by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Walter Williams‘ latest column posted at Human Events focuses on efforts to change those elements of reality that prove “offensive or inconvenient.” Among his numerous examples is a case involving President Obama.
When President Barack Obama swapped five Taliban terrorists for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, now charged with desertion, he gave us some historical insights. Obama said, “This (exchange of prisoners) is what happens at the end of wars.” He added: “That was true for George Washington. That was true for Abraham Lincoln. That was true for FDR. That’s been true of every combat situation, that at some point, you make sure that you try to get your folks back. And that’s the right thing to do.”
There was a bit of a history problem with Obama’s claim. George Washington did not become president until 1789, six years after the Revolutionary War’s end in 1783. There were no prisoners for him to exchange.
Lincoln was assassinated April 14, 1865. The Civil War ended June 2, 1865. Lincoln was dead and didn’t have the opportunity to exchange prisoners at the war’s end.
Franklin D. Roosevelt died of a stroke April 12, 1945. The war in Europe ended May 8, 1945. The Japanese empire surrendered Aug. 15, 1945.
The historical fact of business is that none of the presidents Obama mentioned was in office at the time that his war ended, so how in the world could they make prisoner swaps as Obama asserted?