Is Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl a defector, or a true POW and a hero that is finally being returned to his homeland? That seems more difficult to answer than one might think.
Sgt. Bergdahl was finally released from Taliban custody after secret negotiations that ended with 5 Guantanamo Bay detainees being released in exchange.
But in recent days, revelations from his past in the Army raises questions as to whether he was actually captured, or willingly defected.
New York Post– Bergdahl’s dream was to help Afghan villagers rebuild their lives and learn to defend themselves, his dad told the magazine.
“The whole ‘COIN’ thing,” Bob explained, referring to America’s strategy of counter-insurgency. “We were given a fictitious picture, an artificially created picture of what we were doing in Afghanistan,” the dad said.
Bowe Bergdahl would detail his disillusionment with the Afghanistan campaign in an e-mail to his parents three days before he went missing.
“I am sorry for everything here,” he wrote. “These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid.”
Bergdahl also complained about fellow soldiers. The battalion commander was a “conceited old fool,” he said, and the only “decent” sergeants, planning to leave the platoon “as soon as they can,” told the privates — Bergdahl then among them — “to do the same.”
“I am ashamed to be an American. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools,” he concluded. “I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting.”
Bob Bergdahl responded in an e-mail: “OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!”
One night, after finishing a guard-duty shift Bowe Bergdahl asked his team leader whether there would be a problem if he left camp with his rifle and night-vision goggles — to which the team leader replied “yes.”
Bergdahl then returned to his bunker, picked up a knife, water, his diary and a camera, and left camp, according to Rolling Stone.
The next morning, he was reported missing, and later that day, a drone and four fighter jets began to search for him.
Propaganda videos of his captivity — which featured Bergdahl denouncing American foreign policy — were released.
At least once, in 2011, the prisoner, looking more haggard, fought back and tried to escape.
“He fought like a boxer,” a Taliban fighter told Newsweek.
Why Bergdahl was captured in the first place remained a mystery by the time high-level US government talks began in 2012 regarding a trade for his release.
“Frankly, we don’t give a s–t why he left,” one White House official said at the time. “He’s an American soldier. We want to bring him home.”
There was fierce debate over exchanging him for the five Taliban combatants. Sen. John McCain, himself a former POW, once described the five as “the five biggest murderers in world history,” according to Rolling Stone.
The story gets even stranger as his father’s Twitter account posted the following Tweet, then deleted.
His father is working to free all Gitmo detainees? Huh?
The Tweet was in response to a post from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s Twitter account noting the condition of Gitmo detainees during a hunger strike.
The idea that his father has a what seems to be some kind of ideological connection to the Taliban is quite disturbing. For further reactions online, see the article posted on Twitchy.
Bob Bergdahl is now calling for more releases from Guantanamo Bay.
It is more than odd that his father has suddenly been thrust into the spotlight. Not that his family wouldn’t be a point of focus in this time, but the reason for the attention is what American intelligence services must keep an eye on.
If the story about Bowe walking away from the army is true, it could mean that he actually sided with the Taliban. His words (if true), “The horror that is America is disgusting,” proves a personal contempt for the nation he once served.
If he did in fact become a member of the Taliban, or has become sympathetic to their cause, it would eerily parallel Showtime’s series Homeland, in which a soldier converts to Islam after 8 years in captivity and becomes a kind of sleeper cell when returned to the United States.
This is something the Obama administration would be wise to keep a close eye on. Having a possible sleeper cell on U.S. soil will be bad for both everyone in America, and the President himself.