As the right’s outrage over Bowe Bergdahl’s release grew, Chris Hayes joked, “We should definitely get Oliver North to weigh on this one, for maximum absurdity.”
Chris, of course, was kidding. But we were reminded a day later that in this farcical political environment, it’s awfully difficult to joke about things that are likely to be real.
Newsmax host and former Republican congressman J.D. Hayworth added his voice today to the growing right-wing outrage over the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in a prisoner exchange with the Taliban, and what better person to discuss the situation with than Oliver North!North demanded that the media ask the Obama administration if there was “a ransom, a fiscal, financial, money transaction,” with the Taliban as part of the deal. “Was there a ransom paid? Did the government of the United States, either directly or indirectly, finance a terrorist organization?”
Oliver North, helping push the political world closer to “maximum absurdity,” also took his concerns to Fox News’ Sean Hannity last night.
In case there are any lingering doubts, there is literally nothing to suggest U.S. officials made “a fiscal, financial, money transaction” with anyone as part of the prisoner-swap that freed an American prisoner of war. This appears to have been simply made up.
But even putting that aside, in what universe does Oliver North enter this debate with a straight face?
I realize that it’s become impolite in some circles to point out scandals that rocked Ronaldus Magnus’ White House, but the Reagan administration illegally sold weapons to Iranians in order to secure the release of American prisoners, then used the money to illegally finance a war in Central America. Reagan himself assured the American public that the allegations weren’t true, and those assurances turned out to be the opposite of the truth.
For his part, North was at the center of this scandal, one of the most serious in American history, and was even initially convicted of multiple felonies, though the convictions were later overturned on appeal.
If anyone in the United States should sit out the Bergdahl debate, it’s Oliver North.
And yet, here we are.