Rolling Stoners; America’s Last Prisoner of War

| June 11, 2012

Kevin dropped off a link to our fan page from the magazine of aging ’60s hippies, the Rolling Stone, which thinks they have something to add to the discussion about Bowe Bergdahl by interviewing his aging hippie parents. Let me say that I certainly sympathize with them about this situation, what with their son being held by Pakistani terrorist thugs, and my only wish is that he be safely returned to their arms as soon as possible, but, I honestly don’t think that much they disclosed to the Rolling Stone is going to help them in that regard.

First of all, much of what soldiers mail to their parents about have little to do with reality, it’s just the nature of soldiers. By their accounts, Bergdahl was an intensely intellectually driven young man who read the Ranger Handbook during sparse moments of down time in basic training and was labeled an odd ball by his peers. His focus on his mission in Afghanistan, according to his parents, drove others away from him and made Bowe a loner. i won’t dispute that, because I have no evidence to the contrary. I do, however, think that there’s no other reason for the Rolling Stone to publish that unless their intent was to make the rest of the Army look like lunk heads.

The article continues along the same vein, criticizing his entire unit as a bunch of misfit idiots;

The prolonged aspect of the war was also forcing the Pentagon to send more and more recruits who were unprepared and undisciplined, like Bowe’s unit. To meet its recruiting goals, the Army had lowered its standards for intellectual aptitude, and allowed more waivers for recruits with felony convictions and drug problems. “One of every five recruits required a waiver to join the service, leading military analysts to conclude that the Army has lowered its standards,” Col. Jeffrey McClain wrote in a definitive study for the Army War College in 2008, the year many in Bowe’s unit joined up.

Yeah, I think the prolonged aspect of the war also forced the Rolling Stone to send more and more journalists who are unprepared and undisciplined. How that contributes to Bowe’s disappearance, i have no idea, but the Rolling Stone had to take every available shot at the military that it could.

The discipline problems that had plagued Bowe’s unit back home only got worse when immersed in the fog of war. From the start, everything seemed to go wrong. In April, Lt. Fancey was removed from his post for clashing with a superior officer. He was replaced by Sgt. 1st Class Larry Hein, who had never held such a command – a move that left the remote outpost with no officers. According to four soldiers in the battalion, the removal of Fancey was quickly followed by a collapse in unit morale and an almost complete breakdown of authority.

More irrelevant bull shit. The Rolling Stone is bound and determined to blame Bowe’s unexplained absence on something Bush did, apparently.

The article sparked some rather heated debates on Facebook over the weekend, many detractors attacked Bergdahl for being an oddball hippie. I’m still not willing to do that. Whatever made him walk out of the safety of his perimeter and into the chains of the enemy, he doesn’t deserve to star in a beheading video for it. I’m willing to stand behind him until he’s safe at home and I urge the rest of you to do the same. I’ve heard all of the stories of what could have happened, but unlike the Rolling Stone, I’m not willing to publish them in my corner of the internet. He’s still an American paratrooper. The only axe I want to grind is bringing him home safely. And I hope this administration can summon the necessary gonadal material to rescue him when and if they get the chance.

Oh, and, in case you have any doubts, if you wonder what the hippies really think of you and your military service, read the comments on that particular article.

Category: Terror War

Comments (45)

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  1. brat says:

    Unless we were there (and heaven help us if the Rolling Stone actually was) we cannot know what happened – yet! I have been following this story of Bowe Bergdahl, and heard more than a few conflicting narratives but, like you:

    I’m willing to stand behind him until he’s safe at home.

    It serves NOBODY – least of all Bergdahl – for rags like Rolling Stone to be throwing out unsubstantiated rumours and opinions.

    [Waiting for the Mouth In Chief to give us HIS breathless minute by minute account of how he, personally, just walked right in and rescued Bowe, timed for end of October, so he can prove he supports our Troops..You KNOW it’s coming…]

    Time enough when he is back in US hands to figure it all out. Until then? Well need to shut up.

    That’s MY 2 cents worth.

  2. Steadfast&Loyal says:

    Somethings never change. I wonder with all the combat hardened vets over the last ten years we will see something really change.

    A harder military.

    Some basic decency back in society…I don’t know maybe it’s too much to ask for.

    I am tired of hearing “thanks for your service” It always sounded trite to me. I can’t explain it any better then that. With this I am fairly certain I was right in that respect.

