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The Bergdahl Dilemma for President Obama

Updated on June 3, 2014
He seems to be in good condition
He seems to be in good condition
The six who died looking for him
The six who died looking for him

Senator Feinstein, a leading democrat has scolded the President for taking unlawful action for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five, hardcore, Taliban in prison at Quantamino. Most of his former platoon members show disdain at the President calling Bergdahl a hero that served with honor after five years of captivity. Why?

What facts are known is that in 2009, Bergdahl showed that he had turned against the American presence in Afghanistan in some ways. His former platoon members cite several things he said prior to his AWOL. We know that Bergdahl willingly left his weapon, night vision goggles before leaving the outpost without permission. How he did this without being notice is the unknown part. But, once his AWOL had been noticed, American soldiers left the outpost to find him and resulting in the death of six soldiers.

Had it not been for the AWOL of Bergdahl, the deaths of these men that night would not have occurred, so, by implication, should Bergdahl actually be charged with their deaths? Did Bergdahl conspire with the enemy in some way? In letters to his parents, he wrote, "the horror that is America is disgusting", this was prior to him vanishing.

In a 2012 Rolling Stone interview with a White House official, the person said, "We don't give a shit why Bergdahl left". Then, he was already suspected he had deserted or at the very least went AWOL according to the military report. Then, more recently, a Pakistani militant commander said, "He loved Afghan tea, taught the Taliban to play badminton and celebrated Christmas and Easter with them".

The President has indicated that Bergdahl's health was in poor shape, which was one of the reasons the deal occurred, however, the special forces who saw him stated, "He was is good condition" for being a captive (if he was). It sounds like Bergdahl may have colluded with the enemy or accepted them as friends.

Bergdahl was not kidnapped and taken like most. He deserted his unit and sought out the Taliban who could speak English. Radio intercepts days after his disappearance indicate this. If Bergdahl was intoxicated like he claimed and he wondered off the post, why would you in a combat zone? No matter how intoxicated one is, they still know it is a war zone. It seems like he wanted to get caught. He knew how to get out without being detected. There is a lot of intent in his actions.

So, should America never leave a US soldier behind, even if they defect or go AWOL? That is what Obama's overriding reason is. If, after another investigation, Bergdahl did go AWOL or deserted, should he get a pardon? Should he be sent to jail for the deaths of the six men who died searching for him? Should he just receive a dishonorable discharge?

This operation may be one that Obama wished he had never approved.Maybe he did it to divert attention away from the VA scandal. Well, that seems to have worked for now.


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    • gregas profile image

      Greg Schweizer 3 years ago from Corona, California.

      I don't understand why this so-called soldier was so important. They released all of those terrorists to get him released when no one would ever do that in the past for anyone else. We have several prisoners, military and civilian around the world and there are no negotiations going on to save them. How many more of our troops are going to be captured now to attempt to negotiate the release of more terrorist prisoners. I know if it was my son I would do everything to get him back, but never put more troops in jeopardy. There is a lot to be concerned about here and they should keep an eye on him when he gets back if he doesn't end up in prison. That's my say, Greg.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 3 years ago

      Oh, I think we will find out a lot of things about this as time goes one.

    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

      His father's words and appearance do nothing to help instill good will toward his son here. The stories I hear in Virginia are that he deserted, got captured and enjoyed his time there because he had a lot of comforts, not like being a prisoner of war.

      If he celebrated Christmas and Easter with them, what happened to the story of him having studied their bible and following Allah, as his father said. One doesn't celebrate Christian holidays and then take up another faith...I doubt they would have stood for Christian holidays being celebrated there from the little bit I know about Muslims.

      This whole story stinks and it will be another thing that gets brushed under the rug so we will never know the true extent of what happened. The fact that we had to let 5 of theirs go to get one back- one who many are saying didn't want to come back, if that is true - then we have let 5 of theirs go to do us harm on another day.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 3 years ago

      I do see the logic about bring home the soldier and THEN determine whether he went astray. But, there are other issues: the six men who died looking for, trading for five hard core taliban etc. But there are facts because the Army determined in 2009 after investigating bergdahl did go AWOL at minimum and the six soldiers that went looking form him were killed. He did leave his base without permission or weapon.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 3 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      Enjoyed your thoughts on this. I'm not sure we know Sergeant Bergdahl went AWOL. Something I read said he might have gone to the latrine. I don't think there is an absolute fact on his status at the moment he was abducted. But enjoyed your hub very much. You're sure quick!