Jul 24, 2009
Ralph Peters responds to Rep Marshall-deserting soldier captured by Taliban
July 24, 2009
Your folks may find the response below from Ralph Peters of interest.
COL Zygmunt Dembek, USAR
Thanks for the feedback. No matter what it costs me--and it will cost me--I am sticking to my conviction that Bergdahl is not the heroic martyr portrayed by the media (in the inevitable film, I expect Shia Labouef to play Bergdahl, with Sean Penn as a wicked US general and George Clooney as Mullah Omar...). Before I spoke, I had unequivocal confirmation from a very high military level--on background--that Bergdahl deserted his post. The senior officer also took pains to insure that I understood that Bergdahl "is no hero" and that he lied about being on patrol on the videotape, etc.
I do hope he comes home safely--for his family's sake--and that the Army does not then succumb to leftwing cries that "The poor boy's suffered enough." If, under the provisions of the UCMJ, the evidence shows that we was AWOL in a combat zone, fine. If he is judged as a full-fledged deserter, fine (Articles 85 and 86 leave some gray area). But he must face charges.
I do believe, by the way, that the Taliban, who are very media savvy, may have learned from the backlash against the al Qaeda in Iraq atrocity videos. After another video or two, Bergdahl may be released "for humanitarian reasons," is a further propaganda coup.
At present, our military has diverted a wide array of assets from the fight in order to bring back this PFC (who I believe is in Pakistan, at this point). None of this is addressed by the adulatory media. The confirmed fact that Bergdahl just walked away from his post in the hours of darkness has been in the public domain for weeks. The media ignore that, too. Nor have the media "fact-checked" the Taliban video, in which even the mention of a girlfriend appears to be scripted (note that the reporters who've descended on his hometown have not surfaced this girlfriend for whom PFC Bergdahl pines...). Of course, the anti-American tirade and lies about the behavior of our troops are delicious to our media.
Most of all, I find it despicable that the media (and now some Congressmen) lionize PFC Bergdahl and his family, while largely ignoring those authentic heroes who are struggling on our military hospitals, while their families live with fear and doubt, or those who come home in flag-draped coffins (and their families), or those decorated for valor...who go ignored by the media. I keep asking media figures the same question: Why is it that we all know Bergdahl's name--the name of a soldier who deserted his post and collaborated with the enemy in clear violation of the Code of Conduct--while we don't know the names of a single soldier fighting for his or her life in a military hospital?
Feel free to share this note with anyone. I will not back down and join the Bergdahl lovefest. As for the Congressmen, when was the last time they all circulated and signed a letter praising one of our troops for heroism? I guarantee you that not one of them has bothered to look into the known facts of the Bergdahl matter. But, of course, facts don't matter. And, I suppose, desertion is no worse than calling in sick because you have a hangover...