Federal Government

Bergdahl Will Likely Fade Away

When all is said and done in the Bowe Bergdahl case the GUARDIAN predicts there will be either some sort of secret agreement to dismiss charges or a simple reduction in rank and a “general discharge” from the Army.

Neither Bergdahl or the Army stands to benefit from a “show trial” at court martial. Bergdahl was once hailed as a hero and then vilified as details of his disappearance emerged. A “no fault divorce” is the solution.

Absent the draft in these days of an “all volunteer” force, the country is dependent upon people like Bergdahl to serve in far off places under the guise of “defending America, making the world free for democracy, and keeping us all safe.”

Like Vietnam, Afghanistan has become a quagmire with little true military purpose or goal. A public trial would open a Pandora’s box for those opposed and for the war. The issue would create support for Bergdahl’s apparent anti-war position (based on previous published reports and letters) on one hand and his alleged violation of military law on the other.

If he is “excused” by the military commanders, it will be difficult to force other soldiers to obey the rules. If he is prosecuted and convicted, President Obama will not look good for exchanging Bergdahl for terrorists. Also many folks will condemn the government for being ungrateful for his service and creating the situation.

A quiet exit from the service with reduction in rank and little or no back pay will be deemed “appropriate punishment.” Like Vietnam, public opinion will dictate decisions.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. In your post you stated the armed forces are dependent on people like Bergdahl. I find that in juxtaposition to all those who sign up and serve with honor and Mr. Bergdahl is a deserter.

    It will be interesting to see how all this unfolds as the UCMJ is applied to Mr. Bergdahl’s shameful behavior. He is not typical of those serving with honor in our all volunteer armed forces.

  2. No way will the public allow him to quietly fade away! And he should not get a general discharge. Court martial, dishonorable discharge if convicted

  3. Frankly, I was a little baffled when, as you say, he “was once hailed as a hero.” Why? ANYBODY can be a prisoner – nothing heroic about that. I was truly amazed when the administration traded five (!) enemy combatants for him (and supposedly a large unreported cash payment as well), and Obama had his parents in for a Rose Garden photo-op and light refreshments.

    After all, it was known from the very beginning that Bergdahl went missing under some dubious circumstances… it’s not like he was grabbed out of his tent or something.

    The Obama Administration certainly does things differently from any previous administration… no?

    I bet you’re just about right on how the story will end. I doubt even Blaine County (one of the few blue strongholds in this red state) will throw him a ticker-tape parade when and if he comes “home.” (I’m glad for him that he’s not in Afghanistan any more, even if maybe he deserves to still be there.)

  4. Well for one, Guardian it is Bowe with an e. I would expect anyone reading the topic thoroughly would spell his name correctly. Secondly, it is court-martial. ibid. Maybe your aging eyes are not serving you well. (ED NOTE- We fixed the spelling and had previously fixed Court-martial)

    I don’t know how you can say he was once hailed as a hero? 30 ignorant hippies in Hailey throwing a party for his return does not mean he was hailed as a hero. (ED NOTE– I believe he was actually promoted to sgt. in absentia, his family got Rose Garden face time w/commander in chief, Idaho National Guard held stage-show press conference with mom and dad)

    Afghanistan DOES and has had a true military purpose- as did Iraq, (as did Vietnam based on my history book). Would you also like to claim Normandy had little military purpose or goal?

    In case you forgot Osama Bin Laden was eliminated. That’s mission accomplished!

    “Forcing other soldiers to follow the rules” is really a bad use of words for today’s Army.

    Obama already does not look good in this whole things regardless of the future outcome.

    I think Bergdahls’s best bet is too get some punishment under the UCMJ. Otherwise, there will be many recent veterans more than happy to apply their own form of punishment.

    I think you are way off base with this post, Guardian.

    The Bergdahl family is a shame and disgrace to Idaho.

    365 days in Leavenworth in a cell next to Bradley Manning. E-1. Loss of all pay and DISHONORABLE Discharge would be suitable if I were on a jury.

    EDITOR NOTE– The post is a prediction, not a suggestion. Perhaps if you read our first post on this topic you will feel differently https://boiseguardian.com/2014/06/01/bergdahl-deal-has-potential-for-controversy/ . Few would agree that Iraq is better off in most respects than before USA intervention. Killing Bin Laden was hardly an act of war where the USA declares a “go home” date in advance. As a Vietnam Vet, I can tell you our mission was supposedly to “stop the spread of communism and allow free elections.” The people of South Vietnam today are at peace, it is a communist government, there is a Ford plat in Hanoi and the people love America, Americans, and our money.

