Afghanistan

Why You Shouldn't Blame Bowe Bergdahl for Deserting in the Fog of Endless War

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?The "fog of war" is a reference to the moral chaos as well as the rampant confusion on the battlefield. Individuals kill others for no other reason than that they are ordered to. Things deemed unambiguously bad in civilian life are authorized and even lauded in war. The killing and maiming of acknowledged innocents — in particular children and the elderly — is excused as "collateral damage."

No wonder that some individuals thrust into this morass sometimes act differently from how soldiers behave in romantic war movies. The hell of war is internal as well as external.

We might remember this as the story of Sgt. Bowe Robert Bergdahl unfolds.

Bergdahl volunteered for the U.S. military and was apparently a gung-ho soldier. Americans have not been conscripted since 1973, but young Americans are propagandized from childhood with the message that time in the military is service to their country. Few question this narrative; fewer seek rebuttals to it. You have to want to face the facts that governments lie and that the service is to an empire having nothing to do with Americans' security.

This, however, doesn't relieve military personnel of responsibility for their own conduct. In 1951 — while Americans were fighting in Korea — Leonard E. Read, one of the founders of the modern libertarian movement, published "Conscience on the Battlefield," in which a dying American soldier hears his conscience say that he — not the army or government — bears responsibility for his deadly conduct: "Does not the fault inhere in your not recognizing that the consequences of your actions are irrevocably yours…?"

Bergdahl seems to have been plagued by this question. (See Michael Hastings's revealing 2012 article.)

White House

In his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell described a regime that used war to keep its population too frightened to ask questions and in which the enemy could change without notice. Orwell may have exaggerated, but not by much. The United States sided with one Afghan faction against the Soviets and their Afghan allies in the 1980s, then switched when it replaced the Soviets as invaders in 2001.

On the surface, the war in Afghanistan seems easy to understand. The Taliban government gave sanctuary to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, which attacked American targets in the 1990s and on September 11, 2001.

But things are not so simple. During the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the U.S. government sided with the future Taliban and al-Qaeda. President Reagan called the Afghan mujahideen "freedom fighters," subsidized their war, and hosted them at the White House.

After the Soviet exit and years of civil war, the Taliban became the brutal theocratic government of Afghanistan but not an anti-American terrorist organization. Indeed, as late as May 2001, President George W. Bush was helping the Taliban suppress opium production. After 9/11, the Taliban made various offers to surrender or expel bin Laden, but the Bush administration was uninterested. (This lack of interest predated 9/11.) Taliban attacks on American military targets since the U.S. invasion should not be construed as terrorism, but rather as combat between former government officials and the foreign force that overthrew them.

Anand Gopal, author of No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes, points out that soon after American forces invaded Afghanistan, "there was no enemy to fight":

By mid-2002 there was no insurgency in Afghanistan: al-Qaeda had fled the country and the Taliban had ceased to exist as a military movement. Jalaluddin Haqqani [whose "network" held Bergdahl captive] and other top Taliban figures were reaching out to the other side in an attempt to cut a deal and lay down their arms.

But, Gopal writes, "driven by the idée fixe that the world was rigidly divided into terrorist and non-terrorist camps, Washington allied with Afghan warlords and strongmen. Their enemies became ours, and through faulty intelligence, their feuds became repackaged as 'counterterrorism.'"

When Haqqani, a celebrated freedom fighter during the Soviet war, turned down a deal from the Americans because it included detention, the U.S. military attacked his home province and other areas, killing his brother-in-law and innocent children.

If he wasn't with the Americans, he was against them, and therefore it was open season.

In this whirlwind of cynicism and relativism, can anyone be blamed for wondering what the point of the war was?

This article originally appeared at the Future of Freedom Foundation.

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  1. Nope. Not buying it. Still blaming him.

    Here’s the deal: for American soldiers at least, war isn’t some amoral wasteland that they wander through, killing randomly, switching sides on a whim, etc.

    Not at all. Their world is rife with clear moral, legal, and ethical lodestones, embodied in the law of war, the UCMJ, and the military honor culture.

    Just because Chapman can’t comprehend them, doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

    1. Should be Richman, not Chapman.

      1. I knew that Obama and his sycophants didn’t really understand military culture before but the more they talk it’s like they don’t think it even EXISTS.

        They say “No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy” for a reason.

    2. People join the military for a variety of reasons, ranging from flag waving patriotism to “cannot get a job anywhere else.” But once you’re in battle ? all that goes out the window. Warfare ultimately boils down to that group of guys trying to kill my group of guys. As trite and pollyannaish as it sounds ? they really are a “band of brothers.” The most serious sin one can commit on the battlefield is to desert their post (or be a turncoat). This is not a fog of war situation. Bergdahl’s buddies were incensed that he was being portrayed as doing his duty “with honor and distinction.” They wanted the world to know that he was a deserter and a Blue Falcon.

      1. They should have shot the 5 Taliban just before the exchange was made. Thereby, giving his captors something to think about before they handed that fuck stick over to the American side.

    3. I agree this is unconvincing. If Bergdahl had doubts, the honorable thing would have been to go to his CO and ask to be reassigned, not to walk off his post.

      1. While I agree with you, to an extent, that’s actually not a realistic option.

        1. PFC’s aren’t going to talk to the skipper without a lot of intervention from the COC. You have a *right* to an interview, but the COC is going to make sure that you have all your ducks in a row before you get to waste the old man’s time. And 99.99999999% of the time these people can’t put up a coherent argument beyond “I just don’t like it here”.

        And that’s usually the real reason – ‘objections to the conflict’ becomes a cover for ‘I don’t like military service’.

        2. Even if he gets as far as an interview – he’s not going to get re-assigned. Period. Not even getting certified as a god-honest, died in the wool Conscientious Objector is going to get him out of the unit early.

        1. Too fucking bad for him then.

        2. They really wouldn’t transfer the guy somewhere if they were worried about his reliability? Or at least not put him on guard duty?

          1. No, Agammamon is incorrect.

            First, and realizing I’m pushing the pedant line, Bergdahl didn’t have a “skipper.” That’s Marine or Navy talk. Maybe that’s the perspective he’s coming from.

            Bergdahl wouldn’t necessarily “interview” with his commanding officer anyway. He’d talk to the chaplain even if his objection had nothing to do with religion. He does have to submit a form to the commander but the commander has no input as to the disposition of that personnel action form. He merely forwards it up the chain of command. All that form says is whether the Soldier wants to be released from the military or reclassified into a non-combat arms MOS. From there, he’d put together a packet and be interviewed by a psychiatrist, a chaplain and an investigating officer.

