BERGDAHL the real story

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Re: BERGDAHL the real story

Postby D_Glenn on Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:50 pm

Ian Cipperly wrote:Fitz: 500,000 “Impeach Obama for leaving an American behind in Afghanistan" protest signs found in dumpster behind RNC





http://azstarnet.com/news/blogs/fitz-bl ... e=comments

I vaguely remember a 60 minutes, or Dateline, or 20/20 report about this guy, aired several years ago. Showed his family pleading his case and the slant was anti-Obama.

If you get the chance read "Big Boy Rules", it's about American private security forces who were basically doing the military's job, getting kidnapped by the Taliban but nothing ever happens. There's not even a known number for the number of guys who were just forgotten.

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Re: BERGDAHL the real story

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:02 pm

Devlin, I'll check it out. I know two guys who did private contracting. Sounded like a crazy job. I saw some wild videos they took. One of them is now a Buddhist monk and the other is a subsistence farmer hippie.

Here is another interesting link with some info I had not heard yet.

http://m.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/05/ ... here-s-why

Yesterday, I posted a comment laying out several reasons why the GOP was basically walking into a trap on the Bowe Bergdahl story. It got such a positive response, that I decided to expand it into this diary. (You can follow me on twitter @hesiod2k11).

Since I posted the comment, there have been a few developments that even add MORE to my argument. So, without further ado....

As the actual FACTS start coming out about Bowe Bergdahl, here is what we know:

1. Bergdahl had left his base without permissions on at least one prior occasion, and had come back! This is according to a report in the Army Times. In fact, his fellow soldiers failed to report it at the time. The implications of this are huge. It means that it would be impossible to prove desertion under UCMJ Article 85, because you cannot prove he intended to leave permanently. Specifically, that article states:

(a) Any member of the armed forces who–

(1) without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently;

(2) quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service; or

(3) without being regularly separated from one of the armed forces enlists or accepts an appointment in the same or another on of the armed forces without fully disclosing the fact that he has not been regularly separated, or enters any foreign armed service except when authorized by the United States; is guilty of desertion.

The only two provisions that remotely could be applicable to Bowe Bergdahl are subsections (1) and (2). The first one is eliminated by the fact that he had done this before. Given that he returned on the prior occasion, it would be extremely difficult to prove an intent to "remain away....permanently." The second subsection is also difficult to prove if he left his base at night, when he was not otherwise on duty. So, as a consequence, you can pretty much rule out Bergdahl being charged with "desertion." At worst, he can be charged under Article 86: Absence Without Leave. That is a far less serious charge, and "time served" as a POW of the Haqqani network would probably be deemed sufficient punishment. Which, incidentally, would also considered an extenuating circumstance under that article.

UPDATE: The 35 page classified Army report (as reported to the New York Times) that was compiled 2 months after Bergdahl disappeared, concluded that he had left his unit twice, not once. And the Army blamed lax security practices and a lack of discipline. Moreover, the supposed letter he left confessing to everything was not mentioned in the report at all.

2. According to the now famous article by Michael Hastings about Bergdahl, his unit was basically a bunch of undisciplined fuck ups who went out on patrol without helmets, lost weapons, totally lacked morale and respect for military authority, etc. At least two commanders were actually demoted! So, you have to take with a grain of salt the accusations being made against Bergdahl by these people. Especially now that we know they failed to report Bergdahl left the base without permission on a prior occasion, and are still telling the media that he is a "deserter" when they know damn well that's not true.

3. The New York Times has also reported that it is almost impossible to attribute the losses the unit suffered to Bergdahl, or looking for Bergdahl. Given the lack of unit discipline, etc. One wonders whether Bergdahl is being scapegoated by these people, who were drummed up by GOP political operatives. You don't want to minimize the pain of the families of the lost soldiers. But, frankly, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation being pushed. And, a lot of speculation. It's just an unprovable allegation.

4. And, finally, Bergdahl's apparent heroism while in captivity has been almost completely ignored and glossed over. The Daily Beast originally reported that Bergdahl lulled his captors into believing he was sympathetic to them, and when they let their guard down he escaped for 3 days. When they finally found him in a hand-dug trench he covered with leaves, he was nearly naked an exhausted. Yet, it took 5 Taliban to subdue him as he fought back trying to avoid being recaptured.

Just last night, we found out that he escaped not once, but twice! Because of this, his captors kept moving him around and kept him under tight wraps. This made it exceedingly difficult and risky to attempt a rescue mission.

And, finally, the infamous "ashamed to be an American" e-mails that numbnuts like Sarah Palin keep using to attacking Bergdahl, were actually quite patriotic in context. He was complaining about the low caliber of person he had to suffer through in his unit, and how crappily they treated the Afghans (In one case, he said they indifferently ran over a child with a truck!). He was ashamed of the way the military operated there.