  3. Jack says:

    I said it once and will again, this kid is a useless POS and no, that does not mean I want to see his head lopped off but I sure do not want to see good soldiers or Marines killed saving his sorry ass either and if the only choice were between the two, then bye bye Bowe.

    Again, maybe I am wrong and this poor guy got lost on patrol (as so many were willing to believe) or maybe he was a victim of some sort of strange circumstance that led to his capture. But it sure seems like he went over the wall on his own.

    As to the RS, what do we expect? They would never do a story about a good unit or great men doing great things. It is a shame that this will get wide play but there is nothing that can be done about it now.

    As to lower standards that is true, the army has had to lower them to keep up with demands made by the wars. BUT, when I left the First Cav in 2011 they were already pushing ASVAB study halls, and enhanced PT while warning soldiers that the standards were going to get much harder and that if you wanted to stay in the army you would have to meet those standards.

  4. LZ says:

    An outpost with no officers? That sounds amazing. On a serious note though, I hope we see this guy home safe very soon. I also hope that all 7 of rolling stone’s readers realize that the spin on this article is only loosely based in fact. Rolling Stone should be focused on the effort to get him back. If they want to torch someone for his abduction they should wait until he’s home pointing the finger himself.

  5. Semper says:

    Sincerely impressed with your restraint in criticism on the guy. The RS article is bullshit, as usual, yet I can’t quarterback his judgement….and I’m glad I stayed with my teammates, in my community, being left, or stranded alone is a big time fear. You can say all about his poor judgement, but man, I’m glad I’m sleeping in America tonight, and not in Pakistan. Fuck rolling stone, lets get this kid home..home although I’m sure Obama can grab him before the primaries…

  6. Ann says:

    If this description is accurate then I see a lot of myself in Bergdahl. I was and am an egghead. I never got into trouble, but I think I had a harder time adjusting to the Corps’ lifestyle than most. That ended up making me a bit of a loner. That’s where great leadership stepped in alongside my figuring out what it meant to be a team player, that I wasn’t meeting those requirements, and that I needed to get with the program. I never did lose my nerdy ways or become a crazy party fiend, but I got it and acclimated right around my second year mark. So, maybe Bergdahl’s leadership were a bit overwhelmed, but every NCO knows there’s no guiding someone who refuses to admit they’re part of the problem.

    Jack: you’ve never met Bergdahl, you weren’t there, there has been no official confirmation of any regulations being violated, and therefore you have NO right to pass judgement. Even if he was a screwball America has always made a commitment to it’s military personnel to do everything possible short of aid the enemy to bring them home. You don’t cut someone loose out of convenience, and never ever leave a man behind. What you’ve said is shameful.

  7. Radar says:

    I couldn’t get through that POS article, much less the comments. That is 2.5 minutes of my life that I will not get back.

  8. JP says:

    I honestly don’t care if Bergdahl was a shitbird, a hippie or a bad ass stud, he’s still one of ours and the idea that the govt can save dumbasses who hike in Iran or go for a sail around the lovely Somali coast but can’t put more effort into finding him pisses me right the fuck off.

    I’ll skip reading the Rolling Stoned readers’ commentary, if I want to know what aging hippies or effeminate liberal hipster dudes think of my military service, I’ll beat it out of them, not read their bullshit typed from behind the safety of their computer screens.

  9. OWB says:

    Completely with you, Jonn. It is way past time to recover this soldier. Until we do it just doesn’t matter the circumstances of his capture.

    There probably is no scenario which would warrant the kind of punishment he has received in the past couple of years. So, even if you assume he walked away willingly, it just doesn’t matter.

    Bring Bowe home. Now!

  10. 68W58 says:

    I am tired of hearing “thanks for your service” It always sounded trite to me. I can’t explain it any better then that. With this I am fairly certain I was right in that respect.

    S&L-I’m with you on that. As with many things it seems to be said without conviction-but because it is expected. Bear in mind that it’s amazing how quickly gratitude can turn to resentment. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a great deal of resentment of the military in coming years, especially if there are cuts (or even changes) to the established civilian welfare system.

  11. Alberich says:

    #10, I’m not. All the basic day-to-day decencies sound trite. But I’m glad this has become one of them.

