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Saturday Morning Edition

The Front Page Cover
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened"
The Story You Haven't Yet Heard
About Bowe Bergdahl's Desertion
Michelle Malkin
"Rise up together as one voice"
"Be careful where you stand"
 Feinstein: nObama Broke Law  
Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) offered further thoughts on the Gitmo exchange: "The concerns are bipartisan. I strongly believe that [Congress] should've been consulted, but the law should have been followed, and I very much regretted that was not the case." While Democrats like Feinstein are no doubt genuinely angry at nObama for not consulting with them, there is a significant concern about covering their own rears with voters right now. nObama may have elected to bypass Congress in order to give Democrats -- those who are already vulnerable because of nObamaCare and his energy policies -- plausible deniability in connection with the Gitmo exchange, because he was going to make that exchange regardless. Fox News and the rest of the mainstream media are only now catching up with what we posted Monday, suggesting that nObama really did think this would be a big plus for him among many constituents. -The Patriot Post

 Political Points 
Senate Leader dinky Harry Reid says Barack nObama "acted honorably" by bringing Bowe Bergdahl home -- even if he is a deserter -- to be tried with American justice, instead of the Taliban version. He then said this was no time to score political points. Noble? No, because dinky Reid went on to say, "It's clear [Republicans are] worried his release could be seen as a victory for President nObama. Let me put that notion to rest -- it's not a victory for President nObama. It's a victory for our soldiers, their families, and the United States of America. No member of the Armed Forces should be left behind, and President nObama saw to that." Defending the president, attacking Republican rhetoric, appealing to supporting the military? dinky Reid is playing politics -- again. While the Left wants to high-five and celebrate a "victory," some question the "trade" because of its implications for national security and, you know, the actual good for the country. 
More... -The Patriot Post

 Fighting Homegrown Terror  
Attorney General Eric Holder announced he will bring back the 20-year-old Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, which Janet Reno established after the Oklahoma City bombing to fight homegrown terrorism. Holder declared that we must remain vigilant against radical Islamic terrorism, "But we also must concern ourselves with the continued danger we face from individuals within our own borders who may be motivated by a variety of other causes from anti-government animus to racial prejudice." Holder obviously has a chip on his shoulder as he is constantly stoking the fires of racial animus. And this administration has a troubling history of labeling its political opponents as extremists in order to make them sound scary. So Holder's committee focused entirely on groups with domestic origins is troubling. More...     -The Patriot Post

 Putin on dHillarious  
In an interview with Radio Europe 1 and TF1TV, Vladimir Putin knocked softball question after softball question out of the park from the two blathering journalists that could not slather the platitudes thick enough. It's propaganda at its finest. At one point, they asked Putin to respond to dHillarious Clinton's claim that Russia is acting like Nazi Germany in its dealings with Crimea and Ukraine. "It's better not to argue with women," Putin said, talking smack of America's former secretary of state. "But Ms. Clinton has never been too graceful in her statements. Still, we always met afterwards and had cordial conversations at various international events. I think even in this case we could reach an agreement. When people push boundaries too far, it's not because they are strong but because they are weak. But maybe weakness is not the worst quality for a woman." dHillarious could always just hit the "reset" button, but really, what difference does it make? More... -The Patriot Post

 Right Principle, Wrong Tactics  
After a group of open-carry activists in Texas succeeded only in prompting two more restaurant chains to ban firearms in their establishments (talk about "backfiring"), the NRA published a statement saying the demonstrators were "attention-hungry" and crossed the line "from enthusiasm to downright foolishness." Furthermore, "Using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners. That's not the Texas way. And that's certainly not the NRA way." The Texas group responded by threatening to tear up their NRA membership cards, so the NRA's Chris Cox quickly backpedaled, saying the release was merely the "personal opinion" of a staffer. The NRA should have stuck to its guns because they were right the first time. We might even go further and liken the Texas group's tactics to those of homosexual activists, who flaunt their "gayness" in your face. The issue here isn't the principle -- we agree with the Texas group -- but their tactics don't effectively advance the cause. More... -The Patriot Post

