The Attacks on Bowe Bergdahl Aren’t Coming from the “Right”, They’re Coming from Soldiers

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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The most dishonest thing that the left is doing now is trying to polarize the question of whether Bergdahl deserted or even defected by ignoring the soldiers who served with Bergdahl and claiming that “the right” is behind the attacks.

Smug articles by the likes of Michael Tomasky reduce the protests of the soldiers to “a vast right wing conspiracy.”

The accusations against Bergdahl have come from his fellow soldiers. They’re the ones who risked their lives and lost friends. Some conservative sites have picked up their stories from Facebook and Twitter, but they did that just ahead of CNN and ABC News.

It’s understandable why Michael Tomasky or Media Matters are reluctant to deal with those soldiers. Directly attacking men who have served is unpopular.

And the alternative is to go on defense, which Obama attack dogs like Tomasky and Media Matters just don’t do. Their usual play is to just skip past the facts and accuse the Koch Brothers, FOX News and Karl Rove signaling to their followers what to think.

Package that with claims about Republican strategists arranging interviews to imply that the whole thing was set up and you can just cry Swift Boat without having to go any deeper about the men making the accusations. The soldiers can be cynically written off as pawns in a political game.

The actual facts are messy and might not come out their way. It’s easy to denounce “conspiracy theories” about Bergdahl, to attack FOX News, which is just broadcasting the same stories as CNN when it comes to Bergdahl, than to deal with the fact that this is not a right-left issue.

At least one of the men who served with Bergdahl and has been vocal about it is a Democrat.

Untangling what happened to Bergdahl is a messy question that requires poking through multiple tiers of lies, but it didn’t become impossible until Obama bought some relief from the VA scandal through the Bergdahl deal.

That’s why Tomasky at the Daily Beast, despite publishing one soldier’s account, has to turn this into a right-left issue. It’s why Media Matters has to go on the warpath. It’s no longer about Bergdahl. They’re protecting the few points in the polls that Obama might pick up from the Bergdahl exchange.

Democrats and Republicans often don’t listen to soldiers unless they’re hearing something that they can use in a partisan battle. And even then they don’t always listen.

They’re listening now and Media Matters and its political allies would like them to stop.

  • Yadja

    I believe this man was disillusioned with the progress that we made when he was in Afghanistan. I believe that, being an Army nurse who served in two wars including this one, seeing what these savages are capable of, this young man did not have a nice stay in the hands of the Taliban.

    Even if he was under the misguided idea that he would be welcomed by them, I feel he learned quickly what he was up against and I can not imagine that after this exchange he honestly is ashamed to be an American.

    Perhaps he will let his family know that he was wrong because he was and I remember his story, he did walk off that base. He was captured. This was a time when kidnappings were rampant.

    My humble opinion, knowing how most of our troops are dedicated and would never say or do what this guy said and did, I believe he has learned his lesson and the really hard way.

    • Erudite Mavin

      Bergdahl was hardwired before he went to Afghn.
      regarding his anti American views and apologist for
      Radical Islam and guided also by his dad.
      I have a long list of family members who have served from day 1 in Iraq and Afghn. , many tours, especially the Marines. They don’t share the views of this deserter.

      • Steeloak

        I concur. As the facts come out, I think we’ll see he took his attitude with him, rather than forming it there. Having looked at photos of dear old Dad, with his beard, kufi, and prayer beads, I suspect his son swings the same way.

        • Erudite Mavin

          Exactly.

        • Yadja

          We already know how he felt and that he took many of his attitudes with him. That has been established. But his attitudes were wrong and I still contend 4.5 years with this enemy is no walk in the park no matter what he thought about the enemy.

          • Steeloak

            Unless he shares their beliefs and is one of them, as I suspect. He may not have been a prisoner at all, but a willing participant.
            I hope you are right, time will tell. I’m sure he will be a darling of the media, along with his dad – we’ll see how they feel when they can speak freely.

