Taliban Video of Prisoner Bergdahl Turnover

The Taliban released this video of the transfer of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to U.S. forces.

The full video is 11 minutes long, with the message "Don[sic] Come Back to Afghanistan." The New York Times has more here.

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    That well-known "lefty," (5.00 / 6) (#10)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 03:08:00 PM EST
    John Bellinger, legal advisor to NSC and Sr. Associate Counsel to President Bush (2001-2005) and legal advisor to the State Department under Condoleeza Rice (2005-2009), and most senior international lawyer in the US government at the time, stated to FOX viewers that "the US would be required to return prisoners held at Guantanamo back to Afghanistan" after US troops withdraw in 2015.  And, he claimed, the Bush Administration would have done the same thing.

    The five detainees released as a part of the prisoner exchange were involved in the Taliban government in place prior to 2001.  While "bad guys" as the military might term them, they were not active al Qaeda.  Of course, the Taliban were associated with al Qaeda giving them harbor--the reason that President Bush invaded their country.  The objectives being as stated, at the time, to capture Osama bin Laden and to drive the Taliban from power.  

    Mr. Bellinger stated that the offenses of the five Taliban prisoners would be difficult to successfully  bring before a US Court--the detainment being to keep them off the battlefield.  So, it seems that the five prisoners were released about two years early and will not be permitted to  travel outside of Qatar, their next stop, for at least a year.  

    The "swift-boating of Sgt. Bergdahl should have been expected. The Republicans can't permit an  Osama bin Laden-like accomplishment to accrue to President Obama.  Good deeds, actually any deeds, must not go unpunished.  Sorry about that Sgt.

    The speculative and spurious claims and charges surrounding Sgt. Bergdahl's capture made by fellow troops (and organized by Republican operatives) and others have been characterized by the Pentagon as "unsubstantiated."    Meaning, no evidence exists that the claims and comments are true.

    Low level gossip by some high officials has supplanted information.  Get Bradley (Chelsea) Manning's  old cell roughed up and ready.   And, the Sgt's father has a beard too, just like that Duck Dynasty guy so he must be a Muslim (oops, strike that sartorial reference, it may not fit well with the wingers).

    Sgt. Bergdahl was an odd soldier, we hear.  He did not drink beer with the guys.  He read books.  He obtained Rosetta Stone and learned Arabic, Dari and Pashto.  Clearly, a traitor, we need hear no more. Take down the "thank you for your service"banners and lock him up. or better, string him up.    Oh, and impeach the president, or at least, let Benghazi move over for Bergdahl until after November.

    The uncomfortable truth (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 03:42:11 PM EST
    And to confirm ragebots worst fears about me, I have thought more than once while reading about the things this guy did, I can imagine myself doing some of the things he is accused of  had I been unfortunate enough to be in the same position.

    And because you would have done them (1.00 / 1) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 09:43:52 PM EST
    that makes them acceptable??




    That would explain (none / 0) (#37)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 09:54:37 PM EST
    The use of the word "uncomfortable" wouldn't it.



    I don't agree with the swiftboating comment (2.33 / 3) (#128)
    by Green26 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 06:51:13 PM EST
    Lots of soldiers who were there at the time--on the same FOB, in the same unit, in a sister unit, and involved with the search, are now speaking out. They know what happened.

    The US had told them to say nothing pubicly about the subject, and many were required to sign a non-disclosure agreements. With the release, they are now speaking out.

    This is hardly swiftboating. If anything, those trying to deflect attention by spinning swiftboating are engaging in an act similar to swiftboating, in my view.

    My son was in a sister unit. He says there needs to be an Article 85 court martial. Bergdahl can defend himself in that forum.


    Why (none / 0) (#146)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:49:17 PM EST
    This is something I have been wondering.  Why were they told not to talk about it publicly?  What's with the non disclosure.

    Is this in any way normal Tracy?


    Just saw that a small (5.00 / 5) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 06:55:11 PM EST
    Celebration of the guys homecoming in his hometown has had to be cancelled because of security concerns.

    How f@cking sad and pathetic is that.  Seriously.  

    Congratulations jim you and your attack zombie ilk have done your job well.

    Should read this (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 07:11:15 PM EST
    Andy Borowitz: (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 09:31:10 PM EST
    Fox News Poll: Majority of Americans Say They Saw Bergdahl Desert Unit.  

    DiFi is a trip (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:01:34 PM EST
    I response to statements that they feared information of the release would be leaked and he would be killed

    Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said she did not hear that reasoning, although she acknowledged she was unable to attend the entire classified meeting.

    But she expressed concern that potential leaks from classified briefings with top lawmakers were cited as an excuse for the administration's withholding of information about the swap.

    "We do not leak, and I take great pride in that," she said.

    She's such a funny girl (none / 0) (#137)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:06:41 PM EST
    The Republicans would have been leaking like Reagan's bladder.

    Really (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:08:40 PM EST
    Define "we"

    Her (5.00 / 2) (#139)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:10:22 PM EST
    And something in her pocket?

    Or under the helmet (5.00 / 2) (#143)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:30:59 PM EST
    Noted Liberal supports exchange (5.00 / 2) (#169)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:15:10 PM EST
    This comment (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by sj on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 10:56:42 AM EST
    in your first link made me laugh. Nice conflation of two stories:
    wow, I'm agreeing with Krauthammer! Did I accidentally eat some of Maureen Dowd's stash?

    Noted WHAT?!?!? (none / 0) (#202)
    by unitron on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 01:53:09 PM EST
    Surely you aren't referring to Charles Krauthammer?

    Guy in a wheelchair, shows up on FOX News channel a lot?

    That Krauthammer?

    I know the right wing keeps pushing the envelope of how far to the right they can go, but there's no way the other side of the scale has moved along with it so much that Krauthammer is now on the other side of the center line.

    Unless of course you just forgot to include the sarcasm font tags, in which case never mind.


    Patriots are still steaming.. (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by jondee on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 03:22:51 PM EST
    and three or four of them actually went to Vietnam. Just not Jim or Rush or Sean or Newt or Dubya or Cheney..

    As if protecting human life was ever the Right's number one priority in Vietnam.

    From the Daily Mail (1.50 / 2) (#55)
    by Slado on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 11:34:25 AM EST
    A U.S. Army investigation found that Bowe Bergdahl had walked away from his post at least once before his capture - and that other soldiers in his unit knew he was a flight risk.

    The 2010 report, called an AR15-6, is still classified, but it appears to confirm allegations that the former prisoner of war violated military regulations - and that the Pentagon knew it all along.


    But lets wait for the "facts" shall we.   Facts put out months from now by the administration.

    Yes.  That will be better.   Because while other administrations lie and report facts to their benefit this one never does.  

    Better to do that then absorb the personal testimony of his fellow soldiers, read the emails between him and his father, read the reports by literally dozens of media outlets.

    I'm sure all these current reports are wrong and we wouldn't want to read too much into them.

    News flash.  He deserted his post.

    Argue that it doesn't matter, that we should get him back anyway.   That is a legitimate argument.  Argue that we're going to dump these terrorist eventually so lets at least get something for them.   Another legitimate argument.

    Just stop pretending that he didn't do what he did.   He abandoned his post because he didn't want to be there anymore.

    Facts? (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 11:49:05 AM EST
    but it appears to confirm allegations

    Even the Daily Mail hedged on the "Facts" part of your assertion.

    Considering that the report has not been released, it is not even a fact that it has been written, no less what is asserted, and what those assertions mean.

    IOW, no anonymous source, commenting on the report has accused Bergdahl of desertion.

    I know you want it sooooooooo bad, but you will have to hold back and wait.


    Why do you want (1.00 / 2) (#104)
    by Slado on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 03:44:11 PM EST
    this to Soooooooo not be true?

    What are your motivations?

    I don't care actually.   I just find the PR disaster interesting and the ability of people to deny the obvious amusing.

    It makes me wonder why you'd be motivated to do so.

    It seems, and this is only a guess, that you find anything confirming the complaints of the "right wing" so horrible that you'd suspend all reasonable judgement and cling to an administration narrative that is so obviously false.

    But what do I know.  


    Want What to be So True? (5.00 / 3) (#109)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 03:55:37 PM EST
    Apart from the fact that this a defense site, and I most often side with those who are accused, hoping at the very least that they get a fair trial, I do not have any investment in the outcome of Bergdhal's interrogation.

    He was the last POW from Afghanistan, prisoner for 5 years.. that is a looooong time. The hero BS is wing nut blowhard nonsense.

    From my POV Obama did two great things. Reduced GItmo by 5, and got back a POW.

    That is the whole story. The rest is GOP nonsense spun for political gain. And I believe it is going to backfire....  if it turns out that Bergdhal deserted, he will get some punishment or time served.

    That has zero to do with getting him back.


    Thank you (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 04:25:27 PM EST
    From my POV Obama did two great things. Reduced GItmo by 5, and got back a POW.

    You have cut right to the very basic heart of the matter.  I'd give you a "10" if I could.

    Could not agree more (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by sj on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 05:32:45 PM EST
    From my POV Obama did two great things. Reduced GItmo by 5, and got back a POW.
    It's what I've said since the beginning, and it's still true. To me that is the bottom line.

    More "unfacts" (1.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Slado on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 04:05:45 PM EST
    in The New Republic

    I mean really.   Can we stop already?

    For your opinion to be valid you have to submit that the soldiers who hold a grudge are part of the right wing smear machine.   That all of them are lying.   That all the reports in the media are based on lies.   That the military didn't issue the reports the media now said they did and all this talk of dessertion is based on lies by the soldiers that were with him that night.

    That just isn't valid.  

    What is valid is your opinion that it shouldn't matter in the long rung as is their opinion that it should.

    This is a tough one.  Both sides can be right.

    He walked away from his platoon and suffered greatly for it.   Also much expense, trouble and maybe even blood was spent trying to get him back.  Everyone lost that night.   Except the Taliban of course but that's irrelevant.

    Forgive him, court martial him, put him in jail, all are valid outcomes for the choices he made.

    What isn't valid anymore is to pretend this guy didn't walk away.   You are holding the soldiers and media that say he did to an impossible standard.    