    I’ll take a “good morning” from someone who doesn’t [i]really[/i], fundamentally, care whether I have a good morning or not, and I’ll wish him one right back. I’m delighted to hear a “thanks for your service” any day, in exactly the same way.

  12. 68W58 says:

    Alberich-I’ve never thought of “good morning” as being trite at all. It strikes me as being a pretty standard greeting of one person to another. “Thank you for your service” on the other hand implies that the person offering those thanks thinks that what you have done is somehow special. Now frankly I think that previous generations would have thought that military service during a time of combat would have been an expected duty and so not particularly special, which makes me slightly uncomfortable given what I have done compared to my grandfather or uncles, but leaving that aside I always wonder what, if those individuals believe that what we have done really is special, they have done to recognize that beyond offer me a verbal formality? Have they educated themselves on veteran’s issues and written their representatives on our behalf and then voted accordingly? Do they give preference to vets if they are an employer? Some probably do those things, but I think that most don’t give us a second thought beyond what is essentially a verbal hiccup. When someone says to me “thank you for your service” I always say “thank you” or “You’re welcome” right back, but it seems to me to be a sentiment that is a mile wide, but an inch thick.

  13. PintoNag says:

    @12 If you don’t know it, read Aesop’s fable, “The Lion and the Mouse.”

    I would submit that, if a civilian thanks you for your service, it’s because that civilian has given it at least enough thought to believe your service was important.

  14. 68W58 says:

    PN-I’m hardly comparable to the Lion in the fable and the comparison of the civilian to the mouse escapes me, so I think the analogy is strained. Still, while the moral of “even the weak and small may be of help to those much mightier than themselves” is perfectly true my point is that I’m not certain that the gratitude of many (maybe even most) of those civilians goes beyond formality and I don’t think I am alone in that. As I said earlier, I hope that they do make an extra effort, but I doubt that they do. And I do worry about gratitude turning to resentment-I think a good many veterans from previous eras can speak to that.


  15. Alberich says:

    Alberich-I’ve never thought of “good morning” as being trite at all. It strikes me as being a pretty standard greeting of one person to another.

    It had to start sometime, though – just like “have a nice day” at the end of a bit of business, or some of the habits we’ve lost (like tipping your hat to a lady). The line between “pretty standard” and “trite” is not a sharp one.

    I always wonder what, if those individuals believe that what we have done really is special, they have done to recognize that beyond offer me a verbal formality? Have they educated themselves on veteran’s issues and written their representatives on our behalf and then voted accordingly? Do they give preference to vets if they are an employer?

    Well, the person who tells me to “have a nice day” may have done nothing whatsoever to ensure that I will have any kind of nice day, nor put any thought into what would really make my day nice. If pressed on the point he’d probably say that it’s up to me to arrange my life in such a way that I have an actual nice day. And he’d be right. But I won’t feel the tiniest bit of resentment that he’s offered me only a “verbal formality” – without really putting in extra effort to get a nice day for me. These little politenesses make it easier for human beings to rub along together, and I’m for them.

    And I do worry about gratitude turning to resentment-I think a good many veterans from previous eras can speak to that.

    Can they? The people who wanted to be nasty to Vietnam vets were, I think, nasty right from the beginning, rather than turning from gratitude to resentment.

    What you say may happen. Any constituency that costs money is going to draw some resentment, just as relatives in the hospital sometimes will. So is any group that gets employment preferences, as veterans so often do – how could it be otherwise? But I don’t see how this little extra politeness will make this any worse. So I’m for it and I’m glad it’s part of the atmosphere.

  16. ScalpelShepherd says:

    Hey Jack, go fuck yourself. Do you know what really happened? No! Quit passing judgement on one of our own.

    Also, who gives a fuck if you left First Cav in 2011. I’ve seen shit that deserves more respect than you son.

  17. 68W58 says:

    Alberich-there is much to what you say and it may be that I am overly cynical. Still, I think human behavior is infinitely complex (and often contradictory) and I prefer to remain guarded. Still, thanks for the polite discourse.

  18. Jack says:

    @16 okay net tough fuck. Maybe you have seen shit that deserves more respect than me, no doubt on the end of some guy’s dick after he poked you in the ass, you being a tough guy and all, you shit toughness. See how silly this can all get?

