President Barack Obama with Jani and Bob Bergdahl, the parents of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, upon announcement of the prisoner swap
Seven months after the military began an investigation into the disappearance of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and his capture by the Taliban, which held him for five years, a new report indicates Army officials have determined Bergdahl — for whom the administration traded five top Gitmo-held terrorists — will be charged as a deserter.
Retired Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, made the startling claim during an appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News:
Bergdahl’s attorney has received the charges, according to Shaffer, who claims the Obama administration is withholding the report.
O’Reilly said the White House has had this information for a while but has been delaying it under the auspices of Ben Rhodes, assistant national security adviser.
“This is shaping up to be a Titanic struggle behind the scenes,” Shaffer said. “Believe me, the Army here wants to do the right thing. Factually, there’s no way they can not do the right thing regarding Bergdahl. And the White House, because of the political narrative, President Obama cozying up to the parents and because he, President Obama, releasing the five Taliban. … The narrative is what the White House does not want to have come out.”
Bergdahl was recovered in Afghanistan by U.S. troops in a controversial swap for five Taliban officials on May 31. He had disappeared from his small patrol base on June 30, 2009, under a cloud of suspicion and fear as it became clear he been captured by militants.
The Army in June launched a new investigation into Bergdahl’s disappearance and capture, amid a raft of accusations from his fellow soldiers that he walked away from his unit on the battlefield and questions about whether the Obama administration handled the prisoner swap legally.
Taliban video shows release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl May 31
On Jan. 11, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, said he anticipated a decision “fairly soon” on whether the Army would court martial Bergdahl for deserting his post.
“In White House terms, not charging Bergdahl means that he was indeed worth the trade for the Taliban Five. But charging him on any level means that releasing the five Taliban was an error of monstrous proportions, one the administration will never be able to explain away satisfactorily,” said retired Lt. Col. Bill Cowen in a commentary written for the Fox News site.
Former Sgt. Matt Vierkant told CNN last year, “Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war, and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”
“I don’t understand,” Vierkant added, “why we’re trading prisoners at Gitmo for somebody who deserted during a time of war, which is an act of treason.”
A full 54 percent of Americans agreed in a June 2014 poll, saying Obama’s swap for Bergdahl amounted to providing aid to terrorists – which violates federal law. And they said impeachment is deserved.
In June, WND reported an explosive charge emerged – that Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers had orders to shoot him on sight as a deserter.
A number of damning charges against Bergdahl came from soldiers who served with him. Some were posted on Facebook.
The soldiers wrote anonymously, saying the Pentagon had them sign nondisclosure statements after Bergdahl disappeared from his post in Afghanistan in 2009. Some said they were still on active duty.
WND also reported a four-year-old claim by a Taliban commander that Bergdahl wasn’t just a deserter but also a traitor who converted to Islam and taught jihadi fighters how to make bombs and ambush convoys.
Afghan intelligence officials believed Bergdahl was “cooperating with the Taliban” and advising fighters at a base in Pakistan.
A comment posted by a soldier who says he served with Bergdahl confirmed the charge.
“What you have is pretty well spot on,” the post says. “All I know is that our orders were kill on contact and then we came back and it was covered up. I’ve personally been threatened a few times that discussing it in half the detail you already have was considered an act of treason.”
Another post made clear the Army considered Berdahl not just a deserter but a defector.
“My battalion took over the AO from 25th. The story of Bergdahl being a defector is exactly what was briefed to us and I also read the debrief report about the situation. The story is 100% correct. I’ve personally been on a few missions following up on Bergdahls location but we never found anything. I currently live an hour away from his family’s location. Hailey, Idaho, is a resort town frequented by movie stars etc. They typically side with the anti-war side of politics in that area and is a perfect spot for him to live in solitude.”
Another post that said Bergdahl deserted came from someone who said he was directly involved in the attempted recovery of Bergdahl.
“Here is what I know, not from hearsay, but because I was there. Bergdahl became a sympathizer, walked off his post to seek out the Taliban in order to join their ranks, to help and live with them. In exchange for his release, the United States released the following 5 known Taliban; Khairullah Khairkhwa, Mullah Norullah Noori, Mullah Norullah Noori, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Mohammed Nabi who were immediately welcomed back into the Taliban network. The Taliban are currently seeking the release of additional prisoners, but will not state specifics. Now that they have the blue print on how to accomplish this by simply capturing an American soldier and with the troop number drawing down to 9,800+, I can only hope our service men and women keep their heads on a swivel.”
Report: Bergdahl to be charged with desertion
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 02:21:15 GMT