 Syria:   The Speaker of the People's Assembly, Mohammad Jihad al-Laham announced Wednesday that Dr. Bashar Hafez al-Asad was elected President of the Syrian Arab Republic for a third seven-year term.
Comment: The outcome was foreordained, but the election is interesting and significant. One Syrian commentator pointed out that this was the first election in which the Ba'ath Party in Syria allowed more than one candidate's name on the ballots. The election numbers are noteworthy because the Syrian voters gave Asad a much stronger vote of confidence than the Egyptian voters gave President-elect al-Sisi. Plus, people voted despite the fighting. The Supreme Constitutional Court announced that the number of registered voters was 15,845,575. This number apparently includes voters in combat zones because the CIA World Factbook lists Syria's total population as 17,951,639 people. It also includes Syrians outside the country. The Court's spokesman said 11,634,412 votes were cast, or 73.42% of the total number of registered voters. Just over 400,000 votes were invalid. This turnout would be impressive in the US, where there is no civil war. It far exceeds the Egyptian turnout in percentage terms. In Egypt, 25,578,233 votes were cast in the presidential election, representing 47.5% of the registered voters. The point is the civil war gave voters the option and justification to not vote, which the Opposition wanted. Nevertheless, they apparently chose to participate. President Asad obtained 10,319,723 votes, or 88.7% of the valid votes. That means that 65% of the registered voters chose Asad.  In Egypt, al Sisi won 23.78 million votes or 96.91% of the votes cast. That means that 46% of the registered voters elected him. Several points stand out. The Syrian opposition and  the fighting failed to disrupt the election. Syrian Arabs wanted to vote and did. Despite what Western media reported, the election was held in contested areas, including districts of Aleppo. One opposition leader told the press that he could not understand why Syrians voted so heavily for Asad, instead of just boycotting the election. One voter said he voted for Asad because he represents order and the opposition does not. If these views are representative, then this election represents a referendum on the opposition's failure to present an alternative to the Ba'athist government in Damascus. In three years of fighting, the Syrian opposition groups have failed to build a popular base of support. Some US diplomats have disparaged this election as meaningless, but such facile judgments do a disservice to the more than 11.6 million Syrians who voted. This is a study in democracy. -NightWatch
 Bill Whittle: Danger! Danger! 
In his latest FIREWALL, Bill Whittle talks about fathers and sons, heroes and cowards, as seen from the viewing port of the Jupiter 2. See the video and transcript below...
 Bowe Bergdahl, Just Deserts 
Death Penalty Month at has already been interrupted by the psycho in Santa Barbara, and now it’s being interrupted by the Buddhist in Bagram...Keeping to the spirit of Death Penalty Month, let’s review the execution of Pvt. Eddie Slovik. Slovik’s offense: desertion in wartime. (See the tie-in?) Unlike Bowe Bergdahl, who deserted his unit, according to the accounts of his comrades, Slovik never actually deserted. He also didn’t call America a “disgusting” country or say he was “ashamed to be an American.” Slovik was just a chicken.
 The Myth of Ethnic Inequality in Israel 
It is commonplace to attribute much of Israel’s domestic tensions to supposed Jewish discrimination against the country’s Arab citizens...Nearly every Israeli Arab nongovernmental organization insists that such discrimination characterizes the Jewish state in general and its labor markets in particular. The Israeli media routinely interview Israeli Arabs (and non-Ashkenazi Jews) who claim to have been victims of discrimination. These allegations are echoed by Jewish Israeli academics, think tanks, and journalists, especially on the political Left, not to mention the international anti-Israel movement and the boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign. Indeed, the U.S. Department of State has even joined the growing outcry concerning Israel’s alleged racist discrimination against its Arab citizens.
 Fox’s Rosen: Sources Claim Bergdahl’s Taliban Collaboration 
Fox News reporter James Rosen claimed intelligence sources have told him not only that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl willingly collaborated with the Taliban, but that his involvement with the terrorist group may be “as serious as you can imagine.”...Rosen spoke with Bill O’Reilly Wednesday night about his ongoing conversations with intelligence and Pentagon officials regarding both old and new investigations into Bergdahl’s likely desertion and possibly treasonous activities. “My reporting has shown that the intelligence community also undertook a separate [from the Army] investigation of Sgt. Bergdahl,” Rosen explained, “both his final period of active duty that culminated in that mysterious evening, and also his conduct over the past five years, which is said to have been a period of captivity.”,48782
 Why Was The FBI Investigating Hastings's Reporting on Bergdahl? 
