The Bergdahl Dozen: Thirteen Reasons Why the Story Has Legs

More questions and cover ups than we can shake a stick at.
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It’s been a week, and the Bowe Bergdahl beat goes on. The story has been dominant in the news, even on shows that typically shy away from heavy news—as well as from news that reflects poorly on the Obama administration.

This morning, for example, on NBC’s “Today Show”—not exactly a hotbed of hard-news-focused right-wingers—White House correspondent Kristen Welker reported that the Obama administration is “facing increasing anger,” adding, “Members of Congress are furious” at the “shifting stories from the administration.” And she cited a new poll showing that just 29 percent of Americans approve of swapping Taliban fighters for Bergdahl.

And looking ahead, Welker predicted, “This week will undoubtedly be overshadowed by Bergdahl as well”; Defense Secretary Hagel testifies Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

Indeed, the Bergdahl story is going to reverberate for a long time, for lots of reasons. I can count a total of 13 reasons. In popular usage, a “baker’s dozen” refers to 13 of something. So let’s call the whole thing Bergdahl’s Dozen.

First, the White House has hoisted itself on its own photo op. Pictures are worth a lot of words—especially when they come from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The enduring image of the President, arm in arm with Bowe Bergdahl’s parents in the Rose Garden, reminds us that Team Obama wanted this story to play big. They thought they had a feel-good patriotic pageant on their hands, and by all accounts, they were stunned when the story blew up in their faces.

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