriotic, bold move to bring a hero home. The White House must have known about the cloud hanging over Bergdahl's disappearance, but they must have miscalculated that public joy would far outpace negative rumors, and that Bergdahl's fellow soldiers would sit back and silently watch the victory lap charade unfold. Oh, and Allahpundit is probably right that releasing a bunch of hardened terrorists was actually viewed as a feature of the plan because it helped Obama accelerate the process of emptying Guantanamo. After all, O just recently said that his biggest regret as president is that he didn't just unilaterally shut the detention facility down upon taking office. Think about that. His biggest regret. Then again, those were still the heady early days, when he was still pretending to care about the separation of powers. Finally, we have Hillary Clinton, co-architecht of Obama's failed Smart Power foreign policy, telling a surprised Diane Sawyer last year that the circumstances of Bergdahl's "capture" weren't at all relevant:
"It doesn't matter," she asserts, twice. "We bring our people home." We do? Even if they deliberately abandon their posts and reportedly seek out the enemy, whom they're also suspected of aiding and abetting? And for whom honorable men lost their lives during rescue efforts? And even if the cost entails cutting loose five ruthless terrorists? Of course it matters -- if not on substance (which it does), then certainly politically. That's why the White House unlawfully bypassed Congress to cut the deal, offering laughable excuses after the fact. They knew this was toxic, so they cut some corners and put on a happy face. Hillary's answer calls to mind her infamous response on Benghazi: "What difference, at this point, does it make?" Contrary to some critics' shorthand, Clinton wasn't arguing that the attack itself didn't make any difference. She was arguing that after Americans were murdered and our diplomatic mission sacked, the reason behind that attack wasn't all that important. She was dead wrong about that, too. It makes a big difference. Averting your eyes from the facts doesn't help prevent future bloody fiascos (some lessons weren't learned at State under her leadership). And an unpredictable, "spontaneous demonstration" over an internet video that spun out of control wouldn't make the government look nearly as derelict as a coordinated terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9/11, and on the heels of multiple requests for added security that were ignored and denied. How often would President Hillary shrug her shoulders and tell Americans that the facts "don't matter" or no longer "make a difference" in the face of national security debacles? She's certainly had plenty of practice.