Before Michael Hastings died in a car accident in June of 2013, he was one of the few journalists investigating the disappearance of Bowe Bergdahl. According to Vice, the FBI caught on to this and was investigating his reporting, check it out...Three years into the disappearance of Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan, Michael Hastings — the journalist whose reporting cost General Stanley McChrystal his job — wrote a Rolling Stone story on the missing soldier, a piece which the magazine called “the definitive first account of Bowe Bergdahl.” Hastings, who died in a car accident in Los Angeles in June 2013, had unparalleled access for that story.…But most controversially, Hastings’ piece revealed what has been the subject of much debate and vitriol over the last few days: That a disillusioned Bergdahl had actually abandoned his post and “walked away.”
 General: Deserter should never draw a free breath 
Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin says Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is clearly a deserter who should never draw a free breath, and President nObama is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors for once again ignoring federal law in pursuit of an administration goal...Boykin is also ripping the president for releasing five key Taliban figures in exchange for Bergdahl and slamming the nObama administration for attacking the character of Afghanistan veterans who publicly denounce Bergdahl’s actions in Afghanistan. The general said nObama’s actions in this episode demonstrate why he is unfit for office. He categorically dismissed nObama’s contention that the exchange had to happen to honor America’s commitment to leave no Americans behind. Boykin said that clearly wasn’t true in Benghazi and that the administration seems to have little regard for a U.S. Marine jailed in Mexico, an American pastor imprisoned in Iran or the Sudanese Christian in custody for her faith along with her two American children.
 Columnist Suffers Pot Paranoia As Dopers Advance 
Maureen Dowd of The New York Times has attracted attention with her column about eating a marijuana candy bar and remaining in “a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours,” as she began “panting” and becoming “paranoid.”...Some commentators are laughing about it. Not so funny are the reports of deaths from ingesting marijuana that Dowd cites in her column about marijuana legalization in Colorado. “In March,” she noted, “a 19-year-old Wyoming college student jumped off a Denver hotel balcony after eating a pot cookie with 65 milligrams of THC. In April, a Denver man ate pot-infused Karma Kandy and began talking like it was the end of the world, scaring his wife and three kids. Then he retrieved a handgun from a safe and killed his wife while she was on the phone with an emergency dispatcher.”
 Barack nObama, dHillarious Clinton and Their Roles in Libya 
A Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi was set up in September 2013 to investigate the causes and the circumstances involved in the attacks of September 11, 2012 on the U.S. Consulate and CIA Annex in Benghazi, Libya...The members of the commission include former CIA officers, retired military from the different branches of the Armed Forces, journalists, and defense consultants. The opportunity for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Libya did not interest President nObama. The war continued and tens of thousands of lives were lost. It was absolutely appalling that the White House and the State Department did not even consider entering into negotiations with Qaddafi to avoid bloodshed since President nObama and Secretary Clinton wanted to pursue the unconstitutional war in Libya supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and the al Qaeda-linked rebels. Both nObama and Clinton need to explain to the American people and to Congress why both of them wanted to empower jihadists and the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya, which went against the national security interest of our nation.
 Mark Levin Toches nObama Admin 
This is an epic clip from last night where Mark Levin went of on a fantastic monologue hammering the nObama administration, Susan Rice, and the State Department spokeswoman for undermining our troops and lying about the facts surrounding the Bergdahl exchange...
 Officials: Threat to Bergdahl's life led to action 
Let’s quickly nip this one in the bud……The White House political and communication team know they are in a world of political hurt for not notifying congress of the pending Bergdahl deal to swap Taliban officers for the missing army soldier. Now they attempt to spin their way out with another ridiculous justification.  The nObama administration has told senators it didn't notify Congress about the pending swap of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban officials because the Taliban had threatened to kill him if the deal was made public, three congressional officials have told The Associated Press.
The Story You Haven't Yet Heard
About Bowe Bergdahl's Desertion
Michelle Malkin
    Five years ago, I publicly raised questions about Bowe Bergdahl's desertion from Blackfoot Company, 1-501 Infantry (Airborne), 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division.

