NYT: Bergdahl back to Active Duty

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NYT: Bergdahl back to Active Duty

Somewhat of a slower news day, but this article in the New York Times caught my eye:

 Six weeks after being released from five years in Taliban captivity, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is expected to return to life as a regular Army soldier as early as Monday, Defense Department officials said late Sunday.

Sergeant Bergdahl has finished undergoing therapy and counseling at an Army hospital in San Antonio, and will assume a job at the Army North headquarters at the same base, Fort Sam Houston, the officials said.

NYT also notes that Bergahl is set to meet with the General tasked with looking into his initial...."disappearance".  The picture above put a kink in that plan.  It was a tweet sent out last week by the Haqqani Network guys which shows Bergdahl with "Martyr" (killed by Good Guys) Badar'udin Haqqani.

There was something in the New York Times article that did set me to searching today though, the final paragraph reads:

Last Thursday, Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who heads the Armed Services Committee, released letters from each of the Joint Chiefs of Staff supporting the repatriation of Sergeant Bergdahl, a rebuttal to critics who said the swap should not have been made.

So I went to Senator Levin's page, and you can read those letters yourself.  It seems a bit of a stretch to say that the unanimously rebut the critics who say the swap shouldn't be made.  In particular, read General Amos' letter which states:

That's not exactly a glowing support for the swap.  He says he doesn't really have the context and thus is "not in a position to provide an informed response."

Nonetheless, people occasionally ask what our position is on Bergdahl.  As far as I know, the only statement we made still stands in effect:

“First, to Sgt. Bergdahl, I say, ‘welcome home,’” American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger said today. “Your family has waited far too long to see you and we are happy that your five year nightmare has ended. To the administration, I say The American Legion has some very serious concerns.”

Dellinger, who is visiting troops in Europe this week, asked, “Has the United States changed its longheld policy of not negotiating with terrorists? Will this provide incentives for terrorists to kidnap other Americans? What assurances do we have that the five dangerous detainees being released from Guantanamo will not return to the battlefield?

“While Qatar will institute a travel ban on the released detainees for 12 months, our troops won’t be leaving Afghanistan until 2016,” Dellinger added. “There are many troubling aspects about this deal and the American people deserve some answers. Moreover, we hope the Department of Defense does a complete investigation of the circumstances surrounding Sgt. Bergdahl’s initial disappearance and take whatever steps are warranted by the findings of that investigation.”

Posted in the burner | 12 comments
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Why shouldn't he be on active duty? Is he not innocent until proven guilty? Plus, I don't believe any charges have been brought against him therefore, he should be fulfilling his duties as a soldier until whatever is decided.

The Marines who served with him have spoken. Read their interviews, then decide where you stand.
I say he was/is a deserter who brought death to Marines who searched for him after his desertion.
And now we have traded 5 high profile GITMO detainees to secure his release?
Time will tell, and we shall see.

Not a Marine.

PFC Bergdahl NOT Sgt Bergdahl did not serve with Marines as HarleyDRider states. Also, when I was a Brig Chaser a simple AWOL would land you confined to quarters or more likely for a stay in the Brig while being investigated. Some Colonel says he is now a "normal" Soldier. Given my respect for the Army and the Army uniform I am offended

A full military "Only" investigation should be conducted. If Bergdahl is found guilty of desertion, then punish him under the UCMJ.

I'm uneasy about this. Bergdahl deserves to be confronted by his troops-in-arms, and leadership needs to listen. Please, no "political" exigencies. Look back at the Bobby Garwood case...deserter in VietNam...first possible USMC deserter...ever. What did we learn?
C Lee

It was wartime, they are bringing a General into the investigation. He will get to bottom of this, I could guess all I want but I wasn't there. If I were to guess because his personality of a quiet bookworm type many of things could of happened. If he made that decision of leaving his post in F this manner. Well technically AWOL because he was captured before he became a deserter. This is interesting and will be more interesting when investigated. Now I know we all pay attention to what is not suppose to happen amongst the troups that ends up in news. So Im standing by too see the outcome if it is ever allowed out. It was said he was seen leaving his post without his weapon, Why then wasn't he approached? I would have and had him detained. We all need more details.

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi USMC sits in Mexican jail for a wrong turn and he is NOT accused of desertion, but Marines, American Legion and our government do nothing.. What is wrong with this picture? Terrorists from Gitmo get more from our government... and the US government is apparently more interested in "good PR for Bergdahl" to avoid criticism for releasing terrorists... Go figure... Bergdahl should be the one in jail

AWOL is Absence With Out Leave however, in time of war and, crossing over to enemy lines, seems to smack of desertion. What is the penalty for desertion in time of war????

First let me say that I'm disheartened that our national commander felt necessary to comment in the August issue of Legion. He should have said nothing!
I for one, do not welcome him home until it is proven that he is not a deserter. As for his family waiting too long for his return, he himself did not wish to meet with them as would be expected in a normal return of a honorable service returnee.
The joint chiefs and the administration owes everyone of us a full explanation of the circumstances of his leaving his post during a time of war. If he is found guilty, he deserves the same treatment as Pvt. Eddie Slovack during WWII. THIS WILL NOT BE SWEPT UNDER THE RUG if our fellow veterans stand tall and honor our fallen comrades by pushing for answers on this matter. The national commander's comments were worded wrong and should have been held in until the verdict is in.

After over 20 years active service (1966 thru 1987) with the US Army, I am very upset by the actions of this government, especially the JCOS. Those fellow soldiers, that were present when he "Walked Off", during combat and being the cause of several rescue attempting unit members death, are witness enough for any inquiry. This garbage of playing a media game is a disservice to all that have faithfully and honorably since 1776. To be promoted during his absence (desertion) is really a political BS game. All the time, money and effort wasted on this gutter snipe is telling any questionable future service members that it'll be OK if you tuck tail and run. Try him & fry him.
At this same time the country has an honorable US Marine SGT, held, in prison by Mexican officials, because he made a wrong turn. This same Mexican government that wants trade, immigration, gratuities up the kazoo from the USA! Invade Mexico, as they've done repeatedly over the past months, rescue our US Marine the ask the Mexican government whether the matter is closed, if not, well, Yahoo! Though I'm way past sixty, I'll volunteer for any capacity.

He should be tried, convicted and shot. End of story.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.