“The horror that is America is disgusting.”
There was Obama, proud as a peacock:
Good afternoon, everybody. This morning, I called Bob and Jani Bergdahl and told them that after nearly five years in captivity, their son, Bowe, is coming home.
Sergeant Bergdahl has missed birthdays and holidays and the simple moments with family and friends, which all of us take for granted. But while Bowe was gone he was never forgotten. His parents thought about him and prayed for him every single day, as did his sister, Sky, who prayed for his safe return.
He wasn’t forgotten by his community in Idaho, or the military, which rallied to support the Bergdahls through thick and thin. And he wasn’t forgotten by his country, because the United States of America does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind.
Obama watched proudly as Bowe Bergdahl’s father praised Allah:
At the end of brief event, the soldier’s father, Bob Bergdahl, recited the most frequent phrase in the Koran — “Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim” —which means “In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Compassionate.”
Bergdahl’s father sported a Taliban beard for the occasion.
Susan Rice was proud:
“It was an extraordinary day for America,” Rice told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Hagel was proud:
“This is a very happy day for the Bergdahl family,”
There were many who were not happy, among them those who served with Bergdahl.
“I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on,” said former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl’s platoon when he went missing on June 30, 2009. “Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”
Bergdahl made it very clear he hated America and its military in emails to his family.
“The future is too good to waste on lies. And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong,” Bergdahl reportedly wrote his father. “I have seen their ideas and I am ashamed to even be american (sic). The horror of the self-righteous arrogance that they thrive in. It is all revolting.”
He also attacked the army saying it cut down people “for being honest,” and rewarded sycophants. “The title of US soldier is just the lie of fools,” he wrote. “I am sorry for everything here.
There is contention about how Bergdahl became separated from his unit but there is this:
On the night prior to his capture, Bergdahl pulled guard duty at OP Mest, a small outpost about two hours south of the provincial capitol. The base resembled a wagon circle of armored vehicles with some razor wire strung around them. A guard tower sat high up on a nearby hill, but the outpost itself was no fortress. Besides the tower, the only hard structure that I saw in July 2009 was a plywood shed filled with of bottled water. Soldiers either slept in poncho tents or inside their vehicles.
The next morning, Bergdahl failed to show for the morning roll call. The soldiers in 2nd Platoon, Blackfoot Company discovered his rifle, helmet, body armor and web gear in a neat stack. He had, however, taken his compass. His fellow soldiers later mentioned his stated desire to walk from Afghanistan to India.
The Daily Beast’s Christopher Dickey later wrote that “[w]hether Bergdahl…just walked away from his base or was lagging behind on a patrol at the time of his capture remains an open and fiercely debated question.” Not to me and the members of my unit. Make no mistake: Bergdahl did not “lag behind on a patrol,” as was cited in news reports at the time. There was no patrol that night. Bergdahl was relieved from guard duty, and instead of going to sleep, he fled the outpost on foot. He deserted. I’ve talked to members of Bergdahl’s platoon – including the last Americans to see him before his capture. I’ve reviewed the relevant documents. That’s what happened.
And there’s the problem of the Taliban- they don’t take prisoners:
The scene cuts and one of the killers stands behind him and shoots him in the head with a pistol, five times. Another man stands off to the side, out of his victim’s view, and fires three bursts from his AK-47 rifle into his torso, which convulses at each round.
It was yet another example of a terrible truth, one that has been a commonplace for so long that it is seldom commented upon: insurgents in Afghanistan rarely take any prisoners.
The price to recover Bergdahl has been high:
One of my close friends was the company executive officer for the unit at Zerok. He is a mild-mannered and generous guy, not the kind of person prone to fits of pique or rage. But, in his opinion, the attack would not have happened had his company received its normal complement of intelligence aircraft: drones, planes, and the like. Instead, every intelligence aircraft available in theater had received new instructions: find Bergdahl. My friend blames Bergdahl for his soldiers’ deaths. I know that he is not alone, and that this was not the only instance of it. His soldiers’ names were Private First Class Aaron Fairbairn and Private First Class Justin Casillas.
Though the 2009 Afghan presidential election slowed the search for Bergdahl, it did not stop it. Our battalion suffered six fatalities in a three-week period. On August 18, an IED killed Private First Class Morris Walker and Staff Sergeant Clayton Bowen during a reconnaissance mission. On August 26, while conducting a search for a Taliban shadow sub-governor supposedly affiliated with Bergdahl’s captors, Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss was shot in the face and killed. On September 4, during a patrol to a village near the area in which Bergdahl vanished, an insurgent ambush killed Second Lieutenant Darryn Andrews and gravely wounded Private First Class Matthew Martinek, who died of his wounds a week later. On September 5, while conducting a foot movement toward a village also thought affiliated with Bergdahl’s captors, Staff Sergeant Michael Murphrey stepped on an improvised land mine. He died the next day.
And it gets more and more curious. SecDef Hagel said Congress wasn’t notified of the trade because Bergdahl’s health was failing:
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan—U.S. officials had intelligence suggesting Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s safety and health were in jeopardy, justifying a prisoner swap without the required congressional notification, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday.
He said the government believed it had to act quickly to save Sgt. Bergdahl’s life after he was held prisoner for nearly five years. But Mr. Hagel declined to provide details of his condition, citing privacy rules. He spoke on a flight to Afghanistan, where he was to meet with American troops and commanders.
Yet CBS News reports this:
Bergdahl was in good condition and able to walk,
And most curious of all is this- the most transparent President in history of the world forced all of Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers to sign non-disclosure agreements:
Many of Bergdahl’s fellow troops — from the seven or so who knew him best in his squad, to the larger group that comprised 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.
Exactly why would Obama need to stifle the voices of those who knew Bergdahl best? Would it ruin the party?
There is little doubt that Obama’s new policy of negotiating with terrorists puts a larger and larger target on the backs of Americans- especially soldiers- everywhere.
In the days ahead however, we must carefully examine the means by which we secured his freedom. America has maintained a prohibition on negotiating with terrorists for good reason. Trading five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay for Berghdal’s release may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans. Our terrorist adversaries now have a strong incentive to capture Americans. That incentive will put our forces in Afghanistan and around the world at even greater risk.
This incident is a convenient distraction from the string of Obama foreign policy failures and the VA scandal but ultimately this action does little more than diminish the US further.
Barack Obama traded five high value Taliban for an America hater who walked away from his post, but is unable to rescue a decorated war veteran from a Mexico jail. Maybe he’ll trade Tahmooressi for more automatic weapons for the cartels.
What I’d like to see is Obama standing at the podium with the families of the six US soldiers who died looking for Bergdahl with Obama telling America how much Bergdahl hated this country. How happy are those parents now?