A Different World

Issac Bailey blog: Classless, ugly rush to judgment in Bergdahl case

There’s been a lot to hate about the hyper-partisanship that has become the norm in our country. The Bowe Bergdahl case has taken us to a new low.

I’m not talking about the all-too-common fight over war powers between the executive and legislative branches, about a questionable law that required the White house inform Congress at least 30 days before allowing anyone to be released from Gitmo. Some say President Obama broke that law – but the law itself is unconstitutional.

But that’s a side issue. The vitriol aimed at the Bergdahl family – long before all the facts of his capture are in – has been astoundingly ugly. We are now upset that the Commander-in-Chief was willing to take a political hit to bring a POW home, and we have condemned that POW, depriving him of basic American rights, like the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. If a man can put himself in harm’s way for our benefit and we can’t reserve judgment about his potential guilt, what kind of message does that send to future soldiers?

Hopefully, though, stories like the one below, which sheds more light on Bergdahl’s background, will bring some equilibrium to this debate.

From the piece at the link:

Before he became a Taliban prisoner, before he wrote in his journal “I am the lone wolf of deadly nothingness,” before he ever joined the Army, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was discharged from the U.S. Coast Guard for psychological reasons, said close friends who were worried about his emotional health at the time.

The 2006 discharge and a trove of Bergdahl’s writing — the handwritten journal along with other essays, stories and e-mails provided to The Washington Post — paint a portrait of a deeply complicated and fragile young man who was by his own account struggling to maintain his mental stability from the start of basic training until the moment he walked off his post in eastern Afghanistan.

“I’m worried,” he wrote in one journal entry before he deployed. “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.”

“I will not lose this mind, this world I have deep inside,” he wrote a few pages later. “I will  not lose this passion of beauty.”

Here’s the full story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/bergdahls-writings-reveal-a-fragile-young-man/2014/06/11/fb9349fe-f165-11e3-bf76-447a5df6411f_story.html