            I had one of my guys decide he was an objector. I immediately took him off the line and got him a job assisting Morale, Welfare and Recreation. It wasn’t punitive… just the only thing I had that wasn’t an armed position. The regulation, AR 600-43 actually states, “persons who have submitted applications will be retained in their unit and assigned duties providing minimum practicable conflict with their asserted beliefs, pending a final decision on their applications.”

            I am not claiming the process is easy but Bergdahl could have done the right thing and gotten out with an honorable discharge.

            The process works and Bergdahl is a deserter and a fuckup.

        3. Requesting mast exists for a fucking reason.

          1. PFC’s aren’t going to talk to the skipper without a lot of intervention from the COC. You have a *right* to an interview, but the COC is going to make sure that you have all your ducks in a row before you get to waste the old man’s time. And 99.99999999% of the time these people can’t put up a coherent argument beyond “I just don’t like it here”.

          By the time he gets that far, he would have had a couple opportunities to let his NCO’s and SNCO’s exactly what kind of liability he would be in a combat situation. Just because he lacked the moral fortitude to do the right thing doesn’t mean an option to get out of there didn’t exist.

    4. Hands down, spot on.
      ‘Nuff said.

    5. What crap!

    6. Exactly. Either one’s word is worth something, or it is not.

      Hey, I just found the bank my mortgage deal is with to be oppressive, unfair, and have cheated someone else. I guess I don’t need to pay them anymore.

  2. The mujahideen of the ’80s and the Taliban were not the same thing. In fact, I believe the Northern Alliance that were our allies in the Afghani war were part of the mujahideen. The Taliban were a group of young Pashtun militants raised in exile in Pakistan. Their cohesiveness and ideology developed in exile were what allowed them to overcome the fragmented warlord fiefdoms of Afghanistan in the ’90s.

    However, I believe what is now the “Taliban” is a far different group, more akin to what the mujahideen were in the ’80s. Basically, we managed to piss off enough of the Afghanis that the Taliban remnants didn’t seem like such a bad alternative.

    1. How many times does it take to finally educate these “journalists” that the Mujahideen and the Taliban are not he same fucking people?

      1. They will never learn, because it doesn’t fit their liberal upbringing to blame all the world’s problems on America.

  3. But things are not so simple. During the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the U.S. government sided with the future Taliban and al-Qaeda. President Reagan called the Afghan mujahideen “freedom fighters,” subsidized their war, and hosted them at the White House.

    The Mujahideen were not the Taliban. They were the Northern Alliance you fucking half wit. There is a great story to be told about Afghanistan and Don Rumsfeld in particular lack of understanding of the situation and flawed strategy when we first entered into Afghanistan in 2001. Sadly, Sheldon is too ignorant to tell it.

    Beyond that, what the fuck does any of that have to do with Bergdahl? He was a solider who got disenchanted with the war he was in. Welcome to the club pal. I am pretty sure there is about a five thousand year history of such people. And it is a pretty distinguished list of people like Achilleus and Sigfried Sassoon to name two people even Sheldon might have heard of.

    If Bergdahl stopped believing in the war, he should have become a conscientious objector not walked over to the other side.

  4. “Collateral Damage” is a morally neutral term. It refers simply to anything you hit that you weren’t specifically trying to. It can be good (the bridge you blew up had enemy troops and vehicles on it) or bad (it had your own troops and a civilian ambulance on it). Whether or not undesirable collateral damage is “excused” is a question for commanders and personal conscience. Excuse is not presumed by the term.

  5. “Moral chaos”? I don’t buy it at all. Searching a village might involve some moral choices, guarding a firebase in the middle of nowhere doesn’t.

    The initial Afghanistan campaign made sense and was well executed. Then it turned into a stupid nation-building exercise. Obama doubled down on the stupid and here we are. None of that has anything to do with Bergdahl and his duty.

    1. It made less sense than you think. The Northern Alliance are like 20% of the population. The other 80% are Pashtuns. The Taliban are Pashtuns but radical crazy fucks who were never really liked by the Pashtuns. The reason why the Taliban took over was that after the US and Soviet Union pulled out, the Northern Alliance, because they were the ones who got all of the US support, were the only ones with guns and were terrorizing the Pashtuns. So the Taliban show up with Saudi money and guns and offered the Pashtuns and end to the chaos and protection from the Northern Alliance.

      On 9-11, the Taliban owned all but a small part of the country. So what we did was ally with the Northern Alliance and run the Taliban out of power by using our air power and SF people to support the Northern Alliance.

      1. The NA and Pashtuns weren’t mutually exclusive.

        The dirty secret is that the Taliban counted among its ranks at least 100,000 citizens of our “friend and ally” Pakistan who crossed the border with the full knowledge and assistance of Musharraf and the ISI.

        1. Yes, that is true. Forgive me for simplifying the racial and clan stew that is Afghanistan.

          The point is that the Taliban were not liked or supported by the majority of Afghans. They only came to power because thanks to Saudi and probably Pakistani money, they were the only ones who could restore order and stop the NA from terrorizing people. Aligning ourselves with the NA was a huge strategic mistake.

          1. There was no one else to align with! I highlight the real mistake below.

      2. Makes perfect sense to me – as a punitive raid aimed at killing the people in charge, hunting AQ and generally fucking the place up. Once done making them pay and setting an example of what happens to people harboring terrorists, we should have fucking left.

        1. Except that the NA were not and were never going to be up to the job. You do a punitive expedition with your own people. We should have invaded, captured Bin Ladin and the Taliban leadership, had a military tribunal on the spot, hung them and gone home. We could have done so fast the world would not have had time to object and the Arab world that was celebrating Bin Ladin as a hero would have been left in stunned fear and awe.

          1. Yep. Either do as John suggests, or take the exact opposite approach and commit to full-fledged pacification, occupation, and exploitation. The “middle path” costs more than either and goes nowhere.

          2. Amen.

      3. These are excellent points and I’d like to add GOP Rep’s Dana Rohrabacher’s take on Clinton’s contribution to the Taliban taking over Afghanistan and 9/11.

        In 1996, when the NA still controlled about 1/3 the country, the Taliban launched a push to seize it all. They were led into a trap by a brilliant NA commander who seized tons of heavy equipment and had a clear path to Kabul for the taking.

        In the ’90s, foreign policy was set in accordance with Liberal Internationalism. According to LI, there was nothing that couldn’t be solved with talks and no one who shouldn’t be invited to them. So Bill Clinton had Bill Richardson go over to Afhganistan and convince the NA not to take their opportunity. And now here we are.

        Further, the liberation of Afghanistan was a botch job. The US tried working with ‘allies’ and the ground who ended up working us. The Spec Oops ninjas were insufficient and Pakistan should be considered America’s enemy #1. America should have invaded with 100,000 Army Rangers and nuked Tora Bora and funded armed anti-Pakistan militants within Pakistan.

