Just when you thought that the relentless Fox News attacks on Bowe Bergdahl couldn't get any lower, along comes something to show just how low Fox will go in their efforts to smear an American soldier. Given that Fox vigorously plays the fear and loathing of Islam card, the newest attack on Bergdahl isn't unexpected. It was only a matter of time before the old Stockholm syndrome thing would be invoked because, according to Fox, Bergdahl isn't just a "deserter," a charge that hasn't been proven but it is being promoted on right wing media. Bergdahl is now being accused of something even worse. Super squirrel secret documents, discussed on the official Fox News show "Special Report, prove that he has - OMG - converted to Islam and is now a jihadist. No, I'm not kidding.
Last night, in what could have been straight out of "The Onion," "news" guy Chris Wallace started his Fox News exclusive with this scorching exposé. In an almost hysterical tone, Wallace proclaimed that "intelligence sources report that during his captivity, Bergdahl declared himself a warrior for Islam." Fox reporter James Rosen reported that "secret documents" show that Bergdahl "was said to have converted to Islam and was, according to one eye-witness account, observed openly fraternizing with his captors, including taking part in AK 47 target practice with them and declared himself a mujahadeen or warrior for Islam."
Rosen said that these documents offer "the most detailed, real time accounts" of Bergdahl's captivity during which time "the wayward soldier's relationships with his captors morphed over time". Rosen claimed that the documents show that Bergdahl experienced brutal conditions at some points; but at other, was treated with "seeming affection in ideological alignment" with his captors. This is where things got really interesting. Rosen said that these documents were done by the Eclipse Group, "a shadowy private firm" run by ex CIA Duane Clarridge who, according to Rosen, is - ready for it - "best known for his involvement in the Iran Contral scandal." Rosen noted that he was pardoned by Pres. GW Bush.
Rosen claimed that Eclipse is on contract, with the DOD, to private "granular intelligence on a broad range of security topics" including Bergdahl. Rosen read a portion of the report which described the "relaxed" conditions in which Bergdahl converted to Islam, declared himself a holy warrior, and was generally having a great time "laughing" and saying "Salaam."
After Rosen continued with excerpts from the secret documents, Wallace asked "how do we know that these are intel reports" and that Bergdahl wasn't "acting, pretending to be sympathetic to ease his captivity." Rosen said that the senior intelligence officials that he spoke with agreed that this "is a very real possibility that in converting to Islam and declaring jihad that Berghdal may have been feigning his allegiance" and that it could be Stockholm syndrome in which "a captive discovers an allegiance with the people holding him hostage." Wallace said this was a "fascinating" and "big piece of the puzzle."
Fox News Insider has more detailed information regarding Clarridge's "network." Interestingly, the article admits something not mentioned during Wallace's piece; i.e. that a retired CENTCOM commander, who got information from a general who got his information from Clarridge, said that he had not received the documents cited by Fox News. The article also states that this commander asserted that nobody in the military or intelligence community "ever learned of anything to suggest Bergdahl had evolved into an active collaborator." Rosen wrote, but did not say, that the "trustworthiness" of the Haqqani commander who oversaw Bergdahl "had not been fully vetted by the group."
The NY Times describes Clarridge's information as "an amalgam of fact, rumor, analysis and uncorroborated reports" which "show up in the work of conservative theorists from Oliver North on down." So are we surprised that it's now become part of the new Bergdahl truther narrative being pimped on the "fair & balanced" Fox News. So, as was said in Plan 9 From Outer Space - "That proves it!"
It’s me again. Long time no type!
I would just like to point out that James Rosen is a known liar, which I have proven. He published an entire book on John Mitchell and Watergate based on lies and cherry-picked facts and quotes, which I have debunked.
You can find all of my writing on James Rosen at http://notnowsilly.blogspot.com/search/label/James%20Rosen
I’m also rocking Twitter at https://twitter.com/Aunty__Em , doing the facebookery at https://www.facebook.com/headly.westerfield , and running the popular Johnny Dollar Depreciation Society located at https://www.facebook.com/TheJohnnyDollarDepreciationSociety
Come and say HOWDY!
With all my love,
The performance artist formerly known as Aunty Em Ericann (http://www.newshounds.us/auntys_antics/)
PS: Goo goo ga joob!!!
The Eclipse report, as far as I can tell, was entirely made up of things various Taliban types told the Eclipse people, so every word of it is suspect. They had no “eyewitnesses” themselves.
Even so, it says Bergdahl was kept in a “metal cage” for some time after one of his escape attempts. I don’t know about you, but I’d denounce my mother to get out of a metal cage maintained by the Haqqanis.
Also, I have to grudgingly say that Rosen’s report on this is actually reasonably honest. It’s the “hosts” who have ignored half of what he said about it in order to slime Bergdahl with cherry-picked lines from it. Rosen is an ideologue and a partisan, but he also retains, it seems, some basic journalistic integrity, unlike the rest of the network he works for.
And those soldiers who had accused Bergdhal of leaving his post would have been called liars by these Fox “News” mouthpieces.
These cafeteria Catholics at this fraudulent “news” outlet have a soft spot for Catholics.
For example, we keep hearing two other nonsensical stories trumpeted as fact.
One is the notion that Bergdahl was supposedly out looking to join the Taliban, based on rumors and what are said to be the accounts of a couple of local Afghanis who encountered a wandering Caucasian man and tried to warn him. Of course, we don’t know what actually happened in that interaction or if Bergdahl understood or trusted anything he was being told.
Another is the more noxious idea that somehow Bergdahl was the cause of multiple soldiers dying in some effort to search for or rescue him. The facts actually line up with Chuck Hegel’s statement that we have no indication that anyone died specifically because they were on a mission to look for Bergdahl. Multiple soldiers were killed around the time that Bergdahl was taken captive, but there are many other potential reasons – including the facts that we had an offensive surge going on, that there were multiple other dangerous operations going on that these soldiers were involved in at the time, that this was a period where there were statistically more casualties (these numbers go up and down, going through their own lulls and surges), etc.. To blame those deaths on Bergdahl alone is to not understand what was happening on the ground at the time, and Fox News’ military analysts should know this.
There’s also the matter where they want to label Bergdahl as a “deserter” before any military hearing is conducted. As Carville pointed out last night, this is something that the military will deal with in their own way. It is not up to Hannity, O’Reilly or any of the others at Fox News to unilaterally declare this to be the case before a military court rules about it. And just because his fellow soldiers were angry with him and have let that fester during his captivity does not automatically mean that they’re right about the situation either.
Even Clarridge’s bizarre concoction includes the notes that Bergdahl repeatedly attempted to escape. Any of these accounts of him in captivity could easily be him trying multiple ways to lull his captors into dropping their guard so he could escape again.
None of this will make a difference to Fox News, since they’ve already made up their mind what the narrative here is. And I note that a non-Fox reporter who appeared on Hannity last night did repeatedly try to explain this to him without success.