Author, Journalist. IAPP Copyright 2014
“The future is too good to waste on lies … and life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their ideas and 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.” -Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, in correspondence with his parents in 2009.
IAPP/NWU KANSAS CITY: Just when we think we have seen or heard nearly everything scandalous or questionable that has happened at the hands of the bureaucrats in Washington D.C. and their secret deal making; we hear of the release of five known terrorists from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for the release of alleged captive Bergdahl, who in 2009 deserted his post, because he did not agree with what his Government asked of him. This is the same Government, that he swore allegiance to upon joining the United States Army, prior to deployment overseas.
As details emerge in the circumstances surrounding his capture and detainment in 2009 and the means of his release, hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country are becoming enraged. Some question why the outrage, and not the celebration of a soldier captured being released? Let’s take a look at some of the known facts about the information as a whole and you decide if negotiating the exchange of FIVE terrorists for the release of one soldier who was captured by the same enemy when he deserted his country, his duty and his fellow soldiers a tragedy coming to an end? Or was this the act of endorsing betrayal of an Oath, and sanctioning the criminal act of violating the UCMJ- (Rev 2012, Article 86—Absence without leave, pp. IV-13 – IV-15), by abandoning his post willfully and deserting?
Army SGT Bergdahl
Army SGT Bergdahl was not “captured” by the enemy in 2009. He abandoned his assigned post on his Forward Operating Base (FOB), leaving his weapon, and no evidence was later found that he had any intent in returning. In knowing through briefings by his command he was fully aware of the dangers of leaving his post outside of authorized maneuvers, hence voluntarily surrendering himself to the results of his actions. His desire to free himself of duty and revolt was also substantiated in his correspondence with his parents while in alleged captivity, when he proclaimed that he “despised America” and “ashamed to be an American”. According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 85 states;
Any member of the armed forces who— without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently; are deserters.
Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.”
When looking at this fact, and knowing that Army SGT Bergdahl, swore an oath to uphold and maintain these said laws, readily knowing the consequence can be death, as stated, why was an exchange to release a prisoner, who by our own laws, “…if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct”, is harsher? Then one may argue that this man was only AWOL (Absent Without Leave), A person who is absent for just a day or two, then apprehended, could still be charged with the offense of Desertion, but the prosecution would have to show evidence that the accused intended to remain away permanently. The UCMJ states in the same article;
(1) Desertion with intent to remain away permanently. (a) That the accused absented himself or herself from his or her unit, organization, or place of duty; (b) That such absence was without authority; (c) That the accused, at the time the absence began or at some time during the absence, intended to remain away from his or her unit, organization, or place of duty permanently.
(2) Desertion with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service.
The allegations of desertion are serious. It occurred during a war, during combat operations, and jeopardized the lives of many. It is true that the U.S. Army must uphold proper order and discipline and this allegation must be investigated — but we as Americans already know the most likely outcome under our current administration. The censored liberal media will attempt to elevate him to some type of “victim of war or PTSD” status that will cause the Army not to pursue the right direction under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). As far as it being desertion during a time of War, as thousands protest, well consider the facts on that statement. There was no formal “declaration of War” against a country. There was a statement made “declaring war on Terrorism”, just as a “war on drugs, war on gun violence”. All of which are a WAR on an inanimate object. Grated the war on terrorism has spanned a few countries, to include our own; it was not a war on a physical country or specified location, but a war on an act, or behavior.
Many soldiers and veterans who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other combat areas of operation against radical Islamists know that they don’t care about our troops or our country. They train only to savagely and brutally murder those who do not follow their ideology. They exist to kill Americans. Yes he is an American who despises his country, and in need of rescue, but at what price, and consequence? He should still be tried and answer for his conduct and breech of his Oath to the same country, he betrayed by his actions.
Former Pfc. Jose Baggett, 27, of Chicago, was also in Bergdahls company, and said he was close to the two men “killed because of his (Bergdahl’s) actions.”
Multiple inconsistencies as to his loyalty to Country can be found in statements he made and the emails to his family prior to his unauthorized leaving of his post. These statements made in emails to his family show his clear disdain for America, leading many to believe his intent was to willfully abandon his unit and country.
