**Written by Doug Powers
President Obama has said that the U.S. “leaves no man behind” to justify swapping five Taliban commanders for the return of Bowe Bergdahl, but apparently Bergdahl had no problem leaving his fellow soldiers behind:
Sometime after midnight on June 30, 2009, Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl left behind a note in his tent saying he had become disillusioned with the Army, did not support the American mission in Afghanistan and was leaving to start a new life. He slipped off the remote military outpost in Paktika Province on the border with Pakistan and took with him a soft backpack, water, knives, a notebook and writing materials, but left behind his body armor and weapons — startling, given the hostile environment around his outpost.
That account, provided by a former senior military officer briefed on the investigation into the private’s disappearance, is part of a more complicated picture emerging of the capture of a soldier whose five years as a Taliban prisoner influenced high-level diplomatic negotiations, brought in foreign governments, and ended with him whisked away on a helicopter by American commandos.
Ultimately, American heroes were killed or suffered life-altering injuries in the search for Bergdahl. Many of those who served with Bergdahl are not happy and believe he should face a military trial for desertion.
To top it off, Bergdahl is still scheduled for a promotion. For those who served with Bergdahl, I can only imagine this feels like a slap in the face. Many believe the move, and subsequent WH Rose Garden announcement, was timed to knock the VA scandal — a slap in the face to America’s veterans — out of the headlines. A cruel irony if true.
The NYT’s report that Bergdahl left a desertion note is consistent with an email he reportedly sent to his parents three days before he disappeared:
“I am sorry for everything here,” he wrote. “These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid.”
Bergdahl also complained about fellow soldiers. The battalion commander was a “conceited old fool,” he said, and the only “decent” sergeants, planning to leave the platoon “as soon as they can,” told the privates — Bergdahl then among them — “to do the same.”
“I am ashamed to be an American. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools,” he concluded. “I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting.”
Bob Bergdahl responded in an email: “OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!”
Eventually, the Army might investigate Bergdahl for desertion. There’s also the possibility that he may have been of more assistance to the Taliban than merely serving as a pawn for the return of five of their leaders. The “worst case scenario” here is beyond ugly. Unfortunately even the “best case scenario” is bad.
With regard to the retrieval of Bergdahl, here’s how the Times story ends:
Rear Adm. John F. Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, said that there was a larger matter at play: The American military does not leave soldiers behind. “When you’re in the Navy, and you go overboard, it doesn’t matter if you were pushed, fell or jumped,” he said. “We’re going to turn the ship around and pick you up.”
The difference in that scenario being that the captain wouldn’t have to throw five previously captured deadly great white sharks back into the water in order to pull to safety the person who willingly jumped.
Something else to chew on via Twitchy:
Great reporting from @JenGriffinFNC – new report: Berghdal left behind a note renouncing American citizenship…developing…
— Jenna Lee (@Jennafnc) June 3, 2014
From Fox News:
Sources who had debriefed two former members of Bergdahl’s unit told Fox News Bergdahl left behind a note the night he left base in which he expressed disillusionment with the Army and being an American and suggested that he wanted to renounce his American citizenship and go find the Taliban. U.S. military officials would not confirm the existence of the letter, but if it does exist, it would likely be part of the original file on the investigation into Bergdahl’s disappearance.
It just keeps getting worse.
Related post: Flashback: A reminder about Bowe Bergdahl’s desertion problem.
**Written by Doug Powers