Military

By Laura Flint | June 13, 2014 | 3:45 PM EDT

The panelists of MSNBC’s Morning Joe got a little more than they were bargaining for when they brought Sen. John McCain on their June 13 program.

With the Arizona Republican making the case that the Obama administration was leaving Iraq in a hostile situation in which all of America’s past sacrifices “will have been made in vain,” both host Mika Brzezinksi and Sam Stein of the Huffington Post went above in their efforts to defend Obama’s decision to pull out of Iraq completely.[See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]

By Kristine Marsh | June 12, 2014 | 3:07 PM EDT

Well that’s not something you see every day. An A-list actor led Hollywood celebrities at an awards show to give a standing ovation to an American war hero in the audience. At the Spike TV “Guys’ Choice Awards” June 7, Mark Wahlberg accepted the “Troops Choice” award and spent his whole time on stage thanking and praising the U.S. military and former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell.

Wahlberg recently starred in Luttrell’s true-life story told in “Lone Survivor,” and is starring in the upcoming “Transformers 4: Age of Extinction.”

Video after the jump.

By Matthew Balan | June 11, 2014 | 8:58 PM EDT

CBS Evening News was the only Big Three evening newscast on Wednesday to report that the FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the V.A. scandal. Neither ABC's World News nor NBC Nightly News covered this latest development in the ongoing controversy. Instead, both programs devoted air time to the 20th anniversary of O.J. Simpson's slow-speed run from the police, after the murder of his wife and her friend.

Anchor Scott Pelley gave an 18-second news brief on the federal agency's new probe into the cover-up of long patient wait times at the Department of Veterans Affairs: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

By Tom Blumer | June 9, 2014 | 4:37 PM EDT

Both Time and the Wall Street Journal have reported that Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier released by his Afghan captors in exchange for five hardened Gitmo terrorists — or, in the alternative universe of the Los Angeles Times, five guys aged 43 to 47 who "are pretty old now" — will not contact his parents (WSJ's headline says he "has declined to speak to his family").

That news broke several hours after Fox News's Juan Williams appeared on Chris Wallace's Fox News Sunday and compared Bowe Bergdahl to the biblical prodigal son. The analogy didn't even work at that point, as RedState poster Aaron Gardner explained this morning. Video of Williams's wacky whine follows the jump:

By Connor Williams | June 9, 2014 | 11:00 AM EDT

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]:

By Tom Blumer | June 9, 2014 | 12:45 AM EDT

On Thursday, the editorial board at the New York Times, reacting to the growing firestorm over the release of five hardened terrorists from Gitmo in return for the Army's Bowe Bergdahl, went after Bergdahl's "army unit’s lack of security and discipline." It then incredibly claimed that a classified army report described in a separate Times dispatch that day suggested that those alleged conditions were "as much to blame for the disappearance" of Bergdahl as ... well, the sloppy editorial didn't specifically say.

On Sunday, two Times reporters continued the offensive against Bowe Bergdahl's platoon and its members, apparently wanting readers to believe that the unit's occasionally "raggedy" attire and alleged poor leadership somehow explain Bergdahl's "disappearance."

By Tom Blumer | June 8, 2014 | 12:36 AM EDT

The seething anger at seeing the Obama administration being raked over the coals by critics of the Bowe Bergdahl exchange of five hardened terrorists for a soldier who left his post, including many Democrats and most prominently his fellow unit members, was apparently too much for the editorial board at the New York Times. On Thursday, they let loose with a poorly sourced and hastily drafted editorial originally entitled "The Politics of the Bergdahl Case." Tim Graham at NewsBusters alluded to this editorial on Friday in covering fake conservative David Brooks's completely predictable defense of President Obama's decision.

