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Legion: Sgt Bergdahl release good, Gitmo releases bad

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Legion: Sgt Bergdahl release good, Gitmo releases bad

American Legion National Commander Daniel Dellinger raised some concerns about the circumstances surrounding the recent release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl by the Taliban.

“First, to Sgt. Bergdahl, I say, ‘welcome home,’” Dellinger said today. “Your family has waited far too long to see you and we are happy that your five year nightmare has ended. To the administration, I say The American Legion has some very serious concerns.”

Dellinger, who is visiting troops in Europe this week, asked, “Has the United States changed its long-held policy of not negotiating with terrorists? Will this provide incentives for terrorists to kidnap other Americans? What assurances do we have that the five dangerous detainees being released from Guantanamo will not return to the battlefield?

“While Qatar will institute a travel ban on the released detainees for 12 months, our troops won’t be leaving Afghanistan until 2016. There are many troubling aspects about this deal, and the American people deserve some answers. Moreover, we hope the Department of Defense does a complete investigation of the circumstances surrounding Sgt. Bergdahl’s initial disappearance and take whatever steps are warranted by the findings of that investigation.”

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Mac Daddy

June 5, 2014 - 6:08pm

Too often people impress themselves by embracing the un-embraceable and then puff themselves up crowing about it and insisting that others to do as they do. During my long years of service when it was my turn to step to the line and assume the watch there was not a single time I was absent without leave, or as the Navy calls it, UA for Unauthorized Absence. I understand in a free society the importance of not condemning the accused before the facts are known and a verdict reached. But neither am I going to fluff my self-esteem by telling others to embrace this guy. My father served four grueling tours in Vietnam and he never went UA. I am confident that if I had been taken prisoner during my war in the Gulf that he would NOT have converted to Muslim, learned the language of the enemy, “Tweeted” reassurances to the enemy, assumed their facial hair and style of dress nor praised their G-d in front of the American people in the Rose Garden standing right next to the Kid-in-Chief! Those known facts are fair game and we, in a free society of course, are free to consider them without violating the important “innocent until proven guilty” uhm... thing. Until the final verdict is reached we should all use the “alleged” disclaimer, “alleged” deserter, “alleged” traitor, “alleged” scumbag, so as not to impugn the blessings of our own liberty while discussing this “alleged” Muslim sympathizer and his “alleged” father (are we really supposed to believe that guy scored Mrs. Bergdahl?).

Virgil Huston

June 5, 2014 - 3:15pm

Couple of points, the negative reactions to Bergdahl's release are some of the worst partisan backbiting I have ever seen and it disgusts me. I think the Commander's statement is nonemotional and well reasoned. I disagree with the negotiations stance. Since the 1960s, most of the "soldiers" we have fought in modern wars are classified as terrorists. This is done so we don't have to treat them as soldiers. When you say Taliban commanders, what exactly is that? They are displaced government of Afghanistan personnel. I just find it disingenuous that we hold people for years without trials. Soldiers kill other soldiers and often civilians. And, we've released hundreds of Gitmo prisoners already. My second point to the lynch mob is that we say we never leave a soldier behind. There are also scores of other soldiers who have died trying to save a wounded comrade. Yet, what about being wounded mentally? It is obvious that Bergdahl was mentally wounded. Everyone reacts different to moral injury and fear. 50,000 desertions in World War II attest to that and that was a "good" war as contrasted to every war since then. The reactions to this release show dramatically that, when it comes to mental health, the military talk the talk but have never walked the walk.

Ron Barron

June 9, 2014 - 11:04pm

Hello Virgil, I came across this article in passing while reading Google+ postings and as I scanned the list of messages your posting jumped out at me. Why ? Not once did I read the word "Patriot" or anything even insinuating the word from your message. Unfortunately, this word has been quite maligned by many for a very long time now during the War On Terror, Operation Iragi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom. It all reminds me of my experiences during the "American War" in Vietnam and even further back to the American Civil War where in both instances the word Patriot was totally maligned by both Political Parties... and by our own Countrymen who cannot even agree on what constitutes Patriotism let alone define it. Your assessment was compact and succinct... I salute you sir! SEMPER FIDELIS

Tom McCrady

June 4, 2014 - 11:45am

The people in his platoon have already said that he laid down his rifle and deserted. They were in the best position to judge. A Dishonorable Discharge would be best so that he gets no VA benifits.

jim mahan

June 3, 2014 - 9:30pm

I hoped everyone noticed the press conference with the state department. With arrogance she stated there is conflicting testimony concerning Bergdahl platoon mates and dismissed them as liars. Col Peters responded with anger on how this administration as zero repeat for the military. I for one will take the word of his team over anyone else and especially with a pompous political ass such as her.

