Getting Bergdahl Was a Waste of Time
I’m of the opinion that the US was under no obligation to “rescue” Bowe Bergdahl.
Go ahead, be shocked. Most of my friends are when they first hear me say this. Regardless of the crimes he committed, they share the administration’s assertion that the US has an obligation to bring back every soldier, sailor, airman and Marine sent into combat. Guess what? So do I.
But Bergdahl was no soldier. Oh, he was at one point. But from the moment he abandoned his post in a hot CZ, he abandoned being a soldier – along with the rights and protections that come from wearing the uniform of a US soldier.
How do we know he actually deserted and didn’t simply wander off accidentally? Let’s review:
- There is the email exchange with his parents during the week before he abandoned his post, the one in which he declared “I am ashamed to be an american <sic>. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools.”
- He walked away from his post, leaving behind any gear that would have been useful in mounting a self-defense if attacked by enemy forces. According to eyewitness accounts from both the Afghan military and villagers he encountered on his trek, he was actually looking to meet up with the local Taliban.
- An Army review of Bergdahl’s disappearance and subsequent abduction found that he had, in fact, deserted. It also found that Bergdahl made a habit of going AWOL.
- There are the accounts from his platoon mates that characterize Bergdahl as a deserter and a traitor. There are even accounts that suspect Bergdahl of actively cooperating with the Taliban in raids against his former platoon.
To summarize: Bowe Bergdahl was ashamed of his citizenship, chose to walk away from his unit in a combat zone, chose to actively seek out the enemy while unarmed, and announced to his platoon his intention to leave. Further, there is evidence that not only did he seek out the Taliban, but went there with the intention of supplying them with critical intelligence that later helped them decimate the ranks of his former platoon.
These are not the actions of an American soldier. They are the actions of a turncoat. A traitor.
And under no circumstance should the United States ever work to “free” a traitor.
You may consider it a technicality of terms, but no one “rescued” Bergdahl. They traded for him, which is negotiation, an act of diplomacy. Rescuing would have involved considerably more risk. He was ransomed.
There’s more than a bit of legal opinion suggesting that once combat officially ceases, we have no authority to continue holding these uncharged Gitmo prisoners. Might as well get something for them while we still can. We already spoiled our chance to try them by torturing them. Thanks, CIA.
If Bergdahl did wrong, the correct action is still to get him back and try him here.
June 9, 2014 at 1:07 pm
First, no “if” in my mind. Bergdahl is at the least a deserter. We’ve never traded for deserters before – silly to start now. Why? So we can hang him instead of the Taliban chopping off his head once he was useless to them?
As for the ceasing hostilities, just because the President says the war is over…he forget to tell the folks we’ve been fighting the war is over. Yes, it can all seem like a waste of time and blood, but I’d rather fight them there than fight them them here.
June 9, 2014 at 1:21 pm
I love that off-handed cliche slogan! I would MUCH rather fight them here, where THEY can’t blend in, where we know the territory. Big “home field” advantage.
June 9, 2014 at 1:25 pm
Not for nothing, but that didn’t exactly seem to be an impediment on 9/11, now was it?
June 9, 2014 at 1:37 pm
That’s my point exactly. After that, everyone here is looking out for them.
June 9, 2014 at 2:13 pm
I’d love to believe that. But then, there’s the President and his band of merry followers who are intent on welcoming them with open arms. 😦
June 9, 2014 at 4:08 pm