    The remark about when I left the First Cav was provided to illustrate that I had witnessed, first hand, the army’s efforts to start cutting the force while giving those soldiers who wanted to stay in the army a chance to do so.

    As to Bowe, yep, I am willing to make that call right now, he walked… period. So is Ralph Peters and possibly soldiers in his unit. You want him rescued take a cue from his dad and carry your own sorry ass over to Afgahnistan and do it.

    Also, I am not your son. Because you have no idea who your father is does not mean that I am in the same boat.

    @ 6, you may think my comments are shameful, I do not. I would say releasing enemy combatants for Bowe is aiding the enemy.

  19. LZ says:

    This comment thread is pretty good. I like the contrast between the exchanges between the adults who show mutual respect for differing opinions and the kids who take the hardline and offer witty gay bastard jokes.
    He’s a private Jack. Even if it turns out that he had a terrible lapse in judgment, it’s no reason to offer him up to our enemies; however, backstabbing is not treason so you’re entitled to your opinion. Just realize that most of the guys who post here have read your “unique” wit as posted by 1000 other infallible badasses.

  20. Jack says:

    @19 Over ten years of war, tens of thousands of privates in uniform and we want to cut this guy a break saying he merely exercised bad judgment or had a terrible lapse in the same?

    I am sorry, but I believe that he did far worse than that. No, I believe he deserted and saying so is not backstabbing nor is saying I do not want to see good soldiers and Marines die for him backstabbing. What he did (in my opionion) is far closer to treason than anything I have said here.

    But hey, thanks for pointing out that saying so is not treason, how generous and intelligent of you.

    I am not in favor of offering him up to anyone, I believe he already did that himself. Not like I walked him over to the enemy.

    As to badasses, that would be the dipshit who first chose to make this personal, I responded in kind, pointed out myself how silly it was and moved on. I showed no disrespect to anyone, merely stated my opionion and was compared to (and found wanting in the comparison) shit. Did you miss that?

  21. PintoNag says:

    Is it possible he was lured away? The reason I ask is, the one problem I see with deserting is that there really wasn’t anyone around for him to desert to. Except the enemy, of course. And would they be holding him as a hostage if he’d thrown in his lot with them?

  22. LZ says:

    I didn’t miss it. I should have also said @16 not to play the I’ve seen, you’ve seen game here. Just get each other’s phone numbers if you want to trade dd214’s and gay jokes.

    I don’t remember a qualifier in “no man left behind.”

  23. OWB says:

    PN – just about anything is possible. The point that most of us have made in the past and will continue to make is that now is not the time and this is not the place for that discussion. Offering negative opinion, although allowed under our system of governance, is simply putting Bowe in more jeapardy than he was before. Or could be. Maybe not. We just do not know.

    Could be that expressing the divisiveness is aiding and abetting. Just like the idiots did when we had our warriors in POW camps in VietNam. The yammering fools over here caused real damage to our troops.

    Now is the time to zip the lip. After we get him home there will be plenty of time for conjecture.

  24. DR_BRETT says:

    No. 14 68W58 :
    “And I do worry about gratitude turning to resentment-
    I think a good many veterans from previous eras can speak to that.”

    It is possible, that The American People is not always, in each and every example — TRULY SINCERE AND HONEST .

  25. Marine 83 says:

    Bergdahl is a U.S. soldier, we need to bring him back period. But having said that I agree with Jack. I think he’s a deserter. When/if we do get him back the Army needs to make clear that he is an aleged deserter (if the facts of the case lead in that direction) and they need to try him and send him to Leavenworth where he can compare and contrast jihad ass rape with prison house ass rape.

  26. Jack says:

    @23, maybe so and if possible then all blogs related to military matters should cease to be because by their very nature they ensure that there will be a difference of opionion on any topic posted.

    I would think that saying what the majority of us think of the Commander in chief, especially during a time of war, offers FAR MORE SUPPORT to our enemy than commenting on the lone acts of a Private in the army. Yet we all do it. Are we aiding and abetting the enemy?

    To say that offering an opionion may place Bowe in more danger ignores the fact that he is where he is because of his choices. He is not in captivity because he was captured while conducting combat operations. To place the onus of his safety on me or anyone else who may agree with me is, in my opionion, misguided.