      4. Bullshit. The Taliban were initially welcomed by the Pashtuns, as an alternative to a landscape dominated by warlords, rival gangs, and rampant road-side extortion by armed gangs. Once the Taliban assumed power, they launched a campaign to systematically exterminate all tribes not Pashtun, and anyone not devoutly muslim. They killed hundreds of thousands of Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, and Baloch people, and it was these people who formed the Northern Alliance.

        The central error in all of the Afghan conflict is that after the fall of the Soviet-backed Najibullah administration, we supported Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, instead of Ahmad Shah Massoud. Contrary to your claim, Massoud and the NA received almost no funding or weapons, and the majority of funding from foreign powers went to Hekmatyar and his forces. What you see in Afghanistan today, is a direct result of that error.

        1. I would definitely risk my life to get a shot at that #$%& Hekmatyar Gulbuddin. There were still HIG jackasses running around the mid-2000s.

          1. As would I, again. It was Hekmatyar who was responsible for the majority of post-Soviet, non-Taliban atrocities, not the NA. The NA was actually willing to share government power with all Afghan tribes, and Massoud even suggested not sending armies into Kabul after the fall of Najibullah, but when Massoud proposed this to Hekmatyar, Hekmatyar basically said “fuck you, we’re killing everyone”.

    2. That sounds great except for two things. First, we didn’t have our own competent troops on the ground and didn’t catch Bin Ladin or the Taliban leadership. The Northern Alliance didn’t care about capturing them and didn’t have the people or the wherewithal to do it anyway. They just wanted to take power. Second, they wanted revenge on the Pashtuns. And the US didn’t have enough people there to control them. The committed all kinds of atrocities in late 01 and turned the Pashtuns, 80% of the country, against us and made the Taliban look good.

      We should have just invaded. We ended up with a 100,000 troops there anyway. Had we done that, we would have looked like Liberators to the Pashtuns, who hated the Taliban anyway instead of oppressors who put their enemies back in power at their expense.

      1. I disagree.

        The U.S. should have launched a punitive campaign and left.

        Sure, the Taliban would have come back, but it would have been a brutal slog, and at the end they’d think twice about hosting someone who was waging a wider war even if he was offering them a battalion of troops paid for out of his own pocket.

        1. That is what I would have done too. But we should have launched a punitive campaign with our own troops not the NA. We should have just invaded, captured and hung Bin Ladin and the leadership of the Taliban who aided him and gone home.

        2. At the time and since I could understand a punitive expedition. I don’t understand the occupation, which, as was easily foreseeable, accomplished very little.

          1. I think that’s because it was a really half-assed occupation. If you intend to occupy you have to commit to ruling.

      2. There is an ethnic component to it, but the situation on the ground is far more chaotic than that. “Afghanistan” is a colonial creation–a collection of antagonistic valley fiefdoms that have nothing in common but the desire not to be ruled by outsiders (or each other). Every outsider who has ruled the place from the Mughals on has had a bitter fight on their hands.

        1. All the more reason why we didn’t need to stay there. More Afghans don’t want a central government. All we had to do is roll through and get those responsible for 911 and gone home.

      3. You really have no idea what you are talking about. The Taliban WERE AND ARE Pashtuns.

        1. The Taliban are not one and the same as the Pashtun.

          Specifically, the Afghani’s used to follow Pashtunwali which is incompatible with the Taliban’s cultural prescriptions. The Taliban, as a result, have been attacking Pashtun clan leaders and murdering them in an attempt to weaken the clans as a cultural force.

          1. Pashtunwali aside, the fact remains that the majority of the Taliban are made up of Afghan Pashtun tribesmen.

            1. But the vast majority of Afghan Pashtun tribesmen are not Taliban.

              1. No shit. That doesn’t change the fact that the Taliban were initially welcomed by the Pashtuns, especially in the South, and still are in many Pashtun tribal areas.

  6. This TV movie had a huge impact on my as a youth. I thought of it immediately upon hearing that Bergdahl walked away from his post.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt00…..mg_act_177

    The Execution of Private Slovik

    The story of Eddie Slovik, who was executed by the Army in 1945, the only American soldier to be executed for desertion since the Civil War.

    1. Slovik was a career criminal who told the Army “I am fine with going to jail for life in order to avoid combat”. He left them no choice but to execute him. The US was taking thousands of casualties a day at that time. If word had gotten out that the option of prison and three hot meals and a cot were available, they would have had a problem.

      1. I understand it’s not a direct comparison. But, the military can’t get in the habit of letting soldier walked away from a combat position.

        1. Fuck, I can’t type today.

          1. Try the one-finger method.

        2. No they cannot. And we have an all volunteer force. To me that takes away any moral standing for someone objecting. It would be one thing if Bergdalh had been drafted. Then he could say “hey I never signed up for this and was minding my own business until you came and got me”. But he volunteered. Sorry dude, but once you sign up you can’t say “this isn’t fun anymore” and walk away.

          1. Actually, they can.

            The huge difference between Bergdahl and Slovak is that Slovak served in a time of conscription – where (despite that ‘greatest generation’ crap) most of those serving didn’t ask to be there, didn’t want to be there.

            Slovak wasn’t the only one who deserted, only the one *executed* for it. I’m sure you’ll find the rates of desertion are much lower today, simply because we don’t conscript.

            Its the same reason the military can afford to crack down on drug use.

            1. And it doesn’t take away the moral standing – a man can make a mistake.

              I, personally, think any opposition to the conflict is more grounded in dislike of military life (and Army life deployed specifically) than any real moral opposition to what we’re doing there.

              But, taking that at face value, you can sign up thinking that you’re doing god’s work and then later find out it not a ethically clean as you thought.

              IMO, in such a situation, continuing to serve after you decide that the conflict is morally wrong, is far more immoral than breaking your word.

              But that’s in the hypothetical – as I said I think that’s a cover for his actions.

              1. If you feel the war is immoral, you object. You don’t desert. See for example Siegfried Sassoon and his declaration that he would no longer fight in the trenches of World War I.

                Regardless, volunteering greatly reduces your moral credibility in objecting to a war.

                1. Really? Object? Do you still shoot people, only complaining about while you do it makes it ok?

            2. {(despite that ‘greatest generation’ crap) most of those serving didn’t ask to be there, didn’t want to be there.]

              Sorry about your shitty history teacher. Tales abound about 16-17 yr olds enlisting alongside 30-35 yr olds and wave after wave of enlistees lined up around the block of enlistment centers following Dec. 7, 1941.

              WTF are you talking about?

