Third Party & Independents Archives

The White House and Bergdahl

Brandon Friedman, deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at HUD has apologized. While his words of contrition for his attacks on Bergdahls’ fellow soldiers on Twitter is the least he could do, one wonders how many in the Obama White House share his view. As the evidence becomes more disturbing on what Bergdahl may have done and why he might have done it, the Administration’s attacks on any critical viewpoint become very understandable, if hardly uplifting. The fact that Bergdahl is under military supervision and support means he can be debriefed at length and some answers can be obtained, about Afghanistan and the Taliban as much as about his own personal conduct. What was supposed to be a feel good story has quickly become a liability for Obama’s Administration.


One thing is for certain. Friedman in his apology stated "that the public should wait before passing judgement", and a prudent period of waiting will certainly reveal a lot more about this case. Why the soldiers, who braved attacks by an enemy perhaps aided and abetted by Bergdahl, would have to wait before passing judgement, however, is a little unclear. Most of these events occurred years ago and they were the ones who lived it in real time. Should they speak out as soldiers or ex soldiers? It was Kerry himself who defended his own post Vietnam actions under the banner of earning the right to free speech. If Kerry could throw away his medals, then clearly these veterans can express their opinions and tell us what they saw and lived through in Afghanistan.

So it seems we are hardly witnessing a rush to judgement as much as a rush to find out what really happened. A military investigation will hopefully reveal more and an angry Congress is likely to launch investigations of their own. A lot of information will come out and it is helpful on the 70th anniversary of D-Day to remember what veterans gave -- and still give -- in that unforgiving corner of Central Asia. Whether Bergdahl will be able to honorably join their ranks is looking very doubtful.

Posted by AllardK at June 10, 2014 2:17 PM
Comments
Comment #379261

Kerry can throw away his medals and speak out all he wants. He’s a Democratic. Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers can say all they want, also. They’re phyco-something.

I wonder why the media isn’t focusing on the five soldiers who were killed looking for Bergdahl. Death is newsworthy. That comes directly from the experts in these matters. The media should be pointing out how these five soldiers got killed. Where the bullets entered and exited their bodies. What parts of their anatomy were dislocated by the ieds. Their buddies and family members should be interviewed and shown with tears in their eyes. Children whimpering. It should go on for days and days, week after week. Every hour. That’s news worthy according to those that are expert in how the media is supposed to act.

Isn’t that how the media acted when Bush was president and soldiers were getting killed in Iraq? Weren’t their faces on the news every day. Wasn’t the list scrolled down the screen every day. But then it all stopped when Obama got into office. Iraq must have been all sunshine and lollypops after Obama got elected. It just wasn’t newsworthy.

Didn’t Bergdahl have a scrape on his cheek in the photos of him getting traded? That’s probably newsworthy somehow. The media can describe day after day how Bergdahl had to suffer the trama of gettin his face scraped while getting into a car or something. They can blow up the photo to show the individual lines of the scrape and the little caked scabbs. They can extrapolate when and how the scrape came about by using those blown up photos. There will be expert commentators describing what could have happened to cause those scrapes and how Bergdahl felt when he got them. Did he cry? He might have.

Of course, there are plenty of school shootings and cop killings to fill up the week’s newscasts, why focus on just one scrape. These shootings are happening almost every day now. Plenty of news worthy stories, but they run the risk of desensitizing the public. Criminals are going to have to get more imaginative to keep the media interested. Pretty soon a few dead kids just aren’t going to cut it. Perhaps they will start showing color photos of the mayhem to grab the ratings.

Do you see the photos of all those kids being held in captivity by the government? They almost look Japanese! Where are the parents of those children? Would parents distract from the message? Probably. What message? Oh, yea! We’re not that stupid we can’t figure out why children from across the country are being rounded up and stored in one place for the media to take pictures of. It’s because of those mean, ol’ white Republicans.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 10, 2014 3:58 PM
Comment #379264

While I don’t believe Bergdahl was worth dealing for (if the info coming out is true), I do believe such things should be left to the Presidents discretion.
He has intel that we do not have, it is up to him to make the right call.
I do however, believe he should have included Congress.

