Bergdahl’s hometown cancels planned welcome-back celebration

posted at 6:01 pm on June 4, 2014 by Allahpundit

Unfortunate, not because Bergdahl deserves a hero’s welcome but because it sounds like these people have been drowning in vitriol over the last few days for the crime of giving the benefit of the doubt to a hometown boy. (“(We’re) really surprised at the people who are calling — they are hate calls, they’re not just people voicing an opinion.”) If you knew him when he was a kid, know his parents, and heard nothing about his captivity except the fact that he’s spent five years in the company of jihadi degenerates, you might want to celebrate his release too.

Not anymore, though. Go figure that, with half a dozen members of his unit on TV accusing him of desertion and rumbles of outright collaboration with the Taliban echoing in the press, the town’s suddenly less eager to brand itself with Bergdahlmania.

The hometown of U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has canceled a rally planned for later this month celebrating his release from five years of Taliban captivity, a municipal official told Reuters on Wednesday, amid allegations that he was a deserter.

Heather Dawson, the city administrator of Hailey, Idaho, said town officials called off the June 28 event at the request of organizers because the town “will be unable to safely manage the number of people expected.”

They had planned a “Bowe Is Back” celebration for June 28th, with Carole King expected to sing and up to 15,000 people attending, including thousands of bikers from Boise’s POW/MIA group. The fact that they’re now claiming they can’t “safely manage” it has less to do with the numbers they’re expecting, I assume, than the tenor of the crowd that’s likely to turn out. The first poll on the prisoner swap is out today and shows the country — surprisingly — evenly split, with 40 percent supporting the deal and 43 percent against. Imagine members of those two groups in each other’s faces in close quarters at the Idaho event, with accusations of treason being tossed around, and you can see why safety might be an issue.

By the way, it’s not just members of Bergdahl’s unit who have suspicions about him. WaPo tracked down some of the Afghans who lived in the area when Bergdahl went missing in 2009. They claim to remember him.

Locals remember Bergdahl walking through the village in a haze. They later told Afghan investigators that they had warned the American that he was heading into a dangerous area.

“They tried to tell him not to go there, that it is dangerous. But he kept going over the mountain. The villagers tried to give him water and bread, but he didn’t take it,” said Ibrahim Manikhel, the district’s intelligence chief.

“We think he probably was high after smoking hashish,” Manikhel said. “Why would an American want to find the Taliban?”

“I hope the U.S. can re-arrest the Talibs that they released,” added one of the villagers, drily. Actually, though, their account is the best (and maybe only) defense yet of Bergdahl’s desertion. As damning as it is that he was apparently hellbent on making it to Taliban territory, the fact that he seemed to be “in a haze” and was suspected of being high could be the kernel of a defense for Bergdahl to the desertion charges. “I smoked something on base that I shouldn’t have and, the next thing I knew, the Taliban was all around me,” he could say. That’s implausible given all the evidence against him that Michael Hastings noted in Rolling Stone, including e-mails sent to his father days earlier that seemed to foreshadow something dramatic, but it’s something.

Here’s Tapper latest interview with someone who knew Bergdahl — former Staff Sgt. Justin Gerleve, his squad leader. He too thinks Bergdahl deserted. Pay attention to Tapper’s question and Gerleve’s answer at around 2:00, about how much more accurate and lethal Taliban attacks on U.S. convoys became after Bergdahl disappeared. Evan Buetow, Bergdahl’s team leader on the night he went missing, also raised that point yesterday. The men who were closest to Bergdahl in Afghanistan evidently think he did more than just walk away.


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Cancelled?!?!

Bmore on June 4, 2014 at 8:06 PM

I heard Harry Reid is have a press conformance and blaming the Koch Brothers for the cancelation.

Wallythedog on June 4, 2014 at 8:07 PM

heard Harry Reid is having a press conformance and blaming the Koch Brothers for the cancelation.

