Do you support Obama's decision to exchange the last American soldier held by the Taliban for 5 detainees at Gitmo?

Posted by: SweetTea

Bowe Berdahl has been a POW, held by the Taliban, since 2009. He is 28 years old, a native of Idaho & Support SGT. In U.S. Army.

Vote
24 Total Votes
1

NO! Congress should have had an opportunity to weigh-in on the detainee releases.

Many GOP feel that Obama broke the law, when he didn't notify Congress, on this matter. The released detainees could pose a threat to national security.
16 votes
0 comments
2

YES! We shouldn't leave a man/woman behind!

Special Forces have searched for this lone American soldier, for 5 years. Obama chose to act upon the prisoner exchange, while he had the opportunity (with help from Qatar). Congress was left out of the mix.
8 votes
0 comments
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discomfiting says2014-06-01T04:52:24.2699620-05:00
I don't really blame him for not going to congress about it. Congress is just polarizing and being stubborn; it's been FIVE years since he was captured.
Juan_Pablo says2014-06-01T07:48:44.2551554-05:00
Some kind of glitch is preventing me from voting in this poll. I do support this decision. Why exactly are the prisoners at Gitmo being held anyway? Have they actually been charged with anything? If not, it's time to let them go free.
lannan13 says2014-06-01T08:26:55.1645494-05:00
@Juan - Just click on an option and then refresh the page. The vote should register.
ararmer1919 says2014-06-01T09:24:47.9348022-05:00
As long as they are smart enough to shove tracking devices up the prisoners arses so that we can drop a j-Dam on their little hideouts then I'm all for it.
FearTheBeard1 says2014-06-01T09:27:31.3936978-05:00
America just opened Pandora's Box! I am glad the Soldier is home regardless!
SweetTea says2014-06-01T09:56:58.9037404-05:00
If you consider that we have been "at war", then prisoner exchange is not uncommon. Usually as wars wind-down, POWs are exchanged. Are these individuals terrorists? Who knows? Personally, I feel if any could be directly connected to an act of terrorism, they would be tried in court for the crime. But many detainees remain in limbo, for lack of a better word. The SCOTUS said that we cannot try these detainees in a War-Crime Tribunal, back in 2006. Obviously, the law was not closely examined (by the Bush administration) before Gitmo became a detainee facility or this wouldn't have happened. Still, what do we do? Do we leave them indefinitely at Gitmo? Do we turn them over to other countries (assuming they will take them)? Do we exchange them & bring one of ours home? I vote for the latter. It may not be a perfect solution, but it ends Bergdahl's nightmare & he's one of ours! As for the effects on national security ... Who knows? There is no guarantee, where Gitmo is concerned.
ararmer1919 says2014-06-01T10:50:29.9374724-05:00
SweetTea they released the names and information on all 5 of the prisoners released. For instance one of the guys, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, use to be the Talibans deputy Defense minister. And was responsible for several targeted massacres against the Afghan Shi'ite Muslims. I fear that allowing this to happen sets a very dangerous precedent. The stance "no negotiating with terrorist" is more then just stubborn refusal to reason with opponents. Now other terrorist organizations are going to see this and say "well look there, the Americans are willing to negotiate of we twist their arms hard enough". I guarantee that on the next few years we will see an alarming increase in kidnapings across the globe. Now that they know it will work. Hell. The whole Nigerian kidnaping thing is just going to get worse now. Boko Haram was holding out for prisoner exchange and now they are just going to be encouraged by this.
discomfiting says2014-06-01T12:39:09.4382189-05:00
Those GOP supporters just wants something to complain about. The defense secretary (who is a Republican) said it was the right thing to do. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/01/chuck-hagel-congress-bowe-bergdahl-releas besides, can't presidents use this thing called executive order?
SweetTea says2014-06-01T13:50:16.6234135-05:00
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace." -- Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 It was time to bring Bowe Bergdahl home! And it is time to decide what to do with the rest of these detainees. Holding individuals indefinitely, without a trial, is not ethical ... Legal ... Or even humane. The U.S. is better than that, or should be!
Fight4Liberty says2014-06-02T00:29:42.5220000-05:00
Regardless of opinions, he BROKE a LAW.
