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Reports of Pvt. Bergdahl’s desertion continue to mount
Written By : Cassy Fiano
July 20, 2009

After watching the video of Pvt. Bergdahl yesterday, I had a lot of questions.

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Without knowing details of how he was captured, it’s hard to make much of a judgement on this. He’s making statements about wanting all of the troops to come home, and it just seemed a little odd to me. Why would a soldier voluntarily walk off of his base with three Afghanis? What were the circumstances that caused him to leave his base? How did he come to be captured? Was he even captured or was he taken voluntarily? Was he coerced in the interview? The situation is a little suspicious in my mind, but we also have to remember that we don’t know very many facts at all. So for now, there will be no judgement passed, although to me this video raises more questions than it answers.

Well, more reports are coming out about Pvt. Bergdahl, and while of course the facts are still not know, it’s looking more and more likely that he deserted his post. For example, his godmother says that Bergdahl didn’t seem like himself in the video. Considering he’s in captivity, that’s to be expected. But why would he flat-out lie about his family members back home, such as having a girlfriend he “wants to marry”?

Kim Harrison Dellacorva, who moved from Idaho last fall and lives in the Pearl District of Northwest Portland…is listed on military documents as Bergdahl’s godmother. She ran the extracurricular performing arts school in Ketchum that Bergdahl attended.

A military casualty assistance officer knocked on Dellacorva’s door June 30, after Bergdahl was reporting missing from his company’s outpost in Afghanistan’s Paktika province. At the time, nobody knew where he was or what happened to him. The military declined to release his name to the public, although his disappearance was an open secret in Hailey, the Idaho town near Ketchum where Bergdahl’s parents live in a remote canyon.

But over the weekend, his Taliban captors posted a 28-minute video that shows Bergdahl answering questions and eating.

Kim, Shane and Shane’s sister, Kayla Harrison, were relieved to see that Bergdahl is alive. But they say that parts of the video they have seen don’t sound like the Bowe they know.

“The only part that sounded like Bowe was when he said, ‘It’s very unnerving to be a prisoner,’” Kayla Harrison said.

A lot of the other stuff, about relatives and having a girlfriend back home he hoped to marry, sounded completely unnatural, the Harrisons say. Bergdahl doesn’t have a serious girlfriend, they say.

One of Michelle’s readers wrote her to say that Pvt. Bergdahl did indeed desert:

“Please don’t list my name- I am here in Afghanistan- I know the story and the accounts that he was drunk or that he was lagging behind on patrol are not true- this soldier planned this move for a long time. He walked off the post with a day’s supply of water and had written down before that he wanted to live in the mountains. He has violated the Code of Conduct in his 28 minute speech and he is an e[m]barrassment to everyone who has worn the uniform. He made it to two towns and was asking for water when the locals turned him over to the Taliban. That is really all I can say- since we are still looking for this soldier.”

PJ Tobia also adds evidence that he deserted:

I’ve been reporting for over a week (along with the AP and WaPo) that Bowe Bergdahl, the US soldier who’s gone missing in eastern Afghanistan, walked off the base on his own accord.

Now, somebody close to the people searching for Bergdahl has repeated this assertion saying that the soldier left “a note behind that said he was going to the mountains to find himself. He took a journal and 4 or 5 knives with him.” My source tells me that Bergdahl arrived at a village and asked if anybody spoke English. That’s when he was captured.

My source tells me that there is no doubt Bergdahl deserted, which in a time of war is punishable by a court martial at the least, or even execution.

I’m not the only one saying this. Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (Ret.) told Fox News that Bergdahl is “an apparent deserter,” and intimates that he wouldn’t feel badly if the Taliban killed Bergdahl. At the end of the segment he does say that we should wait until all the facts come in to pass judgement, but even Michelle Malkin smells something fishy.

It certainly seems to be looking like Pvt. Bergdahl is a deserter. There’s a big “BUT” here though.

All of this is still just speculation. There’s no telling if he really is a deserter or not. Until the Department of Defense comes out and confirms that rumor, we should remember that it is still speculation only. And while it is looking more and more like he did indeed desert, to my mind it maes no difference. He is still an American, a soldier at that, being held hostage by the enemy. Who knows what kind of treatment he is receiving? It’s possible and even likely that he’s being tortured right now, and if we do not act, he’ll be the star in the Taliban’s newest sick little snuff film. Deserter or not, we cannot allow that to happen. We need to get this guy back, alive. If he is a deserter, than he can be tried and deal with the consequences here, in America. Even if he did desert, then that doesn’t mean his family needs to deal with the horrors of watching their loved one dismembered on camera. Anyone expressing thoughts of letting this man get murdered by the Taliban is wrong and, as Uncle Jimbo put it, needs to drink a big cup of STFU.

Until the facts are made clear, we need to reserve judgement, regardless of how damning the evidence may seem. No one knows anything for sure at this point. So for now, let’s just consider this a case of what it really is: one of our soldiers being held captive by a group of bloodthirsty, ignorant savages.

Cross-posted from Cassy’s blog. Stop by for more original commentary or follow her on Twitter.

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