BY BECKET ADAMS
Following Wednesday’s announcement that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, 28, will face charges that he deserted his post in Afghanistan in 2009, most U.S. newsrooms either downplayed or ignored long-standing reports that six U.S. soldiers died in efforts to locate the former Taliban captive.
USA Today blared at the top of its front-page Thursday, “Bergdahl charged with desertion.”
“Ex-POW to face desertion charges,” the Wall Street Journal said in a below-the-fold report.
Bergdahl, who spent five years in Taliban captivity after he went missing from his base, could face life imprisonment if he is found guilty of desertion. The U.S. Army sergeant was released in 2014 after the Obama administration agreed to release five veteran Taliban officers held at Guantanamo Bay.
The Washington Post reported Thursday on its front page, “Desertion charge for onetime POW.”
“Soldier released by Taliban is Charged by U.S. as a deserter,” The New York Times reported on its front page.
These reports were careful to note the severity of the charges brought against Bergdahl and the punishment he may face if convicted. But missing from these accounts are details regarding reports that allege six U.S. soldiers were killed in efforts to locate and rescue the missing Army sergeant.
Although Bergdahl’s lawyer alleged no lives were lost as a result of his client’s disappearance, there appears to be more to this story.
It is a fact that six service members died in Paktika Province after Bergdahl went missing, “during a period in which every mission, even if not directly aimed at finding Bergdahl, included some element of a search,” CNN reported Wednesday.
Further, a former member if Bergdahl’s unit told CNN, “when those soldiers were killed, they would not have been where they were if Bergdahl had not left.”
The only mention that the Post had for soldiers who allegedly died searching for Bergdahl is a line that notes his disappearance prompted “a search that put lives in danger.”
The only reference in the Journal report came from former Army sergeant Josh Korder, who served at the same base as Bergdahl when the 28-year-old went missing, who said Bergdahl “put soldiers’ lives at risk.”
USA Today doesn’t lay out exactly who may have been killed in the searches for Bergdahl, but the front-page report does note that his former unit members say he put “other troops at risk and diverted resources from other units.”
USA Today also reports that one of the charges brought against Bergdahl alleges he “endangered the safety of troops at Observation Post Mest in Paktika Province by walking away and causing the military to launch ‘search and recovery operations.'”
The Times’ only mention of soldiers who may have died looking for Bergdahl appears in a quote from his lawyer, Eugene R. Fidell.
“No, there is no evidence that any soldier died searching for him,” Fidell said, citing an unreleased report by Maj. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl, who conducted the investigation into Bergdah’s disappearance.
Separately, on Thursday, ABC News and CBS News both ignored reports that six soldiers died searching for Bergdahl.
Former members of Bergdahl’s unit, who allege he intentionally abandoned his post, putting the entire outfit into harm’s way, praised the charges brought against the 28-year-old Idahoan.
“The Army did the right thing here,” former platoon mate of Bergdahl’s, Cody Full, 26, told the Post. “You give an oath. You sign your name to serve your country. No matter what you’re supposed to fill that oath.”
Former sergeant and team leader of Bergdahl’s unit Evan Buetow said he believed the charges are justified.
“The whole reason we came forward last year when they released Bowe, we knew he needed to answer for what he did,” he said. “We knew he was not a hero. … He had to answer for why he deserted, and that’s what happened.”
BY PETER SUDERMAN
Obamacare turns five years old this week, and to mark the occasion, President Obama took after critics of the health law, noting their ongoing opposition while briefly laying out the reasons he believes it to be a success. “It’s time to embrace reality,” he said, according to The Hill.
The president ticked off a string of points in support of the law: an additional 16 million insured, 50,000 fewer preventable deaths, slow growth in health premium costs, and lower deficit projections as a result.
The law, he said, is “working even better than expected.”
One could reasonably quibble with much of this, because not all of the points President Obama cited are clearly or fully attributable to Obamacare.
Health spending growth, for example, is indeed down, and this is driving much of the decline in the deficit, but at least a sizable portion of the decline—perhaps most of it—can be attributed to the recession. One study in Health Affairs last year concluded that about 70 percent of the health spending slowdown is a result of the economy, not any structural changes to health care delivery. Obamacare may be due some credit, but not too much.
Similarly, it’s true that a government report estimated that between 2010 and 2013, deaths from “hospital-acquired conditions” were reduced by about 50,000. But it’s hard to fully pin this on Obamacare when the report states up front that “the precise causes of the decline in patient harm are not fully understood.”
Meanwhile, the 16 million insured figure comes from a March report by the Department of Health and Human Services, and it is a total of those who gained coverage through Obamacare’s exchanges, Medicaid, employment, and the individual market place, which means it’s not wholly attributable to the law. And it tallies those who signed up for coverage rather than those “effectuated enrollment”—those who have already paid their premiums. The actual number is probably not too far off from what President Obama stated, but, once again, Obamacare isn’t the entire story here.
So Obama is overstating the case, and, of course, leaving out points against the law.
For example: About half of the people who received subsidies through the law last year will have to pay them back through their taxes this year, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study this week. On average, those who owe will have to pay a little more than a quarter of their subsidy back. A few will have to pay back the entire subsidy.
