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WE DID BIZ WTH THE TALIBAN
#61
(06-02-2014, 07:23 PM)aussiefriend Wrote: HoTD, I am surprised, because I didn't think service people were allowed to talk to the media. That rationale I can completely understand for security purposes.

Yeah, there are restrictions on what service people can share publicly, but they still have the right to freedom of speech when it comes to discussing non-classified or non-confidential experiences in the field, when it doesn't compromise national security.

Reportedly, members of his troop had been asked not to speak out about Bergdahl's actions and statements that led up to his capture. But, now that he's home and some are labeling him a "hero", some of those soldiers are choosing to speak out -- I don't think there's any national security risk or breach in doing so (though I imagine some US officials would rather they didn't).

Anyway, here's a snip from another article. Not all of it is verified, but it's consistent with what other soldiers have alluded to over the last couple of years in various statements and leaks that I've seen.

Snip:
Nathan Bethea, a former soldier who says he served in Bergdahl’s unit, recently wrote that he and his colleagues had been forced to stay quiet about the truth of Bergdahl’s case.

"And that the truth is: Bergdahl was a deserter, and soldiers from his own unit died trying to track him down," Bethea wrote in The Daily Beast Monday. “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.”

“We were attacking the post, he was sitting taking expletive[.] He had no gun with him,” said a “traffic report” apparently capturing a conversation between two members of the Taliban.


http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/controvers...d=23961090
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#62
(06-02-2014, 07:20 PM)Duchess Wrote:

I don't think this kid was wrapped too tight in the first place. I say that because if he did desert where the hell did he think he was going to go. He's surrounded by enemy territory, he had nothing, he couldn't even speak the language. I do know that standards for joining the military were relaxed when they needed more bodies after those wars got going.

I don't think his dad is wrapped to tight either. He's trying to get all the prisoners released from Gitmo. Sounds like they're on the wrong side of the fence....we'll see.
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#63
HoTD, it's pretty damning and soldiers lives lost because of it, will be unforgivable to some if not most. Even one life is precious and important, so details are relevant, and I don't think that we will get or even be entitled to all the information. The thing is, if he wilfully defected they wouldn't release that information. How can they do a swap if he is voluntary? He might have been on a secret operation? We really don't know.
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#64
^ I don't really understand your point, aussie.

Yes, it's damning to Bergdahl if he was running away or deserting when he was caught by the enemy and held prisoner. I agree.

It's also damning to Bergdahl if his incompetence and weakness led to the loss of other lives in attempts to rescue him. I agree.

We are already being informed about the details leading up to his capture by other soldiers who were witnesses. If you're suggesting that those soldiers are breaking some kind of oath or law by speaking about it when the POW in question has already been released, you need to explain that further for me -- lost me there.

As for learning more about the time he spent as a captive, as I said, I don't know how much can or will be released. That's entirely different from his time as a servicing sgt/soldier with his troop. I don't know what he went through in captivity and what the military officials will consider classified or confidential from his accounts during that period, if anything.

It's likely to me that we'll continue to learn more about his time in the field, leading up to his capture -- I've already posted two direct sources quoted in MSM for you -- sources who are giving their direct witness accounts to the public via the press. It already exists and it's out there.

If you're suggesting that the US government or military will refrain from confirming or denying his fellow soldiers' accounts, that may well be true. I don't know.

Will Bergdahl be allowed to release a book based on his POW experiences if he so desires? I don't know that for sure either.
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#65
What if it was made to look like he ran away and was really on a secret operation to infiltrate the enemy is my point? If he only now speaks their language then, surely he must have their mindset? Brainwashed? It's all very conflicted.
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#66
(06-02-2014, 08:55 PM)aussiefriend Wrote: What if it was made to look like he ran away and was really on a secret operation to infiltrate the enemy is my point? If he only now speaks their language then, surely he must have their mindset? Brainwashed? It's all very conflicted.

I see.

Anything's possible, IMO.

He would have had to be deep under cover, known only at the very top ranks and expected to get some extremely crucial information, if it turns out that the military really did send a rescue operation after him and suffered several casualties in the process.

It would appear to me that he failed in his mission, if he was in fact a spy. We're moving out of Afghanistan and we've had direct access to Taliban POWs themselves for years on end.

