On June 2, I wrote this post on the reports surrounding the trade for Sgt. Bergdahl for five of the worst terrorists at Gitmo. We’re now on the 7th of June and in that time, more reports have come out. Bergdahl’s public trial is far advanced in just five days.
Today, I was reading from Soulutions by Jody Miller Stevenson and came across Soul’s Urge. One of the lines is, “I accept that I am a major contributor to humanity.” That’s a powerful sentence, especially if you accept it as true for yourself.
Yesterday, watching the reports unfolding about Bergdahl that allege not only is he a deserter, but possibly a collaborator, I found myself feeling (what? pity? sorrow? compassion?). Do not misunderstand me. I will not be satisfied without a full military investigation and there had better be a court martial, based on the reports and his own fellow soldiers. Otherwise, this will stink of the basest of coverups and the falsity of whitewashing. Nonetheless….
I thought back to that night in his tent in 2009. According to reports, he had sent many of his items home, he left behind his gear, his uniform, and a note. That night he acted on a decision he made and walked out of the camp. How much time did he take to make that decision? He made the decision to leave his post, to leave his sacred pledge to his fellow battle buddies, never mind to his country. How much thought did he give it? A decision that would cost him five years of captivity of one sort or another. Reports of his attempts to escape twice; of collaborating with the Taliban.
One man’s choice leading to this debacle involving the entire USA and the President of the United States and now, Congress and, in fact, the entire world. One decision amongst thousands and the consequences of that one decision made by a private, now sergeant, promoted while in captivity. He has, willy nilly, become a major contributor to humanity at this time and place. He had no way of knowing that back in 2009. That one decision would result in the deaths of his fellow soldiers, the release of five major terrorists, his own life pulled apart and examined, opined on by millions of people. He was 23 years old when he made that decision. He is 28 now. And, wherever he is, reportedly in Germany being debriefed, he has absolutely no idea of the uproar around his release. One decision.