An odd coincidence in the Bergdahl release?

There are a few potentially important details surrounding the timeline leading to Bowe Bergdahl’s release that might deserve some discussion.

Truth Revolt supplies some details on the timeline:

This week’s [the week of Bergdahl’s release] secret diplomacy was not the first time the U.S. government had engaged the Taliban in an effort to negotiate a prisoner swap for the release of Bergdahl. In 2011, State Department officials held a series of meetings with Taliban leaders in Doha.

In Congress, there was bipartisan opposition to any release of Guantanamo prisoners. After the negotiations were made public in early 2012 by Sen. Dianne Feinstein the Taliban announced they were pulling out of the talks.

Truth Revolt continues:

The U.S. official praised this operation [the operation leading to Bergdahl’s release] as a show of interagency cooperation—it was a whole-government effort that he said had been in the works for five years. “We really got traction in the last week but we never lost sight of Bergdahl,” he said.

So, Bergdahl was left in Taliban hands in 2009, meetings were held to get him back in 2011, Feinstein went public about the talks in 2012 and the Taliban left the table.  Then, Obama suddenly gained “traction” in the midst of a cresting VA scandal that pierced even the NBC shield.

The Truth Revolt material shows that negotiations for Bergdahl’s release have been underway for years.  We also know that on Sunday, May 25 Obama visited Afghanistan’s Bagram Airfield for a secretive military consultation.

It was during this secretive visit, which occurred around a week before Bergdahl’s release, that the Kabul CIA station chief was outed.

Of course, Obama’s people say the outing was accidental.

Maybe it was, just like Bergdahl might be just as honorable as the always very honest Susan Rice says he is. 

It seems that we might now want to ask whether the outing might have been a part of the price demanded by the Taliban for the deserter’s release. 

Clearly, the Taliban consider the exchange an important triumph.  Do you think they would have accepted the same 5 terrorists for one deserter deal at any other time before now?  Given that they seem to like the deal so much, why wouldn’t they have?

And yet, over a period of several years the deal never materialized. 

It didn’t materialize until just after Obama’s Bagram visit and the leak associated with it.  All that floundering around for years, and then, of a sudden, such miraculous traction! 

Perhaps the Taliban, in full view of an Obama mired in a disastrous VA scandal, were holding out for still more -- like the identity of a CIA station chief -- and got it?

Or maybe it was just a random coincidence.

Dr. Jason Kissner is associate professor of criminology at California State University, Fresno.  You can reach him at