Wallythedog on June 4, 2014 at 8:08 PM

Has some nut judge forced a Christian bakery to bake a Taliban cake for it yet? …

viking01 on June 4, 2014 at 7:18 PM

…large enough for surprise guest Jane Fonda to jump out of?

Yankee Doodle on June 4, 2014 at 8:12 PM

Cancelled?!?!

Bmore on June 4, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Yes…cancelled..

Living in Idaho….we Idahoans just learned that their hero is a deserter…

Though this info was available for 4+ years…..

Electrongod on June 4, 2014 at 8:15 PM

…large enough for surprise guest Jane Fonda to jump out of?

Yankee Doodle on June 4, 2014 at 8:12 PM

at her age I don’t think she can jump in or out of anything, except her Depends maybe…

jimver on June 4, 2014 at 8:16 PM

I’m kinda wondering how long Dear Old Dad is going to still be welcome in Hailey.

BigWyo on June 4, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Being high on hashish cannot be an excuse because Liberals tell everyone the substance is harmless while they push for legalization.

If true, maybe future Pot-Mart warning labels in Colorado will read: “May cause lethargy, munchies, and treasonous behavior.”

Perspicacious on June 4, 2014 at 8:31 PM

its understandable that they scheduled the rally in the first place..and even more understandable that theyre now canceling it.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on June 4, 2014 at 6:38 PM

out of curiosity..is there a mosque in this tiny idaho hamlet?

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on June 4, 2014 at 6:38 PM

…heh?

KOOLAID2 on June 4, 2014 at 8:32 PM

AZCoyote on June 4, 2014 at 7:42 PM

Yeah, I don’t explain it, but they have used the word “volunteer” over and over again. Someone on Fox mentioned that he volunteered to take the uniform off. There in lies the difference I believe.

Cindy Munford on June 4, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Remember the movie “Wag the Dog”?

Did Obumblestiltskin imagine that Bergdahl would be his “Good Ol’ Shoe”?

Art imitating life imitating art.

Gal_Spunes on June 4, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Have a parade and tar and feather him at the end

txdoc on June 4, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Life imitating art imitating life, I mean!

Gal_Spunes on June 4, 2014 at 8:38 PM

the crime of giving the benefit of the doubt to a hometown boy

Doubt? What doubt?
More like willful ignorance.

Ronnie on June 4, 2014 at 8:48 PM

James Rosen of FNC is saying that the Pentagon knows more about the collaboration stuff than has so far been reported. Appears there is more bad news coming for Barky and his band of merry misfits.

AZCoyote on June 4, 2014 at 8:49 PM

Though this info was available for 4+ years…..

Electrongod on June 4, 2014 at 8:15 PM

Ha! Seems like short notice then. ; )

Bmore on June 4, 2014 at 8:50 PM

Has anyone brought up the possibility that he and the Taliban made plans for Boston 2.0 when he got home?

txag92 on June 4, 2014 at 8:51 PM

Have a parade and tar and feather him at the end

txdoc on June 4, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Tar and feather him at the beginning and then give him a ride on a rail all the way outside of town.

RickB on June 4, 2014 at 8:52 PM

let the parade happen.
make sure many spec ops know the exact routes.
issue solved.

dmacleo on June 4, 2014 at 8:58 PM

Ouch.

TimBuk3 on June 4, 2014 at 9:00 PM

What?!?!?! Hailey, Idaho is OUT???? Hailey is OUT?!?!?!?

Oh well, he could always have his parade in Dearbornistan.

Harbingeing on June 4, 2014 at 9:07 PM

OT: OMG, the workout pics of Obama in Poland. LOLOL

‘mom jeans’, girly bicycle, girly first pitch – hello to the new ‘effeminate, grimacing under the grueling weight of 10lb barbells’ series of pics.

Price. Less.

Midas on June 4, 2014 at 9:15 PM

As damning as it is that he was apparently hellbent on making it to Taliban territory, the fact that he seemed to be “in a haze” and was suspected of being high could be the kernel of a defense for Bergdahl to the desertion charges. “I smoked something on base that I shouldn’t have and, the next thing I knew, the Taliban was all around me,” he could say.

