How the Bergdahl Story Went from Victory to Controversy for Obama


It was a rare Saturday afternoon presidential announcement—and a most unusual one. Barack Obama appeared outside the White House in the spring sunshine with the parents of Bergdahl, an American soldier been held captive by the Afghan Taliban since 2009, to announce their son’s freedom.

“This morning, I called Bob and Jani Bergdahl and told them that after nearly five years in captivity, their son, Bowe, is coming home,” Obama said. “He wasn’t forgotten by his community in Idaho, or the military, which rallied to support the Bergdahls through thick and thin. And he wasn’t forgotten by his country, because the United States of America does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind.”

The first round of media coverage was triumphal, reflecting the president’s tone. “Obama Welcomes Release of Captured Soldier” proclaimed the Washington Post. ABC trumpeted “The Remarkable, Top-Secret Deal with the Taliban to Free…

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