    What % would you put on it.   I'd say with 99.9% certainty he walked away that night.

    What say you?


    It wasn't first time (5.00 / 3) (#187)
    by MKS on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:27:40 AM EST
    He walked away and came back once before.

    His unit was poor in terms of discipline, etc.

    Just suck it up and come to grips with the reality:  Obama made the trade.....Over. Done.


    I agree with your "denying (1.00 / 2) (#129)
    by Green26 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 06:54:10 PM EST
    the obvious" comment. Jeez, dozens of soldiers and former soldiers have already confirmed virtually all of the facts.

    I guess this is the kind of reasoning (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:23:22 PM EST
    that resulted in people believing that Iraq had WMD, and Barack Obama is not an American citizen: a whole bunch of people said it was so.  People "in the know," people who were there.

    Is there some reason we can't wait for the details?  Is there some special value in taking as truth whatever someone with a microphone in his face and who-knows-how-tangential or limited his nexus to the events of 5 years ago says?

    Is the truth what's important, or what is clearly an agenda?

    Honestly, the whole thing just sickens me.  Calls for Bergdahl to be executed, for crying out loud, people questioning the parenting skills of Bergdahl's parents, death threats to the people of Bergdahl's hometown (which, by the way, has held a parade for Bergdahl every year since he was captured, and strangely, there were no protests), unbelievably hypocritical remarks by Colonel Let's Swap Arms For Hostages North, a double back-flip with a twist from Cranky Uncle John McCain, and all based on what?

    I'll tell you what.  Obama-hate.  Desperation for an issue, the desire to "get" Obama, to "get" Democrats.

    Maybe Bergdahl did desert his post.  But at this point, I think the crazed hordes of raving right-wingers are doing more damage, on more fronts than this one soldier could possibly have done in captivity.

    I do not know why more people aren't puking on their shoes over these disgusting displays of phony patriotism.


    No, this is not like (1.33 / 3) (#185)
    by Green26 on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:24:12 AM EST
    WMD's and Obama birther stuff. WMD's came largely from intelligence and flawed intelligence all over the world, and then some selective presentations and useage. The birther stuff is largely silly at this point.

    The Bergdahl things are coming from people who were there at the time and who knew him, and others who were in the same area in Afghanistan or in the same or sister units.

    What's there to wait for? Many of these soldiers were there at the time. No one on earth knows more than they do about this subject, other than Bergdahl. We'll see how trustworthy he is. I wonder if he'll be or pretend to be mentally incapacitated to avoid a court martial.


    Too predictable (1.33 / 3) (#41)
    by Mikado Cat on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 10:08:34 PM EST
    Dear leader can do no wrong.

    What this needs is the cover up removed, release the soldiers from the non disclosure agreements and have an open investigation.

    Maybe the five Taliban leaders will live quiet lives and stay out of trouble, maybe they will be five Willie Horton's and Obama's actions will cost the lives of thousands.

    For now the important thing is that Obama got the VA scandal out of the headlines.

    Too specious (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Yman on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 10:13:37 PM EST
    Accusations with no evidence.

    As always.


    The VA scandal doesn't have to be out of (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 10:16:10 PM EST
    Headlines.  Your ilk is making it so.  Not that any of you ever intended to repair the VA or properly fund it.  Your ilk is using this as a distraction from the VA scandal more than anybody else.

    I'd love to stay on the VA scandal and get something done for the 20 plus vets that commit suicide every day in this country right now.

    Maybe we could if Fox News cared enough


    Willie Horton??? Horton??? Really??? (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by christinep on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 10:26:35 PM EST
    Did you laugh when you typed that, Mikado?  Did you say a quick Thank You to the late Lee Atwater or to the live Roger Ailes?

    Has the desperation of you and your fellow travelers gone so far as to throw up anything on the wall ... whether it sticks or merely slides back into the mud?

    Horton??  You must do a commercial on that one.


    Have your forgot Willie Horton? (1.67 / 3) (#75)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 01:08:07 PM EST
    William R. "Willie" Horton (born August 12, 1951) is an American convicted felon who, while serving a life sentence for murder (without the possibility of parole),[1] was the beneficiary of a Massachusetts weekend furlough program. He did not return from his furlough, and ultimately he committed assault



    Mostly, I remember that sorry episode (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by christinep on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 03:51:31 PM EST
    as the Atwater initiation of sordid, misleading, and political character-assassination techniques.  You know, an exercise in the video technique of conflating a criminal with your political opposition so as to inflame the passions of the viewer.  Unfortunately, the technique appeared to work then ... and, it was copied years later (2002) in Georgia in the Senate race.

    OK, if you think the Guv wasn't responsible (1.00 / 2) (#130)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 06:55:00 PM EST
    for letting him out...

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by Yman on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:40:57 PM EST
    What's funny is that you think "the Guv" is responsible for letting him out.

    Because it needs to be said (5.00 / 2) (#159)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:45:40 PM EST
    That program was inherited by the "guv" from his predecessor AND WAS CLOSED DOWN BY THE "GUV"

    But don't let facts interfere with your mental hat dance


    The Guv was the Guv (1.00 / 2) (#178)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 11:26:40 PM EST
    so he was responsible even if he did close the gate after the killer was loose.

    Thank you for proving (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:50:32 AM EST
    That appealing to the lowest common denominator works every time.  And why.

    Tracy's first take, or close to first take (none / 0) (#52)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 12:56:27 AM EST
    has been the most interesting.

    If your sole purpose was counterinsurgency, what would you do with them?

    Shoot them?  Most conservatives would.

    Keep them at Gitmo forever?  Many want that.

    Just let them loose?   What could we possibly gain from that?    


    The Dread pres Obama takes no prisoners (1.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Mikado Cat on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 05:21:40 PM EST
    Obama blows them and their families and neighbor up with a drone, so much less messy politically, which is all that matters.

    To understand Bowegate all you need do in look at where the idea came from. Not the CIA or the military who both opposed it. Not the state dept. It came from two political advisers, loyal campaign workers rewarded with positions of power.


    Fortune cookies? (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by Yman on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:43:28 PM EST
    A crystal ball?

    Trying to figure out exactly how you are able to produce so many specious theories.


    I assume you are aware (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:49:37 PM EST
    The exact deal that went down has been in the works and reported on by multiple sources for years.  The names and faces of the 5 released were in the NY Times in 2012.
    McCain is on video endorsing it.

    Of course you did.  I'm sure Bill Oreilly told you that.


    I object to your claim (none / 0) (#60)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 12:02:04 PM EST
    that most conservatives would just shoot them.

    All my Conservative friends would have sent them to GITMO but would have moved quickly to try them. By kowtowing to the delays introduced by the defense lawyers and the military hierarchy who wanted no part of this the whole thing was extended far past where it should have been.


    NBC News Reporting (1.00 / 2) (#114)
    by Slado on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 04:30:42 PM EST
    He was found cursing his countryman

    Taliban found Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl walking alone, acting abnormally and cursing his countrymen before they captured him in Afghanistan in 2009, two men who were Taliban commanders at the time told NBC News on Thursday.

    I'm sure they're lying.  

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 06:09:08 PM EST
    apparently you'll believe any criticism of him even if it comes from the Taliban. Alrighty then. Like I said before he has not even had a chance to explain himself.

    That NBC reporting is curious. (5.00 / 3) (#150)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:06:18 PM EST
    from the link: "  The Taliban found him walking alone, acting abnormally and cursing his countryman before they captured him.

    Our people couldn't understand his language, but after he was shifted to a safe location, he said he wasn't happy with his countryman, but he didn't intend to convert to Islam or join Mujahideen, (holy warriors).   one of the (Taliban) commanders said."

    Now, it is reasonable that the Taliban could determine that he was acting abnormally and maybe even cursing.   But, since the Taliban could not understand his language it does not seem likely that they could understand much more, including to whom the cursing was directed or or the context of his perceived ire.    

    And, then, when presumably he was at a safe location (for the Taliban)  someone understood his language and found that he was "unhappy" with his countrymen.  And, it seems he was not on his traitorous way to  join the Taliban.  


    My husband always told me (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:19:25 PM EST
    If he was captured he was a Muslim 15 seconds later.  Kind of funny, Bergdahl had more courage than my husband does.  He'd try to make it convincing though :)

    I wonder if I could become unhappy with my countrymen if the Taliban captured me?  What is the Pashto translation for Jim?


    Asked this upthread (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:22:13 PM EST
    Why were they told not to talk about it?  Why the non disclosures?  Is this common?

    The non disclosure agreements came about (5.00 / 3) (#155)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:28:10 PM EST
    Because someone was feeding rightwing talk radio a narrative that Bergdahl WAS a deserter, and rightwing radio began to say over the airwaves that the Taliban should do the United States a favor and cut his head off.

    That was when the leadership said NOBODY gets to talk to anybody about this, we are ending this media conversation now and you soldiers are all signing this.

    So someone was feeding nutjob radio from the battlefield.  It was pretty heinous.


    This smells (5.00 / 2) (#156)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:39:08 PM EST
    More and more

    I didn't think much about it back (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:47:29 PM EST
    Then other than it was one of the stranger things I'd seen develop.  The whole military was headed into the surge though.  Who had time to ask themselves deep questions about this Bergdahl thing?  Leadership did the prudent thing, and hopefully there was a chance we would get him back alive someday and everyone just chived on.

    It does (5.00 / 2) (#162)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:48:13 PM EST
    As Anne said above it's getting very strange. No one can seem to wait for the facts to come out. It would seem that maybe the facts coming out might hurt these same people making accusations and they are trying to get ahead of the game.

    I'm starting to be really interested (5.00 / 3) (#165)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:53:01 PM EST
    In hearing what he has to say.

    I see that another one of his squad (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:50:15 PM EST
    Leaders has come out against him.  There was more than one demotion of the leadership though due to discipline breakdown :). I saw a Marine who served in 2010 and 2011 in Paktika province (yeah....he knows) come out against him and then go on to babble about drinking scotch on the rooftops.....ahem...who needs a court-martial while serving in a Muslim country where American troops drinking alcohol was expressly forbidden?...what a flaming idiot!