     A few weeks after his so-called "capture" in late June 2009, three conflicting accounts surfaced: U.S. officials told the Associated Press Bergdahl had "walked off" the base with three Afghans; the Taliban claimed on its website that "a drunken American soldier had come out of his garrison" and into their arms; and Bergdahl claimed in his Taliban "hostage video" that he had "lagged behind a patrol" before being captured.

     I asked on my blog: Were the AP's sources mistaken? Or is the disturbing first account the right one? What about the "three Afghans" Pfc. Bergdahl reportedly "just walked off" with after his shift? Who are they? What's going on?

     Five years ago, one of the brave soldiers who risked his life to search for Bergdahl answered my questions, and I published his statement on July 20, 2009: "I know the story and the accounts that he was drunk or that he was lagging behind on patrol are not true -- this soldier planned this move for a long time. He walked off the post with a day's supply of water and had written down before that he wanted to live in the mountains. ... He is an embarrassment to everyone who has worn the uniform."

     After news broke this weekend of President nObama's trade of five high-level Taliban commanders at Gitmo for Bergdahl's "freedom," I heard from another soldier who served on the search team. "Many of my brothers died because of Bergdahl's actions, and this has been a very hard day for all Geronimos," he told me after documenting his proof of service. Other journalists ignored his attempts to get the truth out. My source still holds a highly sensitive position, so you won't see him all over the cable news shows. But he wants all of you to know the hell he and his comrades have been reliving:

     "I was assigned to 1st Platoon of Blackfoot Company," based out of Forward Operating Base (FOB) Salerno in Khost, Afghanistan, he said. "Bowe's platoon was assigned to conduct security and stability operations out of FOB Sharana and other locations in Paktika. The untold background that led to Bowe's situation involves an article and pictures published by Guardian reporter Sean Smith." One of the battalion leaders punished soldiers, including Bergdahl (who had been photographed snoozing in his armored vehicle), with extra guard duty assignments for conducting operations in an unprofessional manner at Outpost MEST (OP MEST).

     "Bergdahl was already disenchanted with the war effort," my source said, "and I think the extra duty was the last straw for him." On the morning of June 30, 2009, "Bergdahl completed a guard shift, removed his equipment, weapon and sensitive items, and left OP MEST with several Afghan security forces personnel. He took a compass, a couple bottles of water and two knives and his journal. His exact intentions may never be known, but he willingly walked off OP MEST and was secured by enemy forces not long after."

     My source, who had been up the previous night on a separate raid, was "shaken awake" on the afternoon Bergdahl disappeared. "We were told there was a DUSTWUN (Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown), and to pack for a three-hour assault. We received a brief that Bergdahl was missing, and we were going to get him. ... Sometime after dark we boarded CH-47's to assault an objective thought to contain Bergdahl. We never made it to the landing zone, as the helicopters took very heavy fire on approach to the objective and had to divert."

