President Obama has ordered his administration to conduct a comprehensive review of “U.S. policy governing efforts to free American nationals being held by militant groups overseas.” White House National Security Spokesman Alistair Baskey confirmed the President’s position in the following statement given Tuesday:
“The administration’s goal has always been to use every appropriate resource within the bounds of the law to assist families to bring their loved ones home.”
Abdul Rahman or James Foley’s families may or may not agree. Baskey continues:
“In light of the increasing number of U.S. citizens taken hostage by terrorist groups overseas, and the extraordinary nature of recent hostage cases, this summer, President Obama directed relevant departments and agencies, including the Departments of Defense and State, the FBI, and the intelligence community, to conduct a comprehensive review of how the U.S. government addresses these matters.”
Most of the rest of this speech was comprised of the typical fillers, such as, “All measures will be brought (against ISIS),” a statement I believe is genuine, or this cover statement: “(We will) bring all appropriate military, intelligence, law enforcement, and diplomatic capabilities to bear to recover American hostages.” No reason not to continue cautiously agreeing with what I was desperately hoping wasn’t merely lip service.
That is, until I read that some Pentagon ‘official’ wrote last week to U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter that the review would include an emphasis “on examining family engagement, intelligence collection, and diplomatic engagement policies.”
Instantly, I thought of the Bowe Bergdahl Operation.
Immediately after the release of Bowe in exchange for a gaggle of Taliban, there was outrage and scorn leveled at Bob Bergdahl for proclaiming in Pashtu, in the hallowed halls of the White House press room, “Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim.” In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate. He then thanked the Taliban for returning his son to him and his homeland unharmed. Mr. Bergdahl—a simple man who lives a homesteading life in peace—was even threatened with death.
Bergdahl had posted to his Twitter account such statements as, “I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, amen!” He was re-tweeting extremist propaganda about U.S. involvement in the Middle East. When he was presented with this evidence as a crooked judgmental media finger-point, he simply stated: “I follow a bunch of jihadis,” and added, “They’re great sources of information.”
Parallel values, gain trust, establish bona fides, infiltrate.
This was the first jumble of words that jostled their way to my brainbox for mulling over. Why would this not be possible? Given Bob’s position and his desire to have his son back, could he have been working to gain his son’s captors’ trust in order to infiltrate them? Maybe this was so successful that this quiet man might have been asked for the sake of national security to keep his true story to himself.
My skeptical hope began to increase with this thought. But the question remains: Did the government use Bob to get Bowe back? Or was the Bergdahl Operation a ‘live-fire’ dress rehearsal of a much bigger plan?
Featured Image Courtesy: Slate