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Soldiers speak out about Bergdahl as military promises “thorough” review

Soldiers speak out about Bergdahl as military promises “thorough” review

U.S. Army promises “thorough, transparent and complete review” of circumstances surrounding Bergdahl’s capture.

The U.S. military indicates it will conduct a new review into the circumstances of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s disappearance and captivity.

From USA Today:

The U.S. Army said Tuesday it will launch a new review into the circumstances surrounding Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl leaving his post and subsequent capture by the Taliban now that he has been released and can be interviewed.

The new investigation comes amid mounting allegations by fellow soldiers and politicians that Bergdahl deserted his post and the search for him put additional troops at risk.

The review “will include speaking with Sgt. Bergdhal to better learn from him the circumstances of his disappearance and captivity,” Army Secretary John McHugh said in a statement.

The Army had already completed an earlier review that involved speaking with soldiers in his unit.

Separately, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a Facebook posting that Army leaders would “not look away from misconduct if it occurred” in connection with the capture of Bergdahl.

A statement posted Wednesday at the Dept. of Defense website from Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno also promised a “thorough, transparent and complete review of the circumstances surrounding [Bergdahl’s] capture.”

Fellow soldiers who claim to have served with Bergdahl have been speaking out in recent days, many of them critical of the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl’s disappearance and of the possible impact of subsequent search efforts. Some say the deaths of other soldiers could have been indirectly related to those search efforts.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday seemed to push back against some of the recent criticism and claims.

From PBS News Hour/Associated Press:

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday it is unfair to the family of released captive Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to leap to conclusions about his behavior in uniform.

“We don’t do that in the United States,” Hagel told reporters at a NATO defense ministers meeting. “We rely on facts.”

Hagel said the Army will review the circumstances surrounding how Bergdahl left his unit and was captured by the Taliban, and added, “It’s not my place as a former sergeant in the Army to decide who’s worthy of being a sergeant and who isn’t.”

Bergdahl was released Saturday from five years’ captivity by the Taliban in exchange for five top Taliban officials.

Asked whether men had died in the efforts to rescue Bergdahl, Hagel said, “I don’t know of any circumstances or details of U.S. soldiers dying as a result of efforts to get Bergdahl.”

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that a 2010 Pentagon investigation concluded Bergdahl had walked away from his unit, though it didn’t formally accuse Bergdahl of desertion, according to FOX News.

Video report below from USA Today.


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Humphrey's Executor | June 4, 2014 at 6:53 pm

“It’s not my place as a former sergeant in the Army to decide who’s worthy of being a sergeant and who isn’t.” OK, but what about your current position as Secretary of Defense? Does that help? What an blithering idiot.

    Chuck Hagel served our country honorably and with distinction in Vietnam.

    Since then, not so much.

    I’m sorry, but I think the statement was perfectly proper. It isn’t the place of the civilian SecDef to micromanage.

    It’s important to get the info out to prevent a cover-up, but how many times have such allegations proven untrue? It is very wrong to convict someone in the media; we need to withhold judgment.

    And, BTW, if he did desert, then you would still need to risk people’s lives to get him back, so as to keep him from talking. And then punish him accordingly.

      Jubedgy in reply to mzk. | June 5, 2014 at 12:44 am

      His talking would have occurred in closer temporal proximity to his capture…five years ago. Anecdotal evidence from his previous units indicated he already “talked”, so…why did we risk those lives again?

      I agree that, given the statements involved, he must be tried. But if found guilty…if any of those five are involved in further attacks on US citizens then their blood is on the administration’s hands.

      Sanddog in reply to mzk. | June 5, 2014 at 9:42 am

      I’m under no obligation to withhold judgement.

      There is no justifiable reason for walking off post and putting yourself in the arms of the Taliban. I don’t care if he was having a bad week or second thoughts about joining up. There are a shitload of current and former soldiers/sailors/airmen/marines who at one point or another had doubts about what they were doing or why they had joined up. THEY pushed on through, honored the terms of their contracts and didn’t deliberately put their fellow men/women in danger. Military and civilian culture aren’t the same. I’m not judging Bergdahl by civilian standards, I’m judging him as a soldier.

CaliforniaJimbo | June 4, 2014 at 7:16 pm

Maybe things have changed from when I was in the Army (Desert Shield/Desert Storm) but I never experienced a TIG (time in grade) promotion system past E-3 (PFC). If CID is allowed to do their job, they WILL get to the facts. They will interview all parties involved and make a determination.
I am always happy to get one of our soldiers back. I’m concerned about the price paid. You do not give up 5 high value detainees for a soldier. I was always told that capture was not an option. You fought until you escaped or died. Maybe because I was MI. Needless to say, never was I made to feel a deal would ever be cut to free me if I were captured.
Glad another soldier is home but we deserve to know the truth. Those who lost loved ones looking for the sergeant deserve answers.