He was not expressing a desire to join the Taliban. He felt sympathy for the Afghan civilians who were being mistreated and abused by both sides. (These e-mails were reported in Michael Hastings' profile pieces).

When all is said and done, and Bergdahl is allowed to give his side of the story, the Republicans and Conservatives who were attacking him are going to regret it.

One other point on this that I didn't address in my comment. All of the crazy rightwingers who are suggesting that Bergdahl be executed for desertion are even more batshit crazy than it might seem at first. Even if he WAS guilty of desertion (a proposition which is extremely doubtful at this point), only one U.S. service member has been executed for the offense since the Civil War! That man was Pvt. Eddie Slovik during World War II. In his case, he signed a confession -- over the objections of his commanders! - and was defiant of military authority. Eventually, Dwight Eisenhower authorized his execution to set an example.

Moreover, in 1974 President Gerald Ford signed a conditional amnesty for Vietnam War deserters, if they agreed to two years of public service in some other capacity.

And, finally, the lone soldier convicted in connection with the My Lai massacre of Civillian Vietnamese villagers during Vietnam -- Lt. William Calley -- had his sentence reduced to House arrest and then finally commuted to time served by President Nixon after 3 years.

And, to make this even more pertinent, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who plead guilty to murdering 16 Afghan Civilians in their homes, was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

In other words, the batshit rightwingers want to impose a sentence on Bowe Bergdahl that is a) unsupported by any evidence; b) hasn't been imposed on a US Soldier in 70 years, and only once in 140 years; and c) more harsh than what was imposed on convicted mass murderers of civilians.
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Re: BERGDAHL the real story

Postby grzegorz on Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:29 am

Thanks for posting Ian.
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Re: BERGDAHL the real story

Postby yeniseri on Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:14 am

D_Glenn wrote:
Ian Cipperly wrote:Fitz: 500,000 “Impeach Obama for leaving an American behind in Afghanistan" protest signs found in dumpster behind RNC





http://azstarnet.com/news/blogs/fitz-bl ... e=comments

I vaguely remember a 60 minutes, or Dateline, or 20/20 report about this guy, aired several years ago. Showed his family pleading his case and the slant was anti-Obama.

If you get the chance read "Big Boy Rules", it's about American private security forces who were basically doing the military's job, getting kidnapped by the Taliban but nothing ever happens. There's not even a known number for the number of guys who were just forgotten.

.


Here's a link to one site that reports on most, if not all private contractor going's on, along with the massive Military Industrial Complex fork-up, governemnt 'secrecy' that you will NEVER see in the
Corporate media due to their takeover of many spheres of US life. It may seem like a conspiracy or exaggeration but make your own conclusions. ???
Contractor deaths are rarely reported, and if so, you can see why people might be pissed off. There was a story about the retired US NAvy SEAL and his convoy (searching for weapons) when they were hit by some insurgents and street people that allowed further coevrage of the plight of contractors but after that, stuff dried up faster than the coming drought in LA.

http://mssparky.com/category/contractor-deaths-all/
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Re: BERGDAHL the real story

Postby Steve James on Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:02 am

Re: private contractors, the Blackwater trial is just getting started.
Whether the shootings were self-defense or an unprovoked attack, the carnage of Sept. 16, 2007 was seen by critics of the George W. Bush administration as an illustration of a war gone horribly wrong.

A trial in the nearly 7-year-old case is scheduled to begin with jury selection on Wednesday, barring last-minute legal developments. Prosecutors plan to call dozens of Iraqis to testify in what the Justice Department says is likely to be the largest group of foreign witnesses ever to travel to the U.S. to participate in a criminal trial.

The violence at the Nisoor Square traffic circle in downtown Baghdad was the darkest episode of contractor violence during the war in Iraq, becoming one more diplomatic disaster in a war that had many. Iraqi officials, who wanted the guards tried in a local court, were outraged.

In the trial, defense lawyers will focus on the guards' state of mind in a city that was a battleground.

Car bombs and insurgents were daily perils for the Blackwater teams. As part of its work with the State Department, Blackwater had a team of 15 intelligence analysts who produced daily threat updates, colored maps of a city riddled with bomb blasts.

"The core disputed issue in this prosecution is self-defense — whether the defendants believed that deadly force was necessary to defend themselves and their teammates from an insurgent attack, and whether that belief was objectively reasonable," lawyers for the guards said in court filings.

Reasonableness shouldn't be judged on "hindsight analysis in a courtroom seven years and thousands of miles removed from the event," the lawyers argue in the filings.

