Copyright 2015 by John T. Reed
Regarding Bergdahl: I am pleased about the charges brought against him. He also committed treason. Deserters go to Sweden, not looking for the Taliban. Benedict Arnold went toward the enemy, not away from them. But, the Constitution itself says you need two witnesses for treason. We do not have any witnesses about the treason per se.
I am astonished and thrilled that the Army appears to have exhibited moral courage in this affair. I only know of two times in the history of the U.S. Army officer corps when an officer exhibited moral courage: General Billy Mitchell who was court martialed and forced to retire for his moral courage. The other was Hugh Thomson, Jr. who stopped the My Lai massacre. He got a medal—THIRTY YEARS LATER—but for saving lives, not courage. http://www.johntreed.com/moralcourage.html
There have been some lesser episodes of moral courage like the World War II Monument Men and Petraeus with the Surge. But that’s about it.
It appears clear that the White House put extreme pressure on the Army to let Bergdahl slip out the back, Jack, quietly with no court martial circus—some quiet little plea bargain, he’s already been punished enough, yadda yadda, we all know the drill.
As a vet, I think I know what happened in the minds of the generals in question. They are suck-ups. That’s how you get to BE a general. See my article “The 30-year, single-elimination, marathon, suck-up tournament.” http://www.johntreed.com/tournament.html
But I think this was a suck-up too far. Too much publicity. Too bright a spot light focused on them. Too many vets and current active-duty personnel who would say, “You let a deserter who got some of his fellow Americans killed get off scot free!”
Also, most generals are short. By that I mean they have seen the handwriting on the career wall that says, “You’re done getting promoted.”
I also see a reason for Obama’s seeming insanity in this case—a reason that I have not yet seen any TV pundit say. They are all astonished at why Obama traded five Taliban big shots for a deserter, and at how Obama thought he was going to get away with depicting Bergdahl as a hero and/or victim and himself as a hero for bringing him home.
I think I know why Obama and his staff were so tone deaf on that. None of them have ever been in the military or spent one minute liking the military. They are totally clueless about being in combat and having one of your colleagues walk outside the wire to join the enemy. And the Americans who died trying to rescue Bergdahl are nothing but expendable abstractions to Obama and his anti-military staff, and anything but abstractions to vets.
Oh, and about Obama’s excuse that we leave no one behind in war. That’s total bullshit and a very bad idea. http://www.johntreed.com/noleavebehind.html
John T. Reed