    I will say again, I do not think he should have his head lopped off but it would be worse to have soldiers and Marines killed for him and IF, and I know that is a big IF, it is true the Teletubies were laying IEds and ambushes to kill and maim those that came for Bowe (as reported in RS) then that is what would have happened.

  27. WOTN says:

    I am firmly with Jonn on this. Every week, from 1ET to 1:02pm we honor a Moment of Silence, and this will continue until he is safely in friendly hands.

    There is nothing productive that comes out of speculating on anything he might have done wrong while he remains a hostage of the enemy. IF there is anything that needs to be said or done along those lines, it can wait, UNTIL he is on American soil.

    Pax Americana should be implemented.

    As to RS, they have a long record of animosity towards the military and the facts, but they get hits to their site when they attack Troops. Their biggest spikes have been when they ran their McChrystal hit piece, followed by when they ran their hit piece on the head of NTM-A. Like yonbo, they’re going to keep bouncing that ball, even as it bounces lower.

  28. Sig says:

    I’m still trying to fathom the idea of an outpost without officers somehow having lower morale…

  29. Ann says:

    Jack, since you are obviously a psychic who is able to see the entirety of events you weren’t physically present to witness then you are the one who has really committed treason as you failed to inform anyone of Bin Laden’s true whereabouts.

    You left the First Cav in 2011? Congratulations. I left the Corps in 2011, but it doesn’t give me any magical insight into Bergdahl’s intentions or how he got captured. So, how about we do our due diligence as Americans and get our POW home, and then actually figure out what happened?

    You’re deciding the worth and fate of someone you’ve never met, have zero actual knowledge about over a matter you know even less about? Over a hunch? Sounds like just a variant of barracks lawyering. Methinks we’ve all now been witness to yet another confirmed sighting of a blue falcon in the wild.

    Never leave a man behind isn’t conditional. One thing that was always reiterated during my time in was that should I be lost, dead or alive, America would do everything it could to bring me back home. Let’s do the same for Bowe.

  30. Jack says:

    Ann, you just are not very bright are you. Everything said about my brief deployment in support of the First Cav related only to the army’s issues with soldiers as those issues related to low ASVAB scores and other waivers.

    Career soldiers complained bitterly about that and were happy to see that things were chaning in late 2011. That had zero to do with Bowe.

    And again Ann, people often comment on things that they have not personally witnessed and saying that is the bar that must be met is stupid. I said in MY OPIONION, that is it, just my opionion, and having an opionion does not require that I be psychic.

    But yes Ann, you got me, I am a traitor.

    As to your time in the Corps when you can pass the same PFT as me then we can talk.

  31. Hondo says:

    Actually, Jack, Ann strikes me as much brighter than you are. You missed the obvious satire in Ann’s comment above.

    You have every right to opine. Every fool does. And if others here think your opinions are those of a fool, or are otherwise wrong, they have every right to say that, too.

    As you just admitted, you have no firsthand knowledge of what happened to Bergdahl. So that means everything you say here is speculation and opinion. Translated, that means you’re blowing it out your ass and don’t really know jack.

    Last time I checked, Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen/Marines don’t get to choose the missions they will and won’t support. Once the decision is made, you shut up, salute, and execute or support. So whether you think we should try and recover Bergdahl is irrelevant. DoD and Army policy is that we don’t abandon POWs and/or casualties. Ergo, we will recover Bergdahl if circumstances permit. Get over it.

  32. Ann says:

    Jack, my apologies. It’s hard to see past your implications of omnipotence. Your opinion that Bergdahl should be abandoned because you ‘know’ he’s a traitor in uncalled for, as is your assumption that he was a substandard applicant that never would have otherwise gotten in. If there was any actual evidence that he deserted I imagine the Army would not continue to promote him. Why are you taking the word of a terrorist organization that claims every aircraft mishap was actually the result of an attack they made, claims absurdly high NATO and civilian death rates, and conceals their own casualty levels?

    How is a PFT score as a measure of expertise? By that rationale your Army manpower subject matter expert would be Chuck Liddell and John Cena.

  33. Beretverde says:

    If it means anything… my source (5.5) who was there at the time in the AO and was involved in the immediate aftermath shit and told me he deserted.

    It’s happened before: USMC PFC Robert Garwood in Vietnam

  34. Tom B. says:

    IF Bergdahl just walked out of that outpost due to his disillusionment with the Army and the mission, it just goes to show how he is a product of his parents upbringing. Just from reading the information about his childhood, I see a VERY confused and conflicted young man that should never of been deployed anywhere.