          • Yadja

            Well if he was a willing participant he sure took a beating physically for Allah. I believe he was a prisoner but it was through his own fault for leaving the base. That action alone and his note makes me believe he is about as dumb as they come and unworldly to boot. With not a clue as to what Islam or terrorists are.

            Yes Obama will have his machine in full attack mode to combat the truth and make him look to be a darling of a guy. I still contend he is just stupid. His father a true nutcase who could not hide his nuttiness no matter how he tries and that article in Rolling Stones with the emails he sent his family, won’t help either.

          • Erudite Mavin

            You have no knowledge what Bowe’s life was.
            The many American soldiers who were out looking for him and killed should have been so lucky to have his 5 years of life.
            Interesting that most Americans and other who were
            actual POWs had their heads cut off such as Daniel Pearl and more.

          • Yadja

            I already answered your other post and I believe you will see where I have plenty of knowledge under my belt about war and POWs.

            Yes I saw all the videos of decapitations, many impaling, hanging, executions and mutilations, part of my training to serve in this war and Shield/Storm.

            Yes he was lucky to have 5 years of life and you don’t know either what kind of life that was.

          • Erudite Mavin

            You equate a deserter who supports the enemy with you family. That is sad.
            I have a family member who was killed in the Bataan death march as a POW

          • Yadja

            No I did not equate a deserter who supports the enemy with anyone in my family. What I did was to let the poster, who insinuated that I knew nothing about being a POW know that I most certainly did not only know, because I was told everyday at the dinner table what it meant and what happened in those camps but that my own family members are the ones who told me.

            What is sad, is that so many of you do not comprehend or take the time because of your bitterness against anyone who has some thoughts that do not coincide with yours, to read what that person has really said.

            I also let him know I knew what collaborators were and also deserters because they had them in these camps and everyone paid a price for it including those who were tied to poles and scalped and their heads packed with salt to show the POWs that they knew what was happening because of those who were collaborating with them.

          • JackSpratt

            If he is as leftist, like his old man, he is predisposed to be anti-American from the getgo. In their eyes America is to blame for everything, notwithstanding our profound worldly benevolence.

          • Yadja

            Just like Obama and his administration.

            Exactly, a blurred and distorted vision they have been given since childhood about this country.

      • Yadja

        Yes my friends who served and several injured feel the same way. But I still contend he paid a heavy price for his ideals and I can’t help but believe he does not feel the same way now.

        His father is a nut job for sure. But then so is Obama and if anything good comes from this it will be listening to Obama getting his clock cleaned for this stunt.

        We know it was not necessary to do this.

        • Erudite Mavin

          Bowe paid no price. I think it is difficult for many to most Americans to believe there are such people like this deserter
          Having lived through the Cold War years of many decades and Americans who were active tools of the Soviets, also watching and hearing the Marxists in
          the U.S. who rioted and demonstrated against Americans and support for the Viet con during the Viet nam war.
          BTW, I saw in person real POWs when many returned here to San Diego in 1973 from North Viet nam. 5 to 8 years of torture, bugs and rats for their diet.
          Also the crew of the USS Pueblo that was based here in San Diego and captured by the North Koreans in 1968
          and tortured for over 11 months.

          • Yadja

            My mother and grandfather and father were POWs for the duration of WWII.

            My father was in the Death March to boot.. My great grandfather spent his life in the Gulag. My family on my mother’s side have long histories of fighting communism and all isms and paying heavy prices for it.

            I believe I have a good understanding of what it means to be a prisoner of war. This young man, under no circumstances was worth the price paid for him, rather he was a deserter or just plain stupid, the price was too high.

            I am an Army nurse who served in this war and Shield/Storm. I know what someone looks like who has been a prisoner of these people or abused or tortured by these people.

