POL103-Episode 10

In this Episode, the host talked about the recent of the soldier who once risks their life to find Bergdahl towards Bowe and the government, because the President’s speech in the Rose Garden and Mrs. Rich’s comment on TV did not mention Bergdahl’s leaving. She then talked about the leak of the US government that led to this situation. The White House did not share their real trading plan with the Congress, and the Congress sees this as a huge problem.

Honestly, as a person who only knows some basic knowledge about the US government system, I think this episode reveals a crucial problem of the system — efficiency and equity. In the last step of the trading, the White House cared more about efficiency: it may be the last chance we can get Bergdahl back. I understand their concern: “if they brought it up again, it’d get crushed, and they might not be able to get Bowe back at all”. However, from the Congress’s point of view, the White House put the equity away — keep the trading from them. The Congress’s solution was correct the law, making the law of release prisoner in Guantanamo more strict. Also, they held hearing for Bergdahl’s case. I think both sides have a good reason for what they did. I also think it is a good solution because the law will restrict both parties, and it is a success of the system. A little confusing about the punishment of break the law, which the host didn’t talk much. “By law, the administration was supposed to notify Congress 30 days before any detainee was transferred out of Guantanamo. This time, they didn’t. And that was on purpose.” I wonder what will happen except the hearing and the impeach.

The part I cannot accept is the Rose Garden one because I think that is the problem not related to the communication with the Congress. I agree that they need to add something like “we understand there were some irregularities or some question about his disappearance, and I want to assure all veterans, all former POWs, and everyone involved with the search that we will objectively and fairly get to the bottom of what happened” in the speech. (Those soldiers choose to tell the truth to the public, which for me they seem fighting with the White House. I really admire them. ) Also, I agree with the original plan — release a written statement from the president and the Pentagon. However, the White House said that in order to “please” the media, they changed the “statement” into a speech. Just because they are “too happy,” they forget to talk about the sacrifice of other soldiers for finding Bowe. I think this explanation is too vague. In my opinion, when facing the media, the White House should be thinking more about their audience and more careful about their words. For Susan Rice thing, “talking to the press is not her forte” cannot convince me as well. I thought this kind of mistake will not happen in the White House. No matter what, I believe the soldiers who sacrifice themselves for Bergdahl should be recognized, and their families should also be recognized by the president. The fact that so far “the U.S. military hasn’t done an official investigation into whether any soldiers died because they were looking for Bowe” sounds worse. I’m really glad to see the soldiers challenge the president and Susan Rice almost immediately. They give people a chance to know a more comprehensive story as soon as possible. After that, the public’s voice may add pressure to the US Army to do the investigation and uncover the truth. The host said the next episode will focus on the hearing, to see whether Hagel is telling a lie there. (“I’ve personally gone back and asked that question inside the Pentagon, in the army, in all of our reports. I have seen no evidence that directly links any American combat death to the, uh, rescue or finding or search of Sergeant Bergdahl.”)

In addition, I feel really impressive about the media in the US. The leaking about the five prisoners was posted by the Washington Post; the White House desperately wanted to “please” the media, so that they did not pay much attention to the speech; the soldiers share their experience and opinion in different TV shows in order to let more people know. I’m impressed that the media is really not the field that under the party’s control. The President, the Congress, and the judiciary authorities, plus the media, should check and balance each other, and that is what I think a government should work.

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