Candy Crowley, in continuing to carry water for the Obama administration, pressed Arizona Senator John McCain on State of the Union on whether Bowe Bergdahl was “less worthy of rescue” than a young John McCain when he was a POW during the Vietnam War.
Crowley led off her interview by acknowledging McCain’s service in Vietnam, complimenting him for serving with “courage” and “honor” and “valor.” Seeming to ignore her own kind words, she immediately went after the Arizona senator. After identifying the circumstances surrounding the capture of Bergdahl–likely deserter, possible defector, possible converter to Islam–Crowley posed this question to McCain [MP3 audio here; video below]:
If you look at all those things and say maybe they're true, does that make this young man less worthy of rescuing from his circumstances than a young John McCain as a POW?
Of course, McCain gave the answer one is required to give in that situation. He stated that the facts surrounding Bergdahl’s case make him no less worthy of rescue. He continued by explaining that the United States has “the obligation to do whatever we can to bring any of our captured servicemen and women back. But the question is, at what cost?”
To compare the service of John McCain–who was tortured repeatedly and refused release from the North Vietnamese until all the soldiers captured before him were also released–to likely deserter Bowe Bergdahl shows a stunning lack of appreciation for those who actually served with honor and distinction, unlike Bergdahl.
Crowley is just the latest example of the mainstream media pushing the strawman argument that many on the right did not seek to bring Bergdahl back. The question is not whether to bring Bergdahl back; rather the question is, did the Obama administration pay too high a price in releasing five senior “high risk” Taliban leaders?
The relevant portion of the transcript is below:
CANDY CROWLEY, host: Joining me now from Sophia, Bulgaria is Republican Senator John McCain. Senator, I want to get your response to the Secretary of State. But in light of the conversation this week, I wanted to start off with this. First of all, I think all of our audience and most of America understands the courage and the valor and the honor that you served for America in Vietnam as a prisoner of war in part for more than five years. In the spirit of that, I want to ask you this question. Let's assume that everything that's been put out there about Bowe Bergdahl this week is true. And we can't assume that because we don't know, that he went AWOL, he may have wanted to defect, that perhaps he wanted -- I'm sorry -- he may have wanted to desert. That perhaps he converted to Islam while in captivity. If you look at all those things and say maybe they're true, does that make this young man less worthy of rescuing from his circumstances than a young John McCain as a POW?
JOHN MCCAIN, Arizona senator: No, it does not, Candy. We have the obligation to do whatever we can to bring any of our captured servicemen and women back. But the question is, at what cost? Whether it would put the lives of other American men and women who are serving in danger, and in my view, clearly this would. By the way, the President and John Kerry are confident that if these guys re-enter the fight, one of them has already announced he will re-enter the fight. 30% of those who have been released from Guantanamo have re-entered the fight. We certainly haven't been able to kill all of them. So what we're doing here is reconstituting the Taliban government, the same guys that are mass murderers. One killed thousands of Shiite Muslims. These are the people that used to take women into the soccer stadium in Kabul and hang them from will goalposts.