Hagel’s phenomenology of negotiation

Secretary of Defense Hagel appeared on Meet the Press from Afghanistan this morning for an interview by MTP host David Gregory. The nullity involved in pairing a member of Obama’s Team of Nitwits with Gregory for an interview is chilling.

Gregory asked Hagel if the swap of five Taliban detainees held at Guantanamo for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl represented negotiation with terrorists. Hagel responded (the transcription here is mine): “We didn’t negotiate with terrorists. As I said and explained before, Sergeant Bergdahl was a prisoner of war. That’s a normal process in getting your prisoners back.”

Hagel continued for a bit and then added: “In war, things are always dangerous and there are vulnerabilities…but our record, the United States of America, in dealing with terrorists and hunting down and finding terrorists, is pretty good.”

Everything Hagel had to say was equally nonresponsive to the question of negotiation with terrorists. Gregory nevertheless left it at that and moved on, as though the question had been answered and the answer made perfect sense. Perhaps Andrew McCarthy provides the answer at NRO: “The Obama administration has never designated the Afghan Taliban as a terrorist organization.”

NBC has posted a video of the full interview here. It is worth watching in its entirety if you can spare the brain cells.

Via Wesley Lowery/Washington Post.

UPDATE: Andy tweets a link to this post and adds: “Note: material support to terrorists is FELONY even if no formal designation.”

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