    I saw that Brandon Friedman tweeted from his position as HUD secretary that maybe Bergdahl's unit was long on psychopaths and short on leadership....that made me snort.

    And I saw that the State Department weighed in and said that nobody in Bergdahl's unit knows what happened that night, and that's probably the most honest statement so far today :)


    Sounds About Right (5.00 / 4) (#171)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:57:05 PM EST
    maybe Bergdahl's unit was long on psychopaths and short on leadership....

    Kinda makes us want to take him to lunch (5.00 / 2) (#172)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:01:01 PM EST
    Shake him down about the secrets the newer vets on the hill are whispering back and forth to each other on this!

    How can it be said (none / 0) (#173)
    by Green26 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:39:07 PM EST
    that no one in his unit knows what happened. They were there. They knew the guy. They had talked to him, including that day. By now, they know what he said in his final email or emails (as does everyone who's paying attention). They know what he left behind and what he took (apparently 1 or 2 knives, a compass and water). It appears that they know what he shipped home (apparently clothes and his computer). They know he left the base. They know him didn't come back.

    We'll see if the letter he supposedly left turns out to be true. Obviously, if there was a letter, someone found that letter, and probably read it right away.

    I would ask on what basis can the state department make that statement. They weren't there. I doubt that anyone in the state dept had ever talked to him. Everything the state dept knows, they learned from someone else. Much of what is known by the state dept would have originated from those who were there that day and in the surrounding days. Many of those people are now the ones speaking out.


    Pretty sure that statement came out (none / 0) (#175)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:56:51 PM EST
    Of the findings of the initial investigation and the interviews.  Are you saying his fellow soldiers lied in that investigation? The existence of the letter seems in dispute too.

    Of course, no one knows exactly (none / 0) (#181)
    by Green26 on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:01:10 AM EST
    what occurred when he left the base, as apparently know one saw him leave.

    Are you saying that soldiers on the base at the time know nothing of what occurred? Jeez, they obviously know alot--as I summarized in the my earlier post.

    The state dept statement is either very misleading, or just plain dumb.


    The initial investigation determined (5.00 / 2) (#183)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:18:26 AM EST
    That Bowe Bergdahl had been allowed to leave his unit at other times without consequences, and that there was no substantiated finding of desertion.  Why didn't these "facts" of his desertion emerge during that investigation?

    Truth (5.00 / 3) (#188)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:32:40 AM EST
    Is it not conceivable that this backlash, besides being obviously political, could be because the soldiers are worried about what Bergdhal is going to say.

    Discrediting Bergdhal before he opens his mouth is a tried and true defense, disgusting as it may be.

    Have soldiers in battle zones ever lied in order to cover their a$$es, and lied as a group?

    Hmmmm...   let's think...  any examples in vietnam?

    just saying, best to wait and see how this pans out. And in any case it is irrelevant to the current event of freeing the last POW in Afghanistan...  what a great thing Obama did.


    No, the state dept statement (none / 0) (#182)
    by Green26 on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:15:58 AM EST
    was made recently by a woman, Marie Harf, who got very defensive, and said some stupid things. Her position is that only Bergdahl knows what happened and no one else does, including the soldiers who were there and knew him.

    Google the statements of Sgt. Evan Buetow, who was Bergdahl's former team leader.

    Google the recent interview of Josh Fuller.

    By the way, both of these guys say the Taliban actions and attacks became much more directed and accurate shortly after Bergdahl walked off.


    Look, we already know happened to (5.00 / 3) (#184)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:21:52 AM EST
    His team leaders, they were demoted.

    It's starting to look like perhaps they blame him for the demotions they earned.  His unit suffered a complete breakdown in leadership, none of us knows exactly what that entailed but that is documented and he didn't do that, they did that to themselves.


    And that is just crazy (5.00 / 2) (#186)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:26:06 AM EST
    To think Bergdahl was behind Taliban attacks.  They hadn't been in country any great length of time, what sort of combat history in that area did they possess.  I think these guys are more than a little bit whacked out, or being paid by GOP strategists

    Did that (none / 0) (#160)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:46:08 PM EST
    show up in any news piece and if it did do you have a link?

    No links, sorry (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:50:32 PM EST
    Just my memory of it back then

    Thanks for replying. (none / 0) (#166)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:54:17 PM EST
    I figured that would be the answer but I would like to use that to beat up a few conservatives if you had it. :)

    Maddow just did a good segment (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:57:23 PM EST
    About how long this has been in the works and who knew about it and approved of it.  It's pretty stunning.  I will see if it's available on the site yet.

    Not yet (none / 0) (#168)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:59:58 PM EST
    This is up now (none / 0) (#196)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:33:54 AM EST
    everyone who cares should take a look at this

    It is the featured video.  And the first one on the left on the line below is also a must see.


    When this poor guy (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 11:34:51 AM EST
    Gets home he may wish he had stayed

    Lets hope... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 11:53:27 AM EST
    the administration is boxed in a corner...I mean they can't charge they guy with anything after you released 5 "enemies" to get him back, can they?  

    Our law and order rabbit hole can't be that deep, can it?


    I hope you're right (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 11:58:19 AM EST
    But even if they don't the fullmooners have got their zombie attack dogs so whipped up people will probably be spitting on if he he ever Is abel to show his face in public.

    Not us Babe... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 01:05:25 PM EST
    if I ever meet the guy my only urge would be to apologize for my 1/314,000,000th share of the blame.

    Sure they can (none / 0) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 09:42:27 PM EST
    being released has nothing to do with innocence.

    Is this what you do with your free time (none / 0) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 11:46:03 AM EST
    When you can't save your drama for your mama cuz she's a second class citizen?   Always the video drama with these guys.

    Dismay by the hostage-takers that Spec. Ops. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 12:04:17 PM EST
    didn't stick around for a cup of tea and idle chit chat. How rude.

    The war is supposed to be over (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 12:10:26 PM EST
    And how did these guys suddenly morph (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 12:22:40 PM EST
    into main stream Taliban?  At first they were described as outliers.

    The POW of my enemy (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 12:32:18 PM EST
    From an enemy valley is my friend.

    The Haqquani Network was who was reported to have Bergdahl. They aren't really Taliban, more like Taliban adjacent.

    They are who Spec Operations was working to mess up though.  So the war must really be freegin over if we negotiating with them.  Super Duper Over!


    Aren't you glad for the video though? (none / 0) (#27)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 09:09:51 PM EST
    I just watched the clip above, not the whole thing, but I found it moving and intriguing. I don't know what the music was saying, but it was pretty to me.

    I have to watch these things all the time (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 10:05:50 PM EST
    Cuz...soldier.  It's like in Hope Floats when she accidentally ruins the wedding photos.

    "Isn't this like her fourth wedding?"

    "It is her fifth missy!  But they each had very different theeeemes!"


    KeysDan (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 03:31:43 PM EST
    I really don't care what a commentator on a TV talking head show says.

    We would not have been "required" to turn'em loose unless we wanted to be "required."

    We're still the biggest elephant in the room??

    As for deserter Bergdahl, it is now beyond dispute that he was, at best, a deserter. Perhaps a collaborator. At best he deserves 20 years in prison. At worst execution.


    Right (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 03:38:37 PM EST
    Who gives a damn about international law.   I wonder if you have any idea how laughable your "BarcaLounger warrior" routine is.

    "Beyond dispute?" (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 03:41:26 PM EST
    Where's your authority for that statement?

    I don't imagine it will be a good idea to hold one's breath or stand on one's head waiting to get an answer to that question...


    I won't answer that (1.00 / 1) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 05:18:32 PM EST
    if you promise to hold your breath for say, 30 minutes??


    Civic improvement being one of my favorite things...

    I think it was Antony upon arrival in Egypt who said:

    I am the law and I have 10 legions to make it legal.


    jim: I thought that you were a patriot (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by christinep on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 03:52:04 PM EST
    A true American would await a legal determination of guilt before calling for summary judgment as you have done.  Don't debase yourself in such a way.

    Oh, I didn't say we shouldn't try him (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 05:22:56 PM EST
    I think it was on Sunday that I was the first to say we should convene a courts martial.

    But I think the result, based on the testimony of soldiers in his unity, leaves no doubt that he is a deserter.

    Of course why should we believe them??


    Members of his unit who are being (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 06:00:42 PM EST
    repped, or helped to the microphone and TV cameras, by known GOP ratfkers.

    I think there's all kinds of doubt. Doubt about whether he actually deserted, doubt about whether the six to eight deaths of troops afterward can be directly attributed to Bergdahl's disappearance.

    I think it all comes down to what people want to believe, and there's no mistaking what you want to believe.  You're free to believe what you want, of course, but please don't keep conflating those beliefs with the facts.  And the facts, in my opinion, are not the increasingly red-faced, spittle-laced rantings of a couple so-called former unit members, or Republican politicians desperate for a PR effort to work.

    This seems particularly on point:

    The end of the day yesterday was enlivened by the news that several of the soldiers currently calumnizing Bowe Bergdahl were being prepped for the job by several ratfckers of the Republican kind, including a famous Twitter commando who once was tasked with keeping John Bolton's meds on schedule. One of the most serious charges levelled was that several American soldiers died in the search for Bergdahl who, it was said, had deserted his post. CNN also has jumped on this narrative with both of Jake Tapper's feet. Of course, the former consideration is shadowed in history by the fairy tale of Jessica Lynch, the lies occasioned by the death of Pat Tillman, aluminum tubes, mushroom clouds, balsa wood attack escadrilles, the bullsh!t about babies being ripped from incubators in Kuwait, and yellow rain. The fact is that the propaganda industry simply has become better at doing its job than the elite news business is. In situations like this, truth, because it is complicated and it runs in many directions at once, simply never catches up with the narrative.

    Chew on that a while, jimmy.


    Dearest Annie (1.00 / 2) (#29)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 09:33:37 PM EST
    What you are saying is that the low level soldiers being interviewed are telling lies or are not smart enough to help being controlled by the evileeeeeee Repub operatives.

    That defines your opinion of the military quite well.

    No surprise there.