     The soldier's Focused Targeting Force (FTF) platoon was not told that it was being diverted to OP MEST. When they landed, he said, "We thought we were in enemy territory, so I recall my friends and I screaming 'Vehicles' and preparing to engage with the LAW and SMAW-D rockets we carried. We soon realized the lights were from RG-31 and Maxpro MRAPs, friendly vehicles, and de-escalated the situation. The CH-47's had dropped us off at OP MEST and did not relay that information."

     With that near-disaster over, the soldier recounted: "We averaged 18 to 22 kilometers a day on foot, clearing house to house, room to room looking for Bergdahl. ... We even went as far as rappelling down wells and crawling through tunnels to look for him." The standard procedure for recapturing Bergdahl was not "normal," the soldier noted. "He was very good with knives, and trained to throw and fight hand-to-hand with knives. We did not know the mental state of Bergdahl at the time. All we knew was he left on his own, he caused us lots of hardship, and if we entered a room and saw him, we would put him down because he could attack us."

     On the morning of July 4, 2009, the soldier recalled, "we assaulted several objectives looking for Bergdahl. ... We executed the mission without incident and were waiting to be exfiltrated. Our aircraft were in sight when they turned and flew in the opposite direction. At the time we did not know why, but we were stranded. The enemy took advantage of Bergdahl's capture and attacked numerous outposts that morning."

     "Combat Outpost Zerok was almost overrun, multiple soldiers were wounded, and PFCs Justin Casillas and Aaron Fairbairn lost their lives fighting that day," the soldier told me. (I wrote about their deaths in my July 8, 2009, column, not knowing they were related to the Bergdahl mess.)

     My source continued: "We learned later that our exfiltration aircraft were diverted to support COP Zerok, and that the situation there was so dire that at one point there were two Apache gunships on station that went Winchester, meaning they expended all ordinance and ammunition, but they would not abandon the soldiers still fighting, so they resorted to low-level unarmed passes to distract the enemy. Bergdahl's actions undoubtedly caused these events. We spent the remainder of Independence Day walking in the desert ... waiting for aircraft that did not come for many, many hours."

     He continued: "A few days later, we (FTF) conducted a daylight raid on some tents looking for Bergdahl. We took heavy small arms and RPG fire on approach and ran off the CH-47s in contact. Our entire element engaged the enemy, who turned out to be a Taliban shadow governor and his bodyguards. ... Multiple people died that day. ... All of this happened because Bergdahl got tired of playing soldier. The remainder of that deployment was focused on recovery efforts. Countless members of the brigade were wounded, and we lost good friends, among them PFC Matthew Martinek and 2LT Darryn Andrews. I have no doubt these great men would be alive if Bergdahl did not leave."

     In addition to Andrews, Casillas, Fairbairn and Martinek, PFC Morriss Walker and Staff Sergeants Clayton Bowen, Kurt Curtiss and Michael Murphrey died as a result of Bergdahl's abandonment. That's eight dead American soldiers (not six, as the rest of the media have reported) betrayed by selfish Bergdahl and reckless President nObama.

     My source did not mince words: "The fact that our government negotiated with terrorists and our enemy is incomprehensible. The fact that they exchanged five war criminals for a traitor is sickening. The worst part for those of us that suffered through that time is that PFC Bergdahl is being hailed as some kind of hero. He was automatically promoted to Specialist and Sergeant, ranks he does not deserve and did not earn. I have no doubt he will receive back pay for these past five years, a substantial sum. There will be book deals, and his family are celebrities. I am glad he is safe, and happy for his family, but he should return home to face a court martial."

     Are you listening, Capitol Hill and America? The Bowe Bergdahl mess isn't just a story about one deserter, but two. There's the muddle-headed lowlife who left his post and brothers behind. And there's the corrupt commander in chief who has jeopardized more American soldiers' lives to "rescue" Bergdahl by bowing to the Taliban, while snubbing the surviving heroes and the eight dead American soldiers who lost their lives because of him. This cannot stand.

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