It seems a very unlikely scenario. But, if that's what went down, I agree that it would likely never be admitted/confirmed by the US military for good reason.
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#67
Found and re-read the first article that I read about Bergdahl; it was written in June two years ago by Michael Hastings for Rolling Stone.

It's long, but very detailed and informative. Hastings interviews Bergdahl's parents, covers Bergdahl's Calvinistic homeschooling, includes the emails he sent home expressing his shame to be an American, provides the English translated text of Taliban soldiers (audio captured by US Intelligence) describing how they'd come upon the unarmed American soldier taking a shit (they have some fun with that), features statements from his fellow soldiers about Bergdahl leaving his base and the rescue missions they endured, references the negotiations for the POW exchange that were being handled by Qatar and the disagreements between McCain, Kerry and others in the administration on the matter, etc...

For anyone interested, still the most in-depth piece that I've read on the capture of Bergdahl and its implications to ending the war/conflict.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/new...r-20120607
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#68


I was interested and I read it.

This isn't the first time I've read of a soldier feeling like he'd been lied to before he signed on the dotted line and I believe there is probably some truth to that.

When you lower standards don't be surprised or disillusioned when you get shit, that's what happens when you deem shit acceptable.

I've always felt that Fox news was the suckiest news organization out there but now I'm certain they are the head cunt of all media. Where else would you find a news analyst who calls for an execution in order to save on attorney fees. I was incredulous when I read that. It's one thing for us to express our views regarding that but it's quite another when a member of the media does it. I didn't think I could think any less of that organization. I was wrong.

That kid had no business being in the military. None.
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#69


The military does not promote those who go AWOL/desert. Can anyone explain why this kid has been promoted twice during his captivity and is soon to be promoted again?
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#70
Regarding Fox News, it's bordering on criminal to incite that kind of hatred against someone. It's a lawless mentality of just killing someone without a trial or any kind of civilised justice. It makes them as monstrous as those they oppose.
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#71
(06-03-2014, 06:28 AM)Duchess Wrote: The military does not promote those who go AWOL/desert. Can anyone explain why this kid has been promoted twice during his captivity and is soon to be promoted again?

Standard procedure. Bergdahl's status wasn't "Deserter or AWOL", it was "Missing/Captured" (he may well still be classified as in-service while he receives treatment, so he'd still be eligible for promotions and benefits increases).

Bergdahl walked off base and there's circumstantial evidence that seems to indicate that he was disillusioned and dissatisfied, based on interviews and statements from his fellow soldiers, statements from his parents, and Bergdahl's emails. But, whether he was deserting can only be positively confirmed by Bergdahl himself. He didn't leave a note before he walked off. He's the only one that can say whether he was going off for a long unauthorized walk, deserting and planning to carry out his survivalist dream, or had something else in his mind.

His unit was a mess -- that's not disputed.

The attempts to retrieve him once it was known that he was captured by the Taliban (via the video they released) were unsuccessful.

Bergdahl's status was changed from "Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown" or DUSTWUN to "Missing/Captured" after the first video surfaced. So, though the Pentagon apparently didn't categorize him as a POW because Afghanistan wasn't categorized as a "war", Bergdahl would be entitled to the same pay upgrades, benefits increases, and time-served based promotions as any other soldier (including those classified as POWs in previous wars/conflicts). He would be promoted again because he is still part of the US Army and probably still has a status of being in-service while he's getting treatment -- that's a guess.


Ref -- Army benefits/promotions entitlements for captives:
http://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil/Home/B...l?serv=147
http://nation.time.com/2012/05/17/pentag...s-anymore/
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#72
I stand corrected -- turns out Bergdahl may have left a note at his base before walking off

A senior defense official who spoke to ABC News on the condition of anonymity said a note that Bergdahl left at his post before he walked away could help tell the story. The note, the official said, showed Bergdahl’s disillusionment with the U.S. mission in Afghanistan and indicated that Bergdahl believed he knew a better way. The official speculates that Bergdahl was idealistic in the extreme and may have gone out on his own to solve problems with which the U.S. military struggled for years.