FearTheBeard1 says2014-06-02T08:16:47.6543429-05:00
I do not think everyone knows the full story behind formerly known PFC Berdahl. In a quick snap shot this Soldier could be tried under the UCMJ (uniformed Code of Military Justice) for desertion and possible terrorist plots against American service members. I will submit a link for the full explanation, however this soldier is still under investigation and being interrogated for Leaving his post without his rifle, Kit and Military clothing and seeking out the Taliban on his own accord.
ararmer1919 says2014-06-02T08:58:54.9689869-05:00
FearTheBeard. Many of the soldiers that were in his unit have come out and spoken just that. As wellas many of the guys involved in the operations trying to recover him. Their stories all point to the same conclusion. That he is at the very least a deserter or possibly a Taliban sympathizer and at worst a traitor to the US, who provided intel to the enemy. His homecoming might not be as "welcoming" as the people think. The sad thing is is that these soldiers were telling people about this back in 2010. But the media covered it up. For more interesting stuff go look into his father. Deffinetly a Taliban sympathizer and just yesterday he tweeted, and then deleted, something quite interesting. This is just quoted from memory so forgive me if I mess it up but it was along the lines of "I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners, God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, Ameen."
SweetTea says2014-06-02T09:00:15.6532213-05:00
Fight4 Liberty ... I have to disagree. This excerpt comes from the Legal-dictionary available online. Note the wording: "Executive Privilege The right of the president of the United States to withhold information from Congress or the courts. Historically, presidents have claimed the right of executive privilege when they have information they want to keep confidential, either because it would jeopardize national security or because disclosure would be contrary to the interests of the Executive Branch." Now, keep in mind, it has been invoked by every U.S. President going back to the 1700's.
SweetTea says2014-06-02T09:02:49.4749597-05:00
FearTheBeard1 ... And if Bergdahl was attempting to desert -- Wow! -- he got more than he bargained for! Still, he should be court-martialed. That requires bringing him back to the U.S.
FearTheBeard1 says2014-06-02T09:06:40.6290499-05:00
I would ask for an explanation for why a majority of the still living troops closest to Sgt Bergdahl had to sign non-disclosure agreements not to divulge information surrounding his disappearance. Additionally, when his file has been wrapped up tight in a TS clearance on top of the Non-disclosure agreements you have to sniff out a likely scandal being buried deep.
FearTheBeard1 says2014-06-02T09:09:25.6257515-05:00
I am sure the doubters just shrug it off and allow the grandeur disillusions of Public govt figures to explain the "truth", I love how Civilians think they have all the answers to TS sensitive items.
SweetTea says2014-06-02T09:57:14.7131327-05:00
Fearthebeard ... I certainly don't think I have "all the answers" to anything. When it comes to Top Secret, things get neck-deep in bulls***! I suppose Pat Tillman's parents & widow would appreciate a factual account of his demise. That story has changed so much, I doubt anyone knows the truth anymore ... Evidence destroyed ... Officers involved in the cover-up ... One then promoted to the Joint Chiefs ... Sickening!
Tyranus says2014-06-02T16:57:21.0477014-05:00
WE DO NOT NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS! For years that has been our foreign policy. Ignoring the controversy over how he got captured, 5 Taliban detainees for one GI...I'm sorry but no. We are fighting a war, we are gonna loose men.
Juan_Pablo says2014-06-02T17:31:30.6269840-05:00
Actually, the last U.S. President to exchange prisoners held in the U.S. for a POW was Ronald Reagan and he also gave Iran missiles to go along in the exchange. Now if the release of Bowe Bergdahl offends you (by the way it's unclear if he deserted or if he was kidnapped; however it's highly unlikely he would desert inside of Afghanistan, so I doubt this wild allegation very much), what Ronnie Reagan did should offend you more! But nope, not a word on that.
