Comrades Allege Bergdahl Desertion-Truth!
Comrades Allege Bergdahl Desertion-Truth!Summary of eRumor: Articles have gone viral on the Web in which former comrades of Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier who spent five years in Taliban captivity before his release on May 31, 2014, allege that he deserted his post in Afghanistan and was not captured. The Truth: It’s true that U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s comrades have accused him of deserting his post rather than being captured by the Taliban.
In June 2012, Rolling Stone reported that Bergdahl walked away from his company’s outpost in Patika Province, Afghanistan, with only water, a camera, a knife and his journal. He was not heard from again until the Taliban posted a video of him in captivity.
The article includes this excerpt from an email that Bergdahl reportedly sent to his parents, Robert and Jan Bergdahl, shortly before his capture that describes his frustration with the war effort.
“The future is too good to waste on lies," Bergdahl reportedly wrote."And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their ideas and I am ashamed to even be american. The horror of the self-righteous arrogance that they thrive in. It is all revolting.”
Following news that the Obama administration had negotiated the release of five prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay prison in exchange for Bergdahl's release, a sergeant who served with Bergdahl expressed frustration, CNN reported on June 2, 2014.
"I was pissed off then, and I am even more so now with everything going on," former Sgt. Matt Vierkant told CNN. "Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war, and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him."
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters on June 1, 2014, that U.S. officials’ first priority was Bergdahl’s safe release. In a video that can be viewed here, Hagel said officials would continue to investigate the circumstances that led to Bergdahl's capture and declined to comment further.
This story continues to develop, and future updates will be posted here.Posted 06/02/14
A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:
Army Times Facebook post on this Bergdahl character from a guy in his unit, Dan Witmer:
You want it from the horses mouth?? Here ya go..We were at OP Mest, Paktika Province, Afghanistan. It was a small outpost where B Co 1-501st INF (Airbone) ran operations out of, just an Infantry platoon and ANA counterparts there. The place was an Afghan graveyard. Bergdahl had been acting a little strange, telling people he wanted to “walk the earth” and kept a little journal talking about how he was meant for better things. No one thought anything about it. He was a little “out there”. Next morning he’s gone. We search everywhere, and can’t find him. He left his weapon, his kit, and other sensitive items. He only took some water, a compass and a knife. We find some afghan kids shortly after who saw an american walking north asking about where the taliban are. We get hits on our voice intercepter that Taliban has him, and we were close. We come to realize that the kid deserted his post, snuck out of camp and sought out Taliban… to join them. We were in a defensive position at OP Mest, where your focus is to keep people out. He knew where the blind spots were to slip out and that’s what he did. It was supposed to be a 4-day mission but turned into several months of active searching. Everyone was spun up to find this guy. News outlets all over the country were putting out false information. It was hard to see, especially when we knew the truth about what happened and we lost good men trying to find him. PFC Matthew Michael Martinek, Staff Sgt. Kurt Robert Curtiss, SSG Clayton Bowen, PFC Morris Walker, SSG Michael Murphrey, 2LT Darryn Andrews, were all KIA from our unit who died looking for Bergdahl. Many others from various units were wounded or killed while actively looking for Bergdahl. Fighting Increased. IEDs and enemy ambushes increased. The Taliban knew that we were looking for him in high numbers and our movements were predictable. Because of Bergdahl, more men were out in danger, and more attacks on friendly camps and positions were conducted while we were out looking for him. His actions impacted the region more than anyone wants to admit. There is also no way to know what he told the Taliban: Our movements, locations, tactics, weak points on vehicles and other things for the enemy to exploit are just a few possibilities. The Government knows full well that he deserted. It looks bad and is a good propaganda piece for the Taliban. They refuse to acknowledge it. Hell they even promoted him to Sergeant which makes me sick. I feel for his family who only want their son/brother back. They don’t know the truth, or refuse to acknowledge it as well. What he did affected his family and his whole town back home, who don’t know the truth. Either way what matters is that good men died because of him. He has been lying on all those Taliban videos about everything since his “capture”. If he ever returns, he should be tried under the UCMJ for being a deserter and judged for what he did. Bergdahl is not a hero, he is not a soldier or an Infantryman. He failed his brothers. Now, sons and daughters are growing up without their fathers who died for him and he will have to face that truth someday.”
I WAS THERE: My perspective on Bowe Bergdahl
Posted by Jon Williams on June 04, 2014
by Jon Williams (http://www.iamatexan.com/)
As an Army Veteran who was working as a contractor attached to the 25th Infantry Division (same Division as Bergdahl) in a nearby FOB when Bowe Bergdahl went missing, I feel the need to speak out on the situation (notice I don’t ascribe rank to him, I will address that later).
A few days ago, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel took the stage at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan and excitedly started with what he thought would be a big applause line. “We got him back!” he exclaimed.
Not. Even. One. Clap.
Numerous White House leaks show that Obama and his team were convinced that Americans would greet the news of a returning POW with elation; that this would be the great moment in Obama’s second term. This shows just how clueless they are about the military. Let me clue them in.
You see, when Hagel took the stage, he expected joy at the announcement that one of their own was returned! However, you have to see inside a soldier’s mind to understand what was going on here. I believe I can provide a little insight.
When a soldier deserts his post, when he writes that he is ashamed to be an American, when he gives the enemy secrets (and he did), he is no longer “one of us”. He is a traitor. He is not a brother-in-arms.
Soldiers risk their lives for each other every day on the battlefield, there is a trust and respect they have for each other. For Bowe Bergdahl to break that trust and the Secretary of Defense to announce a hero’s welcome instead of a court-martial is a huge let-down.
He isn’t one of their own. He is one of them. He is the enemy.
That’s not something to celebrate.
The message the White House is sending is that they value treason more than honorable service.
Read that last sentence again. Let it sink in. THIS is what every soldier is thinking.
In a soldier’s mind serving with honor means finishing your tour, even if you disagree with the way things are done. All bets are off if you serve with dishonor.
I do not refer to Bergdahl as a sergeant, even though he received “automatic” promotions while in the Taliban’s custody because according to law, after 30 days his rank and pay should have been stripped from him. Due to political pressure, his was not. In fact, he probably has over $200,000 in cash waiting in his bank account. In my opinion, this money should be given to the families of the soldiers who died in the aftermath of his desertion.
Bowe Bergdahl deserted his post. He served with dishonor. I know that firsthand. Our soldiers know that. They know they risk their lives every day. They don’t get a hero’s welcome from the White House, they get fewer meals (due to budget constraints) and less safety equipment (due to the draw-down).
Let me be perfectly clear. A Rose Garden Ceremony, a “hero’s welcome”, and automatic promotions to a person that deserted is nothing more than a slap in the face to every service member who has served honorably.
That, Mr. President and Mr. Hagel, is why soldiers aren’t clapping and applauding for you. That is why you have lost any remaining respect from the military community.