The actions of Army SGT Bergdahl, in 2009, caused loss of life. This by definition is Manslaughter. Manslaughter is defined by the Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 119, (UCMJ) as;
(b) Any person who… without an intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm, unlawfully kills a human being (1) by culpable negligence;
(i) Nature of culpable negligence. Culpable negligence is a degree of carelessness greater than simple negligence. It is a negligent act or omission accompanied by a culpable disregard for the foresee-able consequences to others of that act or omission. Thus, the basis of a charge of involuntary manslaughter may be a negligent act or omission which, whe viewed in the light of human experience, might foreseeably result in the death of another, even though death would not necessarily be a natural and probable consequence of the act or omission.
According to sources and documents;
On August 18, 2009, Staff Sgt. Clayton Bowen and Pfc. Morris Walker were killed by an IED in the search for Bergdahl.
On August 26, 2009 Staff Sgt. Kurt Curtiss was killed.
On September 4, 2009, 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrews and Pfc. Matthew Michael Martinek were killed after being attacked in Yahya Khail District, while participating in search operations for Bergdahl.
On September 5, 2009, Staff Sgt. Michael Murphrey was killed by an IED at the Forward Operating Base, Sharana, while involved in duties pertaining to search operations for Bergdahl.
Multiple military operations were put on hold while the search for Bergdahl was ordered priority, according to officers who served in Afghanistan in that time. Manpower and assets, (including scarce surveillance drones and helicopters) were redirected to the hunt. This led to the closure of a dangerous combat outpost, COP Keating, was delayed which directly led to eight soldiers being killed at COP Keating before it was ultimately closed.
One soldier with the 509th Regiment, a sister unit of the 501st, told CNN that “after Bergdahl disappeared, the U.S. Army essentially was told to lock down the entire province of Paktika”. He described sitting in the middle of a field with his platoon, vulnerable, with capabilities and personnel mismanaged throughout the region. He stated; “Different platoons ran out of water, food, and ammunition, putting many lives in danger”.
When interviewed by CNN, June 2, 2014, Sergeant Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl’s platoon stated;
“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.” “It was unbelievable,” the soldier said. “All because of the selfish act of one person. The amount of animosity (toward him) is nothing like you’ve ever seen before.” “I don’t understand why we’re trading prisoners at Gitmo for somebody who deserted during a time of war, which is an act of treason.”
Several soldiers were killed in multiple searches for Bergdahl after his disappearance, and many soldiers in his platoon said attacks seemed to increase against the United States in Paktika province in the days and weeks following.
Many of Bergdahl’s fellow troops, including several who knew him best in his squad and the larger group that made up the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division stated to CNN earlier this month, that they signed nondisclosure agreements agreeing to never share any information about Bergdahl’s disappearance and the efforts to recapture him. Some regretted signing the nondisclosure for fear the truth would never be told; That Army SGT Bergdahl, who is being hailed as a hero by our President, and many others, when he deserted his post, as the men who lost their lives looking for him, the true victims here, lost their lives.
Guantanamo Bay Prisoners Exchanged
Abdul Haq Wasiq, Mullah Norullah Nori, Khairullah Khairkhwa, Mohammed Nabi and Mohammad Fazl are all known Terrorists, that were detained at Guantanamo Bay as enemy combatants, with a known disdain for United States.
Taliban members handed Bergdahl over to special operations forces in eastern Afghanistan, and later in the day the detainees were flown from the Guantanamo detention center to Qatar.
My Question is, since when is it acceptable to trade a known deserter, with disdain for our country in exchange for FIVE volatile individuals, with whom the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo Bay had determined in Memorandums between Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby, CMDR, Guantanamo Bay and The Commander of the United States Southern Command in Florida, to be high risk and future threat? Since when do we negotiate with terrorists? Below are summarized risk assessments and executive summaries obtained from the official documents and memorandums:
Abdul Haq Wasiq:
Executive Summary: Served as the Taliban Deputy Minister of Intelligence. Detainee had direct access to Taliban and Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG)leadership. He was central to the Taliban’s efforts to form alliances with other Islamic fundamentalist groups to fight alongside the Taliban against US and Coalition forces after the 11 September 2001 attacks. Detainee utilized his office to support al-Qaida and to assist Taliban personnel elude capture. Detainee arranged for al-Qaida personnel to train Taliban intelligence staff in intelligence methods.
