While we all celebrate the return of Bowe Bergdahl to American soil after five years of being held captive by the Taliban as a prison of war, it's kind of important to recognize what a goldmine of awfulness the whole situation is. Of course we don't want to leave any soldiers behind on the battlefield, but is that what really happened?
No. No, it's not. Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban after he allegedly wandered off into the Afghan desert after becoming disillusioned with the war. The military never classified him a deserter, but ... yeah. He was never classified as a POW either, so there's that.
Days before he disappeared, he even wrote to his parents, "... I am ashamed to even be American. The horror of the self-righteous arrogance that they thrive in. It is all revolting ... I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting."
I'm pretty sure that American heroes don't go around saying America is disgusting.
In fact, members of his platoon who had signed non-disclosure agreements not to discuss the circumstances of his capture or the subsequent rescue missions -- which killed six soldiers, by the way -- haven't been able to keep quiet about Bergdahl since President Obama tried to hero-fy him by trading five top level Al-Qaida terrorists out of Gitmo for him.
Holy moly, there is so much to unpack in that last paragraph it's ridiculous.
OK. So Bergdahl's platoon-mates thought he was kind of an asshole. Sgt. Matt Viekant said, "I was pissed off then, and I am even more so now with everything going on ... Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war, and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him."
Many others reported feeling "betrayed" by Bergdahl's "selfish" actions.
Now let's talk about the six men who lost their lives searching for him. Spc. Cody Full, also a member of the platoon at the time, said, "A huge thing in-country is not building patterns. Well when you are looking for a person every day that creates a pattern. While searching for him, ambushes and IEDs picked up tremendously. Enemy knew we would be coming. IEDs started being placed more effectively in the coming weeks. Ambushes were more calculated, cover and concealment was used."
Oh, and that's not including the eight soldiers who died at the dangerous combat outpost COP Keating as a result of its delayed closing, since valuable resources like drones and sheer manpower were diverted to look for Bergdahl.
OK. So Bergdahl was kind of a jerkface who had no business serving his country. BUT. He was still a prisoner of war (well, not technically), and we don't leave our own behind. We're also not supposed to negotiate with terrorists. Everyone who's seen Austin Powers knows that. Sheesh.
AND -- and and and (!!) President Obama kinda sorta broke the law to bring him home. And he pissed off one of the most liberal senators in Congress, Diane Feinstein. In case you didn't know (don't feel bad, I didn't either ... I mean I thought it was shady, but I didn't know it was illegal) there's a 2013 law "requiring a 30-day notice for any transfer of Guantanamo inmates."
"It's very disappointing there was not a level of trust to tell us," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. Dude, if Obama pisses Feinstein off, you know it's bad news.
Well, at least another top Democrat, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, is #TeamObama. He said he's "glad to get rid of these five people." I don't think that anyone explained to him that freeing terrorists isn't exactly "getting rid" of them.
So did we do the right thing bringing Bergdahl home? Or were the costs simply too high? What do you think?