    The Military (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by squeaky on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 10:28:11 PM EST
    Top down, following rules?

    Many of Bergdahl's fellow troops -- from the seven or so who knew him best in his squad to the larger group that made up the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division -- told CNN that they signed nondisclosure agreements agreeing to never share any information about Bergdahl's disappearance and the efforts to recapture him. Some were willing to dismiss that document in hopes that the truth would come out about a soldier who they now fear is being hailed as a hero, while the men who lost their lives looking for him are ignored.

    What a load of crap and a pathetic reason for disobeying Military command direct orders.

    And chain of command?

    The Chain of command leads from the President (as commander-in-chief) through the Secretary of Defense down to the newest recruits.[

    It appears to me that Bergdahl's fellow troops got some 'spraining to do of their own.


    Really shocking that the squad leader (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 10:40:22 PM EST
    Greg Leatherman, who was demoted for lack of discipline couldn't wait to break all the rules......AGAIN!

    Well Gee, MT (1.00 / 1) (#47)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 12:27:35 AM EST
    I guess he was just speaking truth to power.

    Funny how that works (5.00 / 5) (#53)
    by Yman on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 06:23:44 AM EST
    Someone you dislike allegedly disobeys orders and you want them executed.

    Someone you like disobeys orders and you say they're just "speaking truth to power".

    Classic Jim.


    Truth to power :) (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:08:42 AM EST
    This guy at first went around all puffed up that he was Bergdahl's squad leader.  Now we find out he was Berdahl's disgraced squad leader who left military service very quickly.  Guess it just wasn't for him.

    We also find out that contrary to this guys anger about soldiers losing their lives looking for Bergdahl, nobody lost life on a mission looking for Bergdahl.  Because every single soldier in Paktika province was tasked with being on the look out for anything suspicious that could lead to Bergdahl's recovery, Leatherman counts every soldier death in province as a soldier who died looking for Bergdahl.  What A Joke!

    Something is wrong with Leatherman.  And those non disclosure agreements signed to keep Bergdahl alive, they are very likely protecting Leatherman from everyone knowing what was going on in that unit.

    Bergdahl claimed long ago while being held he was left behind on a patrol.  I would not be surprised at this juncture to find out that Leatherman and his squad leader pets did that as a joke or something....God forbid they did it hoping it would get Bergdahl killed.  Taliban radio intercepts revealed that those who captured Bergdahl said he was drunk.  If Leatherman was leading drunken patrols he is truly Fvcked in the eyes of every military leader.


    Breathtaking (2.00 / 2) (#56)
    by Slado on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 11:39:30 AM EST
    In order to believe the obviously incorrect your going to gobble down the counter spin being put out to bash the dozens of fellow soldiers who say he deserted.

    This dispite all the media reports that back up their claims.

    I don't get it.  Why?

    There is a perfectly legitimate argument to be made that no matter what Bergdahl did we should get him back anyway.

    Why would you go 9/11 truth-er on the obvious facts to justify what you can so easily be justified?

    Obama got a soldier back.  It was the right thing to do no matter what he did.   The terrorist are going to be released eventually so why not get something for them?

    Is that so hard?  

    He also deserted his post, as shown by a mountain of reports and testimony by fellow soldiers.   Why deny the obvious?

    It's time to start seeing things as an us vs. them.  Obama made a clear choice.   He and his supporters should defend it, if they really support it without having to play the game of dodge ball with facts.


    So (5.00 / 5) (#59)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 11:55:28 AM EST
    you're basically buying the story of this disgraced squad leader because he's on "your side". Perhaps the GOP should learn to not jump so quick into the fire. You know you can get burned pretty bad and actually have been burned a number of times doing the same thing but apparently there is a slow learning process going on there.

    If a repeat of 90's scandal mongering is all you have as a party perhaps you need to close up shop. If you can't simply be glad that a POW came home and let the facts play out perhaps you need to close up shop. This is eerily reminiscent of George W. Bush sending his minions out in 2000 to call John McCain a traitor. So this is not the first time the GOP has pulled the traitor line on anybody who was a POW.

    Your us vs. them is exactly what George W. Bush said. You're either wid me or agin me. I guess the GOP just can't move on past that. Whatever. People are frankly sick of all the gloom and doom that the GOP is offering up.


    Its not just him (2.00 / 2) (#89)
    by Slado on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 02:27:47 PM EST
    To date about a dozen fellow soldiers have broken their silence (a silence imposed by the military mind you) to say this guy walked away.

    I'd even accept an argument (LINK) that we shouldn't even get mad that he walked away because he was suffering from PTSD or some other mental state.

    I don't even necessarily think he should be punished honestly but the FACT is he walked away.  Want to call it something other then desertion by all means.

    I just don't get why so many want to deny the obvious.   To what ends?   The satisfaction that republicans are wrong.  Who cares?


    You have a dozen? (5.00 / 3) (#90)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 02:37:16 PM EST
    Throw their names up here

    Let's take a look

    And non disclosures had to be signed because someone was feeding things to rightwing radio who started urging the Taliban to cut Bergdahl's head off.  That seemed weird too that someone on that battlefield had to get wingnut radio involved for some reason.

    I thought that seeing your buddy die in front of you could inspire that kind of anger from the battlefield, but now I know that didn't happen.  And non disclosure agreements hid that fact for a time too.


    Maybe (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 02:41:05 PM EST
    they were urging right wing radio to suggest cutting his head off so that he could not tell what really happened. Cutting his head off would have been a win/win for the right wing radio crowd.

    Something stinks (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 02:45:44 PM EST
    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 02:48:49 PM EST
    it does. The truth is going to come out eventually hopefully. It always does.

    An abomination. Demented. (none / 0) (#97)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 03:18:54 PM EST
    Name the 12. (5.00 / 5) (#93)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 02:47:20 PM EST
    We still do not know exactly what happened. What if you find out that he did not walk away and that these same soldiers accusing him of deserting actually took him somewhere and dumped him and left him to die? What if they spiked his drink and left him somewhere and he woke up disoriented? There are a lot of things that could have happened and if that happened, these soldiers would have a vested interest in lying to cover their own butts. Now do we know that they did something shady? No, we don't know that either but speculating that he's a deserter is no different than speculating that these guys did something wrong and are trying to cover their own butts. When the Army releases the official report we will know but until then it's all speculation.

    The GOP is freaking out over this and I'm guessing it is because they can no longer scream about how Obama "leaves men behind". Their complete hysterical overreaction to the whole thing has given me a clue to that. They are not calmly asking questions. They are screaming and hurling accusations not only at him but threatening his family, the people of the town he lived in.

    Can't you at least wait until Bowe can give his side of the story before acusing the guy? You're very quick to believe what these guys are saying and you haven't even heard from the guys who actually was the POW.


    "Media reports" are not facts; in large (5.00 / 3) (#61)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 12:15:51 PM EST
    part, from what I've seen, the media is being fed information that has yet to be fully verified - they are doing what they seem to do so well: taking dictation, selectively.

    If you regard as "counter spin" the questioning of the credibility of the anti-Bergdahl soldiers, what does that make what the soldiers are shrieking into the microphones?  

    Seems like, by definition, it would be "spin."

    Would you suggest that what one side says is all anyone needs to know and is dispositive of the situation?  No?  So why is there so much anger about people not being willing to take the word of a couple of soldiers, five years after the fact?

    At least the NYT has tried to get to the bottom of the claims that Bergdahl's disappearance can be directly tied to between 6 and 8 deaths; it's a little murky right now, but so far, we haven't seen anything definitive, one way or the other.  I don't know whether these soldiers thought we would all just buy their claims, no questions asked, or whether they believed that, in the absence of a specific reference to deaths being connected to Bergdahl, their version would trump whatever was in the record.

    In truth, there seems to be a fairly large contingent of people who think we should have left him there, and some of those people are wearing or have worn the uniform of US military service.  And if we have to have him back, I hear a lot of people wanting him executed - that they're willing to make this pronouncement on the basis of very little factual information is stomach-turning.

    I'll tell you one more thing: what I'm seeing from these soldiers makes me fear for anyone in the military who gets on the wrong side of some top-dog bigot who decides he or she isn't displaying sufficient whatever to be considered worth looking out for - or dying for.  That's no way to run a military, and I think someone needs to put a stop to it, now.


    Rasmussen Reports survey (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 12:25:09 PM EST
    In truth, there seems to be a fairly large contingent of people who think we should have left him there, and some of those people are wearing or have worn the uniform of US military service.

    and an equally large contingent of people who support Obama's act.

    and considering that the right wing has been organized about this and have been controlling the media framing, I think that the numbers will change to support Obama's decision.

    Also, as flawed as this poll may be it also may reflect this:

    Underlying this [poll] may be a question on which we have more substantial polling: Americans' attitudes toward the US presence in Afghanistan in general. In some ways, Bergdahl has perhaps become a symbol of the frustration many Americans feel about the stubborn Afghanistan war.



    squeaky, I hope you were able to (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 01:22:27 PM EST
    discern that I made that comment in response to Slado, who said people should just be glad he's home.  I agree on that point, bit it's hard to ignore that that the right doesn't seem capable of being glad about something they previously wanted Obama to do something about.

    It was the right thing to bring him home.  I wish, for the sake of the facts and how it's getting harder and harder to tune out the right-wing noise machine, that the administration had somehow planned better for what was coming.  They had to know the GOP was going to want blood for Obama not giving Congress the required notice, and someone in the administration - there had to be someone among the vast numbers of senior military - should have schooled Obama on the challenges of bringing home someone whose loyalty was going to be called into question.

    I didn't see it, but Susan Rice's comments on the Sunday shows - that Bergdahl had served with honor and distinction - just added fuel to the fire.  I mean, WTF, Susan?

    I may have mentioned that my nephew is in the middle of basic training at Parris Island (Marines); I suppose I feel connected to this now in a way I couldn't have been before, but I can't imagine how heartsick Bergdah's family must be that they can't even celebrate their son's return.  I know it's not reasonable for us to love everyone as we love our own children, but can't people have some level of understanding and compassion in light of what these people - not to mention Bergdahl himself - have been through?

