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White House narrative of Bowe Bergdahl return under rapid fire

White House narrative of Bowe Bergdahl return under rapid fire

Fellow soldiers criticize Bergdahl as ‘deserter’.

Since the news broke over the weekend regarding the recovery of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five detainees held at the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, there have been mixed reactions from the public.  Many are obviously very critical of the decision to exchange what are now known to be some pretty bad guys.

But there is also much discussion about the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl’s initial disappearance, much of which has been unconfirmed and unclear over the years.

News reports are now surfacing that offer accounts from soldiers who claim to have served with Bergdahl.

From CNN:

The sense of pride expressed by officials of the Obama administration at the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is not shared by many of those who served with him, veterans and soldiers who call him a deserter whose “selfish act” ended up costing the lives of better men.

“I was pissed off then, and I am even more so now with everything going on,” said former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl’s platoon when he went missing on June 30, 2009. “Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war, and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”

Vierkant said Bergdahl needs to not only acknowledge his actions publicly but face a military trial for desertion under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

A reporter asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Sunday whether Bergdahl had left his post without permission or deserted — and, if so, whether he would be punished. Hagel didn’t answer directly. “Our first priority is assuring his well-being and his health and getting him reunited with his family,” he said. “Other circumstances that may develop and questions, those will be dealt with later.”

Following his release from five years of captivity in Afghanistan on Saturday, Bergdahl was transferred to a military hospital in Germany.

A senior Defense official said Bergdahl’s “reintegration process” will include “time for him to tell his story, decompress, and to reconnect with his family through telephone calls and video conferences.”

Said Bergdahl’s former squad leader, Greg Leatherman: “I’m pleased to see him returned safely. From experience, I hope that he receives adequate reintegration counseling. I believe that an investigation should take place as soon as health care professionals deem him fit to endure one.”

[Read additional comments from other soldiers in the full CNN article.]

Video report below from CNN.

Some of Bergdahl’s fellow troops reportedly signed nondisclosure agreements that would prohibit them from sharing information about Bergdahl’s disappearance or subsequent recovery efforts, but were willing to dismiss that agreement, according to CNN.

Many of Bergdahl’s fellow troops — from the seven or so who knew him best in his squad to the larger group that made up the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division — told CNN that they signed nondisclosure agreements agreeing to never share any information about Bergdahl’s disappearance and the efforts to recapture him. Some were willing to dismiss that document in hopes that the truth would come out about a soldier who they now fear is being hailed as a hero, while the men who lost their lives looking for him are ignored.

There have also been reports from some of these soldiers that attacks in the area had increased during the time of the search for Bergdahl, and CNN has published a list of several soldiers who reportedly died during various related search efforts.  An article from TIME provides additional details on those soldiers and the circumstances of their deaths.

When asked by a reporter during the White House press briefing Monday whether or not it has been determined that Bergdahl was a deserter, press secretary Jay Carney indicated that officials would continue to evaluate “all of the circumstances surrounding [Bergdahl’s] initial detention and his captivity.”

The first and foremost thing that we have to recognize here is that Sgt. Bergdahl was in captivity for five years, held against his will, and it was absolutely the right thing to do, consistent with our tradition in the United States to secure his return. The Defense Department obviously has been and will continue to be the lead in terms of evaluating all of the circumstances surrounding his initial detention and his captivity. And that process continues, obviously directly with Sgt. Bergdahl now that he is in U.S. care. But I would point you again to what Chairman Dempsey said, and what Secretary of Defense Hagel said, and what so many others have said about the ethos that we here in the United States abide by when it comes to men and women who are taken prisoner during armed conflicts, and the history of this government taking actions to secure the return of our POWs is very full.

[Video clip via National Review]

In a separate press briefing Monday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki declined to characterize Bergdahl as a deserter, according to the Washington Free Beacon. “We would characterize him as a member of the military who was detained while in combat,” Psaki said.