              1. I’m assuming he’s talking about the 10 million men that were drafted into service immediately before and during the war. I highly doubt every one of them was a real anti-war Yossarian type, but you don’t usually have to draft people if they’re eager and willing to get themselves killed.

          2. Yep. The whole time I was in the service I was only angry with one person- myself. Well, Reagan, too.

      2. John, have the rules changed, or is desertion alone still sufficient to earn an appointment with the firing squad?

        1. It is still on the books that way.

          1. Correct.

        2. It has to be “in a time of war” whatever that means. I am pretty sure walking off a FOB in Afghanistan would or should count as “in a time of war”. But they haven’t ever litigated that issue so I can’t say for sure. It might be that “in time of war” means after Congress declares war, which it doesn’t do anymore.

          1. I thought that walking away from you post in Afghanistan might be considered in a time of war. But we only do kinetic military actions now, so who knows.

          2. We didn’t execute Charles Jenkins of North Carolina, who walked off in North Korea, after he came back after 40 some odd years. Though that was a “police action,” which was perhaps your point.

            1. And he spent 40 years in North Korea. I think they figured that was punishment enough.

              1. For any normal human, that would definitely be punishment enough. For Warty, it would be a punishment on the North Koreans.

              2. Although he was given a 21 year old Japanese nursing student as a wife, so you win some, you lose some?

        3. On paper, yes, you can be executed for desertion.

          Hell, we officers still could do summary executions in battle if the situation called for it.

          However, with modern comms and transport and the way the U.S. military conducts operations, the situations where a summary execution could be legally conducted just don’t happen anymore. But the laws haven’t changed.

        4. Honest question: does anyone believe Bergdahl will be charged with desertion when the administration has hitched its wagon to his horse?

          1. No, but he should stay clear of weddings cause I expect obummer to be more than happy to drone him off the front page.

            1. See, I rather doubt that, too. To my mind, the administration thought this was a masterstroke: throw a sop to the (relatively few) people in his camp niggling about Guantanamo detainees, and do it in such a way that Republicans wouldn’t complain too loudly about their release (“We got one of ours back, didn’t we?”). Of course, they didn’t look too closely at the circumstances of Bergdahl’s capture (since we’re learning about it from fellow soldiers, they may not have known much of anything). Which is an incredible slip, and leaves them in a position to do nothing but laud the heroic return of a POW veteran.

              1. I’m saying that the prez has a short attention span and has never let past decisions influence future decisions.

              2. Though you’d think they’d have listened, seriously, to the Pentagon’s reason for objecting in the past.

            2. If I were Bergdahl, I wouldn’t be too concerned with what the Dali Bama might do. I would however, have some serious concerns about what the families and friends of those who died trying to recover him might do.

              Best case scenario: He is reminded daily that people better than him died because of him, until the day he suck-starts a shotgun.

        5. It is only during a declared war you can face a firing squad. Afghanistan is not a declared war.

          1. It’s as “declared” as any war ever was.

            1. Legally it has to be done by the legislature. That the law, not right of wrong.

              1. The President received Congressional authorization that satisfied the provisions of the War Powers Act, and that’s all that matters. We no longer face off at two paces and slap each other with a glove.

            2. Legally it has to be done by the legislature. That the law, not right of wrong.

          2. The first part is incorrect. The Uniform Code of Military Justice does not need a Congressional declaration of war for its war stipulations to be in effect.

            Think about it… Bergdahl is an acknowledged Prisoner of War. Had he not been a monumental fuckup, he might have earned a Bronze or Silver star, decorations only earned during war.

            Remember, neither the Korean War nor the Vietnam War were actually wars. The UCMJ is not suddenly impotent just because Congress hasn’t declared war.

  7. “The fag of war?” That sounds pretty offensive to me. What the hell is wrong with you people?

    1. Don’t read it in a bostonian accent and it works better.

      1. I thought they were maybe referring to Obama.

  8. Bergdahl escaped from his Taliban captors for three days then fought them when found. This effort to Swiftboat him is typical of the RWNJs.

    1. Whereas it’s totally out of character for you to act as an Obama ball washer, Shrieky.

      1. And, after that, appears to have been allowed to go around armed.

        Is there a point you were trying to make you mendacious sack of shit?

    2. Really?

      Let’s play alternative history. Bergdahl, the son of strict Calvinist Christians who live off the grid in a cabin in Idaho like a bunch of wacky militia folks (must be racists too! with guns!) and was home-schooled, along with his other siblings, in a strict Christian curriculum, was the subject of a prisoner swap during the Bush administration.

      How would it have played out in the media?

      1. It would have been ignored just as Bush’s use of Pat Tillman as a political prop was.

        I am referencing Tillman’s little foray into Iraq to “save” Jessica Lynch – another of Bush’s political props.

        Ignored – both.

        1. Palin’s Buttplug|6.5.14 @ 1:07PM|#
          “BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH”

          Fuck you.

        2. “Bergdahl escaped from his Taliban captors for three days then fought them when found”

          Cite.

    3. You have no link for that little turd lie. There is no way he fought them off for three days? What did he use? His hands? If he had weapons, you mean to tell me the US never noticed a three day long fire fight and didn’t come and catch him? And he was lose for three days and never managed to find a friendly Afghan or stumble into a patrol.

      Warty has it right. You do nothing but pollute the world with ignorance. Just do yourself and the world a favor and die.

      1. HE didn’t fight back for three days, idiot.

        He hid in a ditch for three days under brush until he was found – then resisted for a few minutes.

        1. He didn’t try to get back to his unit did he? Just because he was a moron who got captured by the Taliban trying to walk out of Afghanistan, doesn’t mean he wasn’t a deserter. Even if it were true, which it is not or you would have a credible link showing such, his efforts to leave the Taliban do not mean that he isn’t a deserter. It just means the Taliban were not as nice of guys as he thought they were going to be.

          Again, do the world a favor and die.

          1. In his first escape, Afghan sources said he avoided capture for three days and two nights before searches finally found him, exhausted and hiding in a shallow trench he had dug with his own hands and covered with leaves.

            In his second bid for freedom, which has not been previously reported, Bergdahl made it to a remote village in the mountainous part of Pakistan, the former Afghan official said. The villagers simply returned him to his captors in the Haqqani Network. The U.S. officials were not familiar with details of the second escape attempt, though they knew Bergdahl had briefly slipped away from his captors.

            http://www.thedailybeast.com/a…..gdahl.html

            You’re just a fucking canker sore, John.

            I always bring the facts – unlike yourself.

            1. Again, the fact that he tried to escape the Taliban, even if it is true, which is still doubtful given the vague sources of that story and Huffpo’s unlimited devotion to lying for Obama, doesn’t mean he didn’t desert from the Army. One thing has nothing to do with the other.

