The Bergdahl verdict: a corruption of confidence

Barack Obama used the Bergdahl situation as a means to release serious high-ranking Jihadists, a Taliban army chief of staff, a Taliban deputy minister of intelligence, a former Taliban interior minister, and two other senior Taliban fighters. A good deal? Why not five low-level combatants?

Beaudry Robert “Bowe” Bergdahl is a US Army soldier who deserted his unit in Afghanistan on June 30th of 2009. He was later reported captured by Taliban-aligned forces and then apparently sold from tribe to tribe. Some said Bergdahl had become an Afghan sympathizer after arrival in country and, after learning some Pashto, spent more time with Afghans than with his own platoon, a loner in every sense. Some indicated he had become a Muslim. Sources indicated a note was left behind in his tent stating he was leaving to start a new life, after his desertion.

A little known point is that Bergdahl entered US Coast Guard basic training in 2006 but was discharged after 26 days for psychological reasons and received an “uncharacterized discharge,” given to people who separate prior to completing 180 days of service. This is called a clue, one that the USCG failed to share or the Army failed to recognize.

Thinking that he was smarter than the US Army or the Taliban, Bergdahl somehow failed to see that he would become, via his desertion, nothing more than a Taliban bargaining chip.

Bergdahl was released on May 31st of 2014. On June 2nd, Susan Rice made this statement.

Now listen to what Bowe Bergdahl’s platoon members said about him.

But here’s what you primarily did not hear, provided by, of all places, Newsweek in 2016.

WHAT THE ARMY DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT BOWE BERGDAHL

by Michael Ames

Just days after U.S. Army Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl went missing from his base in Afghanistan in 2009, the men in his platoon were ordered to sign papers vowing to never discuss what he did or their efforts to track him down. Many of those men were already exhausted, searching endlessly in the hot dust and misery of the Afghan desert for a guy they knew had chosen to walk away. More than six months later, long after Army officials learned Bergdahl’s captors had smuggled him into Pakistan, commanders still had a sweeping gag order on thousands of troops in the battlefield. Some were told they could not fly home until they signed the nondisclosure agreements.

Oh my. NDAs. What secrets must be kept? Why?

And even now, six years later, as America’s most notorious prisoner of war faces an August court-martial that could put him in prison for the rest of his life, the Army is still hiding the truth, refusing to let the public see critical documents in the case.

The Pentagon finished its formal investigation, known as an Army Regulation 15-6, more than a year ago. That report, led by a two-star general and a team of 22 investigators, includes interviews with roughly 57 people, including Bergdahl. In 371 pages of sworn testimony, he told General Kenneth Dahl what he did, why he did it and what he endured during his five years as a hostage of the militant Haqqani network. The 15-6 is not classified, and at a September preliminary hearing on the case, Dahl testified that he does not oppose its release. But the Army won’t budge.

What secrets must be kept? Why?

Despite the Army’s relentless campaign to hide the facts about Bergdahl’s disappearance and five years in captivity, the truth has slipped from its grasp. It’s out there. You don’t need to read Army Regulation 15-6 to know what Bergdahl did and why. The mystery is why the military, ignoring the findings of its own investigation, as well as the unspeakable torture Bergdahl endured as a hostage, seems determined to crucify him.

Having read that, wasn’t Friday’s court sentencing of Bergdahl bubbling with just a tad bit of irony? From FoxNews.com:

No prison for Bergdahl in sentencing for walking off post

by Jonathan Drew

For the first time in eight years, Bowe Bergdahl doesn’t face confinement, or the threat of it, after a judge spared the soldier from a prison sentence for endangering his comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan.

The sentence, which also includes a dishonorable discharge, was quickly condemned by President Donald Trump as a “complete and total disgrace.”

President Trump is correct. Read on to discover why.

The punitive discharge means the case will automatically be appealed to a higher military court. And a top commander will also review the case and consider arguments for leniency, as is standard in Army legal cases.

The judge also gave the 31-year-old a dishonorable discharge, reduced his rank from sergeant to private and ordered him to forfeit pay equal to $1,000 per month for 10 months.

