• Obama Official: Bowe Bergdahl was Swift-Boated

    June 6, 2014

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Afghanistan, Iraq, Military

    Let’s be clear: I am glad Bowe Bergdahl is home from five years with the Taliban. If he was truly captured on the battlefield, give him a parade. If he ran away, send him to trial.

    At the same time, the Obama administration’s bleating that “all the facts aren’t in” and that somehow after five years some sort of endless investigation needs to happen are just sad. The military has had five years to interview everyone they needed to, except Bowe.

    They have, no doubt, five years of intelligence, electronic eavesdropping and many, many pages of transcripts of what the Taliban said while negotiating with the U.S. over Bergdahl’s release. Bergdahl may have left letters behind before he disappeared, so some of his side has already been heard.

    Oops, There Already was an Investigation

    Better (worse?) yet, the Army already has done an investigation. A classified military report detailing the Army’s investigation into the disappearance of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in June 2009 says that he had wandered away from assigned areas before — both at a training range in California and at his remote outpost in Afghanistan — but returned.

    The roughly 35-page report, completed two months after Sergeant Bergdahl left his unit, concludes that he most likely walked away of his own free will from his outpost one night, and it criticized lax security practices and poor discipline within his unit. But it stops short of concluding that there is solid evidence that Sergeant Bergdahl intended to permanently desert.

    The report is said to have been based extensive interviews with members of Bergdahl’s unit, including his squad leader, platoon leader, and company and battalion commanders. It is said to confirm certain other details relayed in recent accounts, including that Bergdahl shipped his computer and a journal home before he disappeared. It also confirms that he left behind his body armor and weapon, taking with him only water, knives and a compass.

    So all that’s left is to ask Bergdahl himself a few questions (“What happened that night you walked off base?” “Why did we pick up radio transmissions the next day saying you were in a local village, asking for people who spoke English?” “Why didn’t you try and return to your unit?”)

    And yet…

    And yet… we have these Tweets from an Obama administration official, albeit a minor one. The Tweeter is former Department of Veteran’s Affairs Director of Online Communications, and now Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Brandon Friedman. That’s the photo, above, he uses on his personal website. See, he’s holding the frame of an iPad, so it’s “hip.”

    Here’s what Brandon Tweeted about Bowe Bergdahl:



    Now for all you Snowden accusers out there, who claim Snowden is a traitor because he did not “go through channels” and all that, take a close look at Brandon Friedman’s statements. He claims that if you’re in the military and have grown disillusioned and no longer trust your leaders (You out there Edward?), it’s kinda sorta OK to just walk over to the Taliban and join their jamboree. After that, if any of your former squad mates call you out, well, they’re psychopaths and have a reason to smear you.

    Sorry, It is Actually Worse

    At this point you’d think “What does a douche like Brandon Friedman know about military life anyway? Guys like him fight wars from cushy dorms at Ivy League colleges.”

    Nope. Friedman served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Iraq. In March 2002, he led a rifle platoon into Afghanistan’s Shah-e-Kot Valley engaging Taliban and al Qaeda fighters as part of Operation Anaconda, a battle later written about in Not a Good Day to Die A year later, Friedman commanded a heavy weapons platoon during the invasion of Iraq. He led troops during combat and counterinsurgency operations in Hillah, Baghdad, and Tal Afar. He was awarded two Bronze Stars for his service in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    One doubts Friedman would have been so forgiving of his own deserting troops when he commanded in the field. In other words, he knows better but writes idiotic garbage such as those Tweets anyway.


    Scabby Syncophants

    The Obama people knew all about Bergdahl. They knew of the serious questions about his disappearance. Yet they sent Susan Rice (again; she really just needs to sleep in on Sundays) on the talk shows to say he served “with honor and distinction.” Same swill from the State Department spokesperson. They have little bed bugs like Brandon Friedman out there saying ridiculous things.

    And there’s your tale of the infestation of the scabby syncophants we call our “government.” They’ll say and do anything to please their boss, with callous disregard for the public they are allegedly paid to serve.

    No man left behind? Brandon Friedman left himself behind and could do little more harm to respect and faith in government if he had joined up with the Taliban himself. I propose another swap. Send Susan Rice, too, for that matter. Or maybe just blame it all on some obscure anti-Islam video on YouTube?





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    Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      06/6/14 1:21 PM | Comment Link

    • jopac said...

      2

      06/6/14 6:22 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      3

      Peter- Our bet regarding Hillary running in 2016 is still on. of course. Would you care to bet whether she wins or loses if she indeed runs. I say she loses. Double case of your favorite brewed beverage.

      06/7/14 12:34 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      4

      To make sure I understand this– you’re saying America’s Sweetheart Hillary will LOSE in 2016?

      Hell, I’ll take Hillary for the win in 2016, though I hate myself for profiting off America’s misery. Yer on.

      06/7/14 12:38 AM | Comment Link

    • Expat said...

      5

      Peter – We can agree to disagree on this one: If he was truly captured on the battlefield, give him a parade. If he ran away, still give him a goddamn parade.” :-)

      More importantly – about your “favorite brewed beverage”: what’s it gonna be? not sth cheap, i hope. make john pay for betting against the old girl. ;)

      06/7/14 6:07 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      6

      I’m sorry, but I am not quite getting the gist of what you are saying here, PVB. First time I have had trouble following one of your articles. Are you suggesting that anyone who deserts one of our stupid and pointless (pointless except that we want the resources in the invaded country) military adventures, which are killing humans all over the globe, should be castigated, charged, and brought to trial?

