Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers protest swap, call him a deserter

posted at 8:01 am on June 2, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The prisoner exchange which brought back the only known American alive in Taliban custody did not get a ringing endorsement from the men who served with him in Afghanistan. While President Obama celebrated Bowe Bergdahl’s release with Bergdahl’s father in the Rose Garden, other soldiers lifted their voices in outrage over the high cost of the swap and called Bergdahl a deserter. Those protests have grown loud enough to grab the attention of CNN’s Jake Tapper:

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.

The Washington Post also reported on the growing controversy and the claims that the US traded five high-profile detainees for a man who may have gone willingly into Taliban custody:

Disappearing from a military post in a war zone without authorization commonly results in one of two criminal charges in the Army: desertion or going absent without leave, or AWOL. Desertion is the more serious one, and usually arises in cases where an individual intends to remain away from the military or to “shirk important duty,” including a combat deployment such as Bergdahl’s.

Javier Ortiz, a former combat medic in the Army, said he is frustrated with Bergdahl’s actions and thinks he should be tried for desertion, even after five years in captivity in Pakistan. Many U.S. troops had misgivings about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while they were deployed but did not act on them as Bergdahl did, said Ortiz, of Lawton, Okla.

“I had a responsibility while I was there to the guys I was with, and that’s why this hits the hardest,” said Ortiz, who was in Iraq from March 2003 to March 2004 with the 101st Airborne Division. “Regardless of what you learned while being there, we still have a responsibility to the men to our left and right. It’s terrible, what he did.”

After he went missing, the military conducted an extensive search for Bergdahl. The plan was to create a blockade that would prevent his captors from taking him far from Paktika province, especially into Pakistan. The bulk of other operations were halted to focus on finding Bergdahl.

One Afghan special operations commander in eastern Afghanistan remembers being dispatched.

“Along with the American Special Forces, we set up checkpoints everywhere. For 14 days we were outside of our base trying to find him,” he told The Washington Post, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he is a member of a secretive military unit.

But U.S. troops said they were aware of the circumstances of Bergdahl’s disappearance — that he left the base of his own volition — and with that awareness, many grew angry.

The Obama administration seemed caught off guard by the questions about Bergdahl’s disappearance, even though Rolling Stone had raised them two years ago in an article by the recently-deceased Michael Hastings. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel dodged the question yesterday, as did Susan Rice:

A reporter asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel 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.”

The White House appears to have been caught flat-footed about the response of other soldiers to the Bergdahl trade. Perhaps they expected kudos for leaving no man behind. With the strategy to completely withdraw by 2016 in full swing now, they would probably be justified in thinking that leaving Bergdahl behind would get them crucified in 2016 by some of the same people angrily criticizing the trade today.

However, there is a big difference between swapping for a man who’s accused of desertion (and whose disappearance cost at least six soldiers’ lives, and possibly more), and cheering his release in a presidential Rose Garden speech along with his family. That is a return for a hero, not a potential deserter (who, we should stress, has not yet been charged with that crime, let alone convicted). Did no one at the White House bother to check into the details of Bergdahl’s disappearance, or calculate what that might mean politically in this trade? Everyone from Obama on down seems to have been caught flat-footed in a controversy of their own making … again.

CNN noted the controversy in a report this morning, as well as the plan to allow Bergdahl to slowly re-enter American life again. If his fellow soldiers are right, it might be a lot slower than even the Pentagon plans at the moment.

Not all of the questions are about Bergdahl, either:

Separately, some inside the military raised questions about the cost associated with rescuing Bergdahl, who walked off his base and away from his unit five years ago after becoming disillusioned with the war effort.

Most of the immediate concern expressed by military experts, including a former national security adviser to President Obama, centered on the five Taliban prisoners who were released Saturday from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“It’s very, very important for the government of Qatar to make sure that these people are kept under control and do not return to the battlefield,” said Gen. James L. Jones, who served as Obama’s national security adviseruntil November 2010. He noted in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” that previously released Taliban prisoners had returned to the battlefield.

We’ll see how committed Qatar is to that plan in the days and weeks ahead.


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Nuff said.

HumpBot Salvation on June 2, 2014 at 12:13 PM

You hit that point a long while back.
Yet…

verbaluce on June 2, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Until I hear some compelling evidence, that’s just a bunch of Bull and if you w4ere standing in front of me I might have to shut you up the old fashioned way.
RockRib on June 2, 2014 at 9:17 AM

I doubt if hitting me with your purse would hurt much.

307wolverine on June 2, 2014 at 12:20 PM

The man hasn’t even been tried yet. He may be guilty of nothing.

Honestly, who needs a civilian or military court system when you have internet forums.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 2, 2014 at 12:22 PM

You hit that point a long while back.
Yet…

verbaluce on June 2, 2014 at 12:19 PM

You hit it with your first comment. Yet, you continue to be-clown yourself on every thread.