              You are the dumbest human being on earth Shreek. Just dies and make the world a better place.

            2. I always bring the facts

              Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

            3. Palin’s Buttplug|6.5.14 @ 1:26PM|#
              …”I always bring the facts -”

              You slimy piece of shit, the only thing you bring is your stench.

            4. “Two more U.S. officials and a former Afghan official”

              LOL. right. Were these the same officials that told his platoon to keep quiet about his desertion, or were these ones praising him as a hero? Or, wait, were these just some office brass trying to save face?

        2. He probably just got tired of being butt-fucked every night, and needed a break.

          1. This is truth.

    4. Who cares, the action was illegal without notifying the Legislature. It was another instance of the Administration ignoring laws they know about.

    5. Re: Peter Caca,

      Bergdahl escaped from his Taliban captors for three days then fought them when found. This effort to Swiftboat him is typical of the RWNJs.

      Then he was tied to the railroad tracks but his bounds were sufficiently loose to escape yet again, but alas, the evil Dastardly and Muttley captured him again!

      Or maybe they took advantage of him in ways that cannot be spoken!

    6. He was a volunteer who walked out on his brothers. He is a fucking deserter who needs to be in prison.

      You are a fucking moron.

  9. It’s also independent of the question of whether this was a good deal or not– a similar deal was objected to by Clinton and Panetta in 2011-2012, and by bipartisan majorities of Congress, which is why this deal was hidden.

    But I think it’s pretty ridiculous for people to pretend that, right or wrong, the anger of those who served with Bergdahl isn’t real. Some of them favored the deal, or at least the broad idea of a deal if not this specific one, but still want him to be tried.

    1. This reminds me a little bit of Snowden–the individual is getting the attention, but the truly important issue is the process used here. It appears to have been a flagrantly illegal act. Not that that’s anything new for the administration.

      1. If the president wishes to exile himself a la Snowden over illegally brokering his trade, he has my full support.

      2. If the president wishes to exile himself a la Snowden over illegally brokering his trade, he has my full support.

    2. The more we learn about the five degenerates that were turned over the more people are scratching their heads about this.

      It’s hard not to believe this was a test to see the political effects of shutting Guantanamo.

      1. I really think that if Obama starts turning people lose out of GUITMO it will get him impeached. Maybe not removed from office but impeached. He might just be stupid enough to look at the Clinton example and think “yeah get the Republicans to overreach and try to impeach me before the November elections so the public will turn on them”.

        I don’t think an impeachment proceeding over a President ignoring the law and releasing the people at GUITMO would go quite as well for the President’s party as the one over lying about blowjobs went. Maybe I am wrong, but I don’t think it would play out the same way.

        We have a law that says “don’t release these people without first getting approval from Congress”. The people at GUITMO are considered by the public to be pretty bad people. If he starts turning them lose, I think the public is going to turn on him in a huge way.

        1. Obama has no idea what to do about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and if he shuts down Gitmo KSM will have to remain in custody SOMEWHERE.

          Can you imagine the shitstorm if he let KSM go? Impeachment would be the least of his worries.

          1. They wanted to turn the blind Shek over the Egypt but just couldn’t figure out how to finese it. They actually wanted to turn loose the guy who was convicted as the spiritual leader and part of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

            If the military hadn’t kicked the MB out of power, I bet they would have done it. Nothing would surprise me at this point.

            1. just wait till the last few weeks of Obama’s presidency, the pardons and prisoner releases will be overwhelming

        2. They would end up holding the impeachment hearings in closed session for reasons of “national security”. Eventually we’d all learn there was nothing to see here, no need to worry.

  10. Wow, this is stupid and patronizing even for Richman.

    Americans have not been conscripted since 1973, but young Americans are propagandized from childhood with the message that time in the military is service to their country.

    Truly none can resist the clarion call of Lee Greenwald’s “Proud to be an American”.

    Few question this narrative; fewer seek rebuttals to it. You have to want to face the facts that governments lie and that the service is to an empire having nothing to do with Americans’ security.

    …said every teenager ever. I can understand that there is a strong pro-military bias in the country, but it’s ludicrous to suggest that it is so deafening that none hear arguments to the contrary.

    1. Americans have not been conscripted since 1973, but young Americans are propagandized from childhood with the message that time in the military is service to their country.

      I missed that. Richman isn’t just stupid. He is a miserable arrogant piece of shit who apparently thinks the people who join the military are just lesser humans too stupid to avoid the propaganda like he did.

      That is really fucking appalling. There are a fair number of former military people who support Reason and Sheldon just called them all morons. Richman just passed Chapman as Reason’s most pathetic writer.

      1. Richman and Chapman are two halves of the same shit coin. They repeatedly spread bunk and I and others repeatedly debunk but they don’t care. They’re not in the business of actually knowing anything.

      2. I stopped giving enough of damn for what Richman writes to ever be insulted by him. Feh.

    2. “Few question this narrative; fewer seek rebuttals to it.”

      This is no doubt supported by the numerous bull sessions he participated in while he was serving.

  11. Then it turned into a stupid nation-building exercise.

    The Afghanistan campaign did not turn “into a stupid nation-building exercise”, it was one from the beginning.

    Mounting a nation-building exercise was the price we paid to get our NATO allies on board with military action.

    Getting our NATO allies on board was necessary so that it would not appear that this was a unilateral by the USA. This was necessary to get the support of certain domestic coalitions as well as garnering international sympathy.

    It would have been far better to have concentrated our land forces on capturing Bin Laden and others responsible for the attacks and using air strikes against Taliban targets to send a message that this would happen to anyone that provided even token support and shelter to groups with hostile intentions towards us.

    The instability thus created may or may not have allowed the NA to overthrow the Taliban but removal of the Taliban in and of itself should never have been a goal of the campaign.

    IMO such a punitive campaign may or may not have left the Taliban in power. But even if it had it would have been a severely weakened and chastened Taliban much less likely to act in ways that were hostile to the US. As it is after thirteen years and 3400+ (NATO, 2466+ US) deaths the Taliban is stronger than ever and likely to take over within months of the US and the remainder of our allies leaving.

    1. Sorry, 2300+ US deaths.

      I have no idea where the number I typed came from.

    2. Those are all excellent points. But who needs your “facts” when the narrative is that we nation built in Afghanistan because of the evil Bush NEOCONS.

      Stop trying to confuse Sheldon with your facts and logic. He likes being ignorant and pathetic.

  12. Ctrl+F

    “israel”

    “phrase not found”

    There’s a first time for everything.

