Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

Bio

June 12, 2014 - 2:55 pm

Blackfive has obtained the actual intel reports on Bowe Bergdahl’s captivity with the Haqqani network. As Jim notes in the post, the reports are compiled in order to help develop a picture of his captivity; they’re not the full picture. You can read what Blackfive has posted at the link above. Here’s a troubling sample.

Conditions for Bergdahl have greatly relaxed since the time of the escape.  Bergdahl has converted to Islam and now describes himself as a mujahid.  Bergdahl enjoys a modicum of freedom, and engages in target practice with the local mujahedeen, firing AK47s.  Bergdahl is even allowed to carry a loaded gun on occasion.  Bergdahl plays soccer with his guards and bounds around the pitch like a mad man.  He appears to be well and happy, and has a noticeable habit of laughing frequently and saying “salaam” repeatedly.

One of the other reports states that Bergdahl had converted to Islam and called himself a jihadist, as has been reported elsewhere.

The question regarding that is, did he do that in sincerity, in order to curry favor with his captors (he did try to escape more than once), or for some other reason.

Allahpundit gets right to that last possibility: Bergdahl was reportedly given a psychiatric discharge from the US Coast Guard in 2006.

Then one day in 2006, Bergdahl announced that he was joining the Coast Guard, a decision his friends thought was unwise given his personality. Harrison said she tried to talk him out of it, but finally relented and drove him to a military office in Idaho Falls to take the entrance exam.

Soon after he left Ketchum for basic training, Bergdahl sent her a dozen or so notebook pages filled with tiny writing, diatribes against the rigors of military life. She was alarmed, she said. When he returned after a few weeks, he told her he had gotten out on a psychological discharge.

“He told me he faked it,” she recalled. “I said, ‘You don’t fake a psychological discharge, you have to become unfit.’ I told him that. The reality was it wasn’t okay. I saw it in the letters, the way the writing was changing, the anger.”…

“I know he believed he was in control, but I didn’t,” [another] friend added. “I sincerely doubted that.”

So he was given a psych pass out of the USCG, then accepted into the US Army…and put on the front lines in Afghanistan?

Yet strangely enough, none of his squad mates have come out and said anything about him being crazy. They’ve said he was aloof, that he learned Pashtun while everyone else socialized, and that he stared off into the horizon. They haven’t said he was nuts.

And he may not have been. When I was in Air Force basic, I saw a few guys decide that it wasn’t for them. They decide to get out, however they could. And it wasn’t hard. I can’t speak for the Coast Guard, but the Air Force isn’t keen on keeping enlistees who show evidence that they can’t handle the stresses of basic training. Once a trainee expresses a desire to leave, they tend to be allowed to leave. I saw one guy get out on an asthma discharge, when he wasn’t having any actual asthma attacks that I could see. Bergdahl could have contrived a way out of the USCG without actually being mentally unstable.

On the other hand, get a load of Bergdahl’s writings. Real cray-cray or fake?

“The closer I get to ship day, the calmer the voices are. I’m reverting. I’m getting colder. My feelings are being flushed with the frozen logic and the training, all the unfeeling cold judgment of the darkness.” Voices, huh? Another bit of writing apparently composed while Bergdahl was in Afghanistan consisted of nothing but the phrase “velcro or zipper/velcro or zipper/velcro or zipper” — for almost two pages.

It’s possible we’ll know soon enough. He’s coming to Texas late tonight, where he will stay in a military hospital in San Antonio. The military is not granting any media access to him.

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.
All Comments   (5)
All Comments   (5)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
One of the residents of his small hometown in Idaho remarked that Bergdahl should joined the Peace Corps instead of the military. He had a good point imo.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ok, Im just going to say it. Bradley Manning, not exactly top material for the service, Bowe Bergdhal, again not exactly top material. I mean how do you get into the Army when you have a psyc discharge?

Can we get someone in the Army to address why it is that standards appear to have fallen so far?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just a guess (although I hope a reasonably informed one), it was Iraq and "Stop-Loss," extended tours, etc. I know from my prior work with Veterans that to keep up manpower and replacement rates, numerous things were relaxed - first enlistment age went up to 42, prior-service with disabilities up to about the 60% rating were being waived, etc. I don't know just how far they went, but I'd heard some disturbing stories - gang membership being quashed so someone could enlist, and so on...
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
In Bergdahl's case, at least, that certainly seems like a fair question. Related: why in heaven's name did Bergdahl want to join the Army if he hated basic training for the Coast Guard?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Boring from within?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All