    Jubedgy in reply to CaliforniaJimbo. | June 5, 2014 at 12:48 am

    IIRC, when in a POW status, you are promoted as if you had good performance. In the Navy auto TIR promotion stops at E3 as well, but that assumption allows normal career progression.

      redc1c4 in reply to Jubedgy. | June 5, 2014 at 1:50 am

      deserters are criminals, not POWs…

        redc1c4 in reply to redc1c4. | June 5, 2014 at 4:40 am

        PS: unless things have changed recently (i was in 83-03) promotions are TIG up to SPC/E-4 in the Army, unless you’re a dirtbag.

          CaliforniaJimbo in reply to redc1c4. | June 5, 2014 at 7:42 am

          Interesting. I also recall PLD c (primary leadership development course) being a requirement prior to E-5. The only exception I recall we’re those selected to go into OCS. They received automatic E-5 promotions. PLDC was to ensure someone who became an NCO knew how to lead troops.

In one of the “hostage” videos Bergdahl made while “captive,” he claimed that he had been captured when he lagged behind his unit while they were out on patrol. Problem for him is that his unit members, and his commander, have reported that there was no patrol on the night Bergdahl disappeared from camp. So even before he gets back to the states, Bergdahl has already been caught in one big lie about the circumstances of his “capture” — and the lie is on videotape.

Also, James Rosen of FNC is reporting that there is another shoe yet to drop on the collaboration allegations. He says the Army has more info on this aspect of the story than has yet been reported. So this whole fiasco could get a lot uglier yet. By next week, Obama is probably going to wish he could get people back to talking about all the sick veterans killed by the corrupt and incompetent VA.

Noitce how nicely the Big O got the whole VA thing out of the headlines ?

    Czar Kasim in reply to pjm. | June 4, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    It’s kinda like a Ponzi scheme of disasters, each new screw up needs to be even bigger to push the last out of the headlines.

Callipygian1 | June 4, 2014 at 8:51 pm

If found to be complicit he should be the next Eddie Slovik; after being waterboarded to find out what he disclosed.

The best aspect of this incident is the men breaking silence in the face of gov’t lies. In addition to exposing the regime for all to see, it provides encouragement and safety in numbers to others who have things that need to be said. I’m thinking especially of Benghazi.

The best outcome would be that the regime’s stranglehold on truth would be broken. This would be a big step in getting our country back.

DavidJackSmith | June 4, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Asked whether men had died in the efforts to rescue Bergdahl, Hagel said, “I don’t know of any circumstances or details of U.S. soldiers dying as a result of efforts to get Bergdahl.”

That’s not an answer. It’s a “non-answer” couched to sound like an answer.

See, there COULD be circumstances where men died, it’s just Hagel is saying he doesn’t know of them.

Allen West is calling for impeachment over this.

Are there not true US heroes waiting on a roof top in Benghazi for rescue? Oh wait, the’re dead, killed after holding out under fire for hour after hour hoping against hope that their fellow soldiers would come to help.

I can’t believe that even Fox News is letting them get away with claiming the brought the deserter home because they don’t leave our people behind.

DINORightMarie | June 4, 2014 at 10:21 pm

With the boot on the neck of everyone in this country, military brass included, this regime may never ALLOW a fair and honest examination of what happened, and will certainly never allow it to be made public.

The military already KNOWS about this guy, what he did, and all the details of where, how, etc. of his “captivity.”

The rest of US don’t know. And that allows the regime to LIE to us, over and over again.

Who can you trust anymore?!

Maybe that is just another facet of this “fundamental transformation” Obama and his fellow-travelers wanted and voted for in 2008 and 2012. To destroy our trust of military leaders, as well as the blithering elite imbeciles who believe themselves to be our betters in DC.

The Obama administration has no idea how to deal with this. Because the troops don’t have a political angle. It’s entirely personal. They lost friends looking for Bergdahl. It’s sort of rich that Susan Rice is sent out to talk about a Sacred duty to leave no one behind, and then the administration is shocked when the soldiers who served with Bergdahl don’t just forget and let them bury the past along with their fallen friends.

    Not to worry. Friends of our President have already begun nobly attacking the veterans “swift boating” the brave POW and besmirching his sacred honor. They will not get away with this, surely you know… we have means of getting back against people like this.

    (And that was dripping with a lot of sarcasm just now… but yes, at least isolated, and stupid, attacks on veterans have begun.)

Could this incident be Obama’s Waterloo?

Maybe not, but it most certainly is Borodino.

The snow flies..The Grand Army is in retreat…

Of course the problem with the whole hostage thing is that once you start down that road there is no end.

For example what would we do if the Taliban kidnapped Lindsay Lohan or Justin Bieber (I know he is Canadian but….) and demanded the release of all the Gitmo prisoners?

Hell they might even go after the whole Kardashian clan and demand we trade our Secretary of Defense for their return. Now that would be an interesting decision.

Hagel talk to Msg Mark Allen. Oh that’s right you can’t thanks to Bergdahl.

I hereby nominate both Hagel and Bergdahl for membership in the Nobel Order of the Blue Falcon.They both know what I mean.

Ah, yes. The ever popular and appropriate fuddybucker award. Perfect!