    It truly just makes me sick to my stomach what people are saying about Bergdahl without knowing - not even close to knowing - what the whole story is.  And the media...jesus, there just aren't strong enough words to describe the non-stop smearing they've been engaging in.  None.

    Does it seem to you that the administration's being kind of quiet about this?  Maybe there's nothing to be gained by playing the right's game, but it seems to me they have to do something.

    If I could make one request, please - I beg of you - do not try to make my comments a condemnation of Obama: they're not.  I agree with the decision he made and it saddens me that I can't say I'm loving how he handled the aftermath.


    Anne (3.00 / 5) (#99)
    by Slado on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 03:29:53 PM EST
    People need to stop with the "right wing noise machine" stuff.

    Were you complaining about the "left wing noise machine" during the Bush administration or the Reagan administration?   Do you recognize that such a machine existed if there is one now?  Or does the right hold the patent on a noise machine?

    The use of these terms implies that your views are superior and not open to dissent, or more cleverly put that while you are open minded to facts the right is not.

    HOGWASH, BS, ridiculous.

    This president makes mistakes.   Bush made mistakes.  Clinton made mistakes.  Reagan made mistakes...I could keep going but you get the point.

    The right of the opposition is to point them out and be critical.    The job of us is to listen to their complaints and decide if they have merit.  I remember quite clearly the arguments that it was patriotic even to disagree with President Bush.

    I agree.  Just like I agree it is equally patriotic to do so with Obama.

    It is impossible for everything the right says to be wrong because the Obama administration is not perfect.

    This one is easy quite frankly.  

    The Obama administration could have done this without the PR fan fare but it wasn't enough to just get the guy back, no they had to spike the football in the Rose Garden and it's blown up in their face.   By doing so they opened themselves up to dissent.   No need for the "machine" on this one.   This was a lay up.

    It is very debatable if this was a good deal or not but to act like any criticism is just partisan noise is dishonest.  

    It is equally dishonest to act like the president committed treason, or did some wrong.  He made a call and IMHO he has every right to do so as commander in chief.  I can not like it, I can be critical of it but it doesn't mean I'm right.   This is one of those issues that is pure opinion and your opinion is based on your political leanings.  

    Defend your argument honestly.  No need for the right wing bashing to make a point and no need to deny the reality that this guy walked off the base.

    Frankly it's irrelevant to the greater discussion.  The only reason it's become an issue is because Obama dragged his parents into the Rose Garden.   If he hadn't done that this would have been a much smaller news item and we'd already be done taking about it.


    BS (5.00 / 3) (#106)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 03:46:36 PM EST
    Nothing Obama did indicated that Bergdhal was a hero. Berghhal
    s distinction is that he is the last POW to be released from Afghanistan. That deserves a Rose Garden event for his parents, imo.

    He was a prisoner for 5 years. Do you think that Obama should have met the parents in some back alley?

    Traveling in Europe on Thursday, Mr. Obama pushed back against the chorus of criticism from across an ocean, and strongly defended his decision to recover Mr. Bergdahl regardless of whether the soldier had deserted his unit. He framed the choice in terms of helping anxious parents recover a son.

    "I write too many letters to folks who, unfortunately, don't see their children again after fighting a war," Mr. Obama said at a news conference after an international summit meeting. "I make absolutely no apologies for making sure we get back a young man to his parents." He added that the American people should "understand this is somebody's child and that we don't condition whether or not we make the effort to try to get them back."

    "I think it was important for people to understand this was not some abstraction," Mr. Obama said, defending his Rose Garden statement with Sergeant Bergdahl's parents last weekend. "This was not a political football. You had a couple of parents whose kid volunteered to fight in a distant land who they hadn't seen in five years and they weren't sure they would ever see again. And as commander in chief of the United States armed forces, I am responsible for those kids."



    Yes (1.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Slado on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 04:12:08 PM EST
    In fact he should have called them privately to tell them how happy he is they are safe.

    But this president, like all polls, doesn't work that way.  He saw an opportunity for some good PR and it's backfired.

    If you don't think so that is your opinion.  But you are in the minority quite frankly but that doesn't mean you're wrong.

    Why do you think Obama had to be involved?  

    Why did he need to put his personal stamp on this?   The only reason a president does speaches in the Rose Garden is for positive press.


    Clarification, please, slado (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by christinep on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 04:24:09 PM EST
    Is it the public announcement in the public atmosphere of the Rose Garden with which you disagree most?

    I notice that Defense Secretary Hagel said today that the decision to release was unanimous in view of the deteriorating circumstance; and, that some Congressionals--such as Angus King (I) from Maine--have started to say that the Taliban had threatened to kill Sgt. Bergdahl straightaway if word leaked prior to finalizing the actual release.  Generals, such as General McChrystal, are starting to weigh in saying that they would have made the same deal for exchange.  Now, Charles Krauthammer argues that he would have accepted the deal ... while I often disagree with Krauthammer for his almost neo-con foreign policy, it is instructive to listen to the Fox news clip wherein he observes that trades are common practice here and in Israel, AND that we usually get the "short end" because we value human life, etc.  Editorials from the Washington Post and my home Denver Post expressly endorse the result (even with all the inherent impurity) in view of our broader & longstanding practice, responsibility to bring soldiers home.

    Emotions and feelings have careened off the walls over the last few days.  Understandably ... it is very difficult, trying when potential values clash.  But, it really is good to wait for the full story ... the military, I think, will get to the bottom of this in their investigation.  I think, as well, that the past few days have already reminded us that there may well be many layers to the "facts."  

    An anecdote: Yesterday, I had my usual weekly call with a southern Colorado friend whom I've known since junior high.  Her family: Republican ... my family: Democrats.  Most of our lives we have not talked politics because she is sort of apolitical.  In the past few years, she has gravitated to Independent/Democrat and her brother remains a registered Republican.  Without asking yesterday, she raised the Bergdahl matter ... and went on to rhetorically ask why the Repubs (esp. noting McCain, in view of his background) were jumping so fast to conclusions without awaiting any later military action.  She then added that they seem to keep doing things like this ... that her brother talked with her too about changing his registration maybe .. and that the immediate condemnation approach "makes them look foolish."  Without more, she changed the subject to non-political talk saying that she never really liked to talk about politics.  My take: If Carolyn, who almost always tries to ignore political positioning sees it ....  Take 2: Creating the impression of "chomping at the bit" over every step, measure, action tends to blow back at the accuser.  


    Got It (none / 0) (#83)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 01:35:19 PM EST
    Yes, i know your comment was in response to Slado.... And in response to Slado et al. I wanted to point out that even with the GOP spin machine in full throttle, half of Americans are supporting Obama..   And that is in the wake of a very unpopular war at this point in time.

    As for Obama's handling of the situation I believe that he has just to weather the storm. All will be clear, and even if Berghdal broke some military rule and gets punished for it, it is clear that Obama did the right thing.

    This incident can be seen in the context of Jessica Lynch, who BushCo built up as a hero, reflexively lying for political gain.

    She disavowed the BushCo hero story and lots of egg was allover the operatives face.

    The GOP makes lots of mistakes, and winds up looking stupid. I believe that this will be one of those times. Obama and the military have been consistent in answering the calls of Bergdhal's detractors. They need to speak to him and hear his side of the story.

    As far as Susan Rice goes, it appears that the context of her remarks was Bergdhal's service prior to the event where he went missing.

    And it is a biiiiiiig stretch to turn serving with honor and distinction into Bergdhal's becoming some sort of hero.


    Here's the thing (none / 0) (#65)
    by jbindc on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 12:39:51 PM EST
    If these soldiers are lying, then where are the soldiers who could tell counter-stories?  Are they out there and don't want to get involved in this mess?  Or could it be that those soldiers talking to the media are telling the truth? Is the media seeking out those who served with Bergdahl who can counter these guys, or are they just running with a sexy story about a possible deserter?  I don't know, but these are things that need to be considered.

    And what about the Afghan villagers, who claim they say Bergdahl walking through the village "in a haze" and warned him he was headed into a dangerous area?

    Until now, few details have emerged about the circumstances of Bergdahl's disappearance from his base. But The Washington Post has reached Afghan villagers who spotted Bergdahl shortly after he slipped away from his base. To them, it's clear something was wrong with the American. And he seemed to be deliberately heading for Taliban strongholds, they say.

    "It was very confusing to us. Why would he leave the base?" said Jamal, an elder in the village of Yusef Khel, about a half-mile from the American military installation. (Like many Afghans, he goes by only one name). "The people thought it was a covert agenda - maybe he was sent to the village by the U.S."

    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?"

    Are they lying Republican shills too?


    Agenda (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 12:49:17 PM EST
    "I had forgotten about that abducted American," said Manikhel. "I hope the U.S. can re-arrest the Talibs that they released."

    and even if what the villagers say is true, it hardly proves that Bergdhal deserted.

    There may be another side of the story that would make the soldiers look bad at best.

    And as to why are not soldiers coming out supporting Bergdhal?

    Thin blue line?  Retribution?  Ever heard of things like that?


    I don't recall (none / 0) (#71)
    by jbindc on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 01:00:46 PM EST
    Saying that I absolutely believe he deserted, even though, as usual, you like to make stuff up. I said this is something else to consider when this is investigated.

    And as to why are not soldiers coming out supporting Bergdhal?

    Thin blue line?  Retribution?  Ever heard of things like that?

    Or, there aren't any. See how fun this is?

    We've already determined that you are Bushian / Cheney-like in your myopic views and will not let information contrary to what you believe filter in.


    Why Must You Insist On Nastyness (none / 0) (#76)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 01:09:14 PM EST
    It does not strengthen your position, which appears to be supporting the GOP position..  

    I certainly have not accused you of anything.

    You asked a question and I answered it. I believe that your sources are being fed by the GOP. You are free to disagree. Being nasty does not support your argument nor is it necessary.


    Are you opining that his defense is (none / 0) (#77)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 01:20:12 PM EST
    that he was high on dope and didn't know???

    Hmmmm. Try that for a death caused by a DWI driver.