            In his case he was valuable to them. Unlike in other wars where POW camps were the going rage and they were filled with prisoners. This war is a total different ballgame with a totally different enemy, which I feel sure you know. No uniforms, no following Geneva Conventions with prisoners, no Rules of Engagement, no nothing, just pure savagery. Barbarians.

            That is the reason that this man honestly believed he could walk off that base and start a new life with a people he thought were something they were not. I happen to know that the training for Shield/Storm was intense. We were fully aware of the enemy we were up against, the way they fought, the way they tortured and killed. This war too many were sent downrange to fill the numbers gap and I know this to be true.

            This young man should have been sent stateside and his fellow soldiers listened to just like those who tried to warn about the looney Ft. Hood Major who killed 13. The men have already said they were shut-up and I know it is true. Please take the time to visit this website for my story. I know first hand the military will shut you up and down for their own reasons.
            archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=13867
            or http://www.anti-cair-net.org/press_008_04

            His father is a nutcase and the nut doesn’t get too far from the squirrel.

          • JackSpratt

            And yet you haven’t leaned a thing.

          • Yadja

            I have learned that there is no Glory in war only Gory and that throughout the ages there have been men/women who should never have gone to war and hurt our cause.

            This perverted young man is one.

          • Drakken

            I give you the benefit of the doubt due to your service and experience. Unfortunately as a former combat Marine, I cannot cut any slack to this deserter for he brought this nation a very bad deal, paid for in lives and money to these bloody savages, he wasn’t worth the price.

          • Yadja

            I can not cut him any slack either. What I know from dealing with so many soldiers since 1987 is that we now and again get someone who is a danger to themselves and our men and that many times our commanders know it and don’t weed them out. This guy is and was a serious problem and his fellow soldiers knew it. Just as the Major was a serious problem who killed 13 and his fellow soldiers knew it. Just as we who served in this war knew there was stench in our ranks and we knew that at the beginning of the war American Muslim soldiers killed 13 of our men in a tent before the battle began and throughout these wars Muslim soldiers have turned on our men.

            We know and the military knows there were Muslim Chaplins who were a danger to us. Just as throughout every war we have been faced with these perverted men, the military continues to let it ride for PC or whatever.

            My question now is, what kind of military do we have that will actually do the bidding of a President who they know is endangering not only the U.S. but the world by releasing, under the wire, through lies and deception and against the good advice of Congress and both parties, still pulled this exchange off. Officers, as you know take an Oath to uphold the Constitution. Enlisted take an Oath to the president. You know why that is. These men who participated in this scandalous release of these mad dogs should have gone to their Congressional or Senatorial leaders and told them what was coming down the Pike. And it really bothers me that not one single person did, not one. Now it is done and too late and if they did not speak-up now, they never will and we as an Army who are intimidated as I was and these men who were in his Platoon were then we really have a problem.

            Our own have turned against us.

    • JackSpratt

      I think you like conjecture.

      • Yadja

        I believe that the facts related by his fellow soldiers solidify my conclusions about this young man. He was unfit for duty, was mentally unprepared for war, his leaving the base in the past because he was “bored” is a big “Red Flag” and that the military overlooked it. The fact these men were made to sign something to keep their mouth shut after the fact…..proves it. The military made a mistake and I am very proud these men have come forward, because I am very worried about those who made this mission possible and said nothing to our leaders in Congress.

  • Texas Patriot

    Trading Bergdahl for five Guantanamo terrorists was an excellent move from a military standpoint. If there is sufficient evidence that Bergdahl committed crimes of desertion and treason, he can be charged and tried in a military tribunal, and if he is found guilty, he can be convicted and punished in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the United States. At a very minimum Bergdahl is no longer in a position to provide assistance to our enemies, and that is a major positive for our troops still in the field. As for the freed terrorists, it is highly unlikely that the terms of their release included a perpetual guarantee of safe conduct. At this point, they can be tracked and killed like any other clear and present danger to the United States.

