The House Armed Services Committee is holding what will likely be the first of many #Boweghazi hearings about the prisoner swap that resulted in the return of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from five years of Taliban captivity. On Wednesday morning, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel took Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) to the woodshed for suggesting that Sgt. Bergdahl is being held in Landstuhl, Germany, for reasons other than his medical condition. Miller also displayed his ignorance of what combat vets go through by comparing Bergdahl’s recovery with that of Private Jessica Lynch.
Because there is no angle from which Republicans will not attack the return of Bergdahl, Miller wanted to know why he isn’t being court-martialed right fucking now, in his hospital bed, live on Fox News.
“You keep saying we can’t get the facts from Sergeant Bergdahl until he returns home. Have you ever thought about talking to him in Germany?” Miller asked.
Secretary Hagel replied, “I don’t know how much medical training you’ve had, Congressman. I haven’t had much. What we’re doing is we’re allowing…”
Rep. Miller interrupted. “I tell you what. Mr. Secretary, wait a minute. wait a minute. Why haven’t he been returned to the United States?” he asked. “We have seriously wounded soldiers that have returned to the United States almost immediately after they are stabilized.”
Yes, ’tis but a scratch, right Mr. Congressman? “How long did Jessica Lynch wait before she was returned to the United States?” he continued. “You’re trying to tell me that he’s being held in Germany because of his medical condition?”
Hagel, clearly pissed, fairly growled “Congressman, I hope you’re not implying anything other than that.”
Over Miller’s best prosecutor act, Hagel told him, “I don’t like the implication of the question. He’s being held there because our medical professionals don’t believe he’s ready, until they believe he’s ready to take the next step to rehabilitation.”
Miller again referenced the speed with which wounded servicemembers are returned to the United States. “Have you ever seen an injured service member brought to the United States immediately upon being stabilized? We do it all the time,” he said.
“This isn’t just about a physical situation, Congressman. This guy was held for almost five years, in God knows what kind of conditions,” Hagel replied, adding “We do know some of the conditions from our intelligence community. Not, by the way, from Bergdahl. This is not just about can he get on his feet and walk and get to a plane.”
“He cannot be questioned because of his condition?” Miller asked.
“I’m telling you that the medical professionals, that we rely on their judgment for his health, which I assume everybody respects, have made the determination, and will make the determination that when he is ready to move and move to the next step, which most likely will be in San Antonio, then we can proceed,” Hagel said.
Shockingly, Rep. Miller pulled his information about Jessica Lynch’s recovery from the same place most of this #Boweghazi garbage comes from: his own ass. Lynch was rescued from that Iraqi hospital on April 1, 2003, and didn’t return to the United States until two weeks later, where she completed three months more of in-hospital recovery from her injuries.
For a party trying desperately to create the impression that this administration is somehow lying about a captured soldier’s service, Jessica Lynch is probably not the ‘droid they’re looking for. While the Obama administration has been consistent about withholding judgment on the circumstances of Bergdahl’s capture, the Bush administration flat-out lied about what happened to Lynch. If you’re trying to make a dollar out of fifteen cents, you don’t go flashing your own giant stacks of green.