Soldiers Stepped Forward Against Bergdahl Because Obama Left Them No Choice

Byron York writes about the outrage that led Bowe Bergdahl’s squad mates to step forward and tell what they know, even though it may violate the non-disclosure agreements the military made them sign.


“When the president was there with Bergdahl’s parents, we got this feeling that the American people needed to be told the truth,” Cornelison, who believes Bergdahl deserted his post, explained. “We were there, this is not hearsay, we were on the ground, the first ones to go looking for him. The American public needs to know the truth about Bergdahl before treating him like any kind of war hero, because that is completely false.”

But for Cornelison and the others around Bergdahl, there are still those nondisclosure agreements. They promised not to talk, and now they’re talking. Will speaking publicly now come back to hurt them later? So far, Cornelison has heard nothing from the Army. “I don’t know if we’re going to be approached by the Department of Defense or the State Department or the Army saying, hey, five years ago you said you weren’t going to talk about it,” Cornelison said. “That’s not important to me now. Right now, the important thing is to get the truth out there about Bowe Bergdahl.”

Military NDAs can be a very big deal, depending on how the military chooses to treat them, which depends on what’s being hidden and why. The soldiers who served with Bergdahl and are coming forward now believed that their highest duty is not to those NDAs but to the American people.


And they knew there were defying the president and the PR path he was choosing, to tell the American people the truth. They couldn’t stand by and watch their commander in chief make a hero out of a villain, and lie to the American people for his own personal gain.

Obama’s Rose Garden ceremony with the Bergdahl parents provoked these men to put themselves on the line for us. Again.

Let’s suppose that Obama knew all about Bergdahl’s alleged desertion. If he knew about that, he also knew about the NDAs that silenced the soldiers and he had reason to believe that the soldiers who knew the truth could be kept quiet for fear of military prosecution. Obama therefore had reason to believe that even though he had traded five Taliban commanders for a deserter, the public might never know that all we got back was a worthless deserter, not a hero who served with honor and distinction. That part would never become part of the narrative. Bergdahl would come home, there would be video of his tearful reunion with his parents, the parade in his hometown, and Barack Obama presiding over it all as the man who pulled it off. Sure, there’s that inconvenient Michael Hastings story out there about Bergdahl. But Hastings is dead, so he won’t be going on Fox to talk about that story.


If the soldiers had not defied their NDAs, Obama would’ve gotten most of the PR win that he expected from bringing “the last American POW” back from Afghanistan. There would be questions about negotiating with terrorists, and freeing five of them, and breaking a law or two. But “He brought a hero home!” would have overwhelmed all of that before too long.

But Barack Obama doesn’t know the first thing about the kind of men who are destroying his pleasant narrative. These are not “psychopaths,” as Brandon Friedman speculated on Twitter. These are men who know why they’re in the military and who they ultimately serve. They are actually serving with honor and distinction. They deserve a medal for their courage. And they deserve to be awarded that medal by a president who isn’t a lying leftist who keeps working for the other side, when he isn’t busy just working for himself.


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