The judge (Colonel Jeffrey Nancy) gave no explanation of how he arrived at his decision, but he reviewed evidence that included Bergdahl’s captivity and the wounds suffered by troops who searched for him.

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham responded:

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on the sentencing hearing for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

Sen. Lindsey Graham says he’s “incredibly disappointed” in the sentence Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl received from a military judge.

The South Carolina Republican, who served as an Air Force lawyer for more than 30 years, says Friday he has tremendous respect for the military justice system. But he says “this sentence in my view falls short of the gravity of the offense.”

Graham says, “an independent judiciary is the heart and soul of the rule of law but no one is beyond criticism.”

But perhaps the most honest and telling response to the “sentencing” is that of a man who served the United States with courage and integrity over and over, Rob O’Neill, who appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Friday show.

The entire event became a parody of itself, from the “serving” intonations of Susan Rice (a Useful Tool Obama initially pulled out his drawer for the application of the Benghazi Lies in 2012), to the subsequent White House ceremony involving Bergdahl’s parents.

To me it appears obvious that Bergdahl’s heart was not in military service and that he first “dabbled” with the military in 2006. Following the USCG interface Bergdahl stayed at a Buddhist monastery between 2007 and 2008. This indicates an individual whose resolve to serve was not present.

Honesty and clarity. Two aspects I admire in any person. Bergdahl was neither of those things, to himself or to the US Army. He and all would have been better served had he admitted the military was not for him. Time, effort and literally the lives of soldiers would have been saved but for the lack of Bergdahl’s honesty.

Bergdahl made a serious mistake and so did the Army in not noting his past apprehension in terms of service. A loner, perhaps too much the idealist, I suspect Bergdahl may have thought he could change the Army or his immediate situation once arriving on base. Both were wrong and because of that lives, good American lives, were lost.

It strikes me that Bowe Bergdahl was a jejune little Millennial dipping his toes into the soldier pool and thinking he could do anything he wished. Those thoughts got people killed. Not himself. He was saved. But the only person responsible for his own torture and the deaths associated with the search is Beaudry Robert “Bowe” Bergdahl.

He was finally saved by the US Army itself. The army for which he had so much disdain.

The sentencing, after the facts have emerged — present but tamped down from the very beginning — was an abrogation of common sense, a slap in the face to soldiers who serve and a complete dismissal of the significance of the brave lives laid down in search of Bowe Bergdahl.

The verdict was dismissive and terribly short-sighted. Those who serve now and have served in the past –Sheepdogs — know that in their gut.

This was wrong.

And therein lies a massive problem. One that needs to be addressed very soon.

That is this: the corruption of confidence in the US military. Friday’s verdict continues the corruption of confidence. It could, instead, have helped reverse same.

Corruption of confidence, crisis of confidence, call it what you will. It exists now and it is corrosive in ways we cannot yet even imagine. It’s as if you spilled a massive drum of acid into the street but most people think “oh well, that’s only water.”

We are nearing the proverbial Perfect Storm involving a lack of confidence in government. A corruption of confidence. A crisis in confidence.

Look at the FBI. If we cannot trust the FBI to do its job — the ultimate civilian federal law enforcement authority in the United States — then to whom do we go when the FBI fails?

If we cannot trust the alphabet agencies to do their job — the ultimate civilian federal law enforcement authorities in terms of surveillance, intelligence and collection — then to whom do we go when these 16 agencies fail?

If we cannot trust our US military to do the proper thing in terms of discipline and consequences, then to whom do we go when the US military fails?

Answer: there is no alternative.

No Plan B.

This cannot stand.

That is, if we wish to continue as a steady, forthright, strong, durable, proud, courageous and sovereign nation.

If the United States falls, so falls the rest of the planet.

Make no mistake.

BZ

 

5 thoughts on “The Bergdahl verdict: a corruption of confidence

  1. Bergdahl should be doing life in Leavenworth. Our military has been corrupted under Obama. A thorough cleansing of his minions in uniform is needed. Hope POTUS ends this military judge’s career ASAP. Our Republic deserves better.

  2. As a combat vet Captain, 2 tours Viet-Nam, I immediately would of put Bowe “on point” during our platoon sweeps to find and destroy this enemy.
    I expect he would try to “negotiate” with the enemy.

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