From last Monday: it was still the right thing to do
Posted June 9, 2014on:
Good afternoon Widdershins, and I hope everyone had a great weekend. It was indeed enjoyable to see a number of you stop by during the weekend and post a few thoughts and it was especially great to see Beata come by!
Let’s take a look once again at the situation with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, what’s going on with him, his family and what is being said and written. Now I will freely admit I did not watch any of the Sunday
game, uh talk shows. To me they’ve gotten to be nothing more than the same old politicians, “experts” in something and others who are running their mouths just to hear themselves speak. Here’s some things we do know:
He is still currently at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and has declined to speak to his family at this time. He is supposed to be eventually transferred to Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston near San Antonio Tx.
Doctors treating Sgt. Bergdahl at a U.S. military hospital in Germany are moving slowly because of the controversy, which is complicating what would in any case be an arduous recovery. Sgt. Bergdahl has said that he was tortured during his captivity and thrown into a cage after a failed escape attempt, the U.S. official said.
Military officials have not asked him anything yet about his disappearance and captivity due to the fact that if he were to answer that yes he left his post and then got captured, or even willingly went looking for Taliban fighters, it “would compel the military to bring in legal experts to advise him about his rights, military officials said.”.
Still, that hasn’t stopped some (on the right naturally) from offering their advice on what to do:
“We know what he did,” former Bush administration Attorney General Michael Mukasey told Fox News in urging the Defense Department to act swiftly to punish the soldier. “You can’t wait to try a case until you know absolutely everything about everything.”
I’m not a laywer, didn’t play one on the teevee, nor have I recently stayed at a Holiday Inn Express, but that last sentence doesn’t seem to be offering sage advice, and as I saw in his Wiki entry, I do not see that Mr. Mukasey was ever in the Judge Advocate Corps or been involved in a trial where the accused is subject to the U.C.M.J.
We also know what Bergdahl’s team leader thinks of him:
“He’s a deserter, in every sense of the word,” said Evan Buetow, Bergdahl’s former Army team leader, angered to see him heralded as a hero. “That’s exactly the opposite of what he is.”
In Afghanistan there were several components to what Bergdahl’s unit was supposed to be doing:
Their mission was to stop the Taliban. Beyond fighting, that meant patrolling villages, gathering intelligence, winning the confidence of locals, training the Afghan National Police. Bergdahl preferred the humanitarian aspect of the job, passing out food and medical supplies.
“He enjoyed helping the locals way more than he enjoyed doing all the … actual combat side of a deployment,” said platoon medic Josh Cornelison, 25, of Sacramento, California. “He wasn’t so fond of that at all.”
Okay, to me that’s fair enough: he liked the humanitarian side of things.
Now at this point we still don’t know if Bergdahl intended to become a deserter, whether he did indeed possibly walk off and get captured or what. He has told medical officials that he tried to escape and his Taliban captors locked him in a cage for weeks at a time in total darkness.
Still this hasn’t stopped people from going bat-shit crazy over the fact that he was released as part of trade for 5 Taliban members. The Republican (and some Democratic) members of Congress are furious that they weren’t given their thirty day notice that some of the men from Gitmo were going to be released in this exchange. And a member of the President’s NSC staff reminded them that he had also executed a signing statement when he signed the Defense Authorization bill.
But what has become truly despicable in my opinion are the calls and threats both to Bergdahl’s hometown in Idaho and to his parents.
For five years now, Hailey and Ketchum, its neighbor 11 miles to the north, have kept vigil for native son Bowe Bergdahl, the American sergeant who one week ago was released from Taliban captivity. Parties literally erupted on Main Street, where yellow ribbons dot almost every sign and lamppost.
But soon the backlash began, mostly from citizens and politicians living outside this small county (population 22,000), a largely liberal outpost in traditionally conservative Idaho. Bowe wasn’t worth trading five high-ranking Taliban for because he may have deliberately walked off his post in Afghanistan, the voices cried. Bowe didn’t deserve a celebration. Shame on Hailey.
The small Western town went from sheer jubilation to shock. A party for Bergdahl — scheduled for June 28 and featuring an appearance by Carole King, one of many celebrities who have homes in and around fabled Sun Valley near Ketchum — was promptly canceled due to safety concerns.