    Who died? (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:33:18 AM EST
    Maybe the other (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 12:56:06 PM EST
    ones are not wanting to break their nondisclosure agreements like these particular ones are. And are we even sure that they served with him? Are they giving their names to the press. We know the squad leader was disgraced but we don't know about these others.

    And if he was a deserted the Army would have officially labeled him one would not they have?

    And maybe he just flat had a freaking mental breakdown is the reason why he was wandering through the village. Plenty of veterans are suffering from those. The truth is WE JUST DO NOT KNOW. We are going to have to wait for all the facts to come out. It seems like everybody has an opinion right now but nobody seems to have all the facts.


    I hope you are remembering that (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 01:05:03 PM EST
    these events took place 5 years ago, and that whatever the Afghan villagers are telling reporters needs to be considered in that context.  I think the same could be said for anyone else speaking about this now, five years later.

    And I don't know so much that the media is "seeking out" those who served with Bergdahl as much as the ones we've been hearing from have been helped into the spotlight by those known to be skilled Republican ratfkers.

    If he deserted, the Army needs to deal with that.  And I understand the anger fellow unit-members could have toward Bergdahl if he did, in fact, desert.

    But that doesn't give those angry soldiers the right to make the kinds of claims they have - that somewhere between 6 and 8 of his fellow soldiers gave their lives in the search for him.  That claim - so eagerly picked up by media outlets - has not been verified, and from early reports, does not seem likely to hold up.


    They have every right (2.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Slado on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 03:36:30 PM EST
    as soldiers to express their opinion.

    What are you talking about?   Listen to their stories and decide for yourself but to act like they are doing anything wrong makes me wonder what your thinking.

    What exactly do you have a problem with?   They have a strong opinion.  They were there.  They knew the guy.  

    Again the president chose to spike the football in the Rose Garden.

    In my opinion that narrative is now fair game.  

    Sorry you don't like it.


    Uh (have a drink) ;-) (1.50 / 2) (#79)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 01:23:52 PM EST
    But that doesn't give those angry soldiers the right

    Let me see. They are telling what they saw and know...and they have no right to speak truth to power??

    My my how times have changed,


    jim, jim, jim...sometimes you really do (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 02:11:16 PM EST
    have to read ALL the words, not just the ones you want to make something of.

    First of all, there's some question whether, if these men signed non-disclosure agreements, they actually do have the right to speak.  I'm confused though, what power it is they're speaking truth to, or what it is they hope to gain from it.

    Second, assuming they have the right to speak, they don't have the right to bolster their anger with "facts" that, so far, don't seem to be able to be supported - that is, that there were 6 to 8 deaths directly tied to the search for Bergdahl.  As has been noted, were that the case, we'd have to believe that every single death that took place in the region during that several month period was the result of the Bergdahl search.

    Perhaps you want to believe it, and perhaps those making the claims have, over the last 5 years, created a world where that is what happened, but neither one of those will make it so.

    Oh, and for what it's worth, and relating back to a comment you made about your political and other beliefs, let me say this: if you're willing to make exceptions to the death penalty for Bergdahl, you actually aren't opposed to the death penalty at all.  You just are until you aren't I guess, which doesn't seem as much like a "belief" as a subjective choice.  Which you are free to make, it just seems more honest to say that rather than being opposed to it, you're actually open to the death penalty under certain circumstances, don't you think?  


    Oh really????? (1.00 / 1) (#135)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:04:05 PM EST
    Now you want to take a very legalistic position re "speaking truth to power?"

    And neither of us know how accurate they are.

    And yes. Traitors are executed. So are prisoners who kill guards...

    And quit trying to reframe the discussion.

    Obama lied and men died.


    OTOH (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by Yman on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:27:09 AM EST
    And yes. Traitors are executed. So are prisoners who kill guards...

    And some guys get sent to Champagne units far from the front lines and then go AWOL.

    Those are the guys you support for POTUS.


    And some guys duck out (5.00 / 1) (#199)
    by jondee on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 10:42:21 AM EST
    of the military altogether with "rectal cysts".

    Those are the ones Jim relies on for political insight.


    Well, if he's relying on rectal cysts for (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 11:02:16 AM EST
    his insight, that explains a lot.

    Non disclosure agreement jbindc (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 01:32:48 PM EST
    Listen....listen, nobody still in uniform is going to break their non disclosure agreement.  That will destroy their military career...they are done. These yahoos on Fox News, they served a short jog compared to career soldiers and left.

    And I can tell you this, my spouse after leaving duty would not break a non disclosure agreement unless something horrific was being covered up.  He'd cut his own heart out first.  At first Leatherman and friends seemed to pass that smell test though because their friends died looking for Bergdahl......BUT NO THEY DIDN'T.  

    Taliban radio intercepts said Bergdahl seemed drunk upon his capture.  I don't know what happened, that fits though...the dazed thing.

    Why do you immediately assume Bergdahl is at fault here?  What if someone slipped him a Mickey because they thought he was a smug ba$tard  for not drinking beer with them?

    There is nothing about any of this any more that is clear, and the truth tellers, I am afraid of what these guys may have done that led to all this.

    What they are doing does not add up anymore unless they are afraid and are trying to cover something up.  Some think perhaps monetary gain, but I can't fathom veterans doing that to each other no matter how big a ratfvcker one of them might be.


    Aspects of a classified military report (5.00 / 5) (#95)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 02:57:09 PM EST
    of the investigation, including contemporaneous interviews, into Sgt. Bergdahl's disappearance in June 2009 are reported in the NYT.  The report, completed two months later, criticized lax security practices and poor discipline at the post.  

    The investigation determined that Bergdahl wandered away from assigned areas before both at a training camp in CA and in Afghanistan only to return.  The reports cites accounts from his unit mates that he sneaked off to see sunrises/sunsets, and  felt he was a free-spirited type guy. He would drink tea with Afghan soldiers and practice his local language skills.  

     It quotes his colleagues, apparently some of the same now singing a different tune, as being very positive. Although, he was reported to have been  frustrated that they were not "kicking down doors more to go after insurgents who were destroying schools."  

    The report has no mention of Bergdahl having left behind a letter in his tent that explicitly said he was deserting and explained his disillusionment as has been bandied about.    And, no radio logs of an American wanting to get in touch with the Taliban as also has been claimed.  

    The report does not conclude that he was a deserter.  The attention the report gives to laxity in security and discipline suggests that Bergdahl may not have been the only one who ever left the post for short adventures or for whatever reason.


    I figured (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 03:01:45 PM EST
    Thank you for that.

    I'm laughing (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 03:21:47 PM EST
    My day is happy now.

    Leatherman's petition to court-martial Bergdahl only has 18,000 signatures.  He reposted it on the Facebook page with a status that reads Come On People :)


    Tracy, this Leatherman thing is (5.00 / 4) (#102)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 03:37:38 PM EST
    getting stinkier and stinkier.  I'm not wise in the ways of the military, so maybe it's normal for someone to have this much of a hard-on for a court-martial as Leatherman has, but it just seems like it's a bright, shiny object meant to distract - from what, I don't know.

    It's almost like there's a sense of panic about something much uglier coming out than that Bergdahl was a deserter, and all of this is in hope of casting as much doubt as possible on Bergdahl's credibility before he can speak for himself.

    I don't know - I'm just getting a weird - and bad - feeling about it.

    Maybe I just need to put on my green corduroy pants and I'll feel better...


    I'm with you on that (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 06:30:23 PM EST
    Reading some of the stories, like the NewRepublic, are just weird.   A guy wanders off muttering to himself?  In a war zone? There is definitely somethings we don't know. Who knows of we ever will.  

    Once again (2.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Slado on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 03:33:11 PM EST
     you bash the soldiers not on your side of the argument.


    "Short Jog"?  What does that mean exactly?  They aren't qualified in your mind to comment.  

    Stop it already.


    They aren't soldiers anymore (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 06:00:27 PM EST
    They are veterans though.  They are veterans ratfvcking a fellow veteran.

    Counterspin (5.00 / 4) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 12:35:00 PM EST
    I am sooooooo sick of military life.  But I understand it.  16 yrs of understanding it, multiple scandals in my spouses units.  What to look for

    The first glaring red flag is that Leatherman was in charge and he violated his non disclosure agreement like he was taking his daily constitutional.  The second red flag, that same non disclosure agreement is keeping HIS command environment during all this from being public knowledge...and he was demoted right after the loss of Bergdahl because of the command environment he inspired. Third red flag, he first appeared to be violating his non disclosure agreement for heroic reasons....all the soldiers that were killed looking for Bergdahl.  I can't tell you the images that immediately came up for me of such loss, now I find out that was just a potent image he deliberately planted in my mind, nobody fell and died in his arms looking for Berdahl.

    So many more, but now I'm just pi$$ed being toyed with by that little rtfvcker Leatherman.  THERE IS SOME SHIT GOING ON HERE OR I NEVER HAVE SCRUBBED A TOILET!


    If Bergsahl had walked away w/o permission (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 12:42:22 PM EST
    at a time not connected to the walk-away when the "Taliban" captured him, wouldn't you think his military career would have ended when he returned from that AWOL?

    Regs are violated all the time (5.00 / 3) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 12:53:34 PM EST
    Soldiers go outside the wire on unofficial business.  It depends on how your command feels about it if they throw the book at you.  The photographer from the Guardian said he walked with Bergdahl to the camp of Afghan forces, and that Bergdahl was well know there and used to go "talk" to them.

    It is important to remember that when McChrystal took over Afghanistan, forces on the ground were told they were not pulled back.  They were supposed to be out there showing cultural respect and friendship to the Afghans.

    It seems to me now Bergdahl was obviously outside the wire a lot.  Was it a violation of the SOP at that FOB?  I do not know.  He did it a lot.  If it was he should have been busted for it by Leatherman, and busted hard.  No busted stories though?


    I have a serious (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 12:50:40 PM EST
    question for you.

    What on earth is causing the massive and I mean MASSIVE meltdown from the GOP here? It is that they can no longer scream about Obama leaving someone behind? Is it that they're losing their grip on the military vote? They've been losing their grip on the military vote for quite some time now. I mean it's like the whole party is in death grips over this because they apparently don't care how stupid or insane they look.