Juan_Pablo says2014-06-02T17:34:06.6435841-05:00
All I see at the moment is Republicans try to stir the pot and trying make an issue out of something that we should all be celebrating.
ararmer1919 says2014-06-02T17:39:17.2249438-05:00
SweetTea it's actually starting to look like this was in violation of the law. I don't know the name of the law but Iv found that a bill past in 2013 had a part in there that required the Sec of Defense to notify Congress of any prisoner exchange or transfer at a minimum of 30 days prior to the transfer. Congress was notified by Hagel, the day AFTER the transfer. This was a direct violation if the law and what's more is that the Obama administration isn't even denying that they broke the law, even openly admiting it. They just seem to be brushing it off because in their opinion the law was stupid and they shouldn't have to follow it.
ararmer1919 says2014-06-02T17:40:33.3368559-05:00
Juan. So all those soldiers are lying about him deserting? Why?
ararmer1919 says2014-06-02T17:42:38.4844405-05:00
It's pretty much established fact now that he deserted his post, his brothers, his oath, and his honor. What is in question is the exact reasoning for his desertion. PTSD? Mental breakdown? Or, as is being claimed and is seeming more and more likely, sympathy for the enemy or even attempting to join or at least aid the enemy.
Juan_Pablo says2014-06-02T17:44:51.8947853-05:00
No. Some are accusing him of deserting. However, others and the official position of the Pentagon is that they do not know if he deserted or if was abducted. Futhermore, it's likely he was abducted because he been held as a POW by the Taliban for the last 5 years--HE HAS NOT ENGAGED IN COMBAT TO ASSIST the Taliban like other soldiers WHO HAVE DESERTED have. I think the soldiers that are accusing him of deserting need to let him come forward and explain what happened--rather than accusing him in our politically-charged climate! Same goes for you, Aramer. (http://www.Ibtimes.Com/bowe-bergdahl-no-hero-fellow-soldiers-1592946)
Juan_Pablo says2014-06-02T17:46:21.9339337-05:00
Absolute garbage, aramer. Stop spreading misinformation! It's disgusting!
Juan_Pablo says2014-06-02T17:48:56.4683136-05:00
I think think Bowe Bergdahl was abducted, being that he's been held as a POW for the last 5 years, and some very malicious people with a strong political bent want to paint his new-found freedom as a bad thing, to hurt the current U.S. Administration. That's what I see.
Tyranus says2014-06-02T17:50:54.7014715-05:00
Juan, yes, the Iran-Contra affair was a mistake on behalf of this country that I am not proud of, however, this issue is something different. We traded convicted terrorists, people who plotted to kill our brothers and children, for a single soldier of whom we do not know if he was a traitor or not. Soldiers know the risk of war, and they know they may not make it home. Why our government should violate the stance on terrorists we proclaimed in 2001 for one soldier blows my mind. Though "No Soldier Left Behind" is important, it is imperative that the USA maintain a strong stance in the war against terror. Also, going back to the Iran-Contra affair, Reagan did not exchange terrorists for POWs. Yes he traded weapons with a country, but he did not release terrorists or negotiate with them.
SweetTea says2014-06-02T17:51:08.2891586-05:00
In a decade or more, the GOP will beg Bergdahl to be their candidate for Governor, Senator or Congressman ... Nobody will even mention AWOL ... Just like they did with Arnold Schwarzenegger! I just wonder how all those opposed today will feel about it, then. Hmmm ... Http://www.Imdb.Com/name/nm0000216/bio
SweetTea says2014-06-02T17:54:13.6501512-05:00
Ararmer1919 ... The President (and many have done it) can do a lot of things via Executive Order. Read the definition: "Executive Privilege The right of the president of the United States to withhold information from Congress or the courts. Historically, presidents have claimed the right of executive privilege when they have information they want to keep confidential, either because it would jeopardize national security or because disclosure would be contrary to the interests of the Executive Branch."
