To call President Obama's Afghanistan policy a mess is a colossal understatement. To call it a coherent "policy," for that matter, is a gut-busting exaggeration. It's a bloody, incompetent and treacherous disaster.
Our military heroes and families, God bless them, refuse to stay silent about the consequences. Consider these three national security fiascos:
1. Washington is awash in conflicting reports this week that the Pentagon may — or may not — charge Taliban tool Bowe Bergdahl with desertion. I first reported on Bergdahl's betrayal and abandonment of his post in July 2009. A military source tells me that the Obama administration has "slow rolled" the investigation and prosecution — while withholding vital intelligence gathered from Bergdahl's debriefing last summer.
As the Obama administration dithers on the desertion charges, at least one of the five Taliban terrorists the president exchanged for Bergdahl has reportedly returned to jihad. The news comes this week as the White House adamantly refuses to call the Taliban a terrorist group.
Former Army Ranger and sniper Nicholas Irving, who served in Afghanistan when Bergdahl went AWOL, minced no words. "I think he should definitely be put to death. He's given a lot of information to the enemy, and he should pay the price," Irving told radio host Howie Carr.
2. While Bergdahl enjoys a desk job, two promotions, back pay and bonuses, and personal security, a real American hero in uniform is fighting for his reputation and his military career after warning colleagues of an insider attack on an American base in the Helmand province.
In 2012, Maj. Jason Brezler, a highly decorated Marine reserve civil affairs officer, sent a classified document through his personal email account to fellow Marines at Forward Operating Base Delhi. The correspondence, which came in response to a FOB Dehli Marine's request for information, involved the shady history of Taliban-tied Afghan police chief and accused drug lord and child molester Sarwar Jan. Jan had been suspected of coordinating Taliban operations, selling Afghan police uniforms to our enemies, and raping at least nine boys on base.
A few weeks after Brezler's warning, which went unheeded, one of Jan's teenage "tea boys" went on a shooting spree at FOB Dehli. Marine Staff Sgt. Cody Rhode was shot five times, but survived. Three others died of gun shot wounds: Staff Sgt. Scott Dickinson, Cpl. Richard Rivera and Lance Cpl. Greg Buckley.
Buckley's relatives filed suit against the government last fall over what they believe has been a coordinated and illegal attempt to suppress details of the insider attack. Meanwhile, Brezler is in court this week fighting military brass — irked by bad publicity — who've tried to railroad him despite his exemplary service. Obama military leaders want to force Buckley to undergo an involuntary "separation" even though three Marine commands and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service all recommended no action.
His pro bono lawyer, Kevin Carroll, summed up the appalling injustice in Brezler's latest court filing before a hearing scheduled for Friday: Our "Marines were murdered by a 'chai boy' brought onto the base by a corrupt Afghan police chief who was a well-known threat, and whom Jason Brezler had not only previously removed from another command but also warned the FOB Delhi command about two weeks before the murders. The Marine Corps has never honored laws compelling it to disclose all documents and information concerning these murders to the Gold-Star families of those murdered Marines."
Last week, the Marine Corps Times revealed that security lapses at FOB Delhi were the result of politically correct management. In order to soothe sensitive Afghans who were offended by the presence of armed guards, an internal investigation found, "Marine officials had resorted to a more subtle overwatch." Or rather, no watch. The guards were absent when Jan's tea boy attacked. Marines died, and the only person at risk of losing his job is Brezler, the brave whistleblower.
3. The cover-up and lack of accountability over an insider attack in Afghanistan are familiar story lines to the families of the two dead American Marines and 17 servicemen wounded in the September 14, 2012, Taliban attack on Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. Deborah Hatheway, aunt of fallen Sgt. Bradley Atwell, wrote me this week with an update.
"The surviving insurgent/terrorist, Mohammed Nazeer," was "convicted and sentenced" in the Afghan court system, she reported, but "we are not sure at this time when the execution will take place or if it has already. ... We filed a complaint about the handling of this matter and that we should have been made aware of the progress of this all along.
"Michelle, you would be amazed and shocked over such extreme gross negligence. ... It is so shameful that the brass are nothing but a bunch of performing monkeys in a circus! I have come to realize that (those) high up the command chain only care about their promotions and saving their asses."
The troops-endangering treachery rots from the head down.