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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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June 3, 2014 - 10:57 am

Late Monday night, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, posted a note on Facebook regarding the swap of five senior Taliban commanders for SGT Bowe Bergdahl. Dempsey addresses the accusations that Bergdahl may have deserted his post in Afghanistan, but allows that any investigation will depend on what Bergdahl says. If that’s the case, there will be no true investigation. Dempsey also fails to acknowledge the six Americans who were killed during searches for Bergdahl.

In response to those of you interested in my personal judgments about the recovery of SGT Bowe Bergdahl, the questions about this particular soldier’s conduct are separate from our effort to recover ANY U.S. service member in enemy captivity. This was likely the last, best opportunity to free him. As for the circumstances of his capture, when he is able to provide them, we’ll learn the facts. Like any American, he is innocent until proven guilty. Our Army’s leaders will not look away from misconduct if it occurred. In the meantime, we will continue to care for him and his family. Finally, I want to thank those who for almost five years worked to find him, prepared to rescue him, and ultimately put themselves at risk to recover him.

Points of emphasis added. Surely Gen. Dempsey could have acknowledged that among the Americans who risked their lives to find Bergdahl are six who paid the ultimate price.

When a US troop faces accusations of criminal wrongdoing, they are subjected to prosecution under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The UCMJ does not, contrary to Gen. Dempsey’s note, depend solely on the words of the accused. Is Dempsey indicating that the soldiers who served alongside Bergdahl and now accuse him of desertion will not be heard?

The US military conducted an investigation of Bergdahl’s actions in 2010, and concluded that Bergdahl was a deserter who was no longer worth the effort and risk it would have taken to rescue him by force. Bergdahl’s own writings and actions before he disappeared show pre-meditation based on his anti-American beliefs.

The deal to release the five Taliban commanders to Qatar is looking worse and worse. The Taliban 5 are free to move anywhere they want within Qatar, a country that hosts significant American bases and military personnel, and which is gearing up to host the World Cup in a few years. Qatar is under corruption investigation on the World Cup capture, by the way. It’s a country that, while allied to the US, can be bought.

The Taliban 5′s nation-sized house arrest only lasts for one year, so they will be free to return to Afghanistan at the same time Obama has ordered the drawdown of US forces there to be finished. So the Taliban gets its five commanders back to the battlefield at the same time Obama is abandoning it.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Top Rated Comments   
Obama: "If I had a son in the US Army he'd look just like Bowe."
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nothing particular odious about his comments, but, like that Contemptible Pig that prosecuted Zimmerman, you knew where she was coming from when she said “Justice” was her only desire.

Ditto for this schlep.

Beyond Captain, most troops don’t trust Officers and with good reason. Beyond Captain, you’re no longer a tactical-thinking leader of fighting men, you’re a Politician first and foremost.

And, politicians suck.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I told everybody I know that Gen. Dempsey will do whatever Obama tells him to do. Dempsey is one of the grownig bunch of political flag officers that have traded honor for political favoritism. Honor, Duty, Country, have been replaced with political correctness and brown noses.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (55)
All Comments   (55)
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An army needs loyalty to survive. Bergdhal showed disloyalty but the Army rewarded him with a promotion. Whether he went AWOL or deserted he did not deserve to be treated like a lost child. He was an adult who wanted to walk from Afghanistan to India. Unless the Army had reason to believe he was mentally sick then the Army should have treated him as an adult, and left him alone. So should Obama. Why spend untold millions of dollars and lots of time and prestige and flout the law and set free some skilled committed enemy fighters in exchange for a man who hated America so much that he walked away? Obama is corrupting the military because he does not understand loyalty. Lefties never understand loyalty. They are loyal to people like Bergdhal who despise them and disloyal to the US Army which is loyal to the point of death. Lefties cannot reciprocate loyalty because they do not understand it. They forget that loyalty is part of love and think that loyalty to the political cause in fashion is what matters. But a nation is held together by love, and Obama's weak and shallow love for America is not enough for the nation to survive.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
The colleagues of Bergdahl who have spoken out should be watching their backs. This administration does not take kindly to whistleblowers.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bergdahl was never listed as a deserter, nor as a POW. He was listed as DSWUN - Duty Status and Whereabouts Unknown, or basically, "missing."

Regardless of what is the objective truth of how B. came into Taliban hands, I say he will never be tried for desertion simply because the legal case would be too difficult to build. See:
http://senseofevents.blogspot.com/2014/06/why-bergdahl-will-not-be-charged-with.html
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dempsey is Barry's political toadie. Barry is also tying to subvert the Marine Corps.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bergdahl is under no obligation to ever tell investigators anything, so why does General Dempsey hold out a false flag that Bergdahl will be the source for determining the facts in this case. Due to the gravity of the possible charges, he would certainly have motivation to lie. Follow the UCMJ - protect the soldier's legal rights, but let the military justice system work independently of political pressure from the top brass.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
However, the intel people want him to talk for weeks until they squeeze every syllable he learned about the Taliban. I think we won't see him meet the public for a long time yet. The Army may well offer him immunity from desertion charges in exchange for spilling everything he knows about the Taliban.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Howdy Susan
Of course Bergdahl has the same rights as anyone else to keep his mouth shut. In the UCMJ, Article 31 acknowledges that the 5th Amendment applies under the UCMJ as it would in any other legal proceeding.
Gen. Dempsey is making the possibly generous assumption that Bergdahl will give his side of the events. Bergdahl may not and I'm sure the general knows this. In any event, that investigation is not the general's personal responsibility. Just as you say -- let the UCMJ and the legal process operate.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
What seems to be overlooked is that the administration is going to have weeks/months to create and rehearse Bergdahl on his "story" before it is ever released to the public. Right now there are people scrambling to try to find some way to discredit all the information that has come out about Bergdahl.

Does it not strike anyone as strange that we will not be allowed to hear Bergdahl's story, and then only through administration interpreters, for an extended period of time?
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
The General: "Finally, I want to thank those who for almost five years worked to find him, prepared to rescue him, and ultimately put themselves at risk to recover him."

We are all put at risk because of the five murdering SOBs we traded for one AWOL [this acronym is /s].
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Like any American, he is innocent until proven guilty"

Not under this administration. Any American who happens to be Conservative is guilty until proven Liberal.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Look for a pardon for Bergdahl,from the Hafrican traitor,no matter what happens.Maobama got a chance to cut some homies loose and he did.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Howdy Crotalus
This is a hard area to evaluate. Some operations were modified to try to locate and recover Bergdahl, so we hear and it makes sense. Any operation in a combat area can go sour and it' very difficult to know if the casualties would have been different without the search for Bergdahl. It seems likely that there were increased risks and there may well have been casualties that could be linked to the search, but the linkage lacks rigor. Anyone who ties a specific number to it is being way more exact than the information supports.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Benghazi had of gone as planned Ambassador Steven's could have been traded for the "Blind Sheik" and the "Infamous Five" so its all George Bush's fault for having trained those SEAL's so well they were able to hang on for hours rather than the planned 1 or 2. Trading the "Infamous 5" for a punk terrorist wannabe wasn't in the plan at all.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Howdy RonN
I dislike and distrust Obama. I'd like to call your theory bunk and it does require a lot more evidence than anyone has shown. But with Obama and the Enablers, it's a lot less fantasy than I wish it were.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I hate when that happens. /snarc
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
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