On the flip side, a little less than half will end up getting money back, but even that will be complicated by the fact that the federal government and California, which runs the biggest state exchange, sent out nearly a million tax forms related to the health law with incorrect information, leading the administration to ask many to delay filing their taxes as a result. California has already issued 120,000 correct tax forms, but there are still “tens of thousands” who haven’t gotten updated forms, according to the L.A. Times.
Beyond that, there are additional questions about whether the Internal Revenue Service is even equipped to handle all the new paperwork required by the law. According to the Chicago Tribune, roughly a quarter of tax filers will have extra filing requirements due to the health law.
And then there are the poll numbers for the law, which is still unpopular, just as it has been throughout the five years it has been law. Polls differ on the exact contours of public opinion about the law, but all the polls in the Real Clear Politics opinion survey show that oppositions outweighs support by at least seven points; on average, the opposition is 10.5 points higher than the support.
If the law is truly working so well for so many people, if it is, as Obama has now taken to saying, working better than expected or anticipated, then why does it remain so stubbornly unpopular?
When the law was being debated in Congress, many supporters of the law argued that it would grow popular once it passed. When that didn’t happen, Obamacare backers insisted that it polled poorly because the major benefits had yet to kick in. When the major benefits kicked in, they argued that the botched launch of the exchanges was killing support.
These excuses no longer work. The coverage expansion has arrived, and while the precise numbers aren’t clear, there’s no denying that far more people are covered now than two years ago. The exchanges are still incomplete on the back end, but the consumer-facing part of the system works well enough. The health insurance subsidies have arrived, and are being doled out to millions, and so have the insurance rules restricting insurers from charging or denying coverage based on preexisting conditions.
Obamacare’s major benefits have gone into effect and had time to work their way through the system—and yet the law remains widely disliked. Obama’s message about the law, meanwhile, remains the same as always: It’s great, and people should stop resisting and recognize how great it is.
After five years, in other words, President Obama has not changed his message, even in the face of consistent broad public opposition, even as the various theories for why it remains unpopular have fallen away. Obamacare is simply not well liked. This is the political reality—and President Obama still refuses to embrace it.
I have predicted that these Muslim “grooming gangs” would not be limited to Britain, and now here is one in Canada. Not a day goes by in the UK, where islamization is much further along, that these monstrous news stories emerge of sexploitation of non-Muslims by Islamic supremacists. The Brits have 20 years on us, but Obama is working hard to catch up. Expect a lot more of these cases to start popping up in North America — for example, the conviction in Tenneseee a few years ago of three Muslim men:
A Tennessee federal jury split its verdict Friday against nine people accused of operating a sex trafficking ring across three states run mostly by Somali refugee gang members, convicting three men and acquitting six. (FOX)
They won’t be acquitting them for long. Juries in the US have no idea what they are dealing with. The sharia is an ideology that asserts that Muslims are superior to non-Muslims. They think that non-Muslim teenage girls are worthless and can be abused without a second thought. That is the sharia.
CALGARY – Police have charged three men with the sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl last year.
Investigators say the assaults occurred while the victim was spending time with the suspects at a southwest home on May 14th, 2014.
It’s alleged the 14-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by each of the men at separate times.
The allegations were brought forward to police in August of 2014, at which point officers launched an investigation to determine who the offenders were.
Police have charged 22-year-old Abas Ahmed Ibrahim (also known as Maxboy or Moe), 21-year-old Omar Kromah (also known as Nef) and 24-year-old Zakariya Mohamed Abdow (also known as Slickthug or Slimthug) with sexual assault, sexual interference with a child under 16 and invitation to sexual touching.
Investigators are asking anyone who has information about this case to call police.
Anyone who has had sexual contact with the three men is urged to contact a doctor and seek testing for sexually transmitted infections.
Published on Mar 27, 2015
Sgt. Mike Vierkant, who was Bowe Bergdahl’s Team Leader, gives his opinion on the recent desertion charges.
Crimean head Sergei Aksenov said that Crimea will welcome the deployment of nuclear weapons in the republic if Russian President Vladimir Putin deems it necessary.
SIMFEROPOL (Sputnik) – Crimea will welcome the deployment of nuclear weapons in the republic if Russian President Vladimir Putin deems it necessary, Crimean head Sergei Aksenov told Sputnik.
“If there is such an order from the supreme commander, we would support it,” Aksenov said.
On Wednesday, the chair of Russian State Duma Defense Committee, Vladimir Komoyedov, said that needed, Russia was ready to place nuclear weapons in Crimea.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed on Wednesday speculations by US billionaire Donald Trump and the Western media of “nuclear rhetoric” in Putin’s remarks in a documentary on Crimea’s reunification with Russia that was aired last week. The media claimed that Putin had said in the documentary that Russia was ready to put its nuclear forces on alert to protect Crimea and the Crimeans against potential aggression.
© SPUTNIK/ IGOR RUSSAK
Crimea rejoined Russia in March 2014, after 96 percent of the peninsula’s population voted in favor of a reunification deal.
In a speech following the referendum, Russian President Putin pointed out that it was held in full compliance with democratic procedure and international rule of law.
The West has refused to recognize the results of the vote, labeling Crimea’s secession an “annexation,” and have introduced several rounds of economic sanctions against Moscow.