Choice ~ The Fork in the Road

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.

17 thoughts on “Choice ~ The Fork in the Road

  1. Hunt, I am taking a position on this that he should still held by the Talibad. The President has made the wrong decision, completely and totally. We do not negotiate with terrorists. This action has opened Pandora’s Box, and nothing good will come from it. The President has taken what little power this country has had and thrown it into the toilet. From this day forward, at anytime, for any American soul military or civilian, all the bad guy has to say is yes you do negotiate, and “Bergdahl’s” release proves it. I can’t help but feel that in the months ahead we will soon see more and more American heads in baskets because of this decision. The President’s argument that it was the right thing to do is nothing more than quiet BS. We DON’T negotiate with terrorists, opps I am wrong we do now. Whoever sat in the room and convinced the President to overthrow our position, especially for this individual, needs to have his head examined, because clearly he buried it in his ass. Hunt yes I feel quite strongly about this, and I more and more glad I don’t currently have any loved one’s in harms’ way. Clearly our president does not have our best interests at heart. Take care, Bill

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    • Well, I agree with you, Bill, except on two points. The first is the heads in the basket is so French Revolution – not so today, Bill. Today they carve off your head and put it on your chest. I had to watch several beheadings for my MA thesis. Trust me on this one. Second point: I think the President overrode all advice to the contrary of this deal.

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      • Hunt, I stand corrected on bedheadings, but my point is we as a country are now screwed. If your point is anywhere close to how it happened then our leader does not appear to have our countries best interest in his mind or heart, and if this is true where do his interests lay? Clearly Jimmy Carter will no longer be our worse president in recent history. Take care, Bill

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  2. It is amazing how one decision can make such a huge impact on the lives of so many other people. I heard on news reports this a.m. that now his parents are being threatened. So even more people impacted again – the parents, the people who are doing the threatening, etc. I still don’t agree with the decision made to barter for his life because of the possible ramifications later (kidnappings for bartering, etc.) I hope there will be a full enquiry & he gets whatever he deserves.

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  3. As usual, our Tyrant, I mean, President, did what he jolly well wanted to do. just has he has been doing. So now we have a traitor on our hands to deal with and five major players of the Taliban out and plotting how to continue to kill and terrorize us. His Majesty has put us in a position of weakness to these monsters – how many more
    Americans will they now kidnap? Enough for His Majesty to empty out Gitmo for them? I didn’t vote for him, I can say with pride. Now more of our resources will have to be brought forward to deal with the traitor and once again, those freed Taliban monsters. Beheading is for those folks over there to perpetrate, not us. Firing squad – just like traitors used to get. Still not pretty but not beheading…. still lethal but the persons involved do not know directly which of their bullets was responsible. It’s hard enough for them to do this, being civilized people – must less bearing the brunt of their bullet being the lethal one. In a perfect world, this sort of thing does not happen. We do not live in a perfect world. And as long as we have a president who follows his own agendas and ignores the advisers, Congress, Senate, people….it will just keep going on like this. What’s next? the Sears Tower in Chicago? The memorial to the 9/11 horror? “I accept that I am a major contributor to humanity.” Some people don’t get it, some people don’t care. Some people refuse to accept this. Some people get it and try the best they can. Considering my father and how he didn’t run away whining, nor did the men on either side of him…I am outraged.

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    • Kanzen, this is why the Constitution is so important. It is also why ethics and values have always been held intrinsic to character until the last 45 years – now, it’s all relative; diversity is all important, not meritocracy. This is what we get when we go with what feels good vs. what is right.

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  4. I am proud of the men in the same platoon as Bergdahl coming forward together to tell the truth about what happened. Eye witnesses. I love these guys. Simple honest Army soldiers, basic no nonsense facts, clear eyed faithful Americans.

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  5. Put very simply: the thin edge of the wedge has been firmly inserted, and a very large mallet is now poised to slam down – unfortunately not on the head of the placer of the wedge.

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    • Tess, I knew when I wrote this I was taking a chance of being misunderstood on my position; that I would look as though I was excusing Sgt. Bergdahl’s actions. I was thinking more along the lines of how one decision can, unbeknownst to the decision-maker, have an enormous impact. Over the last 40-50 years, there has been a huge push to say ethics and values are relative – one religion is the same as another, one country is equal to all other countries. The need for self-esteem trumps all else, etc. When the rules are dismissed as being out of date, then what happens?

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  6. Huntie – I’m coming to the table on this discussion but I do have my opinion. A headline I read recently went something like this, “The return of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl from captivity is no simple feel-good story.” Another headline, “The Bergdahl story shows why wars continue to gnaw and grind long after the end is officially pronounced.” Our Commander In Chief has betrayed all branches of the military once again and this time it’s extended to the American people. He’s taken whatever we’ve hoped to gain (and it’s practically zero at best) to now standing at a deficit we’ll never recover from. I’m of the opinion this severe ethical breech by President Obama is impeachable at the very least.
    When I first learned of the release of Beau Bergdahl, I was filled with joy. I celebrated for the family that at long last their painful ordeal was finally coming to a close. Then I listened carefully to what the father had to say in the rose garden, and I was alarmed. I knew the release was not going to be good. The parents knew more than the president!
    Additionally, Bergdahl was a PVT when he went AWOL and has been promoted to the rank of SGT. He didn’t earn the rank by completing any of the requirements other soldiers do to wear the patch and earn the pay, he earned it due to Army Regulation that due to the number of years he was in captivity he had to be increased in rank or discharged from the military. But, that’s a discussion for a completely new blog.
    Why doesn’t Bergdah want to speak with his parents? The very parents that say they understand his decisions and that are now having death threats thrown at them. The same parents that home schooled him and encouraged him to follow his dreams.
    Bergdah first tried to join the French Foreign Legion but they wouldn’t have him. After he was turned down from the French, he joined the American Army after having a go at ballet!
    Did we accept this young man into the military when in fact he might not have been what the military needed among its’ fighting ranks?
    I wouldn’t have wanted him watching my back!

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    • Sheri, all you say is valid and more. He’s back in the U.S., still has yet to speak with or see his parents, his choice. One comment caught my attention: he was receiving better care than our soldiers who served with honor. This Administration is such a shocking failure. It makes me gag the amount of damage done and two more years of it.

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