President Obama Makes No Apologies Over Bowe Bergdahl Exchange
President Obama spoke out about of the controversy over the exchange of U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for five senior Taliban leaders, saying, “I make absolutely no apologies to make sure we get back a young man back to his parents and to try and that the American people understand that this is somebody's child."
On a state visit to Great Britain on Thursday, the president struck back at critics of Berghdahl's father, who's been called a Taliban sympathizer.
Bill O’Reilly said on his show, “That father and that son, they were sympathetic to the Taliban, and that's going to be borne out.”
Obama said, "This is not some abstraction. This is not some political football. We have a couple of parents whose kid volunteered to fight in a distant land."
Sergeant Bergdahl's hometown of Hailey, Idaho, has cancelled the welcome home rally after being bombarded with angry voice mails about Bergdahl like this: “He is considered AWOL and is a traitor to this country.”
And an outraged email from an Army Platoon leader to the mayor said: "It would be... A monstrous profanity if a public ceremony, financed by public money, were to be held," [Source: Jonathan Kennedy]
Legendary songwriter Carole King, who lives in Idaho and was honored at this year's Grammy’s, was scheduled to perform at the rally later this month.
Organizer Dayle Olau of the rally became emotional talking about the cancellation and said, "It is just so sad that others across our country have dictated that we can't have this celebration because it is not safe."
Meanwhile, the Bergdahl controversy is being compared to the hit Showtime series Homeland.
Mary Murphy of Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism told INSIDE EDITION, "When you watch Homeland and you see the real-life story, it is legitimate that people are comparing the two."
The clean-shaven Bowe resembles actor Damian Lewis, who portrayed a U.S. Marine held in captivity for years by terrorists.
Homeland's executive producer had this to say on CNN, "I think there are similarities in the way a prisoner of war coming back home and the reaction to him."
Bergdahl reportedly said he was upset seeing an Afghanistan child run over by a U.S. Army truck. On Homeland, the death of a child in a U.S. drone attack sparked the Marine to betray his country.
During Bergdahl’s five years in captivity, his girlfriend moved on with her life. On Homeland, the Marine's wife also moved on, thinking he was dead.
Murphy said, "The similarities and the whole dynamic between this fictional story and this real-life story just match up."
Eerie parallels between a TV drama and the real-life controversy over an American POW.