Posted by: kctim at June 10, 2014 5:39 PM
Comment #379269

Hey Weary Willie, there are some American veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan showing up at your local airport tomorrow; if you hurry, you can spit on them- after all, they served in Obama’s military.

And if you come out to Oregon, you can drape a Tea Party flag on the coffin of the latest shooter at an American High School, just like the shooters did in Las Vegas the other day. Remember? They draped a Tea Party flag over the body of one of the policemen they murdered. Sheesh, one guy exercises at Reynolds High School his 2nd amendment rights by killing a student or two today, and next thing you know, the media gets all excited about the teenage victims. Has anyone considered the 2nd amendment rights of the shooter? If we armed all high school students with assault rifles, that would make everything better. For sure.

Posted by: phx8 at June 10, 2014 9:38 PM
Comment #379272

I’ll get right on that, phx8.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 10, 2014 9:45 PM
Comment #379273

Report: White House Used Threats to Keep Soldiers Quiet About Bergdahl

But in the mean time, I’ll wonder how the media missed the mayhem and terror and tragedy of what happened when Bergdahl walked off.


In June 2009, there were 24 US servicemen killed in Afghanistan. In the month of July, Robinson notes, “the number jumped to 44 killed - an increase of 83% in a month.” During the next month even more servicemen were killed.

Robinson told Steve Doocy that “the White House, in concert with the State Department and Defense Department was orchestrating a campaign of threats and intimidation not only against infantrymen and the military men in Afghanistan at the time in 2009, but also against military officers and Pentagon officers to keep silent about what really happened, there.”

Open and transparent, yea, right.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 10, 2014 9:55 PM
Comment #379287

Tea Party flag? Trying to declare all Tea Party members terrorists. God you guys are getting ridiculous.

Thousands screaming for bankers to jump to their deaths. Thousands chanting for capitalism to be replaced with socialism. Assaulting police, destroying property, drugs and sexual assaults. Plans to commit an actual terrorist act by blowing up a bridge.
You guys did everything possible to convince people that the extreme examples were not representative of the whole.

But when a couple of whacko’s go nuts, you do everything you can to lump the whole in with them, just so you can scare up support for your own personal agendas.
Freakin pathetic!

Posted by: kctim at June 11, 2014 9:14 AM
Comment #379288

Weary Willie, Good point on the soldiers killed looking for Bergdahl—no mention.

This must have been okay-ed by the military, meaning the trade, must have been greenlighted by our armed forces prior for it to be on the list of Obama’s possible plays. I Can’t imagine this was all Obama’s doing or that of his daft administration. This was our military first and foremost doing this “trade-off”.

Posted by: simpleheaded at June 11, 2014 9:55 AM
Comment #379290

I believe, if given the opportunity, our military would have gotten him out the way they know best. This reeks of politics, Obama’s trademark, one and only, course of action. Did he bow when he made the decision?

It’s been reported the Kabul CIA station chief is no longer at his post. Heads will roll now! NOT!

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 11, 2014 10:51 AM
Comment #379292

Yes, it reaks of politics how it was played out on the WH lawn and rose garden, but this appears to have direct military oversight in what was done. This isn’t Obama, Rice, Kerry or any of the rest of these dolts, this was the military making the deal—Obama wouldn’t know where to start doing such a thing nor would his administration—this smacked of the political in the postgame—but the pregame was all military probably. And so too the 5 that died looking for him, again, get no mention.

It is a weird military play indeed.

Posted by: simpleheaded at June 11, 2014 11:46 AM
Comment #379294

Like kctim I won’t criticize this President, or any President, when it comes to his role as Commander in Chief. That’s the role I would never want and I’m glad someone else has to do it. But the politics of this decision stink. They didn’t tell Congress because they knew the answer would be no and the WH staff obviously underestimated the blowback when they went on their victory lap.

Posted by: George in SC at June 11, 2014 12:45 PM
Comment #379301

I’m shocked conservatives have sunk so low. Now they are actually criticizing a returning POW and Obama for bringing him back. Incredible. A month ago, I would not have believed conservatives capable of this. It seems so over the top. Not even conservatives would go there, one would think. It is hard to believe.

Yet here we are.