  5. Skip right over Bieter’s Air Force One ride onto this topic that is not even official yet?

  6. Easterner, I don’t know if it would constitute him being “hailed as a hero,” but (besides those mentioned in the Guardian’s response):
    – I clearly remember billboards with Bergdahl’s very patriotic-looking beret-clad visage, declaring “Bring Bowe Home.”
    – I remember when KIDO’s morning guy, husky but lovable Limbaugh wanna-be Kevin Miller, claimed he did some sort of Bowe Walk, from Hailey to Boise. (I don’t listen to Kevin regularly… not sure what song he’s singing about Bowe these days.) Maybe they were just talking to the same Hailey hippies every time, but for five years the local media routinely did puff-pieces on Bergdahl and his Idaho family.

  7. I agree with the guardian on this one. The deserter will most likely be allowed to fade into the shadows. It will be yet another mark of disgrace on the Obama legacy. Hopefully the army will due it’s duty and general court martial and then hang this guy the brass owes it to the rank and file.

  8. Bieter+begone
    Jan 27, 2015, 8:08 pm

    Other volunteer troops died trying to find this deserter. More volunteer troops will die from the actions of the five terrorists traded to get this deserter home. He should be prosecuted under the UCMJ and the chips fall where they may.

    Too bad if obama jumped the gun. That’s his problem.

  9. Bowe’s a distraction while the real criminals continue to start a new war every month. Seems we might now have boots on the ground in Ukraine. The little guys get the shaft while the big ones keep on doing the bidding of the sociopaths running the dog and pony show called “the war on terror”, or war on those who dare fight back against imperialism.

  10. Must be a lot of pressure on that General. This event is just a paragraph in Obama’s big book of anti-American lies and carefully engineered mistakes.

    500 years from now this man’s presidency will be viewed as our tipping point… They will wonder ‘what were we thinking’

    I hope the General has the courage to do the right thing for the Army and his country.

  11. Bikeboy, as a former (& some would say currently underground) hippie, I resemble some of your remarks about my Wood River wanna-bees.

    There is no doubt that, like many men his age—esp., to my mind, those who volunteer for military service under such obviously doubtful circumstances, Bowe was quite confused. That said, for those interested in a somewhat differently informed perspective, I suggest the two-part series “Three months in Taliban hell” that appeared in the Mountain Express last summer. It is about Sean Langan, who is making a documentary about Bowe; he was held three months by the same Taliban captors: http://archives.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2007153214&var_Year=2014&var_Month=08&var_Day=13#.VMk0D0fF-So

  12. At the rate we’re going, 500 years from now, the US & its “democratic” spin-offs will be viewed as a naive experiment in human self-government.

  13. First, its a Courts Martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. If true that 6 men lost their lives looking for him, and he deserted, charge him with their murder!

  14. Very upsetting situation to have lost so many guys trying to recover him… I think he’ll have a hard time with that fact the rest of his life. Crazy Stalinist-type thought: What if the village where a hostage was being held got hit by a daisy-cutter instead of a rescue raid or negotiations? Would they still want to take hostages?

    A different point of view: Our troops are given stimulants to stay awake for long patrols, and then given sleep aids during times at the base. We know that even OTC versions of this junk along with unnatural sleep/wake schedules will mess with the mind in a few weeks. Add to it really ambiguous Vietnam-like objectives, other poor leadership factors, loss of public interest/support, and the typical military FUBAR of pretty much everything they do… It all causes negative pressures on the young impressionable minds who signed up for free college and a new truck. I think Bowe is very intelligent and was probably thinking more than they want a good solider to think. Ignorance is bliss. If charged, he’s got a good case for being out of his mind… And a claim that he was put out of his mind by the army…

    However, that’s what you sign for when you sign. It should say “this might mess with your head” instead of all the dumbo-jumbo that they have now.

  15. rabula – no offense intended with my “hippie” remark. (I was responding to Easterner, who referenced “30 ignorant hippies in Hailey.”)

    I don’t think there’s any doubt about Bergdahl’s experience being “hell on earth.” The question revolves around how he came to be in the hands of his captors. And from what I’ve heard, those who were closest to him at the time seem convinced it was less than honorable.

  16. I have seen no credible evidence that anyone was killed searching for or trying to recover Bergdahl. Several comments here not so subtly suggest that to be the case. Cite sources, not rumor.

    Zip does a good job describing the surreal situation these young people were thrown into. For some, the programming doesn’t take. Failure to weed out those folks is a problem for the system and the individuals. Whose to “blame”?

  17. Rabula, do you accept thousands of people were killed searching for Osama?

    Were they on a direct mission going to his house? No, but the whole effort was in pursuit of him, right.