In the aftermath of the shootings, Blackwater Worldwide provided the government with photos of the guards' vehicles pocked and streaked with bullet marks.

On Capitol Hill, one theme in politically tinged congressional hearings was that hiring large numbers of security guards, and letting them operate outside the military chain of command in a war zone, was a recipe for disaster.

Blackwater founder Erik Prince declared: "I believe we acted appropriately at all times." The Nisoor Square shootings spelled the death knell for his company. Formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, the company is under new ownership and Prince is no longer affiliated with it. The company was sold to a group of investors who changed the name to Academi.

The very presence of security guards in Iraq is touchy. Lawyers for the guards had asked that current or former members of the military not wear uniforms when they testify in the case, a request the court denied. The guards' lawyers argued that distinctions between contractors and uniformed military had become highly politicized.

In 2009, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina dismissed the case against the Blackwater guards. From the Iraqi government's perspective, the dismissal was an example of Americans acting above the law. Urbina said government lawyers ignored the advice of senior Justice Department officials by building the criminal case on sworn statements of the guards given under a grant of immunity — meaning the guards' own statements could not be used against them.

Two years later, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit revived the prosecution, ruling that Urbina had wrongly interpreted the law. The decision gave the Justice Department another chance.

In the upcoming trial, one of the guards, Nicholas Slatten, is charged with first-degree murder. The other three guards — Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard — are charged with voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and gun charges. Slatten could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted, while the other guards face a mandatory minimum penalty of 30 years in prison if a defendant is convicted of the gun charge and at least one other charge.
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Re: BERGDAHL the real story

Postby Michael on Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:09 pm

There was a pretty intense film from 2010 about a US contractor in Iraq who finds himself in a difficult position. Fiction.

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Re: BERGDAHL the real story

Postby D_Glenn on Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:42 pm

Just did a quick search for "Bergdahl 20/20" and found some dead video links from 2010, so I took a screenshot

Image

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Re: BERGDAHL the real story

Postby allen2saint on Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:22 am

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/nat ... story.html

Hey what a surprise. He was a mess from the start and never should have been there. Sad.
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Re: BERGDAHL the real story

Postby yeniseri on Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:08 pm

I am guessing that it all depends on the usefelness of Bergdahl's intelligence awareness on location(s) of his capture.
a. His unit had a reputation of its own
b. Unit cohesion was piss poor
c. The video of his buddies being vocal about their own skepticism on what they were doing there.
d I am sure a radius from location of capture, extraction and areas he may have been may provide some useful info.

Then they weigh with UCMJ and other tools to assess punishment of some kind. ???
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Re: BERGDAHL the real story

Postby KEND on Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:25 am

His own story should certainly be interesting. Lets hope the story is not
1. Colored by the media
2. Contingent on not being prosecuted, favorable to the government
Also lets hope he is not involved in any 'accidents', dosed up on meds, forced to flee
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Re: BERGDAHL the real story

Postby Steve James on Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:45 am

Anyone who wants a particular interpretation is already biased. If the media reports anything otherwise, it will be considered to be colored. If it's discovered/uncovered that he had psychological issues and was psychologically unprepared, that won't change anyone's opinion about getting him back if they oppose it. There was a point in the hearings yesterday when one senator (?) pointed out that the first concern should be the soldier. She said it after one senator questioned why Bergdahl had to be in Berlin "for medical reasons." Hagel picked up that the implication was that B was being kept out of circulation. Of course, the guy was a POW for 5 years, and maybe should get a break, if not the benefit of the doubt. But, the the woman said that, given the tone of some of the responses to his situation, she might be afraid to come back. She didn't say it, but I will. If people will send death threats to his family, what can he expect. And, it's all f-in political. Sad.

Oh yeah, one senator also accused Hagel of not trusting Congress --in respect to the lack of notification given before the trade. Sheeeit, c'mon, be real, who trusts Congress? That is, except when they want something their way. Anyway, if Hagel had admitted to mistrusting Congress, he'd be just like a Tea Partyer.
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Re: BERGDAHL the real story

Postby grzegorz on Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:21 am

It's interesting how outrage can reach a fever pitch and a week later be nothing.
Last edited by grzegorz on Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BERGDAHL the real story

Postby Tom on Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:15 pm

grzegorz wrote:It's interesting how outrage can reach a fever pitch and a week later be nothing.


Welcome to the world of manipulation by mass media . . . manufactured "outrage" and our awareness of it.
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Re: BERGDAHL the real story

Postby grzegorz on Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:39 pm

It all reminds me of the Monsters Are Due on Maple Street Twilight Zone episode where space aliens watch humanity fall into hysteria.
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Re: BERGDAHL the real story

Postby grzegorz on Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:44 am

Last edited by grzegorz on Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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