Did FOX and Breitbart run any pictures of the Las Vegas cop’s body covered by the shooter with a Tea Party “Don’t Tread on Me” flag? Are Breitbart and the FOX folks in favor of killing cops or are they opposed? It seems like a ridiculous question today, but then, there are people actually criticizing a returning POW and the president for bringing him back. There doesn’t seem to be any bottom to this kind of conservative behavior. What seems ridiculous today is probably just a matter of time for them.

What next? How low will conservatives go?

Posted by: phx8 at June 11, 2014 3:21 PM
Comment #379303

IMO let the military do it’s investigation. But that being said it seems fishy that when Bergdahl was released he looked pretty healthy. IMO that should have thrown up red flags as to why the administration said his health was bad and was near death. Why did he leave his post knowing the danger? Five top Taliban terrorist were traded for this guy. What danger do they pose for what troops are left in Afganistan? Many questions to be asked and we have to wait for answers. One other thing Why did this guy NOT call his family after his release, I know if it were me I’d want to call my family.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 11, 2014 3:38 PM
Comment #379304

Phx8

If it was a known fact that Bergdahl was an actual P.O.W, it probably wouldn’t be that big of a deal. If that were the case, the only debate would be over if we should negotiate with terrorists or not.

Posted by: kctim at June 11, 2014 3:46 PM
Comment #379305

kctim,
It is a known fact. Bergdahl was an actual POW. He spent five years in captivity, attempted to escape, and was put in solitary confinement. He was tortured.

Here is something you won’t read or hear about in the press: Bergdahl is an incredibly valuable asset to the United States- arguably the most valuable single person of the entire war.

Why?

Bergdahl survived five years in captivity, alone. He was in close contact with the Taliban. We train some our soldiers to escape and evade capture, and if caught, to survive. I went through such training. Even in a simulation, in a setting controlled by good guys, it was an extremely unpleasant experience.

In the hands of an enemy, almost everyone breaks. That is a given. A few will not, and of course, they risk being killed. Some will kill themselves… But normally, American POW’s are in the company of other POW’s, or at least in the same compound. Bergdahl was unique. He was alone. Despite being alone, he survived. I do not know about the state of his health or his sanity, but hopefully treatment & therapy will bring him back home.

He represents an intelligence bonanza, both for survival school instructors and for intelligencer officers seeking to understand the Taliban and how they use information. What did Bergdahl tell them? Nothing? Everything? When? How did the Taliban act on what he said? How were they organized?

The Taliban are our enemy in Afghanistan. Their party governed Afghanistan and we overthrew them because they aided and abetted Osama bin Laden and Al Qaida. They represent the majority ethnic group in Afghanistan, the Pashtun, and the unpleasant truth is that they will be back in power someday. Those five guys from Gitmo were POW’s and we were going to have to release them eventually, since the War in Afghanistan (or whatever it is we are doing there) will be over. This way, we got something for them.

Posted by: phx8 at June 11, 2014 4:11 PM
Comment #379307

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jun/2/pentagon-knew-berghdahls-whereabouts-but-didnt-ris/

We needed to bring him back. We don’t try people in absentia. What we didn’t have to do was let 5 terrorists loose to get him back. The military could have got him by doing their job.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 11, 2014 4:22 PM
Comment #379308

WW,
That is a highly misleading article full of unattributed sources and speculations. No rescue was attempted for a simple reason: it would have almost certainly resulted in Bergdahl being killed. In addition, he may have been held in Pakistan for some or all of the time. Pakistani Intelligence cooperates with the Taliban, so a rescue would have required going into that country without telling the Pakistanis. We entered Pakistan without permission to kill Osama bin Laden, and the Pakistanis did NOT like that. Doing it again for Bergdahl was not a great option.

Posted by: phx8 at June 11, 2014 4:42 PM
Comment #379309

Phx8

There are still unanswered questions about how he got in the hands of the Taliban. If he walked off in search of them, he was not a POW. If he deserted and then caught by them, he was not worthy of an exchange.
If the information is true, he should have been left to rot there.

These questions and the information we are not privy to, are why I give President Obama the benefit of doubt, trust his decision and reserve judgement.

If any of that info is true though, and the administration knew them to be true, and they still chose to came out with all this honorable soldier stuff, they deserve all the flak they get.