This is pretty cut and dried. Yet, here you are defending the indefensible. Blaming “righties” for your failure of a prezzy.

No worries, verbalduece…we know you have no moral compass.

Get off your knees….it’s no way to live.

HumpBot Salvation on June 2, 2014 at 12:24 PM

I doubt if hitting me with your purse would hurt much.

307wolverine on June 2, 2014 at 12:20 PM

…its purse “closed”…on page 1.

KOOLAID2 on June 2, 2014 at 12:24 PM

The man hasn’t even been tried yet. He may be guilty of nothing.

Honestly, who needs a civilian or military court system when you have internet forums.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 2, 2014 at 12:22 PM

And Obama isn’t a narcissist. I know this because all of his defenders tell me so lol

non-nonpartisan on June 2, 2014 at 12:25 PM

“It won’t help the peace process in any way, because we don’t believe in the peace process,” Mujahid said.

Did the fools in this administration really believe that the Taliban’s reaction would be any other than the above?

Walter L. Newton on June 2, 2014 at 12:26 PM

It is interesting that Obama didn’t give Congress the mandatory 30 days notice.

Were the Taliban dictating terms to him?

ajacksonian on June 2, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Thank your husband for his service, please. And thank you for your part in that as well – I know that yours was not an easy role either.

Should we meet someday, I’d like to buy you both dinner and a round or two of drinks.

Midas on June 2, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Outstanding Post.

ToddPA on June 2, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Frank lib is a good satirist at that :)

sorrowen on June 2, 2014 at 12:31 PM

The Obama administration might not be coming under so much fire if they had done the deal and left it at that. But giving this guy a hero’s welcome, lying about it on television, and pounding their own chests are too much for too many people.

blink on June 2, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Obama’s NPD nature doesn’t allow him to do anything without spiking the football.

ConstantineXI on June 2, 2014 at 12:33 PM

It is interesting that Obama didn’t give Congress the mandatory 30 days notice.

Were the Taliban dictating terms to him?

ajacksonian on June 2, 2014 at 12:30 PM

What scares me is clearly Obama plans to empty Gitmo. What is he going to do with KSM?

ConstantineXI on June 2, 2014 at 12:34 PM

The man hasn’t even been tried yet. He may be guilty of nothing.

Honestly, who needs a civilian or military court system when you have internet forums.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 2, 2014 at 12:22 PM

There’s more than enough evidence to warrant charging him with Desertion and Treason, and to be held in the stockade pending trial.

ConstantineXI on June 2, 2014 at 12:35 PM

But one of those complications is the right’s continued animus towards Obama. Considering how agonized they were when Bin Laden was found and killing on his watch, it should come as no surprise that in the con blogs etc. Bergdahl release will be derided.

As it was a very good thing when Bin Laden was found and killed – it is a very good thing that this American soldier is no longer held captive by the Taliban.

If either of those scenarios had played out under Bush, the flag waving from the right would’ve blocked the sun.

verbaloon on June 2, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Wipe your chin off, Cultist!

Hate to pop your balloon, but US intel first figured out where bin Laden was living in 2007. At that time your Cult Leader was just Quitting his “job” as a US Senator halfway thru his term to have the Democrat Media get him elected.

F-

Del Dolemonte on June 2, 2014 at 12:37 PM

“MY BRAIN HURTS!”

Del Dolemonte on June 2, 2014 at 11:18 AM

…the MSM…made mine explode… years ago!

KOOLAID2 on June 2, 2014 at 12:18 PM

That quote is from a classic Monty Python sketch.

Gumby Brain Surgery

Del Dolemonte on June 2, 2014 at 12:39 PM

And Obama isn’t a narcissist. I know this because all of his defenders tell me so lol

non-nonpartisan on June 2, 2014 at 12:25 PM

…most of them are narcissists as well.

But Obama being an elected (I guess he was, not really sure of that) official has far less protections from criticism, ridicule and public accusations than does a private citizen, or in this case a soldier.

I for one am glad to see one of our own back. He can be tried later and we can go from there.

The PTB have released many terrorists in the past from Gitmo who have gone on to fight against us-and they were released just because.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 2, 2014 at 12:42 PM

it is a very good thing that this American soldier is no longer held captive by the Taliban.

verbaluce on June 2, 2014 at 11:59 AM

He was NEVER held by the Taliban, you fool. He was held by a group of terrorists, associated with AlQauida. Get informed before you type anything.

Schadenfreude on June 2, 2014 at 12:42 PM

What scares me is clearly Obama plans to empty Gitmo. What is he going to do with KSM?

ConstantineXI on June 2, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Parting gifts, perhaps?

Blueprints to vital installations as an ‘assurance’ that we ‘trust’ him now?

Really, would anyone be surprised by that at this point?

ajacksonian on June 2, 2014 at 12:42 PM

verbaloon on June 2, 2014 at 11:59 AM

obama-azz-licker, obama did nothing. The SEALs, most of whom he had killed afterwords, did the good deed.