      All of our “warriors” ought to have enough sense to lay down their arms and walk away. Let’s end this fucking shit like right now. Sorry if the Taliban takes Afghanistan – not our problem. Unless, of course, one sees the US having control of the opium trade and Afghanistan’s mineral deposits as somehow vital to national interest.

      Many moons ago, in a different war, a young pilot was flying on a bombing mission with his squadron. Word came from the intelligence unit that the squad was flying into a trap and would take heavy bombardment from the ground forces of the Viet Cong. The commanding officer ordered the squad to turn around and return to base. Although the rest of his squad did so, this one young pilot refused, telling his CO that he felt the intelligence was wrong and he was going to continue the mission on his own. He flew on; his plane was shelled, he parachuted out and was taken captive. Many men were sent out repeatedly in attempts to find and rescue the young pilot. He was charged, in absentia, with disobeying direct orders and would have been court-martialed had they found him. However, he spent some years in captivity, was crippled from injuries sustained in bailing out of his plane, had never received proper medical treatment while in captivity, and as his father was a highly respected military man, the decision was made upon his eventual release to quietly remove the charges and give him a hero’s welcome home. The pilot’s name was John McCain.

      What say you; should he have been court-martialed?

      06/7/14 10:36 AM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      7

      teri said:
      quote” However, he spent some years in captivity, was crippled from injuries sustained in bailing out of his plane, had never received proper medical treatment while in captivity, and as his father was a highly respected military man, the decision was made upon his eventual release to quietly remove the charges and give him a hero’s welcome home. The pilot’s name was John McCain.” unquote

      Wow. I didn’t know about that part. Thanks teri. From a potential term in prison to the Senate in one fell swoop. whudda thunk. Living proof it’s WHO you know.

      As to this..

      quote”All of our “warriors” ought to have enough sense to lay down their arms and walk away. Let’s end this fucking shit like right now. Sorry if the Taliban takes Afghanistan – not our problem. Unless, of course, one sees the US having control of the opium trade and Afghanistan’s mineral deposits as somehow vital to national interest.

      Indeed. The Taliban are a smokescreen that kills the stupid. There is only one thing the ruling class in interested in..this..

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-war-is-worth-waging-afghanistan-s-vast-reserves-of-minerals-and-natural-gas/19769

      As to Obama’s trade for Bergdahl..it’s all about his political legacy. PERIOD. Although, this one may come back to bite him in the ass. Not that there is much left. However, I feel sorry for Bergdahl. Out of the frying pan..into the military prosecution fire. The DOD wants to hang him high. And they will.

      06/7/14 1:30 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      8

      I see Bergdahl as being on the side of morality here; sort of a late-to-bloom conscientious objector. Based on his emails home prior to his walking off base, he was trying to blow the whistle on our activities in Afghanistan, at least to his loved ones. The fact that he is now in such bad physical shape that he is in a hospital unable to communicate is ipso facto proof that he did not “join” the Taliban; he was a prisoner subject to severe conditions.

      The following quotes are from another article elsewhere:

      “[…] Some media reports have quoted snippets of e-mail messages sent by Bergdahl to his parents during the months before his capture by the Taliban, demonstrating his increasing disillusionment with the war in Afghanistan. Long extracts of these e-mails appear in a profile of Bergdahl and his family in the June 21, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone, headlined America’s Last Prisoner of War. Bowe apparently reached the breaking point on June 25, 2009, after a young officer he knew and liked was killed by a roadside bomb.
      Two days later he wrote his parents, “… I am ashamed to even be American. The horror of the self-righteous arrogance that they thrive in. It is all revolting.”

      “I am sorry for everything here,” he continued. “These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid, that they have no idea how to live.”

      Referring to a particularly gruesome incident he had witnessed, he added, “We don’t even care when we hear each other talk about running their children down in the dirt streets with our armored trucks.”

      Shortly thereafter, Bergdahl left his unit, armed only with a knife, apparently intending to walk to Pakistan or China, and was captured soon after by the insurgents. According to the Rolling Stone account, he escaped at least once, in August or September 2011, but was recaptured.

      The most odious smear against Bergdahl is the suggestion that he is responsible for the deaths of American soldiers, supposedly because they were searching for him in eastern Afghanistan and ran into IEDs or Taliban ambushes. A list of either six or eight soldiers has been given enormous media publicity, and the supposed link between their deaths and Bergdahl’s disappearance asserted as fact.

      Wednesday’s New York Times, however, in a front-page report citing evidence from the Afghanistan war logs leaked to WikiLeaks by Army private Chelsea (Bradley) Manning, acknowledged that there was no evidence of a connection between these deaths and Bergdahl. […]”

      http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/06/05/pers-j05.html

      06/7/14 2:13 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      9

      OK. But I think I’ll have to buy a micro brewery to make good on my bet if I keep getting myself deeper into Hillary bets with you. What about, not serving out her first term? I think that means I quadrupled down on our original bet. I have to stop myself!

      If it looks like it will be another Clinton vs Bush contest would a serious third party movement be able to make it a plurality? Hillary’s potential 1 billion dollar war chest could turn off a lot of people even some of her current supporters.

      06/7/14 9:39 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      10

      teri said:
      quote”Wednesday’s New York Times, however, in a front-page report citing evidence from the Afghanistan war logs leaked to WikiLeaks by Army private Chelsea (Bradley) Manning, acknowledged that there was no evidence of a connection between these deaths and Bergdahl.”unquote

      Too bad these military people didn’t read it…

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/06/07/the_presidents_very_real_military_problem_122896.html

      I smell a coup d’etat coming…

      06/8/14 11:47 AM | Comment Link

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