    Hell if I know :) (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 01:03:24 PM EST
    They have lost this image though that a successful CIC can only come out of the Republican Party.  Obama has utterly destroyed what Bill Clinton started tarnishing.  And because of Bush in the middle, it's even worse.  Now it looks like the place to go for a CIC who will destroy your own force capabilities and the morale of your troops while frivolously giggling is the Republican Party.

    I think (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 01:39:30 PM EST
    you hit the jackpot. It's the whole CIC thing. But I don't think Bill Clinton "tarnished it". I think it goes further back than that. He just didn't do anything to change that belief. It has undercut their whole line of Obama leaves soldiers behind. Now they can't say that and have actually gone over to the point where they sound like they would have preferred the guy being left with the Taliban. I truly believe that they would have been happier to see the guy's head cut off by the Taliban than him coming home.

    You have a better focus that I do (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 01:52:20 PM EST
    I'm too upset about the Bergdahl truth tellers and sketchy truth.

    So they did, they are losing that Benghazi thing about Obama leaving our guys behind. So now Bergdahl HAS to be a SCUMBAG.

    It was always so hard for me to GET there, that the SEALs who died in Benghazi were troops.

    No, they were CIA now.  Big difference being a soldier in uniform and then taking those skills to work in the field for the CIA.  If someone is left behind in the CIA nobody gets to know about that :).

    But if Bergdahl isn't a traitor you are right, they have lost that quick tight circuit in the lizard brain meme


    Do you really want to know Dem? (1.50 / 2) (#103)
    by Slado on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 03:38:36 PM EST
    It was the Rose Garden ceremony.

    The President used the parents of the soldier for political gain.

    He chose to put out a narrative and it's now being challenged.

    He also chose to trade 5 very bad terrorists for a soldier that went AWOL.

    What's not understand?


    If you wanna be ticked at Obama (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 04:30:43 PM EST
    Go ahead.  He's the President and I'm certain he can handle all the Fox rage just fine :) Where was Bergdahl declared AWOL? No place.  His commander was demoted for reasons that are not specific, did it have anything to do with Bergdahl's disappearance?  We have no specifics on that either.  

    Be ticked at Obama for freeing Gitmo prisoners.  Do it all day.  The majority of Americans though, they don't care.

    You wingers had better quit going after Bowe Bergdahl and his family though, you are about to blow yourselves up like incompetent bomb builders :)


    It's alot more than Fox rage (none / 0) (#189)
    by Green26 on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:34:14 AM EST
    and wingnuts. Many normal people, independents and dems are puzzled and concerned about what Obama just did. It makes me wonder what the White House was thinking, and how surprised and unprepared they are for the response. I think the polls are going to hammer Obama.

    By the way, I don't watch Fox. I get my news from the NY Times, Wa Post, TalkLeft, and internet articles. I supported Hillary when Obama first got elected. Hillary is my first choice now. She's competent and experienced. I've also thought Obama lacked experience, and wasn't competent. In my view, this latest scandal is pure incompetence.


    What Obama Did Thorough a GOP Looking Glass (5.00 / 2) (#190)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:38:08 AM EST
    Well (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 06:07:20 PM EST
    then complain about him having a rose garden ceremony but that's not what I'm seeing. I'm seeing him called a traitor, his family attacked and the people in his town threatened.

    You know some of you more reasonable Republicans should start standing up to the crazies taking over your party. You've created a monster that is about to engulf you.


    Wouldn't really call it standing up (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 06:34:09 PM EST
    And he might be backpedaling tomorrow but some are clearly getting very uncomfortable with it

    WASHINGTON -- Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) chastised some members of his party Tuesday for their reaction to the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, saying they should stop acting like the prisoner swap President Barack Obama arranged was unprecedented.

    "I'm a little bit disturbed by some of the Republicans out there who keep saying this has never happened before," Labrador said during an interview with the radio station 670 KBOI in Boise, Idaho. "That is not entirely true. If you look historically, at the end of any conflict, you have a swap of prisoners, and that happens. Usually our side will release people that are less than desirable in order to get some of our people back in these swaps. So I would suggest that anybody who's being hyper-critical about this, they should look at the history. This has happened before."

    MT, what is this poop and toilet (1.00 / 1) (#80)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 01:27:34 PM EST
    fixation you are showing??

    Hasn't your time in the military taught you that sh%t happens??

    Of course now it is happening on your belief system


    As usual (5.00 / 4) (#82)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 01:34:15 PM EST
    Flippant instead of flushing Jim!

    Well gee, MT I just worry about you (none / 0) (#124)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 06:41:43 PM EST
    I mean the other day you said he deserted because he didn't want to take a poop in front of anyone else...

    Using that as an excuse would have had every sailor who served a reason to leave..



    It isn't easy for you discovering (none / 0) (#141)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:22:31 PM EST
    That you have been running hard on a one legged narrative again.  Face planting....again

    All this too.  The military in the new age has had a difficult time having a Chaplain beat Facebook to the door on death notifications.  But unit scandals....no...slow moving, not gossip right out of the gate unless sex is involved.

    Almost immediately wingnut radio declared Bergdahl a deserter and suggested that the Taliban should cut his head off, and I remember thinking, "Who in the hell is reporting to wingnut radio from the battlefield, and why?"


    Not true (1.00 / 3) (#131)
    by Green26 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 06:59:05 PM EST
    My son, who was in a sister unit, told me most of this many years ago. Nobody repped or helped him. As someone else said, denying (and trying to deflect) the obvious.

    A sister unit? (5.00 / 3) (#179)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 11:36:19 PM EST
    I love all the hearsay sprayed everywhere about Bergdahl as fact.  It's like projection vomiting all over the place.  It's just sad how media ate it up at first as gospel too.

    Your son.....sister unit.....knows the truth that investigators could not uncover.....whatever.

    Some whacked out Marine in the area a year later...he knows the truth too.  The light refracting through the ice cubes in his scotch spelled it out clearly.

    I guess you wingers really have lost it over this, just gone around the bend.


    Yes, and to bring (5.00 / 2) (#197)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:46:31 AM EST
    these rumors and third-hand "eye witness" accounts to a defense-oriented blog, where fundamental rights, such due process and evidence is passed off as definitive facts is appalling.   It may be OK in Red State or any purely political blog, but here, it is trolling, in my view.  Zimmerman redux.

    John Bellinger (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 04:08:32 PM EST
    was a guest on FOX.  Any utterance by a FOX commentator usually quickens the heart beat of its viewers.  But, I can understand why Bellinger,  in this case, is dismissed.  

    I can just imagine how Admiral John Kirby would stack up, if he got on Fox and repeated his assessment of Navy protocol: if a man is overboard, we don't ask if he fell, jumped or was pushed; we turn the boat around and search for him.


    Of course we look (none / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 05:26:06 PM EST
    but, and you can trust me on this, we do IF we don't expose the ship to danger or interrupt any combat operations.

    The Admiral needs to brush up on his SOP's.


    Aye, aye, sir. (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 05:44:12 PM EST
    I'll take it up with the Admiral.

    Say what? (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by lentinel on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 06:32:42 PM EST
    ...and you can trust me on this...

    "Trust" you?

    Huh uh.


    Well, all I had was 10 years in the Navy. (1.00 / 1) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 09:34:30 PM EST
    Lots (5.00 / 3) (#85)
    by lentinel on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 01:48:48 PM EST
    of people had 10 years in the Navy.

    And lots of people (none / 0) (#125)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 06:45:11 PM EST
    know that you don't let the loss of one man impact combat operations.

    But it appears that the Lefties here want to use a really bad analogy from an Admiral to make a point.

    I was just pointing that out.


    How about a general jimmie (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 06:50:53 PM EST
    Ged, Captiee (1.00 / 1) (#132)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 06:59:58 PM EST
    Obama fired Mc.

    Now you want him back??

    But you ignore my point that the Admiral used a bad analogy.

    Probably because it was too complex for you.

    Oh well.


    Un-huh (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:03:19 PM EST
    General McChrystal is well cared for (5.00 / 2) (#136)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:04:11 PM EST
    Go look at the boards he sits on :). He's making rock star wages.  

    What you don't (5.00 / 2) (#149)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:04:03 PM EST
    realize is if McChrystal is making that statement and how far right he is you've really crossed over into another world.

    Evidently you have no idea (1.00 / 1) (#177)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 11:24:38 PM EST
    as to what we have been talking about.

    Please try and keep up.


    Evidently you have no idea (none / 0) (#176)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 11:23:50 PM EST
    as to what we have been talking about.

    Please try and keep up.


    You are one person, jim, (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by lentinel on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 04:42:09 AM EST
    with an opinion. No more.

    And when you call those with an opinion that differs from you, "lefties", you automatically invalidate your own opinion in my eyes.

    If you used a "bad analogy", you did not make your point - and that is your fault.

    If you want to make a point, use a good analogy and don't resort to throwing tomatoes.


    So, absent having to look for Bergdahl, (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 08:23:46 PM EST
    the rest of his unit would just be sitting around giving each other mani-pedis and working on their needlepoint, I guess.

    I mean, it's not like they were in an area that was a hot bed of insurgency or anything, right?  The only danger had to have been that imposed on them by Bergdahl, because it's not like they had an actual mission or daily assignments that put them in harm's way.

    Here's a truth for you, jim: you and I both know that this is a game of damned-if-he-does, damned-if-he-doesn't where Obama is concerned.  Had he not brought Bergdahl home, the cries from your ilk would have been all "how shameful that we're leaving one of our own behind."

    What's really shameful is that it doesn't matter to you and the rest of the lunatics comprising the Republican party who has to be sacrificed to the greater goal of bringing Obama down, or how many of the basic principles of this democracy you have to burn down to get there.


    Anne, after Bergdahl left, (1.50 / 2) (#140)
    by Green26 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:13:46 PM EST
    the missions changed significantly. There were frequent search missions, and search became part of other missions. The Taliban knew the US would come looking for Bergdahl, and would take more chances, and were waiting for them. Other important missions were left undone, because the focus shifted to Bergdahl.