    1. Try a capital, Israel is a proper name. G

      1. Quit being so case sensitive.

        1. What you did there… I saw it.

  13. He broke his oath of service. It is as simple as that. War, fear, whatever, it really does not matter. As long as his duties were legal, he was guilty. Some people do fail, and it is a failure of honor and duty, and that failure make them guilty. I despise John Kerry and his actions after Vietnam, but he fulfilled his oath of service and I grant him respect for that. Bergdahl did not.

  14. I havn’t read the thread, but I just looked at Google News, and I see that the administration is now saying they didn’t tell congress about the deal because the Taliban threatened to kill the guy if they made it public.

    WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK? We’re taking orders from the Taliban now? SERIOUSLY?

    Is there actually someone in the White House who SERIOUSLY THINKS “We broke the law because the Taliban was threating to shoot someone if we didn’t” Is ANY KIND OF AN ADEQUATE RESPONSE?

    You’re actually saying that you DID SOMETHING because the TALIBAN ORDERED YOU TO at the point of a gun, and you’re the Predient of the United States.

    Never mind that that something was to not notify congress that you were going to swap FIVE senior Taliban operatives for him.

    Because what? You were afraid that the Taliban was going to shoot someone? WHAT?

    1. And they couldn’t tell Congress in private or anything because apparently the Taliban has the White House bugged and would have known about that.

      Seriously, they really expect people to believe that?

      1. Apparently Obama quakes in his boots when the Taliban threatens to shoot a US soldier.

        Who knew?

      2. Every lie they get caught in is followed up with a new and even more ridiculous lie.

    2. Clearly the Taliban understands our civic process better than the administration.

    3. and I see that the administration is now saying they didn’t tell congress about the deal because the Taliban threatened to kill the guy if they made it public.

      Which why the Taliban filmed the exchange and released it to the media a couple of days afterward. Because they wanted to keep the whole thing secret.

      Anyone that believes this should be explosively sterilized.

    4. Seriously, does ANYONE not see how totally fucking appalling this is?

      It’s literally fucking INSANE that they would think that was a good reason to withhold notification from congress.

      It’s a epic failure of every fucking moral responsibility he has as the President of the US and the Commander in Cheif.

      1. Congress passed a law that said he had to get permission to release people from GITMO. He signed it. The law is valid and there is a good reason for it. Those people down there are kind of a big political issue and they should not be released without some kind of debate.

        He just told Congress to go fuck themselves and did it anyway. That really is an impeachable offense by any reasonable standard.

        1. And then he said that he did it because – get this – the Taliban threatened to shoot thea hostage if he didn’t.

          Because that makes it BETTER!

          Oh, I see, Mr. President of the United States, clearly when our mortal enemies threaten to kill people you must do what they say.

        2. I fucking love how so many casually dismiss the open violation of U.S. law by the administration. This time, every time.

          No accountability, no legitimacy, no republic. It’s quite simple. I don’t give a shit which team you root for.

        3. “He just told Congress to go fuck themselves and did it anyway.”

          He’s been doing that for years. At this point, it’s taken for granted that he is above the law.

    5. HazelMeade|6.5.14 @ 1:25PM|#
      …”I see that the administration is now saying”…

      Doesn’t need much after that, does it?

  15. Under the rules in force at the time, I don’t see how an argument can be made that Bergdahl is not a deserter, whatever his motives.

    The argument remains: Should we have traded 5 Taliban leaders for a deserter? Only a true blue Obama-bot would think this even looks like a good idea.

    But hey, at least we aren’t talking about the VA and how that should give pause to the push for socialize medicine anymore, amirite?

    1. I think it looks like a good idea.

      1. Who are these five guys, really? Are they really big, bad terrorists? Are we really going to take the administration’s word on this?

      2. Terrorism isn’t exactly a serious threat, as the last 13 years of the FBI having to groom plots so they could bust them has shown. I’m not worried about releasing ‘high ranking members of the Taliban’.

      4. Doubly so since the Taliban is effectively destroyed.

      5. We don’t leave anyone behind. Short of this guy actually (and provably) leaving to join the other side, he’s still one of ours. He deserted *us*, not the other way around.

      1. I think sending the world the message that the best way to get someone we have released is to take an American hostage to trade, is a pretty bad idea.

    2. It’s a good idea because the only other option was to let those same prisoners go in exchange for nothing.

  16. Volunteer Force/Depending on your comrades in arms for survival = Shoot the Deserters.

    1. Conscript force depending on the threat of violence to compel obedience = shoot the deserters.

      Amazing how often the answer to those who don’t want to be part of your group = shoot the deserters.

      What? Are we liberals now?

      1. No. You signed the contract live by it. What are you a liberal now? Don’t think people are competent to agree to contracts or be held to their terms?

        1. Bullshit.

          In any other facet of life, if you find that you can’t fulfill the terms of the contract there are remedies – except for signing up with the military.

          He deserted – and he should face the law for that desertion. But that penalty should not be death, nor should his only remedy be to suck it up and continue to do what he considered morally wrong.

          And keep in mid – the ability to opt out is the *last* check we have on overseas military adventurism. You can’t have a war if nobody comes.

          Of course – I still don’t think he left for any reason other that “I don’t like the Army”, and that’s a *shitty* reason to do what he did (compared to ‘where doing horrible and immoral things I this war that I can’t countenance) and treats this decision with a lack of the seriousness it deserves.

          1. In any other facet of life, if you find that you can’t fulfill the terms of the contract there are remedies – except for signing up with the military.

            So what? If you don’t like not having an out, DON’T SIGN THE CONTRACT. Why does every contract have an out? Why can’t I agree to one that doesn’t? Fuck you with your Prog desire to treat me like a child.

            He deserted – and he should face the law for that desertion. But that penalty should not be death, nor should his only remedy be to suck it up and continue to do what he considered morally wrong.

            Who said it should be death? I certainly didn’t. I don’t know what it should be but I certainly wouldn’t say it should automatically be death.

            And keep in mid – the ability to opt out is the *last* check we have on overseas military adventurism. You can’t have a war if nobody comes.

            And you can’t have an army or national defense if people who join are allowed to pick and choose which orders they like. The check on our military adventurism is our civilian government. If that doesn’t work for you, too bad. It is all we have.

            1. Now you sound like the people who say ‘majority rules’.

              And no, the civilian government is not a *check* on military adventurism – they’re the ones who send the military off to its adventures.

              And, like in every other facet of government, the final check is the *people*, not the bureaucrats.

              1. “He deserted – and he should face the law for that desertion. But that penalty should not be death, nor should his only remedy be to suck it up and continue to do what he considered morally wrong.”

                I’m pretty sure a lot of his squad and platoon thought it was ‘morally wrong’ to sell out to the enemy and provide them with intel that would endanger their lives.