[Featured image: Fox News Video]


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Daily Beast has the latest eyewitness account by Nathan Bradley, a soldier who was involved in the search for Bergdahl and who knows of the six who were killed during the rescue operation.

Juba Doobai! | June 3, 2014 at 9:14 am

Obama may have wanted to get the VA scandal off of the front pages. This Bergdahl scandal, one can only pray, will get him out of the WH.

    MarkS in reply to Juba Doobai!. | June 3, 2014 at 9:28 am

    As inviting as that may be, I believe Rush Limbaugh had it right when he said that the first black president will never be impeached.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to MarkS. | June 4, 2014 at 1:31 am

      Rush is right. Obastard will never be impeached, especially not with Boehner sitting as Speaker.

      Obastard probably prays to allah every night that Boehner outlasts him in office.

Obama claims there simply wasn’t any time to notify members of Congress that he was releasing 5 high level Taliban prisoners before the exchange, yet he found plenty of time to coordinate with Bergdahl’s parents and fly them to DC for a PR event.

Does anyone else think it’s just a tiny bit irresponsible to time the terrorists release from house arrest in the middle of our troop withdrawal from Afghanistan? What could possibly go wrong with that.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Sanddog. | June 4, 2014 at 1:28 am

    I’d probably choose a stronger word than “irresponsible.” I might start with “treacherous.”

Would like for you to consider elaborating on the Law Of Armed Conflict. The media seems to just ignore the legalities of the belligerents in the conflicts.
Nation states were easy; however, terrorists are another story.
– how do we categorize the terrorist groups?
– what rules must they be treated with?
– how about the GITMO prisoners and what happens to them when released? Can they return to the battlefield and if they do are they not an illegal combatant?

We were once a nation founded on the rule of law. What’s going on with the Afghan fight?

stevewhitemd | June 3, 2014 at 11:18 am

The Obama White House might regret using this incident to get the VA scandal off the front page…

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to stevewhitemd. | June 4, 2014 at 1:45 am

    I agree. At least with the VA scandal, obastard could lay some of it off on his predecessors. His faithful followers will blame it on Bush. But Bergdahl? Nope, obastard cut this deal and Bush was out of office before Bergdahl took his walk, so obastard owns this one.

    I guess obastard thought he’d look good to those offended by the VA situation if he took a big step to show his (contrived) love of our military men and women by getting one of ours back. I guess he didn’t think anybody would notice that the “POW” is at best a deserter and got six of America’s best KIA in their search for him.

    But to obastard, Bergdahl and his muzzie daddy, that last part is probably the frosting on the cake.

Operation Turd Polish is in full swing.

BO administration Motto: Rule of Law? Schmule of Law!

Lucien Cordier | June 3, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Can anyone explain to me why the government would have the soldiers sign nondisclosure agreements in this particular instance, why they would agree to sign (I can’t see why anyone would choose to unless under duress), whether they actually had a choice in whether or not to sign, and what the consequences of not signing might have been?

    2nd Ammendment Mother in reply to Lucien Cordier. | June 3, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Probably the same reason they had Benghazi survivors sign them too…. seriously, how in the heck have they kept a single person who was IN Benghazi from even gossiping to their Aunt who told her sister in law, who mentioned it to her cousin, who told her friends…..

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Lucien Cordier. | June 4, 2014 at 1:48 am

    I’ve read that it’s a somewhat common practice, but I don’t know for sure. Hopefully someone who knows more about this will chime in.

It has to be galling and nauseating for Bergdahl’s former to see him lionized. If, as has been alleged, he deserted his post, he has directly cause the unnecessary deaths of six good men. I don’t see why their lives are worth less than his. We can tack on the lives of innocents in Afghanistan who will lose theirs as a result of the five high-level thug-terrorists who were released to secure his freedom.

Bergdahl should face the same consequences under the Uniform Code of Military Justice as any other soldier would have had to.

