It's not just that this deal went down, but also the fanfare that the Obama administration put on announcing the deal. President Obama hailed Bergdahl's release saying that bringing home "our prisoners of war" is a "profound obligation within our military." Susan Rice, seemingly again out on another fools errand for the Obama administration, went on the Sunday talk shows declaring that Bergdahl served "with honor and distinction." Rice added that "Sergeant Bergdahl wasn’t simply a hostage; he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield."
Soldiers who actually served with Bergdahl contradict both Obama and Rice. According to the New York Times:
“Yes, I’m angry,” Joshua Cornelison, a former medic in Sergeant Bergdahl’s platoon, said in an interview on Monday arranged by Republican strategists. “Everything that we did in those days was to advance the search for Bergdahl. If we were doing some mission and there was a reliable report that Bergdahl was somewhere, our orders were that we were to quit that mission and follow that report.”
Sergeant Bergdahl slipped away from his outpost, the former senior officer said, possibly on foot but more likely hiding in a contractor’s vehicle. “He didn’t walk out the gate through a checkpoint, and there was no evidence he breached the perimeter wire and left that way,” the ex-officer said.
It was not until the 9 a.m. roll call on June 30 that the 29 soldiers of Second Platoon, Blackfoot Company, learned he was gone.
“I was woken up by my platoon leader,” said Mr. Cornelison, who had gone to sleep just three hours before after serving watch from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. “Hey Doc,” his platoon leader said. “Have you seen Bergdahl?”
Platoon members said Sergeant Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, was known as bookish and filled with romantic notions that some found odd.
“He wouldn’t drink beer or eat barbecue and hang out with the other 20-year-olds,” Cody Full, another member of Sergeant Bergdahl’s platoon, said in an interview on Monday also arranged by Republican strategists. “He was always in his bunk. He ordered Rosetta Stone for all the languages there, learning Dari and Arabic and Pashto.”
Mr. Full, then a specialist in the platoon, said he and other platoon members grew increasingly bitter at the time they were spending looking for Sergeant Bergdahl. “He had sent all his belongings home — his computer, personal items,” said Mr. Full, now 25. He said Sergeant Bergdahl used to gaze at the mountains around them and say he wondered if he could get to China from there. Other platoon members said that Sergeant Bergdahl wrote Jason Bourne-type novels in which he inserted himself as the lead character.
The anger toward Sergeant Bergdahl increased exponentially after Sept. 4, when they learned that two members of Third Platoon, which routinely went on tandem missions with Second Platoon and who they believed were also searching for Sergeant Bergdahl, had been killed in an ambush. Pfc. Matthew Martinek and Lt. Darryn Andrews, both of them friends of Mr. Cornelison, died in the ambush.
Copyright 2014, Trevor Grant Thomas