Schadenfreude on June 2, 2014 at 12:47 PM

There’s more than enough evidence to warrant charging him with Desertion and Treason, and to be held in the stockade pending trial.

ConstantineXI on June 2, 2014 at 12:35 PM

So I’ve heard. I’m just saying the man needs to be tried according to UCMJ…and if they find him not guilty, do we keep on attacking him? I say get him out of the hands of the terrorists first and deal with these issues second.

There’s more than enough evidence to warrant charging him with Desertion and Treason, and to be held in the stockade pending trial.

ConstantineXI on June 2, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Then they’ll try him and if found guilty we can revile him as a deserter and a traitor. Certainly yours and others right to do so now. I just prefer to withhold judgement as I really don’t know all the facts, and he hasn’t been properly tried yet.

I would hate to be in the position of having been captured and have it assumed that I was down with the enemy because I sympathized with them on some level.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 2, 2014 at 12:48 PM

‘He walked off. He left his guard post. Nobody knows if he defected or he’s a traitor or he was kidnapped.

‘What I do know is he was there to protect us and instead he decided to defer from America and go and do his own thing.

‘I don’t know why he decided to do that, but we spend so much of our resources and some of those resources were soldiers’ lives.’

– Former Private First Class Jose Baggett

Resist We Much on June 2, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Dangit, second response was supposed to be for:

Nobody has denied the NYT and Rolling Stone version of events. In fact, those version of events have only be corroborated.

And should we simply ignore his father’s postings.

And, lastly, why hasn’t he shaved?

blink on June 2, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Oh, was wondering the same thing? Wouldn’t let him? Thought he might be treated better if he didn’t? Wants to be one of them?

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 2, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Dad WTF

gxbhkt on June 2, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Weeks of searching turned into months. The military pushed his parents and fellow soldiers to sign nondisclosure agreements. But before everyone signed, a comrade from his unit publicly called on Facebook for Bergdahl’s execution as a deserter defector.

Schadenfreude on June 2, 2014 at 12:51 PM

The Haqqanis are not the Taliban. They are far worse.

Schadenfreude on June 2, 2014 at 12:55 PM

So I’ve heard. I’m just saying the man needs to be tried according to UCMJ…and if they find him not guilty, do we keep on attacking him?

Dr. ZhivBlago

Should folks have continued to attack OJ after he was found not guilty?

xblade on June 2, 2014 at 12:58 PM

So now they’ve turned the phrase “No American left behind” around to include human shields. I’m sure the pollsters are fabricating polls right now to show that everyone supports Obama on this. It’s the excuse the Boehnercrats need to do nothing about it.

Buddahpundit on June 2, 2014 at 12:59 PM

But one of those complications is the right’s continued animus towards Obama. Considering how agonized they were when Bin Laden was found and killed on his watch

verbaloon on June 2, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Wipe your chin off, Cultist!

Hate to pop your balloon, but US intel first figured out where bin Laden was living in 2007. At that time your Cult Leader was just Quitting his “job” as a US Senator halfway thru his term to have the Democrat Media get him elected.

F-

Del Dolemonte on June 2, 2014 at 12:37 PM

Ha…thanks for the illustration.

verbaluce on June 2, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Well at least he will have a roommate’ ready when he gets to Russia.

Lt. John F. Kerry too can be the one who vouches for his treason credentials.

If that is not good enough then the Hate America Commander in Chief can make it all ok with a big old treason is the sesaon reason lie.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 2, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Yo

Verbsoutofbalance,

Lawless it is then.

We will meet you crime for crime.

Ready?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 2, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Koch doesn’t mean any of the crap he says. He’s a sociopathic troll, trying to get a rise out of people he agrees with politically. Unlike people like Bishop and Frank Lib, who only satirize illiberals.

non-nonpartisan on June 2, 2014 at 11:27 AM

So it’s mjbrutus then?

HumpBot Salvation on June 2, 2014 at 11:41 AM

My theory, -BrianJ back from banland.

slickwillie2001 on June 2, 2014 at 1:04 PM

First thing I learned in the Army

1. I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.
2. I will obey my special orders and perform all of my duties in a military manner.
3. I will report violations of my special orders, emergencies, and anything not covered in my instructions to the commander of the relief.

Pretty sure walking off the job isn’t included in those General Orders, but then again, it was a long time ago and the ‘New’ Army my do things diffferently

Dino V on June 2, 2014 at 1:05 PM

On John F. Kerry and his co-committee buddy John McCain re: the MIA/POW on leaving men behind.

Sgt. Jerry Michael Shriver, Special Forces, S.O.G. 1-0 team lead, gone MIA on a bomb damage assessment on the combined NVA/VA Hgts in Cambodai (due to LBJ culling off most of the B-52′s sent on the mission to bomb the place) Radio Hanoi bragged about taking “Mad Dog Shriver) prisoner.

But then all these butt hole buddies of the elite get a pass on honor and duty, cause they got the gold…..

