Semantics: If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck ... well, you get the idea. But not this White House, which called the Fort Hood massacre by a self-proclaimed jihadi yelling "Allahu Akhbar" "workplace violence."
The White House line that we traded five Taliban generals for him because "we leave no man behind" is wearing thin. We do and should leave deserters behind, and if we ever get our hands on them, their fate is usually not a happy one. Neither should Bergdahl's be.
The administration believes that its trade for the five Taliban leaders — who are eligible to return to the battlefield in three months, and one of whom has already phoned his old terrorist pals — could still possibly be explained away as a well-intentioned mistake.
At the time, Bergdahl was said to be in bad health, and he hadn't been officially charged with anything. And besides, the Taliban is not a terrorist group.
That's now the official line by an administration that let Marine Andrew Tahmooressi rot in a Mexican jail because he took the wrong exit but that sees nothing wrong in rescuing a deserter in time of war while strengthening an enemy that has cost America much in lives and treasure.
We can't be trading terrorists for a turncoat if the Taliban is not a terrorist organization. They're an "armed insurgency," as White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz explained.
IS is a terrorist group but the Taliban is not, making it lawful to deal with them.
Never mind that this administration does not consider the Islamic State either Islamic or a state.
By their fruits ye shall know them, except in the Obama administration. To explain this distinction without a difference, press secretary Josh Earnest said, "(The Taliban) do carry out tactics that are akin to terrorism, they do pursue terror attacks in an effort to try to advance their agenda."
But they are not a terrorist group, Earnest insists, because the Taliban, unlike al-Qaida, "have been principally focused on Afghanistan."
So you can commit terrorist acts but not be a terrorist group as long as your terror tactics are employed within the same ZIP code.
Never mind that it was the Taliban that let al-Qaida use Afghanistan as a sanctuary and base camp to plan and launch the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America.
Pressed on the issue of a terrorist designation, Earnest acknowledged that while the Taliban is not on the State Department list of terrorist groups, they are on a Treasury Department list of "specially designated global terrorists" dating back to a 2002 executive order.
That doesn't count, Earnest claims, because it was done just to put financial sanctions on Taliban leaders.
We suspect that the White House is tap-dancing because it knows there's a statute on the books saying that giving material aid and comfort to a terrorist organization is a federal crime.
Giving aid and comfort includes providing the terrorist group human assets in the form of five of its top commanders. These aren't mere foot soldiers in the terrorists' war on the West: They are hardened leaders who, someday, with their enhanced knowledge of the U.S., may do something horrible to innocent Americans.
That they were swapped for a deserter only makes it worse: It would be an impeachable offense. We don't expect impeachment to happen, but we do expect the word games to stop and the truth to be told.
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