With all the hullabaloo over whether Sgt. Bergdahl is or is not a deserter, and whether five middle-aged Taliban are a mortal threat to the United States, and/or whether the prisoner swap was too unbalanced (how many Palestinians did the Israelis set free for the release of one soldier, Gilad Shalit? 500? 1,000? The answer is 1,027) - so how should we look at this issue?
We should look at what happened from a different point of view. This was another successful special operation: recovery of a prisoner of war, with Taliban shooters in the hills overlooking the scene somewhere - nowhere - in Afghanistan; and with American C-130 gunships prowling overhead. In came the helicopter, and in a few minutes Sgt. Bergdahl was whisked away. No one got hurt. The only false note was that one of the Americans waved goodbye to the Taliban with his left hand - a no-no in the Third World, where the left hand is used for unclean purposes.
With Bergdahl's allegedly dubious background, which should have been and perhaps was known to the President, one can question his judgment in inviting the parents to a ceremony of thanks on the White House lawn. More seriously, one can question the comments of National Security Adviser Susan Rice -- whose hard-charging verbiage sometimes morphs into overspeak - in describing Sgt. Bergdahl as having served with "honor and distinction."
But there is no question, as Secretary Hagel and others have pointed out, that here was a soldier in the captivity of the enemy, and it is squarely in the American tradition to go in and get him out.
As for the failure to notify the Congress of this extremely delicate secret operation, don't make me laugh.