As far as his importance to us, I’m afraid your desire to defend President Obama at all costs, has you spinning up some incredible reasoning to justify him as being some kind of valuable asset.

Posted by: kctim at June 11, 2014 4:53 PM
Comment #379310

kctim,
We do not know whether he was a deserter or collaborator he simply cracked, or fell into the Taliban’s hands for other reasons. Regardless of the reason he was captured, he is an American soldier and he deserves to be treated with all the respect a returning POW should receive after five years of captivity. If it turns out he did something wrong, he will be subject to military justice.

You doubt what I said about his value? Really? It has nothing to do with Obama or how he fell into the Taliban’s hands or whether or not he deserted. I don’t think you realize how seriously the military takes survival training for soldiers liable to being captured and held, not to mention the military intelligence. This guy is a gold mine. Think about it.

Posted by: phx8 at June 11, 2014 5:33 PM
Comment #379311

Another thing I wonder about is the whole issue of desertion. When the Russians occupied Afghanistan, neither side took prisoners. The Afghans not only did not take prisoners, they tortured and mutilated any Russians who fell into their hands, and made sure the Russians found the bodies.

I’ve never seen any stories about the Afghans doing the same thing to Americans, but it is noteworthy that Bergdahl was the only POW. There could be several reasons why there are no others.

The point is, Bergdahl was in a hot war zone, and American soldiers surely knew about what happened to the Russians. I question whether any sane American soldier would voluntarily put themselves into the hands of the Taliban.

Posted by: phx8 at June 11, 2014 5:57 PM
Comment #379312

What? No faith in the media? What’s up with that, phx8?

I thought the media could do no wrong!

No, it’s only when they feed your bloodlust are they worthy, right phx8? Only when they praise your god are they correct, yes?

Are you still in favor of the 6th amendment, or are you wanting to rip that from the pages of the constitution as well, phx8? Let’s put him on trial and see where he stands.

Then we can see if he was worth the lives of those who looked for him. Then we will see if he was worth the lives that are going to be lost because of the actions taken by your lord’s administration.

I can’t wait to see Obama obfuscate his responsibility.. Oh! Wait!
Hagel Made Final Call on Bergdahl Swap, Congress Told

“They indicated [it was] Secretary Hagel [who made the final call],” House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon, R-California, told reporters following the briefing Monday evening. “It was the president of the United States that came out [in the Rose Garden] with the Bergdahls and took all the credit and now that there’s been a little pushback he’s moving away from it and it’s Secretary Hagel?”

Gutless wonder for a president. All show and no boat. I can see him now,
Obama: “Hmm. That didn’t work, did it?”
Hillary: “It’s that vast rightwing conspiracy, Brak!”
Hillary: “Let’s blame it on..”
Obama: ..The Republicans!”
Both: Hahahahahaha!

phx8, be a good Democratic and get offended, ok?


Posted by: Weary Willie at June 11, 2014 6:03 PM
Comment #379313

Any sane soldier wouldn’t just walk off his post unarmed in a hot war zone phx8.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 11, 2014 6:04 PM
Comment #379315

According to one Taliban account, they thought Bergdahl was drunk. It may be a while before we hear what actually happened.

Posted by: phx8 at June 11, 2014 6:41 PM
Comment #379320

A neat and orderly drunk? Hey, you have a point. Maybe he was insane, not the rest of his entire platoon.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 11, 2014 8:09 PM
Comment #379323

More coming out on Bergdahl. Friends & relatives are providing correspondence to the WaPo. Bergdahl was released from the Coast Guard after just one month. It seems to be due to psychological issues. His correspondence shows the same. Before going to Afghanistan he wrote about hearing voices. From Afghanistan:

“In a file dated a few days later, repetitions of the phrase “velcro or zipper/velcro or zipper/velcro or zipper,” cover nearly two pages.”
WaPo

It looks like he was mentally ill and should not have been in the Army in the first place, but at that point, a lot of people were being given waivers.

Posted by: phx8 at June 11, 2014 8:36 PM
Comment #379328

PHX8, Whether incompetent or not to serve, this was a military directive to have him released/traded for something and we can’t throw around fabrications, contrivements and assumptions on the issues related to Bergdahl’s miltary and civil history. We really can’t say one way or the other on this issue of sanity or other such related ‘rumors’.