Shopkeepers whose photos were disseminated by the media masses that flocked here last week received nasty calls and e-mails. The Chamber of Commerce got so many negative rants it decided to forward all calls to voice mail. Residents who had once gladly expressed their joy over a hometown son’s return went silent.
Sue Martin, has been a local mainstay in the campaign to bring Bergdahl home. Her shop, along with many others here, sports posters reading “Welcome Home Bowe” and “Our Prayers Have Been Answered.”
But Martin herself isn’t answering the door. The store was closed during a recent visit, with a note referring reporters to Blaine County Commissioner Larry Schoen.
But the worst to me are courageous keyboard cowboys who are threatening the parents of this young man. The threats are apparently serious enough that the F.B.I. has been brought in to the case.
The first of the death threats sent to Bob Bergdahl at his home near Hailey, Idaho, was received on Wednesday, the same day the city canceled a planned rally celebrating the release of his son, Hailey Police Chief Jeff Gunter said.
“There were four specific emails with death threats given to the FBI and they are looking into it,” Gunter told Reuters in an interview.
The threats came as Hailey, a tourist community of some 8,000 people in the mountains of central Idaho, was buffeted by hundreds of vitriolic phone calls and emails.
The celebratory spirit that infused Hailey a week ago with news of Bergdahl’s release turned to apprehension as an onslaught of angry messages were directed at city officials, businesses and friends of the Bergdahls over a hometown rally to mark his freedom planned for June 28.
As many as 15,000 supporters and protesters were expected to descend on Hailey for an event that would have overwhelmed the resources and infrastructure of the remote mountain town and potentially risked public safety and property, city officials have said.
Some of the comments I’ve read mentioned Bob Bergdahl’s tweet to the Taliban or something which you can see here:
https://twitter.com/slone/status/473451566934917120/photo (well, looks like it’s been taken down now)
Also, people have made all types of comments about the father’s beard which he grew, saying it was showing he was a secret muslim or some of other crazy cr@p. Now…before all of this faux outrage started up people could have probably easily asked Bob Bergdahl why he grew the beard. As he told Time:
Robert Bergdahl said he began growing the beard as soon as he received news of his son’s capture. He was on his usual UPS delivery route on July 1, 2009, when management radioed him back to headquarters. Two army officers delivered the devastating news, and according to friends, he resolved in that moment to do whatever he could to facilitate his son’s release. That included scouring websites and chat rooms for rumors about his son’s captors, teaching himself Pashto and Urdu and growing a long, eye-catching beard.
Finally, the one who has totally pissed me off with his comments about Bowe’s father and his beard was and is Morning Schmoe. If you ask me it was pure theater on Scarborough’s part. He says “if my Joey were to ever send me an email from his unit saying he was thinking of walking off…” blah blah blah. First of all Joe, “your Joey” would never ever be in a combat situation. You, as a former member of Congress, would pull every god-damned string you could and call in every favor you could to get “your Joey” as far away from a combat situation as you could. You know it and I know it and probably anyone and everyone who watches you knows it. As Chuck Tood told you while you were on your rant: “Leave the parents out of it.” YOU don’t know what you would do if your child had been captured by the Taliban and held captive for 5 years. And finally Joe, I think a lot of us are getting tired of hearing you sit back in your rocker talking about “well when I was in Congress..”. You left the Congress Joe. You aren’t there anymore. You have no more idea of what’s going on on the Hill than the rest of the pontificators that populate the morning teevee shows. You however are worse as you rail and shout over anyone who dares to disagree with you. That makes you just a loudmouthed bully Joe and one I choose not to listen to anymore. You have nothing worthwhile to say. And I’m sorry, but “Meeka” can remove her nose from Schmoe backside anytime she wants and we’ll be okay with it. Her attempts at trying to “soothe” Joe were really pathetic in my opinion.
Let’s let the young man get home and recover and then let the military conduct an investigation. That way things are handled correctly and Joe Scarborough and the rest of them can wait for Bowe Bergdahl to become the next Eddie Slovik.
“They’re not shooting me for deserting the United States Army, thousands of guys have done that. They just need to make an example out of somebody and I’m it because I’m an ex-con. I used to steal things when I was a kid, and that’s what they are shooting me for. They’re shooting me for the bread and chewing gum I stole when I was 12 years old.”
The last words of Pvt Eddie Slovik before he was shot by a firing squad for desertion.
This is a wide-open thread folks: have at it.
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