    His parents are directly responsible for this young man’s captivity IMO.

    For all we know, Bergdahl could of just had the intention of being “out in the wilderness” for some relaxation, just as he would do at home in Idaho. Of course, that would be an extremely stupid decision, but it’s a far cry from being a deserter.

    The article itself brings out a range of emotions from me. When this happens, it means to me that this article has snippets of truth swirled in with left-wing liberal bullshit. Serving in the Army, or any of our Armed Forces, is difficult, at best, during combat. You see things and experience things that will change your perspective on life. It angers me to no end that the liberal left will use these often-times temporary moments of depression as a means to attack and sully the beliefs and intents of my Right-Wing brothers and sisters.

    Depression and the sense of hopelessness we all experience in combat do not redefine our beliefs unless our beliefs weren’t ours to begin with. Men and women who have already formed their OWN belief systems are able to deal with these times of depression, anger and hopelessness and turn it around to fuel our beliefs, fuel our truth seeking and to help us truly justify why we chose the job we did.

    Bergdahl was, and is, a confused product of his upbringing. Liberalism doesn’t mix well with free thinking, truth seeking mentalities. I shall not judge the young man. While his actions aren’t anything I personally would do or agree with, combat and a jacked up unit command structure will make kids do some awfully stupid things.

    I see Bergdahl as an accurate portrayal of a hippie family, a young man who was never taught how to mature into a man who placed himself into a situation that would challenge his perceived image of himself. And image his parents did absolutely NOTHING to correct through a reality check. Couple that with a less than functional command structure and unit structure and you get what we have here.


  35. WOTN says:

    BV: Nothing against your source, but the timing to address such issues is when he is in US hands.

    There are individuals that risked their lives to desert across the Korean DMZ to get out of an Art15, but they also could not be prosecuted until they left that country.

  36. Ann says:

    Beretverde, now that is speculation I can give some credence to. Not that it excuses it in any way, but if he did desert I doubt he was trying to join the insurgency unless your friend can confirm he became a fundie Muslim. Should either be the case then IMO it’s all the more reason to rescue him so we can throw him in the brig, but I do think his ordeal is proving quite the punishment in it’s own right.

    North Korea at least had some good propaganda coupled with a lot of speculation about how conditions really were. So I could see some disgruntled idiot in Garwood’s era defecting, but I can’t imagine why anyone would attempt it in Afghanistan. The only case I know of I remember learning about via an email that was bouncing around the Afghan domain. Some Army kid deserted, left his weapon, and was apparently trying to make it to Europe with one of those glorified bent rebar things the locals sold as swords at the bazaar, a map of Asia, his PPE, a Pashto phrase book, and a bunch of Clif bars. Thankfully some ANA ran into to him a few miles from his FOB, and promptly took the idiot right back.

    Speaking of Robert Garwood have you ever watched the documentary about him deserting? It ended up focusing on the four deserters we’ve had over the course of our involvement with Korea, and had a lot of first hand accounts (including from Garwood himself.) The desertions magically stopped once starving North Koreans began escaping and confirming the gulag rumors. Garwood came across as a real sociopath, whereas Bergdahl just seems like an oddball.

  37. Ann says:

    Tom, I’ll pick an ultralight camping trip over an all expense paid trip to a five star resort any day. But I have to say any chance of losing my mind by wanting to leave my FOB to go traipsing around the countryside was good and well quashed after watching a beheading video and getting mortared several times a week. Even the Code Pink and ISO whackos have yet to make any goodwill visits to Afghanistan or Pakistan.

  38. Hondo says:

    Uh, Ann . . . . Garwood was in Vietnam, not Korea. He disappeared near Da Nang in 1965.

    Beretverde: I’d be wary of using Garwood as a parallel here. The circumstances of Garwood’s disappearance are still unclear, and as far as I know it’s never been definitively determined if he defected or was captured. (IMO, capture seems far more likely.) However, it does appear clear that he defected at some point, and collaborated with the enemy starting sometime after he departed his compound in Da Nang. It appears most likely he started collaborating with the enemyin late 1966 or early 1967.

    Bergdahl’s case would seem to be at worst the exact opposite (defection followed by reconsideration) and at best a case of stupidity followed by capture.

