Watch Obama's face as Bergdahl's dad invoked Allah in Arabic

When Bob Bergdahl launched in Arabic, invoking Allah while standing next to President Obama in the White House Rose Garden, a number of Americans were startled. Claire Lopez, a former CIA operations officer, a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on Middle East, national defense, WMD, and counterterrorism issues, emailed her friend Allen West:

“What none of these media is reporting is that the father’s (SGT Bowe Bergdahl’s father Bob) first words at the WH were in Arabic – those words were “bism allah alrahman alraheem” – which means “in the name of Allah the most gracious and most merciful” – these are the opening words of every chapter of the Qur’an except one (the chapter of the sword – the 9th) – by uttering these words on the grounds of the WH, Bergdahl (the father) sanctified the WH and claimed it for Islam. There is no question but POTUS knows this.”

I am not knowledgeable enough to judge the claim of sanctifying the White House and claiming it for Islam, but I place a lot of stock in watching nonverbal cues, people’s quick reactions. And so, when our friends at captured and enlarged President Obama’s reaction to Bergdahl’s invocation of Allah, it hit me hard.  

Watch for yourself and see if it means anything to you.


My colleague Rick Moran cautions that it just might mean he’s not a bigot. We do know that he told New York Times columnist  Nicholas Kristof that  the Muslim call to prayer is “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.” So maybe he is just fondly recalling his childhood days in Jakarta.

Or maybe this is a tell – an indication of what is going on in his heart, perhaps a bit deeper than his claim last week at West Point that he believes in American Exceptionalism with every fiber of his being.

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