I wonder if the Secret Service’s new sarcasm software will pick this one up? 😛

VetHusbandFather | June 4, 2014 at 11:29 pm

The Army had already completed an earlier review that involved speaking with soldiers in his unit.

People need to stop glossing over this. I guarantee a 15-6 was initiated when he originally “disappeared” and unless the investigating officer was completely incompetent they would have concluded tgat he deserted. So all this bullshit about not being sure until they talk to Bergdahl is a heap of crap. If he’s smart he’ll lawyer up and not give any statement anyway.

    redc1c4 in reply to VetHusbandFather. | June 5, 2014 at 1:54 am

    as a friend of mine, who is a lawyer, and a serving officer, said, they already have the 15-6 and the Article 32 from when he disappeared…

    they just don;t like what they say, and they’re trying to find away around that small problem.

    unfortunately for them, the truth is now out there, and they can’t pretend otherwise.

      VetHusbandFather in reply to redc1c4. | June 5, 2014 at 6:19 am

      Your friend is dead on right, and it pisses me off that they are treating this as if the investigation is just now starting. I can’t believe how mislead your average person is on this. Yesterday someone told me they didn’t think he was a deserter And asked what I thought. At this point that shouldn’t even be a question, the military already has the evidence in. The article also makes it seem like it’s Bs word against his platoon mates word, but it’s not, there are plenty of irrefutable facts in this case.

      Uncle Samuel in reply to redc1c4. | June 5, 2014 at 8:01 am

      Evidently, Bergdahl’s file has been scrubbed. – According to Saxby Chambliss, there is no record of desertion.

The back pay and automatic promotions are standard for POWs, who are assumed to make the highest performance grade.

The problem with this is that Bergdahl was NOT A POW.

I understand the argument that the Taliban consider themselves a government-in-exile, and that prisoners they capture should be considered POWs.

BUT Bergdahl wasn’t held or captured by the Taliban, even though he tried to hook up with them. Instead, he was held by the Haqqani Network, an independent islamist terrorist group that is thought to be based in the autonomous tribal areas of Pakistan that border Afghanistan. The Haqqanis are famous for financing themselves by kidnappings. They are often allies of the Taliban, but they aren’t the Taliban, and no one has ever described them as anything but an outlaw group.

He wasn’t a POW, this was not a “prisoner exchange” (someone is paying the Haqqanis, maybe the Taliban, maybe Qatar, but someone, they aren’t giving up a five-year hostage for free to help the Taliban). So he is NOT entitled to back pay and promotions.

if they don’t at least prosecute this POS, they’re going to have a hard time throwing the book at any other GI who’s AWOL/Deserted.

(IIRC, AWOL turns into desertion after you’re gone 30 days w/o permission… that’s what i ‘member, but since i was never AWOL, i wouldn’t know for sure %-)

Red, if you’re gone for more than 30 days you’re classified as a deserter as opposed to AWOL (or UA if you’re in the Sea Services). Still, it’s not a slam dunk at a court martial. Somebody might have intended to return to US jurisdiction, but have been prevented from doing so. Maybe Bergdahl just wandered off to smoke some hash, and thought he could get back in time for morning muster. If that’s the cae he was just UA. On the other hand, someone might have gone missing for less than 30 days, and could still be convicted of desertion as opposed to going AWOL if you can prove they burned all their bridges and never intended to come back.

Not that wandering off to smoke hash is particularly admirable. But it would be a lesser charge.

Worried_in_USA | June 5, 2014 at 5:03 am

UK’s Daily Mail has photos of the dead American soldiers due to Bergdahl leaving his post.

Here’s the June 3, 2014 Headline: : “Revealed: Hunt for Bowe Bergdahl left troops unprotected in infamous Afghan battle that left EIGHT U.S. soldiers dead and 22 wounded and produced two Medal of Honor recipients”.

The United States media is generally worthless on stories like this: puppets like Pravda. Go to London if you want thorough reporting when American liberal politicians don’t want you to find out what they did.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Brandon Friedman, has been tweeting that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl may deserve “sympathy” because of the possibility that “his platoon was long on psychopaths and short on leadership.”

If that were the case, he argues, “the soldiers in his platoon would have all the more reason to smear him publicly now.”


Wow. These pukes know no shame whatsoever.

Obama and his people play with people’s minds. Gaslighting, manipulation, etc. They have finally walked into an area where they don’t understand how people will react. Obama despises the military and everything it represents. None of his people have ever had anything to do with the military nor have any of their friends or their parents. They don’t ‘get’ military people. They assume military matters are just like everything else; ‘find the crack, reach in and tune it to our channel. Then watch people dance.’

Their Machiavellian psychological models and flowcharts are coming up with the wrong answers.

Henry Hawkins | June 5, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Whenever you hear from this administration that: “We need to reserve judgment and let the investigation go forward before we, blah, blah, blah,” it is just a delay tactic in hopes the news cycle will rotate and new events will supercede the old in the headlines. With a 90% Probama Media, it works.