  39. Ann says:

    Whoops I confused Garwood with James Joseph Dresnok!

  40. Ex-PH2 says:

    I’ve noticed how the Rolling Stone conveniently forgot to inverview the members of Bergdahl’s unit.
    This is an intentional lapse, and certainly disqualifies the RS article as investigative journalism. They never were journalists to begin with, just a bunch of weed-smoking ragtags that got lucky and caught on with kids with cash. And they smell bad.
    So, until or unless Bergdahl makes it out of the hands of the people currently holding him, there is no way to properly judge what he did, or why.

  41. Ann says:

    Hondo, what’s the likelihood that the enemy collaboration was due to psychological stress and/or Stockholm Syndrome? He appeared to have been held alone for a significant period of time which greatly increases the chances of collaboration as a coping mechanism.

  42. Beretverde says:

    @ #35 & #38 … good points.

  43. Jack says:

    @31 I am glad that you think Ann is smarter than me, really I am. I did not miss the satire; I just thought it was stupid and responded in kind.
    While I have no firsthand knowledge of what happened to the Bergdhal it does seem that those who do are not of the opinion that he left of his own free will. He is reported to have asked if he could take serialized gear with him. His parents report that he was disgusted with his country, the war and the army as well as the soldiers in his unit. So while I was not there, which is a bull shit argument anyway, there is more than enough information available to support my opinion that this guy simply left his post.

    Like all of us, my opinions are shaped by our experience and training. My experience and training told me this guy simply left. The additional information that is available only reinforces my opinion that he left of his own free will. None of us were there when Jill Metzger went AWOL and while the official story is that she is some sort of hero I doubt anybody here believes that. Why? Because based on what we know, what we have been told and on our experiences this story never passed the smell test.

    So while my opinion may just be blown out my ass it certainly is no more so than any other opinion posted here. That said, yes my opinion is irrelevant but no more so than any other. Whatever any of us think about anything which we have no influence or control over is irrelevant. Everything written here is irrelevant.

    @32 Ann, I did not imply that Bergdhal was substandard. I was addressing RS and their take on the army as a whole, using the Bergdhal’s unit to paint a bad picture of the army. The First Cav, the unit I referenced, was not Bergdhal’s unit. I do not know if he was a waiver of any type but going by what was written in the RS article I believe that he was an above average applicant.

    DoD will continue to promote him until he is convicted of a crime. That is not proof that they believe he is clean. Did you read the article? Did you read what fellow soldiers are quoted as saying about this? Screw RS and their reporting; examine what soldiers are saying about this. I do not trust the enemy for anything and nothing I have said about this is based on their take as to how Bergdhal was captured.

    @33 Don’t say that, nobody wants to hear it. And, part of the reason I believe this guy walked is his case is very similar to that of Corporal Wasseff Hassoun in 2004. Most of these people seem to never have heard of the guy.
    @39 Easy mistake to make Ann as their names are similar, both men were in the Marines and both wars ended in 1953. Just kidding. One was a soldier, one a Marine, one war ended in 1953 and the other in 1975.

    @40 I doubt members of his unit would be allowed to talk to RS in any circumstance concerning this and especially so after the fallout from the McChrystal piece. They did talk to his parents however and they make it very clear that Bergdhal was disgusted with his country, the army and his fellow soldiers. And for me my opinion is not based just on the RS story.

    Again, no I do not know that Bergdhal went over the wall but that is what I believe. I hope that he makes it out and believe that he will because BHO will make any deal to secure his release between now and November. If that means cutting lose men who will then kill soldiers and Marines doing their jobs who cares? If that means giving the enemy the money with which to kill additional soldiers and Marines who cares? Bergdahl may well turn out to be one of the best weapons the enemy has and no Ann, that does not require he actually take up arms aginst us.

  44. Joe Williams says:

    Jack, if that was your Son would your opion be the same? To leave your Son behind.

  45. OWB says:

    Jack – you are being exceedingly hard headed about this. No one has suggested that your opinion is any more or less valuable than anyone else’s. What we are telling you, in VERY clear English, is that this entire conversation should be had after he is home.

    But, Jack, you have turned this into being about you and your opinion instead of getting Bowe back safely, then dealing with whatever needs to be dealt with.

    Believe it or not, Jack, the world does not revolve around you.