Juan_Pablo says2014-06-02T17:54:24.0396846-05:00
By the way, there's already established precedent for a U.S. President exchanging prisoners in our custody for U.S. POWs abroad, through executive action. Ronald Reagan did it during his first year in office. In fact, he exchanged U.S. military arms for our prisoners. Now if you're going to be attacking President Obama . . . . http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/05/31/1303494/-GOP-Hero-Reagan-Gave-Iran-1-500-Missiles-for-Hostages-Obama-Trades-Five-Guys-GOP-Heads-Explode
Tyranus says2014-06-02T17:57:21.2748740-05:00
Though the Republican party is stirring this issue up, they have good reason too! It is not their fault that when Obama violates the backbone of our foreign policy "We DO NOT Negotiate with Terrorists" that it looks bad for Obama. Congress deserved to know what Obama was doing and vote. He is commander and chief, but does that entitle him to manage our prisoners and release known terrorists? Congress should have had a say, and the GOP is in the right of way for saying so. Parties fight, and in this instance, it is clear Obama is wrong and the GOP are only trying to show it. Yet again Obama has bypassed congress (and yes, I do acknowledge how many Republicans did the same) and the GOP, which does represent a portion of this nation, were left out of the decision making process.
ararmer1919 says2014-06-02T18:11:06.3778653-05:00
Juan. He's been held a prisoner for 5 years and so that means he didn't desert his post? What? Let me guess. You believe that phony story of him "falling behind" during a patrol? Ask anyone from the 4-25 and they will tell you the same story. He was on watch at his fob and abandoned his post in the night. Wandering off into the province alone without his rifle and only a compass. Days prior he was talking all kinds of strange stuff and look up the email he sent his parents. There is no argument. He is a deserter. This is not misinformation or garbage. The question is why he did it. The reasons I listed are all possibilities.
Juan_Pablo says2014-06-02T18:17:25.6294653-05:00
Aramer, I want to hear Bowe Bergdahl's story. I'm highly critical of accusations that claim he deserted, especially since he's lived as a POW under Taliban control. Now, there have been people who've fought side-by-side with the Taliban, but Bergdahl is not one of them! Furthermore, his platoon doesn't know if he deserted, was abducted, or just negligent with his responsibilities. Let's visit what fellow soldiers have said: ""He walked off," former Pfc. Jose Baggett, 27, of Chicago, told CNN. "He left his guard post. Nobody knows if he defected or he's a traitor or he was kidnapped." I think people need to find out what happened before they accuse him of being a traitor!
ararmer1919 says2014-06-02T18:26:07.2258926-05:00
Ok. I don't think your understanding this. You know the deference between deserter and traitor right? Deserter is abandoning your post and going AWOL. Traitor is aiding or abetting the enemy. I am not saying that he is a traitor, although the possibility is there. There's a claim that he was teaching Taliban better ambush tactics. Not saying its true or not, I'm just saying the possibility is there. The deserter part is different though. All facts point to this. Your argument that he can't be a deserter because he's been a prisoner for 5 years is, pointless. It's possible that he deserted his post and while he was wandering off to, where ever, the Taliban found him and snatched his arse up. It still makes him a deserter. You even sited some testimony from his fellow soldiers saying just that. And I am also eager to hear his side of the story. If they can get him to actually talk that is. Word is he is either refusing to speak or when he does speak its only in Arabic. Stockholm syndrome maybe?
SweetTea says2014-06-03T03:21:33.1459344-05:00
Juan_Pablo ... I have to agree with you. Going AWOL doesn't make you a traitor. It just shows you exercised very poor judgment. Bergdahl might have been gung-ho to capture one (Taliban) & set-out to prove that he could. He wouldn't be the first soldier or sailor to be overzealous for a medal. Until an investigation is conducted & complete, there is nothing but hearsay. Personally, I think any American held by the Taliban needs to come home. As long as they held him, he was nothing but a propaganda tool for them to use.
SweetTea says2014-06-03T03:28:02.4408032-05:00
Tyranus ... I think you need to remember that those detainees at Gitmo haven't been formally charged with "acts of terrorism". Why is that? I'm betting it is due to lack of evidence. The SCOTUS said, back in 2006, we could not try them in a War-Crimes Tribunal. So, that ends that option. Do we just keep them incarcerated indefinitely? Maybe they are guilty by association? But, in America, we don't imprison for that. All people -- even detainees at Gitmo -- are innocent until proven guilty. That's how our Justice System operates.