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 2, 2014 at 1:05 PM

HumpBot Salvation on June 2, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Same style of writing.

kingsjester on June 2, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Wow, I didn’t think anyone in the media had it in them to really dig into this.

Blind squirrel. Nut. Some assembly required.

alchemist19 on June 2, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Yeah, obama’success’

Schadenfreude on June 2, 2014 at 1:08 PM

So, who gave the orders for all the people in his unit to sign non disclosure documents where they swore they would not say a word about this treason.

Some more cya by the Generals who now sit in Obama’s little circle of cur dogs.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 2, 2014 at 1:08 PM

verbaldouche on June 2, 2014 at 11:59 AM

obama-azz-licker, obama did nothing. The SEALs, most of whom he had killed afterwords, did the good deed.

Schadenfreude on June 2, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Barry delayed the GO order on the mission for many weeks, and finally Panetta and Hillary gave the order without Barry’s knowledge. They only told him about it after it had launched.

I expect that they used some plausible explanation like “we couldn’t get ahold of you at the time the decision had to be made.”

That allows Barry to take credit if it succeeded and avoid blame if it failed.

slickwillie2001 on June 2, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Keep on thinking verbs out of balance or if that still does not work go over to the blog you get all your bs from and rip some of that prattle off and post it here.

pi$$ant

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 2, 2014 at 1:10 PM

It appears to me that Obama and his minions, by brokering this lopsided, dangerous deal which has potentially sold out the safety of our nation, have acted like the fool who keeps feeding the tiger…hoping that the tiger will eat him last…and by doing so, throwing fuel on the fire of this perpetual Islamic Revolution that Chesterton wrote of, and giving confidence to those who wish to kill us all.

To quote Elmer Fudd…

Something awfuwwy scwewy’s goin’ on awound heah…

kingsjester on June 2, 2014 at 1:12 PM

A vote for a Democrat is a vote for treason.

Keep it simple.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 2, 2014 at 1:12 PM

This guy in my humble opinion did aid and abbet in the deaths of his fellow armmed force members. Those who attempted to free him and the attacks that resulted in the information ha gave to the killers who attacked our troops with his intel.

Thing is they let Kerry off, now this one will get let off by the commie hate Ameica Democrat Party.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 2, 2014 at 1:15 PM

…most of them are narcissists as well.

But Obama being an elected (I guess he was, not really sure of that) official has far less protections from criticism, ridicule and public accusations than does a private citizen, or in this case a soldier.

I for one am glad to see one of our own back. He can be tried later and we can go from there.

The PTB have released many terrorists in the past from Gitmo who have gone on to fight against us-and they were released just because.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 2, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Why should anyone listen to your opinion over their own? There is much unflattering evidence about Bergdahl and his wretched father. You are trying to shut people up. Your rhetoric is that of useful idiots.

non-nonpartisan on June 2, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Del Dolemonte on June 2, 2014 at 12:37 PM

Ha…thanks for proving me wrong again.

verbaloon on June 2, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Fixed.

Del Dolemonte on June 2, 2014 at 1:21 PM

A vote for a Democrat is a vote for treason.

Keep it simple.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 2, 2014 at 1:12 PM

To be fair, so are votes for most Republicans as well. The only difference being that the Democrat Party is 100% traitor but the GOP is 98%.

ConstantineXI on June 2, 2014 at 1:24 PM

On John F. Kerry and his co-committee buddy John McCain re: the MIA/POW on leaving men behind. APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 2, 2014 at 1:05 PM

McCain did everything he could to stifle POW/MIA investigations. Kind, given the persona he affects.

Akzed on June 2, 2014 at 1:26 PM

I guess Mexico isn’t holding any top terrorists to swap out for our OTHER soldier, who simply took a wrong turn.

pambi on June 2, 2014 at 1:26 PM

kingsjester@kingsjester1
If Obama had a son, he would look like Bowe Bergdahl. #tcot #BoweBergdahl

kingsjester on June 2, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Then they’ll try him and if found guilty we can revile him as a deserter and a traitor. Certainly yours and others right to do so now. I just prefer to withhold judgement as I really don’t know all the facts, and he hasn’t been properly tried yet.

The problem here is he will never be investigated or tried, regardless of the merit of doing so. As commander-in-chief, Obama has no desire to see him investigated (unless a white-wash to clear him) or tried, thus no General is going to do so. And the media won’t do any digging or reporting. So, we will never get any answers.

I would hate to be in the position of having been captured and have it assumed that I was down with the enemy because I sympathized with them on some level.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 2, 2014 at 12:48 PM

the problem here is that based on what others in his unit are saying – he put himself in that position. Wandering off in the middle of Afghanistan? He may not have sympathized with them, but then he is an idiot. An idiot who cost others’ their lives.

the idea of “innocent until proven guilty” is meant for the Courts – the gov’t cannot treat you as guilty unless it has proven its case in a court of law. But, that does not – cannot – apply to public opinion. Otherwise, we would never be allowed to have opinions on anything, unless the gov’t saw fit to try it. How many political scandals, for instance, actually end in a criminal trial – even if there were crimes committed? Almost none. So, by the idea of not forming an opinion until after trial, we cannot form an opinion on those scandals. For instance, the gun-walking scandal, the IRS scandal and many others.

