Mar. 25, 2015

Yep, Bergdahl Deserted

Bowe Bergdahl, the Army Pfc. taken “captive” by the Taliban but freed in exchange for five Taliban Gitmo detainees, will be charged with desertion. Bergdahl deserted his post in 2009 under cover of darkness, carrying with him a knife, a compass, a camera, a diary and some water. Shortly thereafter, he was “captured” by the Taliban, though the Pentagon never classified him as a POW. At least six Americans lost their lives searching for him. Barack Obama insisted then, “Regardless of the circumstances … we still get an American soldier back if he’s held in captivity. Period.” He rightly took it on the chin for the foolish exchange and his stubbornness, and the news of the charges, which come after a months-long investigation, is no surprise. On the other hand, one might be surprised the whole thing wasn’t swept under the rug precisely because it’s such an embarrassment for the commander in chief. The administration defended the swap earnestly at the time, with National Security Advisor Susan Rice insisting Bergdahl served “with honor and distinction.” It’s even more obvious now that he didn’t. But the important thing for Obama was never bringing one of our boys home; it was emptying Guantanamo Bay. If he has to, as he put it, “whittle away” one prisoner swap at a time, so be it. Oh, and the released Taliban commanders are eager to rejoin the battlefield when their year in Qatar is up. But not to worry; State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says, “Was it worth it? Absolutely.”

Meanwhile, everyone knows Bergdahl’s name. But how many know the names of the six men who died looking for him? Their names are Pfc. Matthew Michael Martinek, Staff Sgt. Kurt Robert Curtiss, Staff Sgt. Clayton Bowen, Pfc. Morris Walker, Staff Sgt. Michael Chance Murphrey and Second Lt. Darryn Andrews.

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