JackR

June 4, 2014 - 9:53am

Why anyone would slander the words of our troops and side with the politicians is beyond me. They have absolutely no reason to lie about Bergdahl's conduct. If he were truly taken prisoner against his will, the people in his unit would be overjoyed about his return.

Thomas Kirk

June 5, 2014 - 2:45pm

jackr wants people to think he was not taken prisoner and held against his will ? gee Jackr you have tried and convicted him in your mind as others have . Guess we don't need a hearing the internet has convicted him and we all know everything jackr posts on the internet is true so should we just hang the kid with no trial should he hate someone we have no evidence that he walked away ? jackr you pretend to know something ? Jackr is this what you did to POW after they came home from Nam ? I bet it was !

William England

June 3, 2014 - 3:49pm

Why were the members of this mans platoon forced to sign letters of consent not to talk about what this "soldier" did? If he did desert, and the president had that information all along and he did, he had the statements of the platoon members which were classified and sealed, why did he make that decision? And 5 high level Taliban members for a PFC, that was his rank when captured, how does this equate? And how do we make sure an article 32 hearing is held?

JackR

June 3, 2014 - 12:49pm

ALL KILLED IN ACTION SEARCHING FOR BERGDAHL: •PFC Matthew Michael Martinek,Died September 11, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom 20, of DeKalb, Ill.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska; died Sept. 11 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, of wounds sustained in Paktika province, Afghanistan, Sept. 4 when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised-explosive device followed by a rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire. •Staff Sgt. Kurt Robert Curtiss,Died August 26, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom 27, of Murray, Utah; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska; died Aug. 26 in Sar Howzeh, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he was shot while his unit was supporting Afghan security forces during an enemy attack. •SSG Clayton Bowen,Died August 18, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom 29, of San Antonio; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska; died Aug. 18 in Dila, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Also killed was Pfc. Morris L. Walker. •PFC Morris Walker,Died August 18, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom 23, of Chapel Hill, N.C.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska; died Aug. 18 in Dila, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Also killed was Staff Sgt. Clayton P. Bowen. •SSG Michael Murphrey,Died September 6, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom 25, of Snyder, Texas; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska; died Sept. 6 in FOB Sharana, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. were ALL KIA FROM OUR UNIT WHO DIED LOOKING FOR Bergdahl . •Many others from various units were wounded or killed while actively looking for Bergdahl.

Thomas Kirk

June 4, 2014 - 12:18am

nice Copy paste Jackr again you are grasping at straws Bowe was captured on June 30 2009 , but now you try to say Solders that died in September 11,2009 in a attack where killed because of Bowe ? then another Aug. 26 in Sar Howzeh, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he was shot while his unit was supporting Afghan security forces during an enemy attack ? you keep calming all these who died did because of Bowe but that was not true.. these men died with Honor and your statement dishonors their death when you USE then for your hate. Jackr are you trying to say every solder who died months after Bowe was captured died because of him Grow up 1 it is war

JackR

June 4, 2014 - 9:49am

Time for your Meds, Kirk.

Thomas Kirk

June 5, 2014 - 2:30pm

JackR LOL Meds ? you have posted the same copy pasted BS as other that have been proven false. you posted something that if you read it you would know it was a lie . 4 times you have attacked me but now we see All you want is to hate this POW and if others want to wait tell a REAL hearing you attack them .. JackR you have no respect for others this is not fox or the yahoo news we try to deal in facts and you have posted one fact. Meds JackR ?? how childish of you !

Thomas Kirk

June 4, 2014 - 12:36am

We see a lot of anger towards A solder that has not been Charged or had a hearing .. We see how the masses jump on anything no matter if it is proven false to attack a solder /POW when they should be glad to see him home we even see them Attacking his Father and Mother A fox newsmen called his father Taliban because he had a beard.. Weather he was captured or went AWOL he is a American who served . after a hearing you can see the weathers if and if but until then stop trying to hate someone you do not have a reason to hate .. When did the country start attacking the military ? Is it because of who the president is or is it because of a midterm election or is it that people just want to hate someone ??

Bill Randolph

June 3, 2014 - 9:35pm

So which part of the Constitution, which we pledge to defend, would allow us as Americans to just leave this Soldier in Afghanistan? This is an American, a Service Member, etc. Do you know, or have you heard from anyone who really knows the circumstances of BERGDAHL's disappearance? If he is a deserter or went AWOL, why has he been promoted twice, and in fact is due for another promotion again this month? It is not honorable to adjudicate a Soldier's guilt before he is even charged. Such behavior is not what we as Veterans defend. The American Legion, and you, in my humble opinion have completely overstepped your bounds by questioning this prisoner swap. I'm embarrassed that any veteran would so quickly jump on this particular band wagon.

