To save a few readers from overexertion while dissecting this letter and then dismissing it as right wing hooey, I’ll do some of the heavy lifting myself. My politics are right of Reagan’s and slightly right of Attila the Hun’s.
Last year, I received an email from a chap, who like me, was a civilian advisor to the Army. Mike left Iraq in 2005. I stayed on for a few more years before deciding to see the “Good War.” Although my job was to get a handle on roadside bombs set within our sector, I had access to theater-wide intelligence. When I first heard of Bowe Bergdahl’s status, I felt sorry for the kid. All who served in Iraq or Afghanistan knew their fate if captured.
Even after an officer brought me up to speed, I pitied the deserter. Back to Mike’s email. He asked me to sign a petition demanding that the president win Bergdahl’s release. I replied, “Mike, you don’t know the whole story.” I wrote nothing else. It was enough for Mike. I didn’t forget about Bergdahl, but he wasn’t on my radar again until his release hit the news.
Following a meeting at the police department, an older, wiser veteran and I stepped outside. Having traveled across some of the same sand, the topic came up. I was enraged. He had a stoic’s calm. I cannot recall his exact words, but the gist of his comment was, “you, me and other veterans will grumble a while. Then we’ll put this one back inside the box along with the others.”
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I did. Within days however, Susan Rice knocked the lid off. “Bergdahl served with honor and distinction.” Only then did veterans speak out. Taken aback, the administration, et al, circled the wagons, went into crisis mode and sought a way out. The first order in its hasty plan, shoot the messenger. In this case, soldiers who actually served with honor and distinction.
Brandon Friedman, HUD’s deputy assistant secretary of public affairs, accused Bergdahl’s platoon members of being psychopaths. MSNBC’s Chuck Todd recounted that a few Obama aides told him they didn’t know those who served with Bergdahl were going to swift-boat him. The New York Times claimed that the platoon were misfits and repeatedly got in trouble with its officers.
Not enough, the Times gave Bergdahl more cover, asserting he was "joking" when he lied to his father about seeing an Afghan child run over and killed by a U.S. Army vehicle. Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy tweeted, “Really sad to watch Obama haters attack this kid who chose to fight to protect the rest of us, just to score political points.” When a CNN reporter challenged Murphy, he added to his inane comment. “There's less than 1 percent of Americans who sign up and go fight to protect the rest of us. We'll find out what the real story is about Bowe Bergdahl's departure. But I would submit that everyone who signs up voluntarily to put their life on the line to serve this country is a hero....”
Using that logic, Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, deserves a medal presented to him in the Rose Garden. Standing on foreign soil, Obama chastised Republicans by saying the story about Bowe’s desertion was “whipped up” and that any criticism of his (Obama’s) actions contrived. According to Hilary Clinton, possibly our next president, Bergdahl’s actions were irrelevant.
Poisoning the chance for an impartial court martial, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, opined Bergdahl has suffered enough.
I don’t like it, Mr. President, but I get it. You have the White House for two and a half more years. As you run out the clock, don’t demean those whose blood and sacrifice made your election possible. Moreover, when you decide to do something, just do it, then sit down. Not every sound bite you craft warrants applause. The campaign is over. No longer is there a need to turn everything into a Hollywood production.
At least put a muzzle on your National Security Advisor. She has validated the Peter Principle more than enough times.
The writer lives in Pawleys Island.