After finding the note, military investigators “concluded rather quickly that he had deserted,” a former senior defense official said.
Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/bowe-bergd...d=23975670

Today, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff released a statement reminding the public that Bergdahl is innocent until proven guilty and an investigation surrounding Bergdahl's capture will be undertaken.

President Obama addressed criticism about the release of 5 high level Taliban members who had been classified by US military officials as "high risk to the US" in exchange for Bergdahl. The President has gone on record as saying that if any of the Taliban go against their word and re-enter the fight, the US will not hesitate to go after them again. At present, the released Taliban leaders are staying in a luxury beachfront villa in Qatar and Qatar's leaders have agreed to monitor their movements.
Source: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/06/ba...07359.html

Very surreal situation.
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#73
My opinion about this changes knowing that this soldier deserted (if that in fact is verified).

Now I wish we wouldn't have made the deal.
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#74
(06-03-2014, 05:23 PM)Midwest Spy Wrote: My opinion about this changes knowing that this soldier deserted (if that in fact is verified).

Now I wish we wouldn't have made the deal.

Yeah, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth too, MS.

I'm glad Bergdahl is out of captivity, getting treatment, and will be reunited with his family, but don't like much else about this whole scenario.

In my mind, there's no doubt that Bergdahl enabled his own capture and there hasn't been for a couple of years. Personally, I don't sense that he was a traitor, but he did walk off because he was disgruntled.

It looks to me like he's a head-in-the-clouds kinda guy and very self-righteous; not able to deal with harsh realities easily or see anything other than as black or white. I also believe that he was under the impression that he was in Afghanistan in a sort of humanitarian capacity to help the Afghans rebuild and reclaim their communities from insurgents. That may well have been the pitch of army recruiters at the time and one that Bergdahl bought hook, line, and sinker.

Basically, based on everything that I've seen, this kid (who also had little experience in day to day living with differing personalities/opinions because he lived in a remote area and was home-schooled) was far from an ideal candidate for the army and a nightmare candidate for a combat situation. Under better circumstances, he should have been turned down by the US Army like he was by the French Foreign Legion. But, we needed bodies...

So...the way I'm looking at it is that we brought back someone who wasn't mentally or emotionally fit to handle a war/conflict. Could we really just leave him there because he was either a weakling, deranged, or an idiot and would that send a terrible message to future potential recruits and their families?

As far as who got the better end of the deal, it ain't the US -- not by a very long shot, IMO. Five head fighters/leaders/assets for the Taliban, and Bergdahl the liability for the US.

The current Afghan regime is fit to be tied about the release of the Taliban POWs and the fact that they weren't consulted at all (Obama says he feared leaks). Can't say that I blame them...
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#75


I was watching the news last night & someone remarked that his Dad looked like part of the Taliban. 113

Sometimes it's horrifying to laugh at the most inappropriate things.
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#76
(06-03-2014, 05:23 PM)Midwest Spy Wrote: My opinion about this changes knowing that this soldier deserted (if that in fact is verified).

Now I wish we wouldn't have made the deal.
I have a feeling this is going to end up much deeper than just his desertion.
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#77
(06-03-2014, 06:21 PM)Duchess Wrote: I was watching the news last night & someone remarked that his Dad looked like part of the Taliban. 113

Sometimes it's horrifying to laugh at the most inappropriate things.

Hey, we gotta laugh at horrible things sometimes; for sanity's sake.

Mr. Bergdahl does look like Taliban in style, though. That was his goal.

He had been communicating electronically with people allegedly associated with his son's captors and others in Pakistan (where his son was transferred after being captured in Afghanistan) for the last couple of years. He learned some of their language, adopted their styles, sympathized with them about their plight, etc...

Maybe because he just wanted to keep his son alive. Maybe because he does feel a deep connection. Maybe some of both?

Here's one of his video addresses to Pakistan and to his son from a couple of years back.


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#78
I was watching Fox News last night thanks to Duchess, and they are really hammering the poor guy. There is no way the swap could have been justified according to Fox. It's really sinister how they ask the questions and the blonde host always snide and deliberate in her agenda, and the right wing guest eager and willing to oblige. Horrible blatant bias.
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#79


I'd like to force them all to go live in the ghetto & have a black Santa.
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#80
Just as long as he doesn't put crystal meth in my Christmas stocking I would be fine with that! ha.
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