Juan_Pablo says2014-06-03T14:48:35.5673389-05:00
In the future, if Bowe Bergdahl is found guilty of deserting, then obviously he should be punished. But he's innocent until proven guilty and as a general responsibility the U.S. needs to ensure (and take action) to ensure all its military servicemen are not being neglected or, in this case, not being grievously harmed by the enemy or other states when they're held as Prisoners of War.
ararmer1919 says2014-06-03T17:35:27.7187888-05:00
"Breaking news". Initial probe confirms Berdahl left his post on his own accord. The man is a deserter. SweatTea. I already said this to Juan. Deserter and traitor are 2 totally different things. The only question now is why did he desert? At this point we can only speculate but the facts that we do know point to a general consensus. That he had grievances with the war and decided to quit the fight and perhaps was even a Taliban sympathizer. This is only the best formulated guess we can make right now and it is not a conformation of any type. SweetTea you said that it was possible that maybe he wanted to go "capture a Taliban on his own" to win a medal or something. Iv heard people say maybe he saw something or was lured away. These are all still possibilities. But as I said the facts that we have suggest otherwise. There's the way he was talking prior to his departure. There's the email he sent his parents. But the biggest thing. He left all his gear! His Kevlar, flak, kit, water canteens? His freaking RIFLE. What was he going to fight the Taliban in hand to hand combat? Who the hell leaves thier rifle?????!!!?? Maybe you could make the argument that he was just stupid. No one is that stupid. When your in country there is a rule probably more important then ANY other. Never. Ever. Go anywhere without your rifle. It shouldn't even be more then one arms distance away. You eat with your rifle, crap with your rifle, shower with your rifle, hell even sleep with it. Literally it's in the sleeping bag with you. Bowe Berdahl left his rifle. All the evidence points to one conclusion. It is not confirmed, but if something looks like crap and smells like crap. It's probably crap.
ararmer1919 says2014-06-03T17:41:31.2771550-05:00
I also want to point out to both of you that just because I believe the man is a deserter does NOT mean I don't think he shouldn't have been rescued. By god I'm furious that it took 5 fing years for this to finally happen. I am merely interested in making sure that everyone knows the truth and the BS crap coming from the White House about how he's done big War Hero is a lie. I also want to make sure that if he is in fact a deserter that he receives a proper court martial and trial and is punished accordingly. You might say that since he suffered for 5 years at the hands of the enemy that we should go lenient on him. Id agree. If it wasn't for the fact that his actions directly resulted in the deaths of at least 6 men who did serve with honor and possibly damaged the ENTIRE war effort. That is what I want. Justice. I also don't agree with trading 5 senior Taliban killers for 1 deserter. That doesn't seem like a bit much to you? Also if it turns out he is a traitor and was aiding the enemy then I want to see them tie a noise around his neck followed by a short drop and a quick stop.
SweetTea says2014-06-04T03:23:44.5912455-05:00
Ararmer1919 ... You keep saying the facts "we have". Honey, you don't have any. None of us do. All we have is hearsay. That isn't admissible in a court-room. Until an investigation is complete, Bergdahl is considered innocent. I believe our highest ranking officer confirmed that, just yesterday. I could, at this point, tell you a little story via the Gulf War when 2 young soldiers left the base -- no weapon in hand -- to lasso a camel that they had been feeding. I guess every base needs a mascot? Oh, well ... Correct me if I am wrong, they were AWOL when they stepped off that camp. Nobody knew they had done this, till they came back with the darn camel. I'm not defending Bergdahl, but people do strange things. Sometimes, things don't go as planned. The latter explains how 3 hikers ended up as prisoners in Iran. Military & Public Service has a long history in my family as well as my husband's. In fact, his ancestors fought in the American Revolution. Both of us have had family members who were POWs -- one died in captivity. I am simply against leaving ANY American with the Taliban. If an American tourist, student, or missionary, is captured & held hostage ... We don't know their political leanings ... We don't know how they personally feel about war or military service ... Or why they ended up in enemy hands. Would you be willing to leave them behind? Just curious ...
SweetTea says2014-06-04T03:27:00.3738170-05:00
Ararmer ... I think the WH simply conveyed that the man, though captured, wore the uniform of this country. That makes him a hero, in our eyes. There are military personnel in uniform that dishonor it, on a regular basis. Some get caught. Others never do. Hence, the need for a JAG Corps.