The fact that the other guys in his unit think he was rotten – that he deserted and helped the enemy – speaks volumes. When was the last time you saw that?

this is one of those situation where we will never know the truth “beyond a reasonable doubt”. But, I, for one, put a lot of stock in what others say about him who served with him. Usually, in such a situation, squad mates, etc., would be ecstatic to get a comrade back. that they aren’t means something.

Maybe this guy isn’t a traitor. But at best he is an idiot who cost other people their lives.

Monkeytoe on June 2, 2014 at 1:54 PM

The way everyone has already judged Bergdahl guilty of treason reminds me of when the public had already judged McCain guilty of treason for taking part in 32 propaganda broadcasts during Vietnam, (in which he accused the US of war crimes), and for telling the enemy the flight patterns of U.S. Fighters, (which led to a 64% increase in fighters being shot down), in exchange for individual medical care that was not available to the other POWs.

Maybe we should wait see what happens before judging a man guilty.

Also we already had to release the Taliban prisoners this year, (as is required by international law) because their dentition was do to the war against the Taliban government of Afghanistan for which combat operations cease this year.

The negotiations with the Taliban have been a desperate attempt to weaken Iran and Russia while also binding Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India closer as a bulwark against Chinese influence with the TAPI pipeline.

The projected gains from the TAPI gas pipeline still retain the potential to create a win-win deal among regional stakeholders in Afghanistan

http://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/shanthie-mariet-d-souza-tapi-a-pipeline-of-peace-in-south-asia-111032000005_1.html

“Afghanistanisation” is a longer term project that underlies the geopolitical strategy of ensuring that Iran is excluded from being able to export its gas eastwards through Pakistan into India, one of the world’s largest markets. Thousands of Western troops and private contractors will remain after 2014.

China’s influence in Iran was a major reason for the growing importance of the TAPI pipeline, a main geopolitical ambition of the Afghanistan war which would block off Iran’s rival IP pipeline and work towards isolating it.

Risks of Afghan War Shift From Soldiers to Contractors

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/world/asia/afghan-war-risks-are-shifting-to-contractors.html?_r=1&

Obama is hiring military contractors at a rate that would make Bush blush.

Short history lesson:

In the summer of 2001, the United States Geological Survey (USGS)’s annual assessment of Afghanistan reported that, in addition to its considerable mineral resources, “Afghanistan has additional economic potential because of its strategic geographical position as a transit route for Cental Asian hydrocarbons to the Arabian Sea. This potential includes proposed multibillion dollar oil and gas export pipelines through the country.”

The British trade journal Alexander’s Gas and Oil Connections dated March 20, 2002, describes the readiness of three U.S. Federal agencies in the Bush Administration to fund the pipeline project: the U.S. Import/Export Bank, the Trade and Development Agency, and the Overseas Private Insurance Corporation. The article continues: “…some recent reports …indicated …the United States was willing to police the pipeline infrastructure through permanent stationing of its troops in the region.”

“One of our goals is to stabilize Afghanistan, so it can become a conduit and a hub between South and Central Asia so that energy can flow to the south.”
—U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Richard Boucher

“NATO troops have to guard pipelines that transport oil and gas that is directed for the West.”
—NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer to a NATO conference in June 2007

The U.S. military bases that are placed exactly along the entire distance of the planned pipeline route, and wrote: “Work will begin on the TAPI once Taliban forces are cleared from the pipeline route by U.S., Canadian and NATO forces. As American analyst Kevin Phillips writes, the U.S. military and its allies have become an ‘energy protection force.’”

The Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv notes: “If one looks at the map of the big American bases created [in the Afghan war], one is struck by the fact that they are COMPLETELY IDENTICAL to the route of the projected oil & gas pipeline to the Indian Ocean and placed EXACTLY where the pumping stations are going up.”

To sum it up these negotiations are an attempt to make all the blood and treasure, spent on a 13 year long war, worth it by getting the Taliban to allow us to secure the TAPI pipeline. As of now the Taliban keep blowing it up as we try build it.

JustTheFacts on June 2, 2014 at 2:09 PM

The Obama administration might not be coming under so much fire if they had done the deal and left it at that. But giving this guy a hero’s welcome, lying about it on television, and pounding their own chests are too much for too many people.

blink on June 2, 2014 at 12:31 PM

That.

jimver on June 2, 2014 at 2:14 PM

First thing I learned in the Army….

Pretty sure walking off the job isn’t included in those General Orders, but then again, it was a long time ago and the ‘New’ Army my do things diffferently

Dino V on June 2, 2014 at 1:05 PM

I was in the Navy, not the Army. I had these memorized while waiting in Clothing Issue of boot camp….