    • Erudite Mavin

      You need to research who and what the 5 terrorists were who Obama
      traded for this deserter.
      There is nothing the deserter could tell or show them that they don’t know already.
      A Bad move for the Military and America.

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    • Steeloak

      You make some good points, but I don’t think that has anything to do with Team Obama doing the swap. I think they saw a chance to let more people out of Gitmo (making progress on his promise to close it) and clear the way for open peace talks with the Taliban – as that was their principal demand to talk with us. I find it hard to swallow that Obama didn’t know this guy was a deserter – the military knew & he must have been informed – he just doesn’t care. But mainly, Obama just wanted a photo op so he could brag about what a bold leader he is. Too bad he has such a talent for shooting himself in the foot.
      (White House staff meeting)
      (POTUS)
      “How could I know it would all blow up in my face? I mean, the guy was a POW right? I’m a hero for getting him back right? What makes you think anyone will care he’s a deserter and Taliban sympathizer? So what if his father quotes victory verses from the Koran at my press conference, no one will notice – right? Where is all this hate coming from? Must be because I’m black.”

    • truebearing

      With all due respect, that made no sense. There was nothing to be gained militarily. Anything Bergdahl could tell the Taliban was long ago extracted out of him, and that is assuming he didn’t offer it willingly, which is increasingly likely.

      There is no inherent military value to court martialing Bergdahl. There is some political value, however, which is why Obama will prevent it from happening. So nothing gained there.

      The most likely value is the outrage of hundreds of thousands of former members of the military, and their families. This attempt to dodge the VA scandal could end up boomeranging and dovetailing nicely with the VA’s abuse of vets, creating a hybrid scandal over all of Obama’s anti-military policies and decisions.

      Where do you get the idea that Obama is going to go after these guys? You don’t think the included some kind of amnesty for these terrorists? Obama isn’t going to renege on the deal because they can then reveal the truth of what really happened and damage him even more. Obama is handing Afghanistan over to the Taliban, just like he handed Iraq over to Iran and Al Queda. In case you haven’t noticed, Obama’s moves alway enable the Islamists.

      • Texas Patriot

        Your thinking is political rather than strategic, and therefore flawed. There is no mention anywhere of an “amnesty deal” for the freed terrorists, and at this point they can be targeted and killed on sight, rather than housed, clothed, and fed at taxpayer expense. Otherwise, even if the Taliban has already gotten all the information they can from Bergdahl, there is probably a lot that Bergdahl can tell us about the Taliban, and that could be very helpful.

        • truebearing

          Obama’s thinking is entirely political, therefore all of his schemes are political. The nation’s biggest problem is political ie. Obama, so of course I’m thinking politically. You, however, failed to make a case that there was any military upside in this, so your attempt at strategic thinking failed.

          How naive are you? Just because there was no announced amnesty for ther Taliban terrorists, you believe that it didn’t happen? Are you aware that this is the most dishonest president in history and that he never admits or reveals anything? For Pete sake, Obama’s administration is maintaining that Bergdahl, — a deserter and likely a collaborator with the Taliban — “served the United States with honor and distinction.” And you think Obama isn’t hiding most of the deal, just like he hid facts and lied about Benghazi, the IRS persecution of Tea Party groups, Fast and Furious, etc?

        • CosmotKat

          What makes you think you are the one who is thinking strategically? It’s not clear Bergdhal has much to offer nor whether he is willing to tell what he does know. The 5 freed terrorists can create a lot of chaos long before any of Obama’s drones track them down and kill them. But the larger issue is how many Americans, military or civilian, will be snatched for the purpose of a trade.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “Your thinking is political rather than strategic, and therefore flawed. There is no mention anywhere of an “amnesty deal” for the freed terrorists, and at this point they can be targeted and killed on sight, rather than housed, clothed, and fed at taxpayer expense.”

          So freeing militants to return to the battle field is no problem? That *is* amnesty for a soldier in an ongoing war.

