Record indicates that Bergdahl was UA before he fell into enemy hands — and that his actions directly resulted in the deaths of several of his compatriots
CNN Reports: Fellow soldiers call Bowe Bergdahl a deserter, not a hero
Apparently the 5-for-1 “prisoner swap” that resulted in the release of Afghan War Taliban prisoner, U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, is generating a firestorm of controversy for the Obama Administration and others who favored the swap. That would seem to include our local GOP congressman, Michael Grimm.
Obviously, in an attempt to get some good press and get out-front of a feel-good news story with a military hook, Congressman Grimm decided to rush in where angels fear to tread. Grimm was either uninformed or else completely heedless of the fact that the exchange that resulted in the freeing of Bergdahl was so controversial. Of course, the freeing of five top terrorist operatives under any circumstances would be patently problematic from a “national security” perspective.. In addition, however, when it turns out that the swap was done to free an American, whose status at the time of his original capture remains clouded and unexplained, the deal takes on a whole new light and texture; and it also starts to stink to high heaven. Grimm either didn’t know or didn’t care about such complexities when he published his Facebook statement on his official congressional website.
As was reported on this blog below in yesterday’s [6/1/14] comment “UPDATE: THE “CONGRESSMAN GRIMM WEIGHS-IN [SORT OF] ON CONTROVERSIAL RELEASE OF U.S. ARMY SERGEANT BOWE BERGDAHL” EDITION” to the 5/23/14 post “Sure looks like this was a pretty bad week for Grimm !” Congressman Grimm’s “Official” Web Page contained the following Facebook entry about the release of U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl: “'Thrilled to learn that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will be coming home to the U.S. after being held prisoner in Afghanistan for the past 5 years. God bless him and his family for the incredible burden and sacrifice they have endured for our nation. Welcome home Sgt. Bergdahl, your country honors and salutes you!'” When I saw this statement by my congressman on 6/1/14, around 8:30 AM, about sixteen hours after it was made, I made the following observation: “Maybe, Grimm hasn’t heard the whole story about Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl and how he might have fallen into the hands of the Taliban.” Later on 6/1/14 an “Anonymous” comment-maker opined that “One military fraud (Grimm) saluting another (Bergdahl).” In less than 24 hours, significant portions of the media picked up on this part of the Bergdahl “prisoner exchange” story.
The opening paragraphs of Jake Tapper’s report on the Bergdahl story today are quite stark and unambiguous: “The sense of pride expressed by officials of the Obama administration at the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is not shared by many of those who served with him, veterans and soldiers who call him a deserter whose "selfish act" ended up costing the lives of better men. *** "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." *** Vierkant said Bergdahl needs to not only acknowledge his actions publicly but face a military trial for desertion under the Uniform Code of Military Justice....” (See “Fellow soldiers call Bowe Bergdahl a deserter, not a hero” by Jake Tapper, 6/2/14, CNN [http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/01/us/bergdahl-deserter-or-hero/] ).
The Tapper article on CNN’s blog pulls no punches when it comes to some of the negative history in the Bergdahl case, saying the following: “Questions surround the circumstances of Bergdahl's disappearance. Conflicting details have since emerged about how the militants managed to capture Bergdahl. Published accounts have varied widely, from claims that he walked off the post to that he was grabbed from a latrine. *** According to firsthand accounts from soldiers in his platoon, Bergdahl, while on guard duty, shed his weapons and walked off the observation post with nothing more than a compass, a knife, water, a digital camera and a diary. *** At least six soldiers were killed in subsequent searches for Bergdahl, and many soldiers in his platoon said attacks seemed to increase against the United States in Paktika province in the days and weeks following his disappearance.”
A BENGHAZI-LIKE COVERUP SURROUNDS THE BERGDAHL DISAPPEARANCE
There are also aspects of the Bergdahl case that ominously suggest another Benghazi-like coverup by the Obama Administration. Jake Tapper noted that “... [A] Defense official said Bergdahl will not likely face any punishment. "Five years is enough," he told CNN on condition of anonymity....” And also this: “Many of Bergdahl's fellow troops -- from the seven or so who knew him best in his squad to the larger group that made up 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. Some were willing to dismiss that document in hopes that the truth would come out about a soldier who they now fear is being hailed as a hero, while the men who lost their lives looking for him are ignored.”
It’s only been one day since the prisoner swap to free Bowe Bergdahl had been announced; and there already are myriad articles, posts, video reports and the like questioning the wisdom, and policies, procedures and legalities of the entire process for securing Bergdahl’s release. There is also ample coverage delving into Bergdehl’s personality and background and the circumstances of his disappearance and capture very much inline with what Jake Tapper did for CNN ( See e.g., “Brothers in arms bash Bowe Bergdahl as a traitor, say search for him cost American lives” by Steven Rex Brown, 6/2/14, NY Daily News [http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/brothers-arms-bash-bowe-bergdahl-traitor-article-1.1814106]).
According to the Daily News article cited above, “The circumstances of Bergdahl’s disappearance remain shrouded in mystery. He reportedly had become disenchanted with the military and wrote to his parents shortly before his capture that he was “ashamed to be an American.”
SAME PRISONER SWAP DEAL OFFERED OVER TWO YEARS AGO
A two year old report on CBS News indicated the very same thing about Sergeant Bergdahl, as much of the material mentioned above; including the following: “Bergdahl, a 26-year-old Army sergeant from Hailey, Idaho, was taken prisoner on June 30, 2009, in Afghanistan. *** The military has never detailed circumstances of his disappearance or capture, and he is not classified as a deserter. He was initially listed as "duty status unknown" and is now considered "missing-captured." He is the only U.S. prisoner of war from the Afghanistan conflict, and U.S. officials say they are actively trying to free him. *** The White House declined comment on the emails or Bergdahl's possible motivation for leaving his base in eastern Afghanistan in 2009....” The article closed with this quotes, which quotes were attributed to Bergdahl, “Some of Bergdahl's reported words read like a suicide note. *** ‘I am sorry for everything,’ he wrote. ‘The horror that is America is disgusting.’ *** He mailed home boxes containing his uniform and books.” (See “Bowe Bergdahl, U.S. soldier held by Taliban, was "ashamed to be American," emails show” 6/12/12, CBS News/ AP [http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bowe-bergdahl-us-soldier-held-by-taliban-was-ashamed-to-be-american-emails-show/]).
Interestingly, that same June 2012 CBS News report also said the following: “Bergdahl is the subject of a proposed prisoner swap in which he would be traded for five Taliban adherents imprisoned by the United States at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Taliban have walked away from the deal and larger negotiations with the United States, but the Obama administration is still pushing a negotiated settlement between the Taliban and the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan....”
APPARENTLY AN UNINFORMED CONGRESSMAN GRIMM ENDORSED OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PRISONER SWAP HEEDLESS OF OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND CONSEQUENCES
In spite of all the information mentioned above, most of which had been available in the public record for years, my so-called conservative Republican congressman, Michael Grimm, saw fit to endorse the exchange leading to Bergdahl’s release; and he personally said this about Bergdahl: “... God bless him and his family for the incredible burden and sacrifice they have endured for our nation....” And Grimm directly addressed Bergdahl with this appellation: “Welcome home Sgt. Bergdahl, your country honors and salutes you!'”
BTW, the head of the Taliban is hailing the 5-for-1 prisoner swap as a victory of the Taliban over the U.S.