War In Afghanistan

Bowe Bergdahl’s Fellow Soldiers Are Calling Him a ‘Deserter’

I suspect when all is said and done, like Pat Tillman, Bowe Bergdahl was disillusioned about the war in Afghanistan.

We don’t know his psychological state when he wandered off base.  We don’t know much of anything except what the hysterical GOP is telling us and some soldiers who knew Bergdahl.

The investigations into this entire episode will do one of two things find the truth or find no proof of the gossip that is frantically being put out there.  I choose to reserve judgment at this time.

Mediaite

A growing chorus of Bowe Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers are calling the Army sergeant, who wasreleased by the Taliban this weekend in a prisoner swap with the United States, a “deserter,” saying he was captured after walking away from his base, and that soldiers died in attempts to locate him.

There have been rumblings about Bergdahl’s disappearance since it happened in June of 2009. But according to Nathan Bradley Bethea, his fellow soldiers have been under order not to speak about incident. “He is safe, and now it is time to speak the truth,” Bethea wrote in the Daily Beast Monday morning. “And that the truth is: Bergdahl was a deserter, and soldiers from his own unit died trying to track him down.”

RELEASED: Bergdahl’s Parents in Teary Conference: ‘Proud of How Far You Went to Help Afghan People’

Bethea is not alone in this opinion. “He walked off,” Former Pfc. Jose Baggett said to CNN’s Jake Tapper. “He left his guard post. Nobody knows if he defected or he’s a traitor or he was kidnapped. What I do know is he was there to protect us and instead he decided to defer from America and go and do his own thing. I don’t know why he decided to do that, but we spend so much of our resources and some of those resources were soldiers’ lives.”

According to other soldiers, Bergdahl had spoken of walking off from Afghanistan, and per emails obtained by the late Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings, he had written his parents expressing his dissatisfaction with the U.S. war effort in the country.

They also allege that precious resources — everything from drones to water — were redirected to the hunt for Bergdahl, which ended up claiming the lives of six servicemen. “It was unbelievable,” one soldier said. “All because of the selfish act of one person. The amount of animosity (toward him) is nothing like you’ve ever seen before.”

It is unclear whether Bergdahl will be the subject of a military investigation following his recuperation in a military hospital.

 

Romney On Omitting U.S. Troops From RNC Speech: ‘You Talk About Things You Think Are Important’

 

Oh no he didn’t!

I can see and hear the blow-back coming down the pike  from that statement…

Think Progress

In an interview with Fox News this afternoon, Mitt Romney shot back at critics who complained that he didn’t mention Afghanistan or praise U.S. troops in his convention speech last week, arguing that he focused on issues that are “important.”

Fox News’s Brett Baier told Romney that “several speakers” at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this week criticized the GOP presidential nominee for the omissions (actually it was right-wing foreign policy leader Bill Kristol who started the attacks) and asked him if he had any regrets. “I only regret you’re repeating it day in and day out,” Romney said, adding that his speech focused on things that are important:

BAIER: To hear several speakers in Charlotte … they were essentially saying that you don’t care about the U.S. military because you didn’t mention U.S. troops and the war in Afghanistan in your nomination acceptance speech. … Do you regret opening up this line of attack, now a recurring attack, by leaving out that issue in the speech.

ROMNEY: I only regret you’re repeating it day in and day out. When you give a speech you don’t go through a laundry list, you talk about the things that you think are important and I described in my speech, my commitment to a strong military unlike the president’s decision to cut our military. And I didn’t use the word troops, I used the word military. I think they refer to the same thing.

Watch the clip:

The war in Afghanistan and the sacrifices made by U.S. troops weren’t important enough for Romney to talk about them in his speech? His speech did mention the military, but only to say that he wants to “preserve” a strong military (incidentally so does Obama). But Kristol’s criticism was not that Romney didn’t mention the military but that he did not pay tribute to U.S. troops who fought or are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But what is Romney’s “commitment to a strong military”? He plans to increase military spending by $2.1 trillion over the next ten years (which the military does not needwithout offering a plan to pay for it. That doesn’t sound too much like a strong commitment to the economy.

 

Taliban Writes Letter to Congress

Daily Beast

A spokesman for the Taliban in Afghanistan has written a 2,300-word letter to Congress, calling upon American lawmakers to get “a true picture of the ground realities” of the war in Afghanistan.

In what appears to be the first letter that the group has written to Congress, specifically, its spokesperson, Qari Mohammad Yousaf Ahmadi, claims that U.S. troop commanders give their legislators “distorted information about a losing war, trying to conceal from you their failures.”

The letter—addressed to “Messers American Congressmen” and written in poor English—also denies any Taliban links to the September 11th attacks and insists that the Taliban is still in control of their stronghold, Kandahar, despite an aggressive recent push by U.S. forces there. Unlike many government offices in Afghanistan, the Taliban are known to run a savvy media operation.