He walked off or was AWOL? We don’t know that.
He was insane? We really don’t know that either.
He was a Taliban convert? We do not know that.

All the domestic hearsay is so fish-wifey, let the military do it’s work, allow the finds to come from the investigative teams involved, they will come up with all the answers—maybe we just want parents more right-wingey in appearance or less Rosegarden attention by The White House. This is all just blatant “smear” campaigning—for what? To cave to the right-wing on their assumptions so you don’t look too tone-def in their echochamber of “he was a traitor”. To “assume” really makes a what out of you and me? Let the military do its work.

W.W.J.D., what would jurisprudence do?

Posted by: simpleheaded at June 12, 2014 8:37 AM
Comment #379329

Phx8

I understand that we do not know all of the info, which is why I stated that President Obama has much much more intel on the matter and that I trust him to make the right choice with that intel.
I do not criticize the President on his decision, but I do reserve the right to, as more facts become known. Especially if we learn that the administration knew what we know now, and still went through with the exchange.

I have no sympathy for a deserter or collaborator, they do not deserve to be treated with any respect whatsoever, they deserve to be dealt with by a firing squad.
To honor them with POW status is a slap in the face of real soldiers.

I don’t doubt that he has some minimal value, I doubt that he has the value you try to place on him.
I am VERY familiar with how seriously the military takes survival training. IF he was an actual POW, he will probably just tell us what we already know. If he collaborated with them, even if he was treated like a red headed step-child, he may have some viable information. None of which would make up for his actions.

“This guy is a gold mine.”

He will be a “gold mine” ONLY if the negative information is true and the Republicans get aggressive. If that happens, we will have non-stop news telling us how valuable his information has been. Information he has no clue about will be attributed to him. Every mole-hill will be made into a mountain.

Posted by: kctim at June 12, 2014 9:19 AM
Comment #379334

Question: Do you think the “family and friend” syndicate the WaPo is asking is trying to get him out of military service all together with stories of insanity? Just a question.

Posted by: simpleheaded at June 12, 2014 12:36 PM
Comment #379336

Simple,
No. If he was not mentally unstable before being a POW, he is almost certainly unstable right now. Five years of captivity and being the only prisoner, torture, and solitary confinement are pretty much guaranteed to break anybody down. And when I say “break anybody down,” I mean completely and utterly destroy a person. Sadly, it is not uncommon for people to kill themselves during or after such an experience. One of the biggest problems for the POW survivor is guilt over being broken. I can think of scenarios where Bergdahl might be able to contribute to the training of others, but most likely, he is too damaged. I’m guessing he will be stabilized as much as possible, debriefed, and then discharged. That might take a long time.

Posted by: phx8 at June 12, 2014 3:01 PM
Comment #379363

Opportunistic hatefulness. That’s what this feels like to me. The Right hasn’t even bothered to get his side of the story, to hear from him, it’s just judged him and decided that Obama was wrong to do what he did to free him. Everything has to be a betrayal, a back stab.

Well, the knife I’m feeling in my back isn’t in Obama’s hand.

Where in God’s name can we just settle down and be human beings here, not agents of a party?

You know, part of why I’ve posted here less is that I didn’t want all of my life defined by politics. Politics should be a subset of the things we do in this world, not some overwhelming, all-consuming obsession. Republicans were calling for Bergdahl’s freedom, were told that freeing those Taliban was part of that. Only when it actually happen did this process kick in of villifying Bergdahl and the whole thing.

I have to ask Republicans and conservatives, whatever happened to you that you can’t step outside the need to win a political point against Democrats, Obama in particular, to look at something, to judge something by other standards?

If we really wanted to stick those Taliban in a hole and never let them out, we should have charged them with something. They were there throughout the whole Bush Administration, but they seemed to get too caught up with trying to flout international law to actually nail these guys to the wall.

Our fight in Afghanistan is over by the end of this year, and if we haven’t charged those people with war crimes, we would need to be shipping them home anyway. So, really, the question was one of fulfilling that obligation that we have to our soldiers.