    Some soldiers have said it seemed like the Taliban had immediateley learned more about US habits and vulnerabilities. Some of these soldiers have wondered if Bergdahl had been telling the Taliban these things. No proof, of course, although I've seen articles in which a soldier or two said there had been radio interceptions indicating that an American was seeking out the Taliban.


    "I've seen articles in which" (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:29:36 PM EST
    I've seen articles that said iPhone 5 would have holographic projection

    Yeah...some soldiers? (5.00 / 2) (#144)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:33:43 PM EST
    Which soldiers.  This is just wingnutty baloney.

    Keep in mind, my husband was over there at that point


    Annie (1.00 / 3) (#31)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 09:39:52 PM EST
    the facts speak. The man deserted. As for your Dear Leader

    Obama lied and Americans died.

    And if you like your doctor you can keep him.

    BTW - Anything. And I mean anything. Anything that detracts from the focus required for combat operations is beyond bad. It is god awful unacceptable.

    It leads to operational failures and unneeded deaths.

    Those are just facts.


    Did you really call Anne Annie? (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 09:46:49 PM EST
    It's because I called him "jimmy." (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 09:54:38 PM EST
    He can call me Pippi Longstocking if he wants; it won't change anything.

    You heard it here: the only facts we need are the ones being hawked like beer at a baseball game by Republicans desperate to "get" Obama.



    You started it, Annie (1.00 / 1) (#50)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 12:38:10 AM EST
    Now quit complaining because I choose to fire back.

    Well, Jimmie ... (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by christinep on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 10:00:32 PM EST
    As the Navy man, you should know (as stressed before) that "desertion" is a legal military term.  That finding has not been made.  I am surprised how selective in referring to military rule and protocol that you are now showing yourself to be.  

    No matter how many times you repeat a claim without legitimacy ... the more I question "what is your game?"  


    Well christinepiee (1.00 / 2) (#48)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 12:35:23 AM EST
    As some who probably can read you should remember that I called for a courts martial.

    I am just stating what a reasonable person would believe based on the information available.

    In military terminology, desertion is the abandonment of a "duty" or post without permission and is done with the intention of not returning. "Absence Without Leave" (US: AWOL; Commonwealth: AWL) can refer to either desertion or a temporary absence.

    You don't leave a post like he did with the intention of coming back.

    And I confess I have no idea as to what you are trying to claim


    I am surprised how selective in referring to military rule and protocol

    beyond looking for another way to reframe the discussion from demonstrating what a really stupid thing Obama did...


    It is interesting to see (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 12:54:03 AM EST
    how you get under the skin of everyone here....

    I really am curious why you engage here.   You are not gaining any converts.....Your frame of reference is totally different than most here....

    Are you Democrat/Liberal curious?


    You have no idea, nor do I (1.00 / 1) (#58)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 11:52:18 AM EST
    how many people who do agree but don't comment.

    Many commentators here seem to just want to discuss TV and other such. That's absolutely their right but I very rarely join in.

    I have always tested my beliefs and learned things by debate. At one time TL was very good at that. Now, not so much but still to a degree. Now the personal attack is not unusual. At one time it was not tolerated.

    Have I changed any of my opinion's? Yes, two. I switched from supporting capital punishment to LWOP. Based on what I know of our deserter I would make an exception for him.

    I supported the original tapping of telephones/commuters of suspected terrorists as defined under  Bush. Now I am concerned that it has morphed into something else. Yet I see very few complaints from the Left now that Obama is Prez.

    I was raised a Democrat. My parents were sharecroppers and I understand poverty and discrimination up close and personal.

    The Democratic party left me over Vietnam. I gave it a second chance with Carter and they blew it.

    I have long commented that I am a social liberal with strong national defense leanings with a bit of Libertarian thrown in. I have also long commented that I support gay rights, including marriage, women's right to choose and other rights, minority rights, believe our drug laws are totally screwed and that we must move to a single health care plan based on the Medicare model paid for by a national sales tax.

    I have found, to my dismay, that many commentators on the Left demand that you agree with them 100% or they will attack you.

    I have not voted for a Democrat for Prez since Carter. I vote based on the totality not on single issues.


    On that "totality" (none / 0) (#116)
    by christinep on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 04:33:28 PM EST
    Where then, jim, do you support the Republican Party in recent years?  Since you list general areas as to liberal agreement, what areas/categories and specifics do you support in recent national Repub party platforms/proposals?  'Curious as to what factors go into the total assessment???

    After watching the fellow travelers (1.00 / 2) (#126)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 06:50:37 PM EST
    and communist sympathizers take over the Democratic Party and give the North Vietnamese a victory I understood the Left quite well. I haven't forgot that men died because of the Left's actions.

    Tell you what. You tell us who you voted for since 1976, and why, and I will match you.


    Straight Democratic tickets (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by christinep on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:48:06 PM EST
    Because I support almost all aspects of the national platforms ... especially in comparison to the Republican party.  In terms of foreign policy:  I strongly disagreed with our folly in Iraq (and the tragic human lives swamped by it.) I do not believe that folly and foolish military adventures work practically or ethically/morally.  Yet--and, perhaps, as the daughter of a proud member of the Marine Corps, I am certainly not averse to a strong military action where it is required in the interests of the United States and/or humanitarian interests.  As President Obama has averred, we are the indispensable nation in this regard.  I do expect, however, that CIC decisions be made strategically and with respect for all those involved ... the last thing we need is a phony-baloney sit-at-home "bring 'em on" bravado.  In that regard, I believe that President Obama has been trying well to negotiate the transition from earlier military misadventure.

    Carter in '76 (none / 0) (#180)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 11:58:58 PM EST
    because I thought he could fix the mess. Boy was I wrong.

    Reagan twice because he won the Cold War and fixed the economy.

    Bush I because he said no new taxes.

    Perot because Bush I said no new taxes and I knew what Clinton was.

    Dole because I knew what Clinton was.

    Bush I because I thought he could fix the economy. Remember the NASDAQ ran off 50% between 3/2000 and 3/2001. Everyone in telecom was spooked. Plus, I didn't believe a word Gore said.

    Bush II because the Demos ran Kerry. Really?? Did you think people would take him seriously. Plus he lied about being in Cambodia and his association with the anti-war Left.

    McCain because I knew what Obama was. Boy was I right. Plus McCain is a true hero.

    Romney because Obama had proved he couldn't manage a lemonade stand. Romney was totally qualified.

    I believe IF we survive the attack by radical Muslims on our culture we can slowly change the issues re gays, etc. But you must win the war.

    In 2016 Walker and Jindal or vice verso is my choice.

    Your kidding yourself if you think Obama wants to do anything but reduce our defense capability.

    My Dad and one Uncle were in the Marines in WWII. Two were in the Army. All came home okay except one was wounded. They never talked about it in any detail. Looking back I can see that it was, "It's over. I lived. Let's get on with our lives."


    So neoconfederates (5.00 / 3) (#147)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:58:55 PM EST
    are still steaming about Vietnam along with the Civil War. Glad to know that. The mess we got into in Iraq and the middle east is because some people apparently couldn't learn those lessons. To people like you you blame the citizens of this country while ignoring bad policy. If we had stayed there 20 more years the outcome would have been the same. By the time we left most Americans were sick of that war about 80%.

    I guess the takeover of the GOP by fundamentalist radicals doesn't bother you one whit though I'm willing to bet?


    Yes GA, patriots are still steaming about (1.00 / 1) (#174)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:54:22 PM EST
    the activities that you Lefties used that caused thousands of American military to be killed and millions of SE Asians.

    What do you use to get the blood off your hands?


    There's no blood on our hands (5.00 / 2) (#192)
    by Yman on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:23:41 AM EST
    What do you "Righties" use to get the blood off your hands of the thousands you send to wars while you cheer from your LazZBoys?

    Oh (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 07:08:50 AM EST
    come on. Bush lied us into a war and you have no problem with that and the people that died because of his lies. 80% of the public was against Vietnam. Even Richard Nixon was against the war who you apparently voted for. You continue to believe these myths about Vietnam and about Iraq. I'm beginning to think that you can't handle the truth. Accpeting the truth would make your whole world collapse.

    You have (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:00:52 PM EST
    literally crossed over into lala land. Wow.

    He's been broadcasting (5.00 / 2) (#151)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 08:16:16 PM EST
    From there for years

    Evidence, please? (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Angel on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 05:54:53 PM EST
    As for deserter Bergdahl, it is now beyond dispute that he was, at best, a deserter.

    Try watching and listening to his (1.00 / 3) (#32)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 09:40:39 PM EST
    fellow soldiers.

    I mean what would they know???? (sarcasm alert()


    Your claim was that it is ... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Yman on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 09:51:12 PM EST
    ... indisputable that Bergdahl was, at best, a deserter.  The comments of some of his fellow soldiers are evidence.  They are not conclusive, and therefore your claim is, in fact, quite disputable.

    That was easy.


    Yes, you are easy. (1.00 / 2) (#49)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 12:35:51 AM EST
    He should've been smart enough (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by jondee on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 12:27:31 PM EST
    to do what good conservative chickenhawks do: duck out of all war zones all together..

    Now some Democrats in Congress, (none / 0) (#74)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 01:06:38 PM EST
    Including Sen. Feinstein, are criticizing the Pres., mostly because they are worried about the Midterm election and it was a surprise as to the timing. Feinstein, of course, wants to be in the loop on all matters of national security. (See NYT, Carl Hulse.)

    Or maybe (1.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Slado on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 03:44:33 PM EST
    they think the administration did the wrong thing?

    If they thought the Pres. (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 03:54:36 PM EST
    "did the wrong thing," they either didn't neglected to mention that to the NYT reporters or the NYT didn't include those opinions in the article.

    Is that so, Jim? (none / 0) (#204)
    by Yman on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:21:18 PM EST
    The Guv was the Guv so he was responsible even if he did close the gate after the killer was loose. (1.00 / 2) (#178)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 11:26:40 PM EST

    Sort of like the POTUS was the POTUS on 9-11, huh?

    Heh, heh, heh ...

    BTW - The prisoner furlough program was enacted into law before "the guv was the guv".

    Swing and a miss ... again.