The situation is truly a tragi-comic farce, typical of the Obama Administration.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to guyjones. | June 4, 2014 at 2:40 am

    I think obastard could have gotten Bergdahl back whenever he wanted to. He was just waiting for us to have enough of their guys in custody so he could make the grand gesture to his muzzie brethren and score points with them. he played the Bergdahl card when it was most advantageous to him to do so.

    Ask yourself why Bergdahl is the only American soldier ever captured by the Taliban to not have been beheaded or quartered and hanged from a bridge.

    Ask yourself why Bergdahl’s dad made a public display of praising and thanking allah and why obastard then hugged/embraced him.

    Ask yourself why obastard bowed to a Saudi king.

    Ask yourself why obastard has apologized numerous times on the world stage for the war on terror and for the existence of Guantanamo Bay.

    Ask yourself why obastard and manchelle listened to “Rev.” Wright, who holds a divinity degree in West African Islamic studies instead of Christianity, is closely connected to Calypso Louis Farrakhan, Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X, etc., and introduced and married BO and manchelle, rant for twenty years about Black Liberation Theology in a church that proudly published Hamas’ jihad manifesto.

    (rhetorically) Then tell me this whole Bergdahl thing is just another obastard coinkidink.

Henry Hawkins | June 3, 2014 at 8:16 pm

I hope Bergdahl hits every liberal news outlet, radio studio, blog podcast, and encounter group out there to share his hatred of America, always closing by sharing his vast gratitude to Mr. Obama for freeing him.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Henry Hawkins. | June 4, 2014 at 2:50 am

    People are too worried about their healthcare, having the government collect their credit files, spy on their computer and email communications, avoiding the wrath of the IRS, wondering how they’ll pay the bills given mushrooming energy costs, paying their taxes, worrying about what’s being done to their kids in and by the public indoctrination camps, and so on, to give a s#it.

    The rest are feeding at the public trough and pay NO attention to such matters as long as their EBT cards get replenished each month, their free cell phones and TVs keep working, and their free housing and medical is covered.

Henry Hawkins | June 3, 2014 at 8:19 pm

PS: I’d love to know how much involvement Bergdahl’s Code Pink anti-American father had in Bergdahl’s enlistment. I’ll bet that son of a bitch was molding his own son into a jihadist mole in the US military.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Henry Hawkins. | June 4, 2014 at 3:12 am

    Yep. And then offered Bowe up, receiving assurances that he (and he alone) would not be harmed as a “POW”, for obastard to manipulate as a playing card when needed in exchange for daddy’s heroes being set free. Bowe had to walk away and seek out his captors in order to get “captured”. Any other (real) POW wouldn’t be a POW for long. It would be off with their heads, publicly and videotaped for worldwide distribution, or gut them and hang them from a bridge, publicly and videotaped.

    All would be done in the name of Allah – publicly and videotaped.

    Only an Islamic zealot would go to the Rose Garden, in front of all of America and Americans who have lost loved ones in that fight, and praise and thank allah in Arabic. And only an Islamic brother would, even standing as president of the United States, supposedly at war with the captors, then smile and hug such a person. And it was done publicly and videotaped.

    But all people want to do is yammer about the 5:1 trade itself not being a very good deal.

Every time I think Obama can’t possibly go any lower….. I just can’t understand this… It defies reason.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to imfine. | June 4, 2014 at 3:15 am

    It doesn’t defy reason one bit once you understand what obastard truly is.

Question: does the US Military Code of Justice extend to the President/Commander-in-Chief? In my opinion, Obama’s action with this prisoner exchange constitutes a dereliction of duty in his CinC role and a violation of his fiduciary responsibility to all US citizens. Notwithstanding the issues of Bergdahl, I can only see that the releasing of five high end terrorists as a dereliction of duty and violates Obama’s fiduciary responsibility to all Americans. Only someone living in unicorn land would not surmise that these five WILL go back to plotting against and killing Americans.
The Founding Fathers did not limit impeachment to just violating the law, and Obama’s action sure fits their other rationalizations for impeachment (as this non-lawyer reads it).