- Detainee was a high-level Taliban intelligence officer. He was central to Taliban efforts to form alliances with other Islamic fundamentalist groups to fight alongside the Taliban against US and Coalition forces after the 11 September 2001 attacks. Detainee also coordinated intelligence training between al-Qaida and the Taliban. Detainee assisted al-Qaida and Taliban elements to elude Coalition forces.
- Detainee admitted he served as the Taliban Deputy Minister of Intelligence. Detainee reported to Intelligence Minister Qari Ahmadullah, who reported to Taliban Supreme Commander Mullah Muhammad Omar.
- Detainee had a bank account in his name at the al-Taqwa Bank, in Nassau, Bahamas. Numerous al-Qaida and Taliban members had accounts at the same bank. Bahamas officials closed the al-Taqwa Bank in April 2001 because of its suspicious financial activities to extremist groups.
- Detainee is assessed to be a HIGH risk, as he is likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies.
Mullah Norullah Nori:
Executive Summary: Detainee was a senior Taliban military commander in Mazar-e-Sharif during hostilities against US and Coalition forces in late 2001. Detainee was also the Taliban governor for the Balkh and Laghman provinces and is wanted by the United Nations (UN) for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiite Muslims. Detainee is associated with Supreme Taliban Commander Mullah Muhammad Omar, other senior Taliban officials, senior al-Qaida members and other extremist organizations and has remained a significant figure to Taliban supporters. Detainee’s brother is a Taliban commander directing operations against US and Coalition forces where detainee resided.
- Detainee is wanted by the United Nations for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiites. When asked about the murders, detainee and AF-007 did not express any regret and stated they did what they needed to do in their struggle to establish their ideal state. Detainee’s willingness to support the Taliban objectives was also reported by the Pakistani Military Inter Services Intelligence Directorate (ISID) which assessed detainee to be a hardliner in his support of the Taliban philosophy
- Detainee is also associated with members of al-Qaida, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and the Hezb-E-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG).19
- Detainee continues to be a significant figure encouraging acts of aggression and his brother is currently a Taliban commander conducting operations against US and Coalition forces.
- Detainee is assessed to be a HIGH risk, as he is likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies.
Executive Summary: Detainee was a senior Taliban official serving as the Minister of Interior, Governor of Herat, and a military commander. Detainee was directly associated to Usama Bin Laden (UBL) and Taliban Supreme Commander Mullah Muhammad Omar, and was added to the UN financial freeze list. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, detainee represented the Taliban during meetings with Iranian officials seeking to support hostilities against US and Coalition forces.
- Detainee also attended a meeting at the direction of UBL, reportedly accompanied by members of HAMAS. Detainee and his deputy were probably associated with a militant training camp in Herat operated by deceased al-Qaida commander (in Iraq) Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
- Detainee was identified as a narcotics trafficker and probably used his position and influences to become one of the major opium drug lords in Western Afghanistan. Detainee probably used his position and influences to become one of the premier opium drug lords in Western Afghanistan and used profits from drugs to promote Taliban interests in the area.
- On 3 October 2001, detainee acted as an escort for Kabul Province Governor Mullah Abd al-Manan Niyazi and two other Taliban officials when they attended a meeting initiated by Iran, probably by the IRGC. Iran offered to sell SA-7 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and other unidentified weapons to the Taliban. The Iranian delegation also promised to open Iran’s borders to Arabs entering Afghanistan to fight jihad and to broker an agreement between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance, to which Iran had been covertly supplying weapons and material.
- Detainee is assessed to be a HIGH risk, as he is likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies.
Executive Summary: Detainee was a senior Taliban official who served in multiple leadership roles.
Detainee has strong ties to active ACM networks including al-Qaida, the Taliban, the Haqqani
Network, and the HIG personnel. Detainee was involved in ACM attacks against US and Coalition
forces and supported extremist elements through weapons smuggling and storage.