    After Bergdahl’s intentional desertion, finding him was the #1 mission- anyone in that area, killed in the time soon thereafter was conducting a mission they may not have otherwise; resources were diverted to search for him that could have otherwise been used to protect other troops.
    I’ll accept the word from those there instead of the political reply. http://time.com/2809352/bowe-bergdahl-deserter-army-taliban/

  18. If we lose valuable assets like the F-15E lost in Libya or the Stealthy MH-60 lost at OBL’s house, we immediately destroy the asset. High ranking officers can expect the same fate (to prevent loss of secrets). I’ve got no idea why we’d get so many guys killed looking for a private. Sounds like Obama’s micromanaging run-a-muck.

  19. Bikeboy: no offense taken.

    From what I’ve read, Bowe should never have been in the Army and, certainly, not stationed where he was.

    Easterner: The war in Afghanistan has no more to do with pursuit of bin Laden than the war in Iraq has to do with finding weapons of mass destruction. Bin Laden could have been and ultimately was taken by a much more limited action than war.

    To blame Bergdahl for people supposedly killed for lack of resources supposedly diverted to finding him is a bit too thin a reed for me. It’s hearsay, rumor.

  20. Please tell me again just what the heck you were thinking Obama?? You idiot!


  21. Rabula, are you now going to break out into some conspiracy theory song and dance?

    What do you think the campaign “has to do with”?

    There is a song you might want to listen to, “Have You Forgotten” by Darryl Worley.

    As far as taking him by something less, yeah, Clinton tried that. It didn’t work out too well. And there were a lot more bad guys than just him. Sometimes, you gotta pull your boots on and get in the mud.

  22. Easterner.. Unfortunately most of us are asking someone else’s kid to pull up his or her boots get in the mud.. and that makes the decision easier (and more likely to be wrong).

  23. Easterner: By “campaign” I assume you mean the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. They “have to do with” idiocy & I mean that in its polite original sense—”idiotes” persons ignorant and unskilled in the tools of their trade. I do not pretend to fathom the psyches of the likes of George Bush & Dick Cheney, but they were way out of their element in taking the nation to war against a terror about which they had not the barest understanding. As a result, rather than end it, they inflamed the reign of terror. Nor have I forgotten that neither Afghans or Iraqis were behind 9/11. It has little to do with nations, a lot to do with ignorance—on all sides.

  24. I see people are bickering over details and opinions and semantics. Fair enough.

    I’d like to add that the performance of our armed forces was/is superior. Superior to their past performances and superior to any other force on the planet. We can crush anyone we want to in a few days and on several fronts simultaneously.

    Our military accomplishes in one month what the Red Army could not do in 10 years… and they had a road all the way to Moscow! You may recall in 91-92 we kicked butt in a few days. And again in 2002-03 we kicked butt in a few days… But then the DC lawyer-morons took over and the slow erosion began.

    Our failings in these wars have been as a result of disgracefully incompetent top leadership in Washington DC. Whatever crimes Bowe might have committed, it pales in comparison to the chickenshit and bizarre orders and expectations coming from Washington. It’s as if they consult with the enemy to see if their plans are not too hurtful.

  25. John Paul Jones
    Jan 31, 2015, 2:27 am

    Bergdahi probably slipped off base to visit a brothel or to acquire some Afghani cannabis, only he can set the record straight.In Vietnam, in 1970, with the 101, the city of Hue and all villages and hamlets were off limits. If we were caught we would receive an Article 15 (non judicial punishment). For 3 days a month we could go to the rear base. We would slip out the gate with a convoy, party for the day and be back by nightfall. Never left the base without our M-16. As I understood it Bowe took no weapon. Seems to me he knew where he was going, or who he was going to see.

  26. Zippo…. your last comment about kicking anyones arse anytime shows just how little knowledge of our military you actually have. We are loosing in Afgan. just like we did in Nam. Could we win yes, but the merican people cant stomach what it would take.
    As to the deserter… try then fry..

    EDITOR NOTE–As mentioned previously, we seldom “lose.” We go and fight for a decade or so and then come home. True that mericans couldn’t stomach a true win. After writing my book DRAFTED!, people ask me if we should reinstate the draft. My response is: “If we had a true draft we would have fewer wars.” Moms, wives, and vets wouldn’t tolerate loss of their loved ones without a clear objective. I ask you Rick, WHAT WOULD BE A VICTORY IN AFGHANISTAN?

  27. After reading comment from Easterner
    “I think Bergdahls’s best bet is too get some punishment under the UCMJ. Otherwise, there will be many recent veterans more than happy to apply their own form of punishment.

    I think you are way off base with this post, Guardian.

    The Bergdahl family is a shame and disgrace to Idaho.

    365 days in Leavenworth in a cell next to Bradley Manning. E-1. Loss of all pay and DISHONORABLE Discharge would be suitable if I were on a jury.”


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