1. To take charge of this post and all government property in view.

2. To walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert, and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.

3. To report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.

4. To repeat all calls from posts more distant from the guard house than my own.

5. To quit my post only when properly relieved.

6. To receive, obey and pass on to the sentry who relieves me, all orders from the Commanding Officer, Command Duty Officer, Officer of the Deck, and Officers and Petty Officers of the Watch only.

7. To talk to no one except in the line of duty.

8. To give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.

9. To call the Officer of the Deck in any case not covered by instructions.

10. To salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.

11. To be especially watchful at night, and, during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near my post and to allow no one to pass without proper authority.

307wolverine on June 2, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 2, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Like I was saying on an earlier thread. I’m on a military installation as we speak and not I single person I’ve spoken to cared if he came back. Now that he is, the general concensus is that he needs to answer for the men lost looking for him. The talk here is mild compared to his contemporaries still serving.

hawkdriver on June 2, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Also we already had to release the Taliban prisoners this year, (as is required by international law) because their dentition was do to the war against the Taliban government of Afghanistan for which combat operations cease this year.

Actually, under the Geneva conventions you are allowed to kill non-uniformed combatants. So, we are not really required to release them.

Monkeytoe on June 2, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Coming to this thread late, so this might have already been discussed. But just to add insult to injury, Bowe Bergdahl still rates his military pay for the past 5 years, in which he will not have to pay Federal Income Tax because of the combat environment.

Dr. ZhivBlago I normally would agree with you to wait until after the trial. However, if anyone out there thinks that Obama is going to let the military charge Bergdahl with treason, desertion or AWOL after the hero’s welcome he gave Bergdahl and the release of the five terrorists, must be a democrat needing a fee more IQ points to reach zero. No way is Obama going to allow egg on his face and being CIC, he has a lot of control over those that would bring charges.

PrettyD_Vicious on June 2, 2014 at 4:00 PM

The man hasn’t even been tried yet. He may be guilty of nothing.

Honestly, who needs a civilian or military court system when you have internet forums.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 2, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Click on my user name. It happens to better people than Bergdahl.

V7_Sport on June 2, 2014 at 4:01 PM

The man hasn’t even been tried yet. He may be guilty of nothing.

Honestly, who needs a civilian or military court system when you have internet forums.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 2, 2014 at 12:22 PM

So silly. by that logic we aren’t allowed to form opinions about anything. If he is never investigated or tried by the military, we are not allowed to form opinions based on the evidence? Our opinion must be confined to what the jury decides? that’s absurd.

First, the chances of him being investigated or tried by the military are almost zero because Obama is the commander-in-Chief, thus no General is going to try and bring charges if Obama doesn’t want charges brought. That is the way it works.

So, absent a court martial, we must take Susan Rice’s (committed liar) word? (and, absent a courts-martial, why does she or anyone from the administration get to declare his service “good” or “honorable”?)

I hate it when people get confused by the state’s obligation to treat a person as innocent before convicted by a jury of their peers and the public at large’s right to form opinions.

the public at large can form whatever opinions it wants. Rules of evidence don’t apply. standards of proof don’t apply. I can state right now that I believe that O.J. Simpson murdered Nichole Brown. It doesn’t matter one whit to me that he was acquitted. The evidence that I saw proved he killed them. Just like I believe Ted Kennedy knowingly left Mary Jo Kopechne to die.

Likewise, I can form an opinion as to Bergdahl based on the evidence that comes out. I am open to change my opinion as more evidence comes out, but I will not wait for a trial before forming any opinion – particularly when it involves such large questions of public policy and national security.

Now, let me be clear – I would not want to see Bergdahl punished by the state absent due process. That is a different beast altogether. He is entitled to a fair trial. before the state imposes any criminal punishment upon him.

But that does not apply to my opinion of him or to my opinion as to what Obama did. those claiming otherwise are trying to hide behind silly procedural issues (wait until after a trial before forming any opinion) because the facts appear very much to be against them.

As another example – most of the left still believes Zimmerman is guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin despite being acquitted. I don’t see the leftists, such as “justthefacts” decrying that left and right.

Or when the officers were acquitted in the state trial on excessive force against Rodney King – the left went nuts and demanded they be tried in federal court for violating King’s civil rights.

The point is – there is no rule, and any such rule would be foolish – that people can’t form opinions relating to this absent a trial. Or even with a trial. Even more importantly, in criminal trials, due to rules of evidence, the public often gets far more evidence than a jury ever sees or hears. So – the jury may conclude one thing while the public, quite reasonably, concludes something else.

Is public opinion always right? Of course not. But, does the public have a right to an opinion – of course. Crying “wait for a trial” that may never come – when you are talking about issues important to the country – is absolute nonsense.

