The ‘Swift-Boating’ of Bowe Bergdahl | National Review Online

Swift-Boating-of-Bowe-Bergdahl

As the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap has curdled from presumed triumph to public-relations nightmare, the White House and its defenders have cast about for excuses to explain why the administration’s negotiating brilliance has gone unappreciated.

White House staffers told NBC’s Chuck Todd that they were taken aback at the “swift-boating” of Bergdahl by his former comrades. That’s a reference to the attacks on John Kerry when he was the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee by the troops he served with in Vietnam.

Rightly understood, “swift-boating” shouldn’t be a pejorative — it’s what happens when men in uniform feel betrayed by a comrade and tell the public what they believe to be the truth about his service. But for Democrats and the media, swift-boating is about the most heinous thing that can happen to someone.

Bowe Bergdahl thus joins Kerry as a victim of a partisan smear campaign — except, unlike the secretary of state, Bergdahl doesn’t have any prestigious medals to throw away (or pretend to throw away) at an anti-war protest.

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