Bigfoot69

June 3, 2014 - 10:04am

Soldiers DIED looking for this scumbag, deserter, traitor. He willingly walked away from his unit in a combat zone, trained the taliban in the use of explosives and trashed his country in interviews, Hang him.

Thomas Kirk

June 3, 2014 - 10:23am

you need to be banned you are a just a hate troll

Michael Kotyk

June 3, 2014 - 9:26am

Let's get a military court of inquiry held on exactly what happened to Sgt Bergdahl and stop convicting him in the press or making him a hero until all the facts have been heard. We still have 'innocent until proven guilty' in this nation.

Thomas Kirk

June 3, 2014 - 9:38am

Great post thank you Michael Kotyk !

Thomas Kirk

June 3, 2014 - 5:31am

This kid is A American solder and tell other wise proven a Honorable one.. He spent 5 years as a POW .. How did he get captured we might never know No one ever said he walk up to the enemy. If you have ever been to war you know how someone will have a hard time (PTSD) wonder off and we never see them again. I am glad this kid is coming home We all know prisoner exchanges happen I am not sure I am happy with someone say the America Legion has some serious concerns when it is a few who do ! I served under Carter, Reagan, GHW Bush, Clinton, GW Bush and 1 year under President Obama I am not political after being in that long and seeing all sides but some seem to be very political. I remember my oath like I remember my own Name. we all know it but some become political and forget " I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me.

JACKR

June 3, 2014 - 8:42am

By your logic, Kirk, Adam Lanza didn't kill the kids at Sandy Hook because he was never convicted. GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR BUTT! Good soldiers died looking for this deserter. Has your partisanship and loyalty toward Obama blinded you to their sacrifice?

Thomas Kirk

June 3, 2014 - 9:24am

JACKR so you never served right ? was this solder ever charged after 5 years NO. you attack me ? why ? Who are the so-called soldiers who died and in what unit were they in ? So i can look up if it is true .. I have no partisanship but seems you do as your post proves .. I served under 6 presidents and they all were my CIC left or right when they were president Bowe is alive and a Active duty Solder / POW he has not been charged no hearing Adam Lanza was killed and proven to be the killer you and your fellow accusers have proven nothing. but some fake posts on the internet .you do not need to insult people on this sight this is not yahoo or fox or the daily Caller we try to respect all in the legion something you seem not to understand .. I know sacrifice do you ?

JackR

June 3, 2014 - 10:20am

I never served? I'm as much a veteran as you are Kirk. Why don't you sympathize with the truly honorable soldiers, like the one's who served with Bergdahl that know what really happened? The "so-called" soldiers who died looking for Bergdahl were in his unit. They were SSg Michael Murphry, SSG Kurt Curtiss, PFC Morris Walker, SSg Clayton Bowen, 2ndLT Darryn Andrews and PFC Matthew Martinek. Why don't you lecture their families about "sacrifice?"

Thomas Kirk

June 3, 2014 - 10:44am

Jackr seems you are attack me is that why you came to the Legion sight to attack other Vets ? I will look them up so you are saying they all died looking for this POW ? If I see they are not fakes as I have seen 5 fakes on the internet already and if they died in the line of duty I will morn their loss. I respect honorable solders but you have not shown me you are one. you have posted nothing but hate and distain for a American Solder and POW with zero evidence he is a deserter but we all know he is a POW and it is the duty for Solders under orders to search for are fallen brothers SSg Michael Murphry died September 9, 2009 so was not killed looking for Bowe and was assigned to 501st Airborne not the same unit ? SSG Kurt Curtiss 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment not same unit as bowe KIA On August 18, 2009, Staff Sgt. Clayton Bowen and Pfc. Morris Walker were killed by an IED August 26, 2009 , was that bowe's fault ? Killed by a IED? Jackr these men dies in the line of duty my heart goes out to their families .. I am not lecturing anyone but you dishonor the memories of these hero's for your hate

Thomas Kirk

June 3, 2014 - 10:56am

jackr if you want to chat I will be around tomorrow time for work everyone have a great day !

