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Did the U.S. make the right call in U.S.-Taliban captive swap?


A Pentagon investigation concluded in 2010 that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl walked away from his unit, and after an initial flurry of searching the military decided not to exert extraordinary efforts to rescue him, according to a former senior defense official who was involved in the matter.

Instead, the U.S. government pursued negotiations to get him back over the following five years of his captivity — a track that led to his release over the weekend. Questions mounted at home over the swap that resulted in his freedom in exchange for the release of five detainees who were sent to Qatar from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo, Cuba.

Here is a sampling of what our readers had to say on Facebook in response to our question: Do you think the U.S. government made the right call?

“No!! We should never negotiate with terrorists.” — Kelley Alexander-Kruger

“The Emir of Qatar was leading the negotiations, and we simply provided the bargaining chips with which to get our soldier home.” — Scott Crain

“This guy, by all accounts, was a deserter, who left to JOIN the Taliban… five soldiers were killed, many more injured trying to find him. Bad choice.” — Kraig Kirves

“Swapping five known terrorists was not a good trade. While we want our soldier back, this is not a fair trade. It also encourages bad guys taking more POWs to trade for more of their guys. Also, this soldier deserted his post…” — Amy Kasner Johns

“Oh my gosh! The USA gave in to terrorist demands! We can expect more problems now that every terrorist knows we will negotiate.” —Lisa Applegarth

“Will it put other Americans at risk? Absolutely!” — Garland Salyers

“On one hand, people get all teary eyed and super patriotic regarding Americans held hostage by foreign governments. On the other hand, people tend to forget about those apple-pie feelings when Obama has anything to do with it. The lack of empathy is not surprising. If it was one of your family members, you would most likely want the President to do whatever it takes to ensure a safe return home. I’m sure his family is grateful and in the end, that is all that matters.” — Julie VanSteenburg


America’s grand experiment in representative democracy is in trouble. Thanks to the Supreme Court declaring corporations “people,” unlimited donations, and gerrymandering of districts, candidates no longer have to answer to their constituents. They only have to answer to the money. Sad.

The primary is well over and the election in November is way off. So why is Gov. Kasich running so many ads? In just one half hour I saw two of them and am getting really sick of seeing them. If they keep up, by November I’ll be sick of hearing about Kasich.

Re the NASIC commander: I have to wonder why the new commander’s sexual preference needs to be pointed out and discussed at length. Did they announce Gen. Wolfenbarger as the “first heterosexual female” commander of AFMC when she took over as the commander?

A lot of people seem to think $15 an hour would be an appropriate rate to start a 16-year-old in a part time entry level position at a fast food restaurant. Since they also think running a business is so easy, why don’t any of these people start their own business and do just that? Incidentally, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi is very wealthy from businesses that employ hundreds of non-union workers. I wonder what she pays entry level workers.

As a Troy resident, I was appalled to read that a part-time firefighter/EMT/Paramedic would only make $13-14 per hour. For risking their lives and saving ours, they deserve so much more.

Great report on cost of vehicle crashes including data on seat belts. People must wear them, but many don’t. According to the public service TV we see the reason for wearing them is that if you don’t, you may get a ticket. The reason is that if you don’t wear your seat belt, you may die or suffer horrible injuries. A better slogan: “I don’t like seat belts, but I can live with them.”

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