- Detainee admitted serving in Taliban leadership positions including Chief of Security in Qalat, Chief of Communications in Kabul, and as a subordinate to the Chief of the Border Department in Kabul.(Analyst The latter position provided detainee with access to senior Taliban commander and leader of the Haqqani Network, Jalaluddin Haqqani. Haqqani was the Taliban Minister of Frontiers and Borders which provided the framework for their close association until detainee’s capture.)
- According to a sensitive contact, detainee was one of three former Taliban commanders loyal to Haqqani. The other two commanders were identified as detainee’s brother-in-law Malim Jan, aka (the Butcher of Khowst), and Gul Majid. These commanders worked with former Taliban commander Zakim Khan.
- Detainee was given the name the Butcher of Khowst as he was responsible for the murder of up to 300 people in Khowst. He was a sub-commander under Haqqani and was in charge of the “Secret Police. Jan and Majid were both active as of 2007.
Executive Summary: Detainee was the Taliban Deputy Minister of Defense during Operation Enduring Freedom and is an admitted senior commander who served as Chief of Staff of the Taliban Army and as a commander of the 22nd Division. Detainee is wanted by the UN for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiites.
- Detainee was associated with terrorist groups currently opposing US and Coalition forces including al-Qaida, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG), and an Anti-Coalition Militia group known as Harakat-i-Inqilab-i-Islami.1 Detainee wielded considerable influence throughout the northern region of Afghanistan and his influence continued after his capture.
- Detainee’s name and capture have been used, in recruiting campaigns by the Taliban, and $500,000 US was paid to ensure detainees safe passage. If released, detainee would likely rejoin the Taliban and establish ties with ACM elements participating in hostilities against US and Coalition forces in Afghanistan.
- Detainee and his troops were supplied with weapons by Taliban Minister of Defense, Mullah Haji Obaidullah Akhund. Upon his capture, detainee displayed no remorse for his actions.
- Many other current and former JTF-GTMO detainees identified detainee as a Taliban commander operating in the northern region of Afghanistan. Detainee was also identified as the Taliban Deputy Minister of War for the Northern Front.
The Decision Makers
Charles Timothy “Chuck” Hagel the United States Secretary of Defense stated directly following the breaking news of the exchange stated “intelligence the U.S. had gathered suggested that Bergdahl’s “safety and health were both in jeopardy, and in particular his health was deteriorating.”
Hagel Then stated, “ it was the administration’s judgment the military had to move quickly to get Bergdahl out, “essentially to save his life.” It was the unanimous consensus of the National Security Council, and the president has the authority to order such a release under Article 2 of the Constitution, and ignore the fact that the Pentagon did not give Congress the required 30-day notice for the release of detainees”.
But if you take a good look at Article 2 of the Constitution, in the context it was meant to be established and followed, one questions the validity of this act of bypassing Congress, under false pretense. Yet we do realize, we are under the direct authority of a President who has little to no regard or respect for the Constitution unless it suits his agenda, as stated by many members of the GOP.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 defended his decision to release five Afghan detainees from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for freeing an American soldier by “saying his administration had consulted with Congress about that possibility for some time.” He then brushed aside questions about the circumstances surrounding Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s capture by insurgents in 2009, in which military evidence clearly showed his intent to abandon his post, and forego his own country against orders. Instead he replied; “The United States, he said, has a sacred obligation to not leave men and women in uniform behind.” Again I ask, at what price do we do this? Do we rescue one and jeopardize the loss of thousands of lives, as we did on September 11, 2001 to date?
Republicans in Congress criticized the agreement and complained about not having been consulted, citing a law that requires Congress to be given 30 days’ notice before a prisoner is released from Guantanamo. Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee said the Pentagon notified the panel by phone on Saturday that the exchange was occurring in the next five hours.
But we all know this falls on the deaf ears of Liberals since Obama has previously expressed concern about the congressional notification requirement, which was passed as part of the 2014 defense bill. In a statement that accompanied his signing of that legislation, he said the executive branch must have flexibility “to act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers.” Another way of creating or modifying laws to meet his own agenda.