Monkeytoe on June 2, 2014 at 4:13 PM

No way is Obama going to allow egg on his face and being CIC, he has a lot of control over those that would bring charges.

PrettyD_Vicious on June 2, 2014 at 4:00 PM

So that’s another consideration for the next President: Is he going to appoint an Attorney General (and military judges)who will prosecute Bergdahl, and other dubious characters? Or just give them a pass?

Mayor Giulianni for A.G. in 2016!

ReggieA on June 2, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Coming to this thread late, so this might have already been discussed. But just to add insult to injury, Bowe Bergdahl still rates his military pay for the past 5 years, in which he will not have to pay Federal Income Tax because of the combat environment.

PrettyD_Vicious on June 2, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Actually, he may receive more than that. From the official US Army site:

“Captive / Prisoner of War (POW) Status: Soldiers who are captured are placed into Captive or Prisoner of War (POW) status per the Geneva Convention. In particular, Captive or POW status is designated to one who, while engaged in combat under orders of his or her government, is captured by the armed forces of the enemy. Once POW status is determined, the authority for payment of the Soldiers is moved from the field finance offices to the Secretary of the Treasury.

Captive or POW Pay and Allowance Entitlements: Soldiers are entitled to all pay and allowances that were authorized prior to the POW period. Soldiers who are in a POW status are authorized payment of 50% of the worldwide average per diem rate for each day held in captive status. The Secretary of Defense may authorize more than 50% of the worldwide average per diem rate requested by the Secretary of the Army.

Captive or POW Pay and Allowances Administration: Secretary of the Army may allot part or all of a captive’s pay and allowances (except what is already allotted) to an interest-based savings fund that is maintained by the Secretary of the Treasury. Withdrawal procedures are established by the Secretary of the Treasury.

Captive or POW Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) and Housing (BAH): Soldiers are entitled to Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) and Housing (BAH) even if they were not previously authorized. If a single Soldier is not receiving BAH at the without dependent rate, this item would be granted at the commencement of the POW status.”

So he might receive up to $8000 in Per diem and up to $53000 in BAH.

GAlpha10 on June 2, 2014 at 4:32 PM

The way everyone has already judged Bergdahl guilty of treason reminds me of when the public had already judged McCain guilty of treason for taking part in 32 propaganda broadcasts during Vietnam,
JustTheFacts on June 2, 2014 at 2:09 PM

You were not alive then…so quit lying yet again.

It is exactly like this situation except for the FACTS that McCain did not willingly march into the enemies camp and willingly trash his own country. His dad was not an outspoken Vietnam sympathizer. He did not require torture to turn traitor.

Yeah, other than those facts it is just like it.

You freaks on the left are psychotic in your levels of dishonesty. There will be never be any reasoning with you children.

ClassicCon on June 2, 2014 at 4:39 PM

My mistake. The per diem amount should be up to $240000. I multiplied by 60 months, rather than by days.

So this deserter could receive a windfall of up to $300000. Hope someone fights having him characterized as being a POW, rather than the deserter he is.

GAlpha10 on June 2, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Deserter sounds so harsh. He probably thought he was just taking an unauthorized vacay.

NevadaD on June 2, 2014 at 5:07 PM

He said something obnoxious — he did not make a criminal threat. There are very specific elements to a criminal threat – none of which were present here.

Blake on June 2, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Credit for what? It was a completely uneven trade, and we got snookered. It has emboldened the Taliban who believe they won in the whole deal- And guess what? They’re right.

melle1228 on June 2, 2014 at 11:29 AM

I think you are confused…

Blake on June 2, 2014 at 5:37 PM

My mistake. The per diem amount should be up to $240000. I multiplied by 60 months, rather than by days.

So this deserter could receive a windfall of up to $300000. Hope someone fights having him characterized as being a POW, rather than the deserter he is.

GAlpha10 on June 2, 2014 at 4:57 PM

What a nice windfall for the alleged treasonous deserter. It is easier and safer politically for Obama to not let the military charge him and court-martial him. The backlash of the few military members and veterans won’t matter compared to the masses of LIVs. By tomorrow, this will be old news to the MSM and no further reporting will be required and should be avoided.

PrettyD_Vicious on June 2, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Should folks have continued to attack OJ after he was found not guilty?

xblade on June 2, 2014 at 12:58 PM

At least OJ had a trial. Not only that, he was found to be responsible for their deaths in a civil lawsuit. Be that as it may, it would seem that the physical evidence was damning against OJ and that he should have been found guilty in the first place.

I won’t defend this man if he is shown to be a deserter and/or a traitor, but I’m just trying to remind folks that we should be careful about passing judgement on fellow citizens as I believe that to be a slippery slope.

Why should anyone listen to your opinion over their own? There is much unflattering evidence about Bergdahl and his wretched father. You are trying to shut people up. Your rhetoric is that of useful idiots.

non-nonpartisan on June 2, 2014 at 1:19 PM

I’m not trying to shut anyone up. My “rhetoric” is that of innocent until proven guilty. Don’t see what’s so hard about that.