          And these are not soldiers. These are unlawful combatants who are entitled to due process under martial law, and probably that should have ended at some point in execution, not a “reset button.”

    • Anukem Jihadi

      you make lousy points as usual. with patriots like you who needs traitors. i could go into why each and every argument you make is ludicrous but i just don’t have the energy right now. yikes

    • JackSpratt

      He depleted all the “intelligence” he was privy to long ago.
      If they brought him here to face a firing squad, ok, but if not he should have been left there. The most egregious thing is Obozo calling him a hero and honorable. As a Veteran it makes me sick. Obozo is a low-down SOB.

      • nomoretraitors

        Another lie from the mouth of Susan Rice. Does that woman have no morals, no conscience?

      • nomoretraitors

        Oh wait, I just answered my own question

  • Anukem Jihadi

    Good piece. I think that when the media is so predominantly partisan everything becomes a partisan issue whether it should be or not.

  • DogmaelJones1

    Given the repugnance the ranks in the services are expressing over Obama’s sucking up to the Taliban and patting Bergdahl on the shoulder for the Muslim beard and maligning his own country and more or less siding with this country’s enemies, you have to question the charge being made by some “right” websites that the military would actually attack American citizens at the president’s behest during an alleged “crisis.” Is our military going to be a willing tool of tyranny? I think not. Some in the military may go along with such a scenario, but not all. Obama or his successor would need to create his own SS shock troops. Remember that even in Hitler’s army, there were numerous dissenters of his policies, even in the officer corps. Must we repeat history here, in this country?

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  • Daniel

    Daniel

  • JackSpratt

    Looks like the democraps have finally found an American “Soldier” they can support.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Obama’s even lost Chris Balloonhead Matthews on this. We’re off the corner of the map here in terms of Dictator Obama doing whatever he likes.

    • nomoretraitors

      I thought he was Chris “Tingly Feeling up My Leg” Matthews

  • Texas Patriot

    I still think was the right thing to do. Maybe Obama thought he needed to repopulate the target zone.

  • cindy daugherty

    Citizens who HAVE NEVER served their country do NOT understand the code of conduct on or off a battlefield. You DO NOT abandon your post or put your platoon at risk. Those who are critical of the truth spoken by the men who were present when Bergdahl deserted his post have every right to speak the truth, even if it contradicts the reason why Pres. Obama decided to rescue Bergdahl, who voluntarily abandoned left his fellow soldiers on the battlefield. Bergdahl, unlike WWI, WWII, Korean, and Vietnam soldiers who were drafted, voluntarily entered the military to guard, serve and protect the U.S. Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
    So many want to glorify Bergdahl and extend a sympathetic hand to guide him safely home — but were you there to help when the caskets were off loaded at Dover AFB, DE? These were men who did not abandon their mission, paying dearly for our protection.
    All of you who are critical of the brave men who watched a coward run to the other side –go put on a uniform and do you part on the battlefield, the 9/11 masterminds are waiting for you and are ready to finish what they started.
    Since the beginning of time, those who disagree are first to criticize and humiliate those who served honorably — and you are free to speak your mind because the U.S. Constitution was written with the blood of the first U.S. veterans and every generation of veterans that died after that serve to keep those immortal words from fading.
    When September 11, 2014 comes and this nation once again morns the loss of innocent civilians at the hands of terrorist, remember those that set the sequence of events into motion were set free by our President in exchange for a soldier who turned his back on his nation.
    Will there be another attack? I don’t know, but what I know is that if there is, our nation will once again turn to the brave men and women in uniform to once again track down those responsible for the attack(s).

  • Yadja

    I was not comparing this individual to anyone in my family history. We have no deserters or traitors. I was letting the person who posted to me know that I do indeed understand what war is and what a POW is. I heard it everyday at the dinner table. I was not allowed to forget.