What? Is this the Afghan version of The Twinkie Defense?

I’ve smoked lots of hashish every bit as good as Afghani. California will take the Pepsi freaking challenge with that AfPak stuff any damn day of the week. Ain’t nothing made me want to get up an d go looking for the Taliban…

JohnGalt23 on June 4, 2014 at 9:20 PM

Bergdahl has put on weight in captivity. It looks to be muscle mass (compare the before and after size of his neck), but I can’t be sure.

Still, that doesn’t sound like mistreatment or malnourishment like we’ve been led to believe, and it may increase suspicion of collaboration.

Nessuno on June 4, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Noticed that immediately. He looked like a slightly emaciated Kenny Banya.

“I’ve been working out. I’m huge.”

Del Dolemonte on June 4, 2014 at 9:22 PM

As damning as it is that he was apparently hellbent on making it to Taliban territory, the fact that he seemed to be “in a haze” and was suspected of being high could be the kernel of a defense for Bergdahl to the desertion charges. “I smoked something on base that I shouldn’t have and, the next thing I knew, the Taliban was all around me,” he could say.

Except that Bergdahl already made a videotape (as a “hostage”) in which he claimed that he had been captured when he lagged behind while out on patrol with his unit.

There are only so many different versions of his “capture” that he can put out there before people start to wonder about his credibility . . . .

AZCoyote on June 4, 2014 at 9:24 PM

The only thing we know for sure is he went AWOL and it was premeditated. The rest is speculation so far but it’s bad enough.

crankyoldlady on June 4, 2014 at 9:39 PM

As damning as it is that he was apparently hellbent on making it to Taliban territory, the fact that he seemed to be “in a haze” and was suspected of being high could be the kernel of a defense for Bergdahl to the desertion charges. “I smoked something on base that I shouldn’t have and, the next thing I knew, the Taliban was all around me,” he could say.

The “Maureen Dowd Defense”. MoDo was the one who anointed Cindy Sheehan with ‘Absolute Moral Authority’ on Iraq back in 2005 — based on her column this morning and this story about Bergdhal, she could anoint herself with ‘Absolute Marijuana Authority’ and declare Bergdhal must have been too stoned out of his mind to know what he was doing.

jon1979 on June 4, 2014 at 9:39 PM

Though this info was available for 4+ years…..

Electrongod on June 4, 2014 at 8:15 PM

If Obama didn’t know it then how can the people of Hailey be expected to?

kcewa on June 4, 2014 at 9:41 PM

The only thing we know for sure is he went AWOL and it was premeditated. The rest is speculation so far but it’s bad enough.

crankyoldlady on June 4, 2014 at 9:39 PM

True. We do know what Obama did in releasing the Taliban prisoners, though.

kcewa on June 4, 2014 at 9:43 PM

jon1979 on June 4, 2014 at 9:39 PM

MoDo defected long before she ever tried pot. I’m not sure we can name the defense after her.

kcewa on June 4, 2014 at 9:46 PM

The Hailey Idaho mayor just read about this stuff today.

faraway on June 4, 2014 at 9:49 PM

susan rice said they had to act immediately, because (substantially) they thought bergdahl was in imminent danger.

Dick Durbin says,

“He looked either drugged or sick or tired. But he did not look like a well person,” Durbin said.

So, umm…Dick…”TIRED” is now life-threatening?

One of my favorite things as a police officer, for real, was watching some dispshit try and come up with a good lie when you caught them red-handed being naughty.

The current administration are so bad at it…I’m actually enjoying this…

a5minmajor on June 4, 2014 at 9:50 PM

OT: OMG, the workout pics of Obama in Poland. LOLOL

‘mom jeans’, girly bicycle, girly first pitch – hello to the new ‘effeminate, grimacing under the grueling weight of 10lb barbells’ series of pics.

Price. Less.

