The first time most of us heard the name Bowe Bergdahl was when President Obama stood with his parents in the Rose Garden, announcing that after having been captured in Afghanistan in June, 2009 he was going to be released – traded, as it turns out, for five top-level terrorists being held in Guantanamo Bay.
It’s funny how hindsight works. I’ve known several military families in my day, but Bergdahl’s parents – his father especially – not only did not strike me as a military dad: he struck me as man who had never put on a tie in his life.
Well, it turns out he wasn’t really like the military dads I have come to know because his son wasn’t really like the military men I have come to know. Prior to his deployment to Afghanistan, Bergdahl reportedly told fellow specialist Jason Fry, "If this deployment is lame, I'm just going to walk off into the mountains of Pakistan."
If you talk to them, or even watch a documentary like Restrepo, or Korengal -- where I was both amazed and embarrassed that the US Army could leave our troops that far out on a limb in such appalling conditions and in constant threat of being overrun – but even in those documentaries, in the bitching and complaining that has always been a point of pride for soldiers since the throwing of the first rock, you would not hear American soldiers say things like:
…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 system is wrong. I am ashamed to be an american. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools. ... The US army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at. It is the army of liars, backstabbers, fools, and bullies… I am sorry for everything. The horror that is america is disgusting.
OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE! replied Bergdahl’s father after receiving his son’s final email, quoted from above. And so Bowe Bergdahl, having decided the deployment was lame, walked off into the mountains towards Pakistan.
And that would be treason, and desertion, and all the rest.
When Barack Obama came under fire for his mishandling of the horrific treatment of US veterans at the VA in Phoenix, and in fact throughout the entire system, he did what he usually did: deploy Susan Rice to come up with some optics. So we, as a people, were treated to the sight of the Compassionate Leader, who had, after monumental effort and at great personal cost, moved mountains to make sure that No Man Was Left Behind. We were told this action was in keeping with the highest traditions of the US Military, but we were not told that the Man Was Left Behind because he decided to walk away from his post and join the Islamic enemy. Six men, however, were left behind, and their names are, from left to right and top to bottom:
SSG Michael Murphrey, PFC Morris Walker, SSG Clayton Bowen, PFC Matthew Martinek, 2LT Darryn Andrews and SSG Kurt Curtiss.
I am asking you to stop reading for a moment – just stop reading, and don’t just glance at that composite picture of these men’s faces. Just stop for a moment, and look at them, as I did, and realize that the mothers and fathers of these six men did not get to stand in glory next to Barack Obama at the White House, or walk arm-in-arm with him down the portico. Those parents suffered – they suffer today and will suffer for every day of their lives – because Bowe Bergdhal thought the Afghan deployment was lame and walked off towards the mountains. Those parents are suffering today because when Bowe Bergdhal took his walk, they – and many, many others – were sent to look for him. And they were killed, while Bowe Bergdahl lived, because while they too probably thought the deployment was lame they stayed and did their duty to their unit, their Army, their parents, their country, it’s President and most of all they fulfilled their duty to themselves.
Once Bergdahl had been repatriated, and the rumors of his desertion started to gain traction, we were told by the President’s Press Secretary how Bergdahl had served with distinction. This was a lie, and they knew it was a lie. Recently, Bergdahl’s platoon mate, Jordan Vaugh, told Fox News on camera how they had been sent out no less than fifty times trying to rescue this deserter, not only putting even more men at risk but seriously disrupting the tempo of offensive operations. He told about the disbelief and disgust at being forced to sign non-disclosure agreements in the wake of the controversy. He told about the shock and dismay and destruction of morale caused by the repeated attempts to risk his life, and those of his fellow soldiers, to recover this deserter and the shame he felt, not at America’s mission in Afghanistan but rather at the cover-up being pushed onto him and his fellow soldiers by the Obama administration.
Because the American Deserter, you see, cares not for the men that serve in uniform. He cares not for the US Army; he does in fact find them to be bullies and fools. The American Deserter hates this country, is deeply ashamed of it, and he always has been. The American Deserter is a narcissist who can never, ever be wrong. The American Deserter traded one psychologically damaged traitor for five key terrorists; the American Deserter watched men die on a rooftop in Benghazi and did nothing; the American Deserter traded the security and future of Poland and Eastern Europe to the Russians in return for political gains and he did it on TV; the American Deserter exchanges the most sensitive National Security information with his Secretary of State on non-secure servers with knowledge that it is both illegal and potentially crippling and he does not care. It is abundantly clear – and it has been abundantly clear for some time – that the American Deserter considers this deployment lame and he has walked off toward the golf courses in the Hamptons or the beaches in Hawaii where he can be found practically daily: bathed in his own glory, responsible to no one and nothing, and following dictates of his own diseased conscience while better men than him die to keep him from having to face justice.