            2. Your out is don’t reenlist.

              1. That being said, Stop-Loss would have really pissed me off.

          2. I would take putting him in prison. Not dead set of executing him. A volunteer @ a FOB doesn’t get to walk out cause playing Army is not fun anymore. Sheesh.

            They may have red coded the SOB if they had found him in one of the later attempts to rescue him.

            1. He won’t be shot. The last person was WWII.

  17. From tip to tail this has got to be the worst Richman column I have ever read. Holy. Shit.

    1. The worst in a strong field of contenders.

      What is this guy doing at Reason?

      Commenters, at least, despise him 10 to 1. And most of the 1 are the usual Reason trolls.

      Hello? Anyone at the wheel at Reason? We all hate this guy. Get rid of him.

  18. In this whirlwind of cynicism and relativism, can anyone be blamed for wondering what the point of the war was?

    Only those involved in fighting it. People in their comfy armchairs to whom all that matters is putting political points on the board can criticize to their heart’s content. If the war might get you killed for no reason, your second thoughts make you a terrorist traitor who deserves to die.

    1. Go fuck yourself Tony. There are multiple people on this board who have served in Obamas wars. Don’t come here with your “anyone who disagrees with Obama’s wars must never have served” bullshit.

      1. First, Obama didn’t start any wars. Second, I think I said exactly the opposite of what you’re accusing me of.

        1. Re: Tony,

          First, Obama didn’t start any wars

          *cough* Libya! *cough*

          Excuse me… Burp!

        2. Except Libya and tried to start one in Syria. And escalating the war in Afghanistan after you come into office and continuing it for six years, gives you ownership. Obama has used the military to kill more people than Bush ever did.

          They are his wars now Tony and you support them. So stop pretending otherwise.

          1. You are psychotic, and I have never supported them. What a sick life it must be to constantly scrape for reasons it was OK for you to support Bush and all of his many horrific failures. God help us if we ever have as bad a president again. Obama simply doesn’t have enough time left to do it.

            1. Where are all the Code Pink protesters? Why did they go away the minute Black Jesus took the oath?

              1. The same place the Tea Party was when Bush was bankrupting the country and turning the constitution into kindling.

                1. Yes, because a group that didn’t exist not showing up to protest what they were ostensibly against is exactly the same thing as one that already exists not protesting the continuation of actions they supposedly found reprehensible enough to quit their jobs in order to agitate against.

                  Why, just look at those stupid anti-tax protestors, not getting in their time machines (which you know they have, being the 1% and all) to return to 2003 in order to protest Bush’s tax cuts. Such hypocrites.

                  1. For the record Code Pink still exists and has protested Obama’s actions and Obama in person.

                2. You mean that Tea Party that was protesting in April of 2008? Yep, definitely only started to protest because Racism!

              2. They are hanging out with the women in black, who also disappeared around November 2008.

          2. Hey, we did leave Iraq in 2009 as the Lightworker promised, oh wait…

        3. Libya anyone?

          1. Humanitarian intervention.

            1. Tony|6.5.14 @ 2:16PM|#
              “Humanitarian intervention.”

              Yeah, it might have been if they hadn’t left the guy there to die with no protection.

            2. If Cuba did to Florida what we did to Libya, it would most certainly be an act of war.

              1. Is Florida a nightmarish hellscape on the brink of total disast… oh.

                1. Why, yes, it is.

                  1. plus 10, sue, tony isn’t as clever as his fantasies.

                    tony bitch slap noted, kudos…

        4. Oh, and one other thing. Something you need to keep in the forefront of your mind if you ever actually want to be in charge of anything.

          Once you take over as boss, *all* the good and *all* the bad is YOUR fault. Not the fault of the guy before you – your.

          Obama got elected, if he didn’t want responsibility for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan then he should have ended them. 6+ years into office means you don’t get to blame your predecessor for the state of the union.

          1. So does he get credit for ending the Iraq war?

            1. He gets credit for totally fucking up the end of the Iraq war. For all the blood and treasure we spent there we should at least have a large airbase for wielding some extra regional influence. But he took all the money and all the lives and just flushed them down the toilet.

              1. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only libertarian in the room.

                1. Tony|6.5.14 @ 2:34PM|#
                  “Sometimes I feel like I’m the only libertarian in the room.”

                  One slimy turd stops lying about it and the other begins.

                  1. One slimy turd stops lying about it and the other begins.

                    Sevo, why do you insist on responding to him like he’s suddenly going to have this epiphany where he realizes what an asshole he is and starts responding to people in good faith? He actually sits there all day thinking up what to say that can most aggravate and annoy a bunch of people he’s never met. Truth, lies–these words don’t mean anything to him (in the context of HnR anyway) because the only question he asks himself before he posts anything is “Will this piss everybody off and derail whatever discussion they were trying to have?”

                    The proper response to this is not anger, but pity. Pity at the idea that he has nothing better to do than intentionally make strangers on the Internet hate him. But the only reason he keeps doing it is because everyone falls for it, every time.

            2. On BOOOSH’s timetable, not his. He told us Hope and Change and an exit within a year of being elected. He lied and more soldiers died.

              1. Well I’m sure their families are proud that they died so you could have a talking point against Obama.

            3. Bush had already scheduled a troop drawdown by the time Obama was elected. Obama pretty much stuck to Bush’s timetable.

          2. Tony would understand this if you were talking about a new CEO of Walmart not ending homophobic and racist hiring discrimination.

    2. Tony|6.5.14 @ 1:47PM|#
      …”People in their comfy armchairs to whom all that matters is putting *POLITICAL POINTS* on the board can criticize to their heart’s content”…

      Obama’s Promise to immediately close Guantanamo, 10/2008
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8USRg3h4AdE

    3. I suppose there is something of meaning in that word salad. Sort of a creaky reprise of “chikenhawk” from 2004?

      Well, I did fight in it, and think this was a horrid decision to ignore the law. “wondering what the point of the war was” has nothing to do with what the sad sack CinC did.

      I hope this guy gets a Special Court Martial and gets locked up for life in Leavenworth.

  19. We had this discussion at the academy about what you do with deserters. You of course should execute officers who desert, but I think for enlisted men, unless it is a display of cowardice in battle, you just let them desert and face the consequences, particularly if they are willing to take their chances with the enemy.

    A lot of enlisted men are confused and don’t realize what they are signing up for, but the military is pretty lax on reassigning someone if they are clearly scared shitless (more than a normal soldier is) or have honest objections to what they are asked to do.

    1. Since when?

      http://www.organicconsumers.or…..102703.cfm

      Not when that guy got sick.

      And I don’t think Offices should be any more subject to execution than enlisted. You’re not making Sgt without having a pretty decent overview of how your service works and what sort of morally dubious things you may be asked to do.