Juan_Pablo says2014-06-04T03:57:06.9995404-05:00
I agree with Sweet Tea. Bowe Bergdahl is innocent until proven guilty and he shouldn't be treated like he is unless he's convicted of deserting in a military courtroom. There's numerous reasons why Bowe Bergdahl might have left that base; it's too hasty to conclude that he left the base to protest the military occupation in Afghanistan. Maybe he wanted to investigate the surrounding area, maybe he needed to unwind; there's numerous possibilities here.
FearTheBeard1 says2014-06-04T20:43:00.6613858-05:00
Lets focus the lens of perspective for a moment, In my Training knowledge and Experience in the Military it is not normal, rational or of sound mind for a service member to leave the following items in a Hot Zone AKA an enemy occupied territory: Weapon, Kit (Flack Jacket, Kevlar Helmet) Primary and secondary weapons, Combat load magazines and BDU's. Then it is far stranger for a individual with the combat training and skill sets of Bergdahl to slip off a Military installation or FOB (Forward Observation Base) under cover of darkness with only a: Diary, Knife and Canteen water bottle while he is on duty. Which means its his turn to take watch or take charge over a certain area of the base IE: guard tower or look out post. With that in mind, lets Rewind several months into his deployment where he sent letters to his family at home notating his disgust and disenfranchisement with Army life and American life. As an actively serving and several times deployed Veteran i can understand the stresses of every day military duties, but i have never nor have my brothers and sisters to my left and right outright expressed they had dislike for the American way of life. That is another RED flag in this weird and bizarre story. Additionally, with in days of Bergdahl slipping away interpreters were notifying chains of command that kids and adults had seen an oddly dressed AMERICAN asking for and actively seeking the Taliban. Let us pause for a moment and let the totality of this moment sink in, while i explain the AO (Area of operation) this took place. This particular providence and or tiny FOB where this incident took place in one of the more hostile regions of Combat operations ( for pete sakes there where companies of SPECOPS on base where Bergdahl AWOL'd which denotes the level of operations and tough surroundings). In short for all that need the Barney and Friends version, it was not a part of Afghanistan where you see journalist or tourist unaccompanied. Let me be clear the only Caucasian looking people in this AO were Military. So back to the Kids and adults that told interpreters and Rescue party Intel officers what they saw.....One of PFC Bergdahl's Plt Sgt's who has appeared on numerous left and right news outlets described he heard for himself the chatter on secure and non secure netoworks of an American seeking Taliban. Well with in the following weeks of this guy leaving, Intel briefs and reports looked different with new routes and or traveling sites IED's where being placed in more strategic places, concealment and cover and maneuver techniques that security fores, scouting patrols and recon patrols had not seen before where being used. Some of Bergdahl's own squad were saying that earlier it was as if they had been in the Intel briefs prior to the days operation commencement. Coincidences are not consistent the are random. Let me explain something else when you are going through your pre-deployment training and regular training you have hours and hours of briefs and classes teaching you the correct and incorrect way to handle being captured. I do know know if bergdahl had SERE training but i have been through the Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP) to plan for evasion, effect personnel recovery, survive and evade capture in austere environments and resist exploitation appropriately, in accordance with the Code of Conduct, should they become captured or detained. Through this systematic painful process and can tell you that even if i was captured i would die trying to escape. The only way to stay alive with terrorist would be the feasible reason of feeding the enemy information and being useful as a propaganda item for recruiting. I strongly believe that Sgt. Bergdahl is well with in the scope for a trial because you are not truly guilty until proven innocent. My strong intuition is that this Soldier was involved in more than just Going AWOL.
ararmer1919 says2014-06-05T01:01:06.5128119-05:00
Fearthebeard. Exactly. SweatTea and Juan. I know that he us innocent until proven guilty and I respect that. I know that's the way you guys certainly see it. However as a military man I have a different philosophy for things like this. In the military we have saying. "Perception is reality." Pretty cut and dry. If it looks like crap it's probably crap. It's just how it is.