JackR

June 3, 2014 - 10:55am

You should mourn their losses and you should apologize for calling their sacrifice "so-called." This website won't let me post links, but if you want to save yourself trouble Google "Nathan Bradley Bethea", who served with these men and in Bergdahl's unit. His article is in the Daily Beast with the headline "We Lost Soldiers in the Hunt for Bergdahl, a Guy Who Walked Off in the Dead of Night." And yes, he does say the losses are Bowe's fault. Quit whining about banning trolls. I guess you don't believe in free speech.

Thomas Kirk

June 3, 2014 - 11:00am

I would not apologize they are so-called I proved they did not die looking for Bowe I don't need to google any more of you BS he can say it but does not make it true ! It is not whining it is how this sight works but you being a none member you don't know that. Freedom ? there are rules and yes I see you have no respect for Vets you just came to be a troll.

JackR

June 3, 2014 - 11:22am

Spell much? And no more crap about how you "respect vets" when you call fallen heroes "so-called" and you honor deserters. I guess you could care less about what the Gold Star Mothers and Wives say about this. They too have written articles about how angry they are to learn that their loved ones died for this guy. You sir, are a disgrace and a troll. I'm done with you.

Thomas Kirk

June 3, 2014 - 11:41am

I respect American military and Vets you came to attack Vets. they are the so-called that did not die looking for Bowe and you are upset I showed you they did not .. you seem to think I care or do not care about people you use. yes go away Jackr you posted your hate and no facts you seem to insult others who are not in lock step with your hate .. you saying I am a disgrace proves to me I defended a American solder from the true enemy the likes of you. even if he is charged he was still a POW and a solder something you will never understand

William Randolph

June 3, 2014 - 1:00am

This wasn't about negotiating with Terrorist. This was about a prisoner exchange. We've always had prisoner exchanges. The Commander needs to quit speaking as though he is speaking for the American Legion. He is clearly partisan. First, he calls for the resignation of one of our own - a hero, a 2 X's purple heart veteran and a leader who has managed many times more success than any of his predecessors. How do either of these issues help the Veteran? This is about politics and the Commander has shown his cards. If he keeps saying that he is representing the American Legion on these issues, I will have no choice but to resign my membership.

Lewis

June 2, 2014 - 10:53pm

Seems to me the American Legion, want's to have it both ways. Bash the President and than turn around and say welcome home. Maybe the whiners and complainers would like to return this soldier back to his former captor's. I'm sure you can find his parents address and than you can go and take him from them. If he is guilty of leaving his post on purpose than prosecute him. As all wars go, they eventually come to an end. In all wars, where their is POW'S, A trade always take place. In Vietnam Pow's were traded, Korea ww2 and so on and so on. Even Ronald Reagan made deals to obtain the release of our Hostages. Ronald Reagan gave 1500 missiles, and a assortment of other heavy weaponry and not once did the American Legion say a word, in fact I didn't hear one word from the right at all. I guess you can say, that is why this American Veteran, opts out of being a member of any affiliated veterans groups, they have all gotten to political. Wheres the response to the Republicans denying veterans 21 billion dollars in entitlements they deserve. I believe the American Legion needs to do some soul Searching and get back to the principals it says it espouses. Sicerly Lewis U.S.A.F. Retired.

Army Retired

June 2, 2014 - 9:58pm

I wasn't there-but some of the news reports of the circumstances surrounding his disappearance do concern me. If it's true that he walked away from his unit and into the arms of the Taliban, I'm not sure I would be pulling out the welcome home signs-doing so, would be an injustice to all former POW's. Hopefully the Legion will refrain from any praise for this Sergeant until all the facts have been sorted out. I think it would be hard for me to welcome home the Sergeant if he indeed deserted his unit and caused several casualties because they had to look for him. Hopefully, the investigations will sort out the facts.

Joe Pritchard

June 2, 2014 - 5:55pm

The Commander's statement is right on target for the situation. Well done.

Patrick McNamara

June 2, 2014 - 3:02pm

But of COURSE the Legion's "leaders" find fault with the President's decision. But can't wait to join the parade for deserter Bergdahl's homecoming !

Thomas Kirk

June 3, 2014 - 6:01am

Sir If you served then you would know that no one is guilty tell proven guilty.. 885. ARTICLE 85. DESERTION (1) without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently; Not proven (2) quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service; Not proven (3) without being regularly separated from one of the armed forces enlists or accepts an appointment in the same or another on of the armed forces without fully disclosing the fact that he has not been regularly separated, or enters any foreign armed service except when authorized by the United States; is guilty of desertion. not proven so per the UCMJ he is not a deserter Sir maybe you should just be glad he is coming home .

Mitch Henderson

June 2, 2014 - 3:20pm

My suggestion is for you to read the Commanders statement more carefully and then remove your post Patrick McNamara!

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