The Framers did not create the government we did so we could argue about things that shouldn’t be controversial even if it would benefit some of the ideologues in office to have a controversy. Their notion of a government was a practical, working one, with partisanship the furthest thing from their mind, the thing that was supposed to get filtered out.

Whatever he did, America should not have left Bergdahl to die in Taliban hands.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 13, 2014 4:59 PM
Comment #379371

Stephen, First off Bergdhal looked pretty healthy when he got turned over. Second, 5 top Taliban terrorist???? For what price to the U.S. and the Middle East???? Thirdly, This I blame on the Army for not doing a better background check him being discharged from the Coast Guard for Medical reasons. Fourthly, Did he give vital info to the Taliban? Also as I stated in an above comment “No person in their right mind leaves their post in a hot war zone unarmed.” The thing that gets me also is we have a Marine in a Mexican jail who we know served with DISTINCTION, all because he made a wrong turn. IMO Obama should be doing cart wheels trying to get him released, but NO.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 13, 2014 7:29 PM
Comment #379377

So, SD you are wrong in your guessning game again

People are in a large majority in support of Bergdhal home.

Your other arguments are just some more patywaist stuff.

His treatment should be courtsmartial and let justice fall where it may.

Posted by: tom humes at June 13, 2014 9:02 PM
Comment #379442

Perhaps he’ll go completely nuts and shoot up a military installation? Then Obama can push for more gun control legislation. It’s a win-win for Democrats all around.

Posted by: DirtyLiberals at June 14, 2014 1:08 AM
Comment #379469

Rich KAPitan-
A person like me could tell you a hundred reasons for why judging things by video is a bad idea.

As for top five prisoners? No, they’re not terrorists, actually. They were Taliban officials for the most part, captured during the initial parts of the war. They were dealt with differently, and they’ve dealt with us differently. They’re not the people spitting at us, crapping themselves and throwing it at us, or whatever else. They were treated like, and acted like, prisoners of war.

If they did something that warranted it, we had the option for more than a decade to prosecute them, and did not. They may not be nice people, but they weren’t being sent to Prison for War Crimes, and this war is ending, so we would likely have had to let them go anyways. I’m sure quite a number of the Wehrmacht we let go in 1945 or roundabouts did bad things, or were bad people, but when that war was over, if we could prosecute them for war crimes, we did, and otherwise we let them go.

On your third point? That should have been a problem for him joining, but the truth is, in the wake of several years worth of a bad war, not many people were signing up, and they were desperate to get people in there.

It’s one of the many problems of war strategy, really, and one of the reasons I insisted that Bush increase his numbers early, while there were plenty of eager recruits. He waited, instead, until Iraq became the place parents and children alike avoided the military in order to avoid.

Fifth? We don’t know what he said, but the fact that comes to mind so easily for you is shameful. He may well have given information, but under what circumstances? Hell, it’s not even clear what the circumstances of his capture were. I hear some rumors that he was essentially caught using the restroom. Again, not enough information to be worth staking down a narrative on, if you’re being honest. As for somebody not being in their right mind if they go to a warzone unarmed? Perhaps. But he actually asked the commander about how he should go out, if he went out, and he was advised against taking that weapon.

That’s the detail that should stick in your mind, if you think about it for a second. He didn’t just sneak out, he actually asked advice on what he should and shouldn’t take, and his commanding officer didn’t say, “don’t go out at all, that will be desertion,” or anything like that.

As for that marine? His story is more complicated than initially thought. The issue here is that we are not at war with Mexico, and he was not captured as part of military operations, but having passed over the border with weapons that are illegal in Mexico.

There’s a difference between getting captured in the middle of a war by an enemy, and getting caught in another country under suspicion of breaking the law. If one of their soldiers wandered from their side and, say, got into a bar-fight here and landed in jail, we would be within our rights to prosecute, too. I’d say his case deserves some special attention, and perhaps negotiation towards a more lenient sentence or plea deal, but comparing it directly to the Bergdahl case is apples and oranges. Obama can’t tell another country how to enforce its own laws, and he certainly doesn’t have the option of organizing a military operation to jailbreak the Marine.