Juan_Pablo says2014-06-05T02:56:08.7376102-05:00
Ararmer, I understand your position but that philosophy is worthless in the court of law! On the battlefield, where split decisions have to be made in a matter of life and death that philosophy is practical and reasonable to abide by (though its definitely not always right--which is why the military accepts a degree of collateral damage and non-combatant death. But in the courtroom, that philosophy isn't protected by the U.S. Constitution and it fails to have relevance, unless it can be demonstrated that the accused is truly guilty of the charges leveled against him. I'm not attacking you military wisdom. "Perception is reality" is something warriors have abide by for practical reasons on the battlefield. But to establish truth with a high-level of certainty, that's not a tenet worth adhering to in the courtroom.
Juan_Pablo says2014-06-05T03:23:27.9188344-05:00
Again, on the battlefield, "Perception is reality" is something soldiers HAVE TO abide by, because of the split-second decisions in moments of life and death that have to be made! It would be foolish for a soldier to waste time evaluating every situation he encounters to determine the "precise truth" of the unfolding situation. It's neither safe or practical to attempt that kind of certainty in the battlefield. As a soldier I certainly wouldn't attempt that and risk my fellow soldiers lives. "Perception is reality" is a necessary philosophy to subscribe to on the battlefield and the majority of the time it's going to be right! But inside the court of law, where determining the truth with high confidence is the objective, "perception is reality" just doesn't cut it. And that distinction is important to make and to realize.
ararmer1919 says2014-06-05T08:30:21.5303906-05:00
Juan. That is extremely fair. Well put.
Juan_Pablo says2014-06-05T14:22:23.3316816-05:00
Thank you. I do try to acknowledge important perspectives in these discussions.
SweetTea says2014-06-05T19:40:51.8937304-05:00
Ararmer1919 ... This isn't about your personal beliefs, or assessment, of Bergdahl. By legal military definition, the guy is NOT a deserter. He was AWOL, but that's not the same thing. Http://usmilitary.About.Com/od/justicelawlegislation/g/desertion.Htm
SweetTea says2014-06-05T19:51:00.6388535-05:00
Juan ... Thank you. I just don't think it is right to condemn an individual, until all of the facts are known. Personally, I think if Bergdahl had been planning to "join" the enemy he wouldn't have been held hostage. He would have been "trained" as we have seen Al Qaeda do with other Americans who sympathized (and carried out actually acts of violence). I'm not a doctor, but Bergdahl strikes me as sick. Emotionally? Mentally? Physically? Maybe, all of the above? It would explain unusual behavior, from a guy who had a clean military record. Could it be PTSD? I don't know. But a sick soldier is just that -- sick. They need help -- not condemnation. And, I might add, if his unusual remarks & actions had been properly reported ... Documented ... The guy wouldn't have been in a war-zone or standing a post. Ignoring such things put Bergdahl & everyone around him at risk!
Juan_Pablo says2014-06-05T20:20:55.7958815-05:00
I agree with you, Sweet Tea. If he were trying to help the Taliban as some on this site allege, he wouldn't be treated as a captured POW. This is someone that the U.S. government has been trying to free for some time and the Taliban has been trying to use him as a bargaining chip. I see nothing to indicate that Bergdahl has been working with the Taliban like some have wildly and ridiculously alleged. Also, this is prisoner that has been held captive for FIVE YEARS (since 2009)! I think we should expect some words of regret on Bergdahl's part, since he's been held as a prisoner for that long. He knows what horrible men in that part of the world are capable of doing, and I'm sure it scared the hell out of him enough to say some bad things against the U.S. occupation in Afghanistan. I consider these statements he's made as worthless and I don't give them any significance. Another reason why I don't thing the exchange is bad is because the U.S. has been trying to demonstrate to the Taliban (which it has occasionally admitted) that it's worth trying to negotiate with the the United States and the West now that Afghanistan has a democratically-elected government. The Taliban (which is not Al Queda, but the former government of Afghanistan) has to understand that violence against the U.S. will lead to continued, guaranteed provocation from the West and will not be tolerated. However, reasoning with the U.S. can lead to a peaceful resolution and that was important to demonstrate with this exchange.
Juan_Pablo says2014-06-05T20:26:28.1862997-05:00
Provocation = military action

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