When it comes to some things, I admit I can be a day late and a dollar short especially when life throws you a curve ball or two — like dry rotted windshield wiper blades, the pedicure for the “little princess,” and the lingering gifts to buy for loved ones this Christmas. And, admittedly at times, my elevator gets stuck between the levels of thought on more than one occasion while the tea kettle boiled over. Truth be told, keeping that picnic basket full can be a challenge. However, never in my entire life have I concocted a story so incredibly implausible as to belief then have it broadcast over the airwaves. Deserter Bowe Bergdahl does just that for the podcast “Serial.”
You can read the entire article at CNS, but the basics of Bergdahl’s story is as follows.
Bergdahl had concerns about the leadership of his unit. Because of his rank, he didn’t think anyone would take his concerns seriously. So, instead of writing letters up the chain of command and to his representative to request a congressional inquiry, he decided to create a crisis to gain the attention of the military brass. Not only did he want to gain attention of the military brass, he wanted to prove himself a type of action hero, a real life Jason Bourne, if you will. Bergdahl, once he decided on his course of action, took $300 combined of US and Afghani currency, shipped his personal belongings home, bought local attire, and walked off into the sunset.
Bergdahl was a private first class in the army; yet, he did not follow the chain of command which is pounded into anyone who serves in the military. He didn’t even try. Remember the movie, A Few Good Men, where a Marine private wrote everyone including his congressmen regarding his situation in Guantanamo Bay? It’s a similar situation which goes through the chain of command. Even in the podcasts, Bergdahl never stated what the concerns were at the time regarding leadership of his unit.
Pardon the skeptic in me, but one does not ship all ones personal belongings home if one intends to return after creating a crisis.
According to Bergdahl, he believed his disappearance in one place then reappearance in another would gain him access to top officials. He left the base after midnight and began to worry about the reception he would receive but instead of returning decides to “gather intel” on who might be planting bombs in the area. In his logic, that would smooth out the wrinkles with the brass when they found him. The next morning, as he walked through the flat desert exposed, a group of men on motorcycles came upon him and he was captured.
A private first class who has concerns about “leadership” runs off into the night to get attention of the “brass,” after shipping his personal belongings home, buying local attire and withdrawing $300 in mixed currency, decides to engage in a little intelligence gathering operation on the way? Seriously?
Of course, silly Suzanne, he wanted to play at being Jason Bourne or try and be an action hero like everyone else. You know that MacGyver can build a shopping mall with a Q-tip and some string. Where have you been?
Sorry, where was my head? Everyone wants to be Jason Bourne or Batman and can. What am I saying?
Don’t get me wrong. When we were kids, we wanted to invent all sorts of stories to tell our parents to get out of trouble. But, we never did because the punishment for lying when the folks found out, and they always did, was worse than what you would get for fessing up. And as children we played at being an action hero or mimicked out some TV character in our boisterous endeavors to be greater than we were. As a child we did childish things; but, when we became an adult, we put away childish things. But, I digress.
For all this story made from sack cloth, this deserter, which is what he is for leaving his post unauthorized and disappearing after shipping his personal belongings home, was promoted unbelievably to Sergeant. This is what Hussein Obama traded 5 high ranking Taliban operatives for while leaving a Christian pastor to rot in jail in Iran. Un – stinking – believable!
His lawyer, Eugene Fidell, wants Bergdahl’s story told by Bergdahl himself to the public in order for “people in our society to form their own opinions.” Well, Bergdahl is not going to be facing trial by media or the public but a military tribunal for a court martial. And, tell me how many Americans have any respect for anyone in military service who abandons their post? Having several in the family former military as well as current military, in all honesty, little respect or sympathy is given to Bergdahl by them.
Incredulously, an Army officer has recommended the case be moved to a “misdemeanor-level” military court. Well, isn’t that just special? An Army officer wants desertion to be tried as a misdemeanor. Wonder what would happen if another army enlisted soldier pulled a “Bergdahl?” One can bet they wouldn’t be meeting Obama, getting an increase in rank, nor having their story told or case be down-graded to a misdemeanor.
In Bergdahl’s own words, “I was trying to prove myself, I was trying to prove to the world, to anybody who used to know me … I was capable of being what I appeared to be. Doing what I did was me saying I am like Jason Bourne. I had this fantastic idea that I was going to prove to the world I was the real thing.”
Sounds as though Bergdahl has some self-esteem issues at first then it becomes fantastical. Maybe he’s going for that Section 8 Max Klinger spent the entire run of the TV show M*A*S*H trying to get first Colonel Henry Blake, then Colonel Harry Potter to authorize.
In the article, a brief statement by Bergdahl regarding what it was like being a captive was included. The better question to ask this deserter is how he feels knowing that his deliberate action, based in some warped fantasy of his, resulted in the deaths of several of his fellow soldiers in his own unit.
Bergdahl’s actions were disgraceful, conduct unbecoming an Army soldier and responsible for the deaths of others. He should be tried as a deserter with life in Leavenworth if convicted. In addition, charges should be brought against him for contributing to the deaths of the men in his unit.
Try this in the public and media venue all you want Mr. Fidell. Good move getting this deserter some air time but you might be quite disappointed in the reaction you get. Oh, and great coaching to have him say he was like Jason Bourne and going to prove it to the world. That gets a two thumbs up for effort as there will be some who believe this implausible tale and will buy into his fantasy giving him the sympathy you are desperate to cultivate. For those individuals, I’ll be glad to sell my ocean front property in Arkansas at a very reasonable price — on a good day you can see Cuba.