Dirty Liberals-
You do so love being terrorized, don’t you? You’re addicted to your fear.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 15, 2014 10:18 AM
Comment #379515

Stephen, First, The Marine in Mexico crossed the border by accident, Bergdhal left his base by all accounts of his fellow soldiers willingly. Second, looks can be deceiving but Bergdhal did look pretty healthy which was confirmed by Doctors in Germany. His mental health is a different story. Thirdly, The Army should have known that he was discharged from the Coast Guard for Medical reasons and should have rejected him. The computer search would have showed that. Fourthly If you read the Geneva Convention on POW’s they can be held in confinement until all hostilities have ceased WITHOUT being charged with a crime, as for those 5 officials as you say, they were going to be charged with war crimes. Fifthly, Obama has done NOTHING to get that Marine back from Mexico. Accidently crossing a border and willingly leaving your post in a war zone are to different things. As for me I would have gone for the Marine. By the way Stephen I don’t hold much confidence in a person like you.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 15, 2014 11:55 AM
Comment #379517

Rich KAPitan-
He says it. The linked article says he checked into a motel or inn in Tijuana.

Second, Bergdahl might have left the base, but for what reason, and under what circumstances? Without knowledge of that, you cannot prove he didn’t intend to come back.

Third, as far as computer searches go, my experiences with computers lead me to say that computers are no more perfect and transparent than the people that use them and program them, and the institutions they belong to.

As far as being charged with war crimes… Well, the Bush Administration had them since 2001, 2002, and did nothing with them. On what evidence do you say they were going to be charged? They weren’t going anywhere, hadn’t gone anywhere.

Fifth, what do you know about what the Obama administration has, and has not done? Typically, negotiations like this would be kept secret to avoid potential hangups with the public.

Sixth, they are different things. POWs are traditionally returned. Folks charged with crimes in non-belligerent countries? Well, there’s a reason why there is a such thing as diplomatic immunity. If you break the law in a foreign country, you can be held to account by that country, and any negotiations on your behalf are purely by the goodwill of that country. You can say one thing or another about why he ended up in that situation, but while it’s traditional to negotiate for the release of POWs in the conclusion of a war, it’s really up to the sovereign nations we’re dealing with in cases like the Marines whether they make special dispensations for the foreign nationals that they arrest and charge with crimes.

You can complain about that, but keep this in mind: if some foreign national comes onto our soil and does bad things, this tenet of international law is what allows our law to handle him, instead of their home country’s. Our laws hold for all people in our borders, and Mexico is the same.

As for what confidence you hold in me? Your confidence in me does not reflect the confidence I should be held in. I’m a patriot, a grandson of a military veteran, a lifelong support of the military. But I believe in holding folks to standards, and not simply disregarding international law or the laws of other lands simply because we don’t like it. Too much of your movement’s philosophies depend on sentiments concerning outcomes, or worse, whatever the GOP or Tea Party has deemed the appropriate position, rather than on any consistent logic.

Yes, I feel bad for that veteran, and he probably doesn’t deserve to go to jail. However, I don’t think the Obama administration is ignoring the situation, and I don’t think there’s much they can do besides negotiate with the authorities there to do whatever they’re willing to do.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 15, 2014 12:57 PM
Comment #379519

Stephen, My father was in the Army in WW2 as well as Uncles. I served in the Navy. I hold people to standards also and if someone willfully leaves his post he is considered a DISERTER. Also Stephen if you have ever been to the southern border of California you would know the only way to get into Mexico is through border security to get to TJ. What link provide it. Stephen, he now has a 2 star general who is going to investigate why he did what he did so just by having a flag officer do the investigation is pretty important. You say your a patriot but you in 2006 condemned our military people and had them guilty before their trials. Yet you don’t for what Bergdhal did. I guess your a patriot as long as our CnC is a Democrat.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 15, 2014 1:44 PM
Comment #379533

Stephen, I found your link. That story by the L.A. Times has more holes in it than swiss cheese. First off how did he get to TJ from the border? It aint within walking distance, I know I’ve been there. Next how did he get back? As crooked as the Mexican Police are especially in TJ that Hotel thing could be just a cover up. Why didn’t he just drive his truck to TJ in the first place??????????????? If that is what he intended to do???????

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