The Birgdahl release…

Birgdahl 17Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire, commented that the recent Birgdahl release in exchange for the release of five ‘detainees’ from the Guantanomo facility has caused an uproar not only among Republicans (of course), but also a surprising number of Democrats, many of whom are quite influential such as Diane Fienstein voiced dissatisfaction.  Even Hillary Clinton’s pseudosupport of the exchange was and continues to be progressively more wobbly, as the questions circling Birgdahls unauthorized departure from his post seems deserving of military investigation and likely court marshal.  Regardless of Birgdahl’s motives, an important question is what will be the effect of negotiating with the Taliban, something we have avoided doing with the enemy for the entire Mideast conflict?  Will such action spur more captures of our troops and holding them in exchange for still more dangerous releases from Guantanomo?  Time will tell.

As much as the Liberal press reviles JSOC and the CIA, covert operations should be expanded in my opinion, not eliminated.  There is no good reason why Birgdahl and others could not have been Birgdahl10located and freed by special ops, without the necessity of what appears to be a disastrous exchange, or at least an exchange with potentially disastrous consequences.  A recent documentary, “Dirty Wars,” by Jeremy Scahill about JSOC should be viewed by everyone who is interested in how ‘reporting’ can distort the truth by simply presenting only one perspective.

I would like to see realism reinjected into our various conflicts.  Few Americans want war.  But past history suggests that war is a part of our world and very much in the future as well. Do we really want to wean off covert activities in exchange for soldiers lost on the battlefield?  Do we want to see more ill advised exchange deals?

About Dr. Michael J. O'Connell, New Hampshire
Dr. Michael J. O'Connell of Barrington, New Hampshire, has forged a distinguished career spanning over three decades, as entrepreneur, physician, businessman, philanthropist and healthcare consultant. As former owner, administrator and CEO of a 225+ employee multi-specialty medical practice, Dr. O'Connell has dedicated his entire professional life to helping patients with family medicine and especially those experiencing chronic pain and all aspects of addiction. Since selling his family of healthcare businesses, he has never once contemplated retirement despite his rich and fulfilling journey, but instead has turned his focus to consulting in an industry starved for courage and creativity. Having weathered many political, technological and legal challenges, there is hardly a storm he has not confronted, a tempest he has not quelled, an urgent need he has not met. While the talking heads and self-proclaimed experts in the field have assumed the conventions and standards of the times, Dr. O'Connell does not believe in merely reflecting the herd mentality, but rather in leading the charge. Eschewing political correctness, Dr. O'Connell says and does what needs saying and doing, and not what the mindless masses expect. In addition to the continual education afforded by his variegated life experiences, Dr O'Connell earned his BS in Biochemistry at the University of NH in 1975, his Medical Degree from Dartmouth College in 1981, interned at Walter Reed Medical Center in 1982, Residency/Fellowship at UCSF in1986, and finished his Masters in Healthcare Administration at UNH in 1995. Dr. O’Connell enjoys many outdoor activities, including rock climbing, snowboarding, hiking, and golf. Through the decades Dr. O'Connell has supported many non-profit charities to include the St. Charles Home in Rochester NH, the Tri City VNA and Hospice, Hyder House, and Cocheco Valley Humane Society. To the latter organization alone Dr. O'Connell has donated over $180,000 and pledged another $250,000 in the “Bring-Us-Home” campaign for a new building. His “Matching Donations Christmas drive” has generated over $175,000 in charitable giving from the community. In addition Dr. O'Connell has participated in many dozens of other volunteer and donation efforts locally as well as in Africa and the Dominican Republic. For a listing of how I gave back to the community during my career and continue to do see:

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