Speaking of the 1st Amendment

Sometimes when a seemingly disgraceful story hits the right-wing news outlets, I like to check to see whether any mainstream sources have picked it up.  For one thing, if the news needs to be spread, experience suggests that the message can be heard more widely and without so much static if it comes in a more soothing wrapper than the Fox News banner.  Also, the rightosphere has been known occasionally to push a story for political purposes, shocking as that may be.  (I understand the leftosphere and the MSM occasionally err in this fashion as well.)

Anyway, when I heard that Bowe Bergdahl is to be charged with desertion but the White House is trying furiously to bury the story, my first reaction was to un-bury it as vigorously as one puny individual can.  My second was to see whether I might get some confirmation.  Naturally, confirmation in a case like this is tricky; if the White House really is squelching the news, can I trust the New York Times to carry it?  The question answers itself.

The upshot is that I'm getting hits on all kinds of sites like the Daily Mail, with The Washington Times perhaps being the closest to a traditional news outlet, but nothing in any sources like Reuters or the AP. Duffleblog is on the job, though:
For his own personal safety Bergdahl has gone into hiding in Idaho, a rugged mountainous area far from civilization, where he is being guarded by several of the local hill tribes.
The Taliban have asked the U.S. to immediately extradite Bergdahl back to Afghanistan to face criminal charges. The U.S. Department of Justice has vowed to work overtime to fulfill their request.


Grim said...

The timing is right for a decision -- he's been held on duty past the end of his term of service since May, and I understand that the investigation concluded in December and was referred to his four-star for a decision. Nothing gets done in December in the stateside military, though, so now that they've had a month to dig out from the Christmas pile, there's been time for the staff to put together a recommendation and the general to decide on it.

I haven't gotten confirmation from military contacts that the decision has in fact been made, though, let alone what it is.

Grim said...

Army says the report is false.

Texan99 said...

Maybe it was a good idea to be skeptical as long as the articles were restricted to the conservative online community. Or maybe there never will be a decision, and it will get the Keystone XL treatment: No matter how much time passes, it's still a rush to judgment.

But I'll bet the Taliban isn't laboring under any similar paralysis of judgment. They're probably trying to infiltrate that mountain tribal area in Idaho as we speak!

NBC seems to have wind of something, but who knows.

Grim said...

A friend at CENTCOM tells me they haven't heard anything, and although the decision isn't theirs anymore -- it's now at FORSCOM -- they'd expect a heads-up so they could prepare for blowback in theater.

I'm also hearing from people, though, that the FORSCOM "decision" may be a four-star general taking orders from the National Security Council, and that this decision will really be made inside the White House.

I don't think they can bury it forever, though. Bergdahl's own lawyer can press the issue after a while, because Berg is being held past his term of service, and because the status of his benefits are in question depending on the decision. So he has standing to demand some sort of resolution.

Texan99 said...

He'd need some serious chutzpah to push the resolution; any ambiguity is likely to be in his favor. But I agree, he's entitled.