Monkeytoe on June 2, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Yes, apparently much has come out over the years about this guy and what may have happened. But I read on another blog today that the story is that he was lagging too far behind his unit while on a patrol and got captured. We just don’t know the facts and those need to come out in a military court.

PrettyD_Vicious on June 2, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Definitely The One is using this for nefarious reasons. Not entirely sure what they are, though. I would never think for one minute that Obummer would do anything that was in the best interests of the American people…his track record shows that.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 2, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Click on my user name. It happens to better people than Bergdahl.

V7_Sport on June 2, 2014 at 4:01 PM

I checked out your page. Saw elsewhere that he stepped down from the Tailhook presidency. Wow.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 2, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Promise fulfilled. Guantanamo gets easier to close every day.

Carnac on June 2, 2014 at 7:25 PM

Yes, apparently much has come out over the years about this guy and what may have happened. But I read on another blog today that the story is that he was lagging too far behind his unit while on a patrol and got captured. We just don’t know the facts and those need to come out in a military court.

PrettyD_Vicious on June 2, 2014 at 4:

then how on earth, if he was ‘on patrol’ he didn’t have body armor or weapon on him? They were all acconted ted for. He left at night when his buddies were sleeping, with a map, a compass and a knife.

jimver on June 2, 2014 at 7:34 PM

I’m not trying to shut anyone up. My “rhetoric” is that of innocent until proven guilty. Don’t see what’s so hard about that.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 2, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Yes. You said the following because you want to encourage people to talk openly about what they’ve been reading about Bergdahl and his idiot father.

The man hasn’t even been tried yet. He may be guilty of nothing.

Honestly, who needs a civilian or military court system when you have internet forums.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 2, 2014 at 12:22 PM

But Obama being an elected (I guess he was, not really sure of that) official has far less protections from criticism, ridicule and public accusations than does a private citizen, or in this case a soldier.

I for one am glad to see one of our own back. He can be tried later and we can go from there.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 2, 2014 at 12:42 PM

You don’t like how people are criticizing Bergdahl. Too bad for you it is going to continue despite your efforts to mute it, as it should. =)

non-nonpartisan on June 2, 2014 at 8:26 PM

If this guy ends up being jailed or shot for treason or desertion, it would be the last piece of rat dropping topping on the crap cake that has been the Obama presidency.

Theophile on June 3, 2014 at 2:17 AM

Yes, apparently much has come out over the years about this guy and what may have happened. But I read on another blog today that the story is that he was lagging too far behind his unit while on a patrol and got captured. We just don’t know the facts and those need to come out in a military court.

Apparently, the only people claiming the “lagged behind” theory is the Obama admin. His unit, the pentagon, etc., all state he purposefully walked off. the facts seem to substantiate this (he did not have his body armor on and did not take his weapon – which seems odd if he was “lagging behind on patrol”. Who goes on patrol without their body armor or weapon?.

regardless, I’d love to see him tried. But, as I stated multiple times, that isn’t going to happen. Obama is CIC. As long as the CIC doesn’t want him charged, he is not going to be charged or tried.

regardless, we are free to make judgments. There is no rule that one must wait for a trial to form an opinion based on available evidence.

Going back to the “lagging behind” theory. Again, this means he was not following proper orders or doing his duty. Soldiers don’t just “lag” far behind on patrol – there is specific protocol and training as to how to keep formation. So again, under your best theory this guy is an idiot who cost other soldiers their lives because he couldn’t be bothered to keep proper formation during a patrol (again, while not carrying a weapon or wearing his body armor. Does the army now let you go on “patrol” like it’s a nature hike?).

Monkeytoe on June 3, 2014 at 7:41 AM


Maybe we should wait see what happens before judging a man guilty.

JustTheFacts on June 2, 2014 at 2:09 PM .

It seems that “the facts” are flowing thick and fast, even from unlikely sources, such as Rolling Stone, no great friend of the right. Liberal journalists, like Toobin, are calling the action clearly illegal.

Bergdahl’s father, apparently (don’t want to judge too soon), was and is an islamic sympathizer and activist. He has the beard on display to prove it too.

For all your careful notes, here, you seem to be avoiding an emerging picture: a deserter, activist parents, military incompetence having this malcontent in a combat zone, an illegal prisoner release, and a president who made this uneven trade because he was behind on his closing-GITMO promises to his base. Obama knew full well Bergdahl’s background, could not care less about the VA scandal, ignored congress (again) and did it anyway. He will begin to claim, that he is closing GITMO by these strategic prisoner swaps.

virgo on June 3, 2014 at 11:13 AM

“‘It’s very, very important for the government of Qatar to make sure that these people are kept under control and do not return to the battlefield,’ said Gen. James L. Jones…..”

Assurances as in the Taliban saying, “Okay, I assure you…”? What a joke.

georgekaplan on June 3, 2014 at 2:27 PM

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