Scarborough: Bergdahl Exchange 'Strangest Thing Ever' From White House

Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 10:50 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Talk show host Joe Scarborough said the explanation about the prisoner exchange of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Guantanamo detainees was "the strangest thing I have ever seen coming out of a White House."

Scarborough said on his MSNBC show that unanswered questions about the exchange must indicate there is more information about why the United States released the five prisoners from the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"This is the strangest thing I have ever seen coming out of a White House. I mean, this is so monumentally bad. There has to be something else behind the scenes," Scarborough, a former Republican Florida congressman, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Thursday.

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Scarborough also questioned who sent National Security Adviser Susan Rice to report on Sunday talk shows about the prisoner exchange after questionable comments she made after the 2012 bombings in Benghazi, Libya. At that time, Rice was the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and blamed an anti-Islam video for the Benghazi attacks.

Rice told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that Bergdahl had "served the United States with honor and distinction." Reports later emerged he had been captured after deserting his unit.

"Who sent Susan Rice out?" Scarborough asked. "I find it absolutely dumbfounding that she would go back on and say something that was patently false that everybody knew was patently false. That members of the unit knew it was patently false. The Intel Committee knew was patently false. That the White House administration had briefed the Intel Committee years before it was patently false."

Scarborough said that Bergdahl, while a U.S. soldier, was also possibly a deserter, and therefore, may not have been worthy of trading for five top Taliban terrorists.

"Yes, damn straight it matters that he was a deserter instead of a war hero. And yes, damn straight it matters that maybe six Americans have already died because he wanted to roam the fields of Pakistan. Damn straight that you leave him there if it means more Americans are going to get killed, and more daughters and sons are going to grow up without their moms and dads," Scarborough said.

Scarborough had harsh words for Bergdahl's father, Bob Bergdahl, who wrote to his son before he went missing that "it is never safe to ignore ones' conscience," in response to an email his son had reportedly written than he "was ashamed to even be American" and that he was "sorry for everything here."

Scarborough said: "I have a 26-year-old son. And if my son is out on the wire and he is out there with fellow troops and he writes me and says he hates America and he's thinking about deserting, and he's thinking about leaving his post, I can tell you as a father of that 26-year-old or 23-year-old son, I'd say, 'Joey, you stay the hell right there.' I would call his commander. I would say, 'Get my son. He's not well. Get him to a military base in Germany.' I would not say, 'Follow your conscience, son.'"

Scarborough also asked why Bergdahl's fellow soldiers were asked to sign nondisclosure forms, and why the administration maintained the exchange needed to be done quickly because Bergdahl "was dying." He also questioned why President Barack Obama maintained Congress had been briefed on the plan when "he knew it was false, and he'd be called out in a matter of moments."

Scarborough said that much of the information about the events of the exchange was coming from the Taliban. He found it curious there was "transparency from the Taliban, but not the U.S. government."

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