Midas on June 4, 2014 at 9:15 PM

Yes and this is the man that the three stooges in House leadership are scared of.

Wigglesworth on June 4, 2014 at 9:53 PM

The WH should seriously rethink that SOTU invitation now too.

lynncgb on June 4, 2014 at 10:27 PM

Can we have some fundamental untransformation please?

catsmeow on June 4, 2014 at 10:35 PM

This prisoner swap really blew up in Obama’s face. And to think he probably did it to get the VA Scandal off the front pages. Well, well, well . . look what took the place of the VA?

joecollins on June 4, 2014 at 10:38 PM

Call them back. We’ll trade one obama for five goats.
And they can keep the goats.

Ronnie on June 4, 2014 at 10:51 PM

Will bill ayres show up and show bowe how he built IEDs or will john kerry show up and tell everybody that his unit, that bowe escaped from (sarc) were acting like ghengis kahn, raping and pillaging and bowe just had to leave.

crosshugger on June 4, 2014 at 11:11 PM

At his press conference Bob Bergdahl thanked the “bikers in the back row” for their support.
That was before the truth about his son’s desertion had jumped out front and center.

They had planned a “Bowe Is Back” celebration for June 28th, with Carole King expected to sing and up to 15,000 people attending, including thousands of bikers from Boise’s POW/MIA group. The fact that they’re now claiming they can’t “safely manage” it has less to do with the numbers they’re expecting, I assume, than
the tenor of the crowd that’s likely to turn out.

Picture “Rolling Thunder”.
And they’re pissed.

mrt721 on June 5, 2014 at 2:00 AM

So checkout robert bergdahl favorites list on youtube. The guy is obviously a terrorist sympathizer and America hater. I’m starting to wonder if he talked his son into joining the Taliban.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=FLWY5to3oMQRcc9XZrpmSY5g

The Notorious G.O.P on June 5, 2014 at 2:21 AM

I have a question.

Why did HotAir, in its initial coverage of this story, claim it was a good thing that he was coming “back into the fold?”

HotAir even called it a good day. A good day! That’s a far cry from the coverage of late.

I wonder why they changed their tune?

triple on June 5, 2014 at 2:36 AM

let the parade happen.
make sure many spec ops know the exact routes.
issue solved.

dmacleo on June 4, 2014 at 8:58 PM

Are you suggesting killing an american soldier in a hometown parade, with american forces? Because that sounds like what you’re suggesting.

What issue are you trying to solve, exactly?

triple on June 5, 2014 at 2:39 AM

Are you suggesting killing an american soldier in a hometown parade, with american forces? Because that sounds like what you’re suggesting.

What issue are you trying to solve, exactly?

triple on June 5, 2014 at 2:39 AM

He may not be suggesting that but I am. He should be publicly hanged for treason in his town square.

The Notorious G.O.P on June 5, 2014 at 3:41 AM

I wonder why they changed their tune?

triple on June 5, 2014 at 2:36 AM

Are you that effing stupid to wonder why? The same reason the entire country has changed their tune. We all found out he is a traitor. I know I know, that is why you hail him a hero. Unlike you, most people in this country don’t look too kindly on treasonous terrorist collaborators.

The Notorious G.O.P on June 5, 2014 at 3:46 AM

I have a question.
Why did HotAir, in its initial coverage of this story, claim it was a good thing that he was coming “back into the fold?”
HotAir even called it a good day. A good day! That’s a far cry from the coverage of late.
I wonder why they changed their tune?
triple on June 5, 2014 at 2:36 AM

Is there a blogger named HotAir? I haven’t noticed one. If you want to quote a particular blogger, then do it and name them.

