“A senior Army official told me court-martialing Bergdahl would ‘make the president look bad.’” And so a political embarrassment is shoved under the rug. “Is Obama whitewashing a traitor?,” by Paul Sperry, New York Post, September 20, 2014 (thanks to Jerk Chicken):
…Obama in May presented Bergdahl as a hero in announcing his release in a Rose Garden ceremony featuring Bergdahl’s mother and father. The next day, his national-security adviser added another coat of varnish when she proclaimed the AWOL soldier “served the United States with honor and distinction.”
His platoon mates, however, say he did nothing of the kind. “Bergdahl is a deserter, not a hero [and] needs to answer for what he did,” said former Army Sgt. Evan Buetow, who served with Bergdahl and was present the night he vanished from his Afghan post.
Like Buetow, more than 60% of respondents to a recent Military Times survey believe that Bergdahl should be court-martialed for walking off his post in 2009 and costing the lives of six fellow soldiers who died searching for him.
But a senior Army official told me court-martialing Bergdahl would “make the president look bad.” In spite of damning evidence against him, the official expects Pentagon brass to separate him from the military with a less-than-honorable discharge, sparing Obama total embarrassment.
In a sign Bergdahl may indeed get off with a slap on the wrist, the Army has delayed its AR 15-6 investigation into his disappearance — a development that Bergdahl’s attorneys see as helpful to their client.
The Army investigator, Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, was supposed to submit his findings to brass last month but has asked for an extension. The probe was limited to a 60-day window, which ended Aug. 15. There’s no longer a deadline attached, which means the investigation could drag out past the November election.
Dahl last month interviewed Bergdahl at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, in what his lawyer described as an “entirely nonconfrontational” meeting.
Critics doubt Dahl has the skills to conduct a proper interrogation. “No general does this. They have no training,” said the Army official, who requested anonymity upon describing Dahl as a “yes-man.”…
The evidence against 28-year-old Bergdahl is overwhelming. Here’s a bill of indictment:
Before slipping away, Bergdahl shipped much of his gear, including a personal computer, back home to Idaho.
In e-mails to his parents, excerpted in Rolling Stone, he complained he was “ashamed to even be American” and was “sorry for everything here,” adding: “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, that they have no idea how to live.”
When he left his outpost near the Pakistan border, he left behind his body armor and weapon and only took with him water and a backpack with a camera, notebook and writing materials — bizarre, given the hostile territory around his post.
He left a farewell note in which he stated he was deserting and explained his disillusionment with the war, according to The New York Times; other reports say he sought to renounce his American citizenship.
Within 24 hours, the Taliban confirmed they had picked him up, whereupon he expressed his displeasure with his countrymen and “wanted to accept Islam,” two Afghans who were Taliban commanders at the time told NBC News.
Bergdahl converted to Islam during his captivity and declared himself a “mujahid,” or warrior for Islam, according to secret military documents obtained by Fox News.
Soon after his rendezvous with the Taliban, the improvised explosive devices the enemy used to attack US convoys became more accurate and lethal. “IEDs started going off directly under the trucks; they were getting perfect hits every time,” Beutow recalled, suggesting Bergdahl shared military intelligence with his captors.
Bergdahl had a history of leaving his post and most likely walked away on his own free will, concluded an initial investigation conducted by an Army officer in July and August of 2009. The Military Times first revealed the findings of his 35-page classified military report in June.
The Pentagon never classified Bergdahl a POW during his five years in captivity.
The president may think Bergdahl deserves a parade, but retired Army Sgt. Jordan Vaughn, who went on some 50 dangerous missions searching for Bergdahl, told Fox that “He belongs in shackles for what he did.”