Officials serving under Obama, who lack the ability to think rationally about the safety of the United States as a whole, for fear of rubbing elbows with future voters, said delaying “Bergdahl’s transfer in order to comply with the congressional notification rules would have interfered with two of the president’s constitutional authorities: protecting the lives of Americans abroad and protecting U.S. soldiers”. Yet did they think hard before making that statement? What about the lives of the 6 soldiers who died as a direct result of actions and measures to search for Bergdahl, when he decided to betray them?
Julie Pace, from the Associated Press released the following statement Wednesday morning June 4, 2014 stating:
The U.S. and the Taliban negotiated the prisoner exchange indirectly, with the government of Qatar serving as an intermediary. The U.S. and Qatar signed a memorandum of understanding governing the conditions of their release, though beyond the travel ban, the exact stipulations are unknown.
Obama acknowledged that there was always a chance that the released Afghans could rejoin the Taliban or other groups seeking to harm the U.S. But if they take those steps, Obama said the U.S. “will be in a position” to go after them.
I looked at that statement and thought, since when do we use foreign entities to negotiate with terrorists and have the outcome successful? Is it really okay for our own President to betray the trust of the majority of those he is to represent with Loyalty and commitment, to negotiate to rescue one who betrays the United States, by releasing five who would only seek to destroy us by any means possible, on the word of some “Negotiator” living in the heart of a country known for not honoring it’s word, and supporting our destruction? News media all over the world showed the five terrorists being celebrated as heroes upon their return, yet our own President and his loyal minions, have no recognition or respect shown for the soldiers killed in attempts to rescue Bergdahl in the past.
True Bergdahl is still an American citizen, and is afforded some rights, but where do we draw the line in what we do to protect these rights? Now that he is in our custody, will he even serve any time? Will he be prosecuted fully for his crimes? Or Will Obama embrace him as a hero, whose actions were the result of PTSD? That to me holds about as much logic as pardoning a man for killing six of his family members while under the influence of drugs, because the drugs altered his mental illness, since PTSD is another disorder we do use as a defense in some crimes. I so sympathize with people who truly suffer from Mental Illness, PTSD and other like disorders, but it is not a means of excuse for bad behavior, no more than owning a gun, is a means to commit a crime. Evil within creates the action, not the mechanism of excuse.
We also have to consider the unwise choices some of our leaders make that add to the millions now scratching their heads and wondering what has our country come to? This same administration, who felt the need to release five major threats to the safety of millions of Americans, who stood next to and embraced the support of Bergahl’s father, who tweeted (then deleted), “@ABalkhi “I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, Ameen!”
So while the father praises Allah to his son, America looks at our Commander in Chief standing next to him in support of the very ideology of the terrorists he claims to make every effort to protect us from, many become angers and realize this act is just one more nail in the coffin to move forward towards grounds for impeachment, before more of our welfare and core values are destroyed.
The Other Options
Sympathizers would lead us to believe this soldier was frustrated with the war on terrorism, and acted out of extreme stress and protest of the mission of his unit. I say he was a coward because he did not have the guts to ask to speak with a military chaplain, and use the DoD Directive 1300.6 and request an evaluation as a Contentious Objector. He would be reviewed for eligibility for discharge.
When looking into the requirements for this claim to be valid, ones past affiliations, beliefs and stance as well as current feelings towards war is taken into consideration. Looking into some of his previous actions and statements, shared all over the media, and coming to light, one must consider the reason he may not have chosen this route is because it may reflect his indiscretion and sympathetic nature towards the “enemy” of his own people? Was he afraid he would be found a supporter of the radical Islamic beliefs of the enemy? Was he a number of the increasing “homegrown” terrorists rising up in America?
Read between the lines, do the math, research the other sources main-stream media is trying to silence, and at one time the government silenced, that served directly with him. I do not see a single soldier who served in his unit with him, stepping forward to defend his integrity.
In the end, we have to weigh out ALL the facts available, and disregard opinion or popular norm. We have to look at the crimes that were committed, and although our own Commander-in-Chief, circumvented laws scandalously to trade terrorists for someone who hates his own countries ideals of what the price of the “freedom” he wants to appreciates costs, and consider this.. The end result will be TWO things. Someone is not going to get the punishment they deserve and one more piece of our countries integrity is chipped away at.
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