The script is now all too familiar: Take a difficult situation and write in a cover-up and a healthy dose of lies. Confuse the audience with misdirection and half-truths. Finally, hire a cast and crew of nitwits and presto, we have another major motion clusterfuck from the directorial hands of Barack Hussein Obungler.
And that's my nice summary of the Bowe Bergdahl mess. Here are a few thoughts on what has quickly devolved into a sorry and embarrassing spectacle.
-Bowe Bergdahl deserves his day in court and to have his side of the story heard. In fact, he damn well better face a court martial, not just for the good of the US Army, but also for his own sake. Either he will clear his name or he will be held accountable if found guilty of desertion and/or, God forbid, collaborating with the enemy.
Obama and his team have already failed once to understand the powerful emotions around this issue. If they stupidly decide that, as one person put it, "Bergdahl has suffered enough," and they bypass military justice, the fury that will be unleashed will make the current storm look like a light summer shower. And Bowe Bergdahl will get directly caught up in it as well. Somebody will kick his ass if not worse. That's not a threat from me by any means, just a frank assessment of what the future will hold for Bergdahl if Obama botches this part too.
-Innocent until proven guilty is important, but that doesn't make the evidence so far any less damning. From public statements by his former platoon mates to leaked official assessments going back 4 years it seems pretty certain that he deserted his comrades, not just during wartime, but in a war zone itself. That's one of the worst things a soldier can do short of fratricide.
There are rumors that Bergdahl actually collaborated with the enemy, but I haven't seen any solid evidence for that yet. Certainly not anything like the evidence of desertion, which is bad enough.
-They knew that Bergdahl was almost certainly a deserter back in 2010, if not the day after he went missing, but they covered it up for over 4 years. The government claims it was for Bergdahl's safety, but that doesn't ring true to me. If anything, confirming that he was a deserter would seem to me to assure the Taliban that he was sincere in not wanting to fight them. This should have been handled in a straightforward manner from the beginning.
-If they knew he was a deserter then why the hell was he promoted, twice? This fact burns me up almost as much as the desertion itself. I worked hard to earn my sergeant's stripes and it meant something to me to become a non-commissioned officer. I didn't get that rank just by putting in time and neither should Bergdahl, particularly as he appeared to be a goddamned deserter right from the get go. I'll bet the vast majority of current and former NCOs feel the same way. The people who signed off on that need to be fired if they are civilians and run out of the service if they are military. It's inexcusable.
-Susan Rice going out on a Sunday talk show and saying Bergdahl served with "honor and distinction" was every bit as clueless or mendacious as her Benghazi performance. I would have left Washington in shame after the latter, but Susan Rice has proved she has no shame. None. Anybody who takes anything she says at face value is an idiot.
-Ditto for Chuck Hagel. He served with honor in Vietnam, but Washington has turned him into just another asshole.
-Right now all I want is the truth. For once just give us the damn truth.
I'll have more a bit later, but right now I have some stuff to do.
*Unless and until he is exonerated I refuse to recognize any rank for Bergdahl other than that of private.