You sound like those idiots who say, “Fox News believes…”, when in reality you should be identifying the particular person who said something.

bluegill on June 5, 2014 at 4:32 AM

Ain’t nothing made me want to get up an d go looking for the Taliban…

JohnGalt23 on June 4, 2014 at 9:20 PM

Well, it would be hard to do that stateside anyway, no?

hawkdriver on June 5, 2014 at 5:06 AM

I have a question.
Why did HotAir, in its initial coverage of this story, claim it was a good thing that he was coming “back into the fold?”
HotAir even called it a good day. A good day! That’s a far cry from the coverage of late.
I wonder why they changed their tune?
triple on June 5, 2014 at 2:36 AM

You rank right up there with the most selectively stupid commenters on the site to begin with. Why don’t you try to explain the phenomena.

hawkdriver on June 5, 2014 at 5:08 AM

Looks like Baracky Baby can’t even fulfill his own Foreign Policy Agenda because he keeps “doing stupid sh1t.”

John Hitchcock on June 5, 2014 at 5:11 AM

John Hitchcock on June 5, 2014 at 5:11 AM

At least Clinton governed by polls. This one seems to think throwing crap on the wall to see what’ll stick is safe because the media covers for him. And is then surprised by the negative polls.

If ever there was a gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

hawkdriver on June 5, 2014 at 5:37 AM

I wonder if the people in Idaho just learned how to use Google. Maybe they can share that newfound skill with some of the posters here.

Brock Robamney on June 5, 2014 at 5:45 AM

40 percent supporting the deal and 43 percent against.

40% listen only to MSM…

PatriotRider on June 5, 2014 at 8:30 AM

I doubt the guy even wanted to come home. He knew what he would face. Tallyban had to shoo him away: sorry fellow, we want our savage killer buddies back.

Sherman1864 on June 5, 2014 at 8:33 AM

kingsjester on June 5, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Nicely done, Jester.

“murkey details” of his departure? wow the spin makes me gag. It was a well planned and adroitly executed desertion. He sent his stuff home, wrote a note and hid out in a contractor’s vehicle.

No murkiness so far.

He finds a translator, who ends up shot and Bergdahl joins the enemy, where it is reported he collaborated with them.

http://www.humanevents.com/2014/06/04/bowe-bergdahl-just-deserts/

I don’t see much murkiness there.

However, this creep was just King Putt’s excuse for releasing the five arch terrorists.

dogsoldier on June 5, 2014 at 9:52 AM

“We think he probably was high after smoking hashish,” Manikhel said. “Why would an American want to find the Taliban?”

Worked for Obama

Roy Rogers on June 5, 2014 at 10:02 AM

dogsoldier on June 5, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Thank you, my friend!

kingsjester on June 5, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Cancelled? Oh Well. After 5 minutes Bowe and/or his parents would have found an excuse to leave the rally anyway

All Things Conservative on June 5, 2014 at 12:12 PM

I know how we can get the left to udnerstand and approve.

We didn’t “cancel” this party. The planners just deserted this job, ran off, and joined the opposition to this party.

That makes it better… right? You can’t blame someone for that, can you?

gekkobear on June 5, 2014 at 12:36 PM

pretty clear that they cancelled the parade in part because of all the “traitor” and “deserter” talk and worried that some veterans groups, parents of fallen soliders and other patriots might show up to have a counter parade or protest the claims of his “honorable” service.

Just better to let him go home and hug his mom than make a big show of it that might bring the politics of the situation into their home town.

If I was a mayor, I’d want this cancelled too. No need to make a specatacle of it, Barry already did that in the Rose Garden.

Dino V on June 5, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Something people don’t seem to understand:

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/2012-election-county-by-county/

Hailey is in Blaine county, right by Ketchum and the Sun Valley ski resort where all the Hollywood stars have winter homes. Blaine county is that blue one in the center of Idaho. The other blue one is pretty much empty except for a town that’s 50% college students during November elections.

Don’t think Hailey or any other town in Blaine county is representative of Idaho, they’re not.

frost on June 5, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Don’t think Hailey or any other town in Blaine county is representative of Idaho, they’re not.

frost on June 5, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Yep. I’ve been to Hailey. All that you report is true.

Opinionator on June 5, 2014 at 9:07 PM

Googling is hard, y’all.

kim roy on June 5, 2014 at 10:49 PM

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