Conservatives have responded to the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl by attacking his father, questioning President Obama's sanity and patriotism, and calling for impeachment.
Obama Administration Negotiates Release Of Bergdahl In Prisoner Exchange
NY Times: Captured American Soldier Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Released. On May 31, the Obama administration announced it had obtained the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, an American soldier who had been held captive by the Taliban since 2009:
The lone American prisoner of war from the Afghan conflict, captured by insurgents nearly five years ago, has been released to American forces in exchange for five Taliban detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Obama administration officials said Saturday.
The soldier, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, 28, was handed over to American Special Operations troops inside Afghanistan near the Pakistan border about 10:30 a.m. Saturday in a tense but uneventful exchange with 18 Taliban officials, American officials said. Moments later, Sergeant Bergdahl was whisked away by the helicopter-borne commandos, American officials said. He was described in good physical condition. [The New York Times, 5/31/14]
Conservative Media Respond To Exchange By Attacking Bergdahl's Father, Smearing Obama, And Calling For Impeachment
Allen West Promotes “Bombshell” That Bergdahl's Father “Sanctified” The White House And “Claimed It For Islam.” In a June 2 post on his website, Fox News contributor Allen West promoted a “bombshell,” “very poignant” email from a senior fellow at Frank Gaffney's Center for Security Policy. In the email, Clare Lopez claims Bergdahl's father used a specific Arabic phrase at the White House, which “sanctified the WH and claimed it for Islam. There is no question but POTUS knows this.” [AllenBWest.com, 6/2/14, via Think Progress]
Fox Doc Keith Ablow: Bergdahl Release Reveals Obama Does Not Have “Americanism In His Soul.” Fox News Medical A-Team member Keith Ablow claimed on Fox & Friends that the release of Bergdahl revealed that President Obama does not have “Americanism in his soul. And this swap, somebody who may not feel very American for five people who definitely don't, is symptomatic of that. It was bound to happen, when you have a leader who doesn't affiliate with patriotism.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/4/14]
Fox Business Guest “Very, Very Concerned About The Mental Stability Of This President.” Psychotherapist Gina Loudon, appearing on Lou Dobbs' Fox Business program, said she was “very, very concerned about the mental stability of this president” following the Bergdahl release. According to Loudon, “some of his behavior seems irrational to me, it seems beyond that of just a typical, narcissistic, arrogant, sort of, I'm a leader of a big country and I feel tyrannical at the moment kind of attitude. It really seems to me like this president is demonstrating behavior that is not only anti-American, but irrational and erratic and perhaps, not exactly what we might want to deem sane.” [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 6/3/14]
Ralph Peters: U.S. Used To Shoot, Hang, And Brand Deserters. Fox contributor Lt. Col. Ralph Peters called the Obama administration's handling of the Bergdahl case “Benghazi 2.0” and dismissed calls from the administration to wait for an investigation into Bergdahl's capture, instead insisting Bergdahl was a deserter and emphasizing that the U.S. used to go after deserters and when we got them “we shot them or hanged them, or if we were in a good mood, we would brand them with a 'D' on their cheeks or forehead. When we became enlightened in the twentieth century, we still shot some, but we always sent them to prison or to hard labor.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 6/3/14]
Brian Kilmeade Suggests Bergdahl's Father “Look[s] Like A Member Of The Taliban.” Attacking the beard Bergdahl's father reportedly grew out of solidarity with his son, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade said: “I mean, he says he was growing his beard because his son was -- because his son was in captivity. Your son's out now. If you really don't, no longer want to look like a member of the Taliban, you don't have to look like a member of the Taliban. Are you out of razors?” [Media Matters, 6/3/14]
Bill O'Reilly: Bergdahl's Father “Looks Like A Muslim.” Discussing Bergdahl's father's May 31 Rose Garden appearance, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said, "[h]e has learned to speak the language of the Taliban and looks like a Muslim, actually thanking Allah right in front of the president." [Media Matters, 6/3/14]
Laura Ingraham On Bergdahl's Father: “If He Wasn't So Light-Skinned, He Actually Looks Like The Terrorists.” Referencing O'Reilly's “revelations,” ABC News and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham told her radio audience that if Bergdahl's father “wasn't so light-skinned, he actually looks like the terrorists.” [Media Matters, 6/3/14]
Andrew McCarthy Invokes Impeachment Over Release. In comments to the Daily Mail's website, Mail Online, National Review writer Andrew McCarthy reportedly said the administration's handling of the release amounted to a “high crime and misdemeanor.” [Mail Online, 6/2/14]
Andrew Napolitano: Impeaching Obama Over Bergdahl Release A “Very, Very Valid Argument.” During an appearance on the June 3 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano argued the administration “may very well have committed a federal crime by giving material assistance to a terrorist organization.” After Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy mentioned Andrew McCarthy's comments, Napolitano deemed the impeachment argument “very, very valid.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/3/14]
Allen West: The House “Should File Articles Of Impeachment Against Barack Hussein Obama.” In a June 3 post on his website, Fox News contributor Allen West posited, “the U.S. House of Representatives should file articles of impeachment against Barack Hussein Obama.” He continued, “I submit that Barack Hussein Obama's unilateral negotiations with terrorists and the ensuing release of their key leadership without consult -- mandated by law -- with the U.S. Congress represents high crimes and misdemeanors, an impeachable offense.” [AllenBWest.com, 6/3/14]