Several revisions later — five in all, tracked by an impressive site called NewsDiffs.org — there is a more pointed title ("The Rush to Demonize Sgt. Bergdahl"). The Times has also had to make two corrections, including an important qualification to a statement made by Arizona Senator John McCain which negated the Times's attempt to go after him (of course, the Times pretended that it didn't). The editorial went on to outrageously impugn the motives, integrity and basic decency of Bergdahl's comrades in Afghanistan and sympathizers who have had the unmitigated gall to help them tell their story to the press.

By Mark Finkelstein | June 7, 2014 | 10:44 AM EDT

Mark Jacobson may have set a new standard for dumb defenses of the Bergdahl deal.  Appearing on MSNBC's Up With Steve Kornacki today, scholar and Afghanistan veteran Jacobson suggested that opposition to the Bergdahl deal arises out of the soldier's religion and politics. He made a mind-boggling analogy: "My parents freaked out when I went to Afghanistan both times. If I had been captured. Do I want someone to say this nice Jewish kid over in Afghanistan, a little bit liberal, not really sure if we're going to go get him? Absolutely not."

What?? If a soldier, whatever his religion or politics, had served, to quote Susan Rice, with "honor and distinction," and a deal to retrieve him were on the table that wouldn't seriously jeopardize our national security interests, can anyone conceive that we wouldn't make it?  The objections to the Bergdahl deal arise out of the very high national security price exacted in exchange for someone who seemingly was at best AWOL, if not a deserter.  Giving the lie to Jacobson's lunacy was fellow panelist Jack Jacobs, who objected to the Bergdahl deal.  Jacobs, by the way, grew up a nice Jewish kid in NYC, and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service in Vietnam. (Video below.)

By Matthew Balan | June 6, 2014 | 11:32 PM EDT

Brian Williams glossed over the V.A. scandal during his interview of President Obama on Friday's NBC Nightly News. Williams did devote time to the ongoing controversy surrounding the release of senior Taliban leaders in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl – specifically the White House failing to inform Congress 30 days before the Islamists were let go from Guantanamo Bay, as required by federal law.

However, the anchor didn't mention that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid revealed that he was informed of the trade for Bergdahl on May 27, 2014 – a day before it actually happened. Williams also forwarded the President's own misleading claim about his grandfather's World War II service: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

By Matthew Balan | June 6, 2014 | 10:12 PM EDT

Friday's World News on ABC paid tribute to the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy with an emotional look at one of the remaining veterans who survived the hellish landings on Omaha Beach. However, the Big Three newscast made a historical gaffe during anchor David Muir's introduction to the segment.

Muir directed his audience's attention to a black-and-white photo of troops landing on June 6, 1944, and contrasted it with a photo taken Friday morning supposedly at the same place: Omaha Beach. But the 70-year-old picture was actually of British and Canadian troops landing at Juno Beach miles to the east: [video below the jump]

By Laura Flint | June 6, 2014 | 3:45 PM EDT

Doing his best to keep the Obama administration’s front line from falling into retreat, MSNBC’s Ed Schultz sprayed rhetorical cover fire all over the place on his June 5 program, defending Team Obama’s much-criticized deal to release Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five deadly Taliban leaders.

Within the first two minutes of Thursday’s The Ed Show, Schultz called Republicans “ruthless and without boundaries,” using Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s family as “a tool in their toolbox to take down President Obama.” According to Schultz, Republicans “can’t stand the fact that [Bergdahl’s father] Bob Bergdahl doesn’t hate Muslims.” [See video below. Click here for MP3]

By Michelle Malkin | June 6, 2014 | 12:03 PM EDT

Ten years ago this month, U.S. Marine Wassef Ali Hassoun disappeared from Camp Fallujah in Iraq. After a five-month military investigation, he was charged with desertion and theft, brought back to Virginia's Quantico Marine base and then transferred to North Carolina's Camp Lejeune for trial.

Yet, a full decade later, Hassoun is as free as a bird. The accused deserter's whereabouts are unknown. No trial ever began. No punishment ensued. And our leaders in Washington don't seem to be doing a thing about this.