    Through those stories I learned about those who collaborated with the enemy, deserted and turned on the other POWs and caused more misery and death. This man in my opinion, was never mentally capable of being a soldier and is the result of the military rush to fill the numbers.

    Now the problem is that 5 of the most dangerous men have been released and none of those who were part of the deception that Obama perpetrated on Congress and his own party, went against this and notified their Congressman or someone that this was going to occur.

    I have never doubted the majority of our Military and their allegiance to America until now. I already knew the Army was overwhelmed with PC that sickened me, from my own experience but this goes beyond anything I could have imagined our military would do without someone coming forth.

  • catalickconv

    Keith M. Maupin:
    April 9, 2004 – Army Reservist Spc. Keith Matthew Maupin is captured by insurgents after his convoy comes under attack near Baghdad International Airport in Iraq.

    April 12, 2004 – The military classifies him as “duty status whereabouts unknown” (DUSTWUN).

    April 16, 2004 – Al Jazeera broadcasts a videotape of Maupin made after his capture. The US Army declares him missing-captured.

    June 28, 2004 – A videotape allegedly showing Maupin’s execution is broadcast by Al-Jazeera. The U.S. Army states that it is impossible to identify the person on the tape as Maupin.

    March 30, 2008 – Maupin’s family announces that his remains have been found in Iraq, and positively identified by DNA testing.

    May 12, 2007 – A military convoy is raided west of Mahmoudiya, Iraq. Four American soldiers are killed. A massive search ensues for missing U.S. troops. They are part of the 10th Mountain Division’s Second Brigade out of Ft. Drum, New York.

    May 14, 2007 – The Islamic State of Iraq, a Sunni insurgent group, claims it has captured three U.S. soldiers.

    May 15, 2007 – The missing soldiers are identified as Spc. Alex R. Jimenez, Pfc. Joseph J. Anzack Jr., and Pvt. Byron W. Fouty. Their status is listed as DUSTWUN, duty status whereabouts unknown.

    May 24, 2007 – A body found earlier in an Iraqi river is positively identified as Pfc. Joseph J. Anzack Jr.

    June 4, 2007 – The Islamic State of Iraq releases video showing what appears to be the military identification cards of the two missing American soldiers. Above the photos, written in Arabic, is the message, “Bush is the reason for the loss of your prisoners.”

    June 27, 2007 – The Department of Defense has changed the status of Pvt. Byron W. Fouty and Spc. Alex R. Jimenez serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom from DUSTWUN to missing-captured.

    July 9, 2008 – The remains of Fouty and Jimenez are discovered in Iraq and positively identified by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner the next day.

    Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Tucker:
    June 16, 2006 – Insurgents attack a check point in Yusufiya and capture two soldiers, Pfc. Kristian Menchaca and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker.

    June 19, 2006 – U.S. forces locate the bodies of Menchaca and Tucker. The bodies show signs of severe torture and mutilation.

    November 4, 2009 – Two U.S. paratroopers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division are reported missing during a supply mission in Afghanistan.

    November 11, 2009 – The body of paratrooper Benjamin Sherman is found near the Morghab river in Afghanistan.

    November 18, 2009 – The Dept. of Defense announces that one soldier remains missing in Afghanistan, Army Sgt. Brandon Islip of Richmond, Virginia.

    November 29, 2009 – Islip’s body is recovered in Afghanistan.

    July 23, 2010 – Two U.S. sailors are reported missing after departing their compound in Kabul City, Afghanistan in a vehicle and not returning.

    July 27, 2010 – The DoD announces that the body of Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin McNeley, who died from wounds sustained on July 23, was found in Logar province on July 25. Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarod Newlove is listed as DUSTWUN. Search and recovery efforts are ongoing, and the incident is under investigation.

    July 29, 2010 – The Navy confirms Jarod Newlove is dead and that his body was recovered from a river July 28.

    For next time when someone wants to talk about Abu Graib