If the accusation is true, it wouldn’t be the first time higher-ups tweaked the narrative about how an American soldier died to make it less problematic for the military.
At the time his family say they were told that his men were hunting a Taliban commander and that the truck at the front of their group ended in a hole after being hit by an Improvised Explosive Device.
As the men got out to try and move the truck, a Taliban fighter with a rocket propelled grenade emerged and fired at them.
Lt Andrews was the only one to see it and tackled three of his men to prevent them being hit. He took a direct hit and died…
Speaking to MailOnline from his home in Cameron, Texas, Mr Andrews said: ‘When my son was killed there was no mention of searching for this guy (Bergdahl) but once all this has come out we got several emails and calls from soldiers who were with him in Afghanistan.
‘They say their mission was to search for Bergdahl. He (Lt Andrews) was killed in the search. We have no documentation of that.
According to Bethea, Andrews and his squad were on patrol to a village near the area where Bergdahl went missing when they were attacked. Mr. and Mrs. Andrews claim that the same troops who told them the truth about why their son was really on that mission also told them that they were forced to sign “a letter” that they wouldn’t discuss the circumstances of the incident. That detail is also corroborated by Jake Tapper’s CNN report this morning, claiming that several troops who served with Bergdahl were asked to sign nondisclosure agreements. (“Highly unusual,” per one of Stephen Hayes’s sources in the defense establishment.) But if you don’t buy any of that, read the firsthand accounts — which I linked here — from troops who claim to have served with Bergdahl who are also skeptical of why he went missing. I didn’t realize this, but apparently the Pentagon conducted its own investigation in 2010 into why Bergdahl disappeared and concluded that, indeed, he walked away from his post. Quote: “[A]fter an initial flurry of searching the military decided not to exert extraordinary efforts to rescue him, according to a former senior defense official who was involved in the matter.” I’ve been asking people on Twitter this afternoon whether it’s S.O.P. to risk soldiers’ lives to conduct searches in a dangerous area to find a suspected deserter. Answer: Yes, just because you can’t be absolutely sure that he wasn’t taken against his will. The fact that the military quickly scaled back “extraordinary efforts” to rescue him, though, speaks volumes. Clearly, they weren’t willing to pay a price steeper than what they’d already paid to find a guy whose disappearance they suspected wasn’t accidental.
Via the Corner, here’s Jay Carney once again ducking a question about whether Bergdahl deserted. The White House can’t have been taken by surprise by the circumstances of Bergdahl’s capture, right? They had that Pentagon report from 2010 to consult; Michael Hastings wrote a widely read story for Rolling Stone two years ago raising the possibility of desertion as well. They went into this prisoner swap with their eyes open, and yet Carney seems to have no spin prepared to deal with the inevitable questions. I guess they counted on the men from Bergdahl’s squad staying silent as we handed over five Taliban savages to get him back. Big mistake.