      1. What’s this execution talk? The last guy to be executed for desertion was in 1945, the only one since the Civil War.

    2. I actually find it quite frightening that you had a discussion with that conclusion at any “academy”. What, pray tell, does the officer do after all of the enlisted men have left him standing alone on the battlefield with nobody to command?

      1. Charge head first into the enemy?

    3. A lot of enlisted men are confused and don’t realize what they are signing up for

      Pardon me while I go wipe the “patronizing” off.

      1. No shit. That’s fucking disgusting.

        A lot of enlisted men is the only reason anything gets done you pompous ass.

        Fucking ringknockers.

    4. I lol at this.

      Look, the reality is pretty simple. I led men in Afghanistan. They had 24/7 access to me as 25 of us slept in a 20 man tent on a small FOB. We developed a close relationship and I was always informed about what issues they had. If they ever had a problem, I would take care of it, or see it was. I arranged to have an NCO flown home when his kid was facing serious medical issues. It sucks losing man power, but you do it for the Soldiers.

      If Bergdahl had come to me, said he is going to wander the Afghan countryside and play the flute, I would have spoken with him, then had him flown out. It happens. I would rather have a smaller cohesive unit than a larger one with messed up dudes in it.

      This isn’t the Roman Legion, we don’t beat people with sticks to keep them serving.

      1. While this style of leadership was fairly common on small FOBs and COPs, especially amongst SF, I commend you. Far too many young officers assumed the “dick head” style of leadership.

      2. That’s what leaders do.

        I’ve said on several forums that no leader or commander worth his salt would keep a guy like Bergdahl around. Guys like him are cancer and need to be removed from your formation as quickly as possible. No need to be a dick about it, just get him out of there.

    5. I’m pretty sure that with your attitude, the only confusion among the enlisted men serving under you would be who would bring more wood and who would bring the marshmallows if they happened across you lying on the ground on fire.

      Speaking as a former enlisted troop: Go fuck yourself with a rat tail file jackass.

      1. Speaking as a former officer, I’m right there with you. No one with that sort of attitude belongs in the service, much less leading men.

  20. Silly By-line from someone who is clueless about the Military and War. To try to make this clear to someone who clearly does not understand the concept,,,, I CANNOT just opt out of paying taxes AND breaking the laws of the country I live in. It dose not matter that I think OBOZOCARE is a crime against reason, I will be taxed on it at the end of the year for not buy any insurance. I tell ya, About every 10th article posted here lately is by an idiot.

  21. Individuals kill others for no other reason than that they are ordered to they and their comrades lives depend on not shitting their pants in the face of enemies that face no such moral dilemma.

  22. The desire to pass quick judgment on this American soldier was rampant from those who knew nothing about him, including this website’s own Nick Gillespie, who said “In swapping five Taliban leaders for a U.S. soldier who was held prisoner in Afghanistan for five years, Obama may have just exchanged some certifiably bad guys for…a deserter from the U.S.”

    No need to consider the fog of war, mental health, PTSD, or anything else that may have come into play…at least not for Nick. It was never about the soldier, it was of course only about Obama, like every story must be.

    1. My God you are a boot licking sycophantic little shit.

    2. “No need to consider the fog of war, mental health, PTSD, or anything else that may have come into play”

      Whiny little bastard, ain’t he? I bleeve he majored in “Excuses” and did quite well at it.

    3. Poor old put-upon Obama. All these people hate him for like no reason whatsoever.

      1. Very few of the reasons people hate him are real. He is black, though, and technically a Democrat. Those are real things about him, I suppose.

        1. Fuck off.

        2. Well that didn’t take long.

        3. Tony|6.5.14 @ 2:38PM|#
          ‘RACCCCCCCCIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSMMMMMMMM’

          Our slimy lefty has no other way of defending that lying bastard other than to accuse those who point it out as racists.
          It’s a common tactic among the stupid and lazy.

    4. So Obama broke his own law and did the swap to recover a mentally deranged private who wandered off base? I guess that makes it a good idea.

    5. Of course the bigger problem is Obama violated a law THAT HE FUCKING SIGNED!

      But I guess for you demfags, it’s okay because RACISM! or something.

      1. Isn’t the real problem the fact that you guys have to go so disgustingly low to hit the president that it always blows up in your face?

        The administration in its meeting with the senate said it had reason to believe Bergdahl would be killed if the prisoner swap plan was leaked.

        Jumping at every single opportunity to turn everything that ever happens into a reason why Obama is the worst president ever and possibly satan himself only ends up making you look like a fool.

        1. Isn’t the real problem the fact that you guys have to go so disgustingly low to hit the president that it always blows up in your face?

          Tony, Hillary Clinton came out Monday and said she didn’t support this thing. Hillary Clinton for God’s sake.

          You need to start to prepare yourself for facing the truth that Obama is a dangerous idiot who has done immeasurable damage to both the country and your beloved Democratic Party. The next couple of years are not going to be easy for you. The sooner you start facing up to the truth, the better off you will be. Continuing to lie and defend the indefensible is just going to make things worse for you when you finally do have to face the truth.

          1. You never seem to feel the need to specify this immeasurable damage. But try not to sound so gleeful at the thought of your country being harmed.

            1. Tony|6.5.14 @ 3:58PM|#
              “You never seem to feel the need to specify this immeasurable damage.”

              You’re right, it’s not immeasurable. In fact, just yesterday you, yourself were whining about how he’s fucked the economy such that ‘people are starving!’
              So, yeah, the lying bastard really hasn’t done “immeasurable” damage.

            2. they just crossed the ‘red line’ in Syria again, measure that bitch

              1. So we should have started another war? Or Obama shouldn’t have said some words?

            3. Here’s the “immeasurable damage” fucktard: We just taught every fucking criminal/terrorist organization that kidnapping and holding American citizens for ransom works. We’ve spent 40 years teaching bad people that if you kidnap Americans, your life is going to end badly. We just undid all that, and now we’re going to have to teach that lesson again. Unfortunately, some hostages and some hostage rescuers will probably get killed in the process of re-teaching those lessons, and for what? So we could free a fucking deserter to score political points. These mother-fuckers just made the life of every traveling American just a little more dangerous, for a fucking photo op.

              1. “These mother-fuckers just made the life of every traveling American just a little more dangerous, for a fucking photo op.”

                Even worse, to distract from a scandal.

                His health wasn’t failing. He wasn’t in imminent danger of being executed. This was political expediency. Plain and simple.

        2. First of all, I’m reasonably sure satan would be more competent. Second of all, he’s tied with Bush for worst president of my lifetime (not sure how he ranks with the other 41 though and I’m sure when the republicans do get around to electing some scuzbucket like Santorum he’ll be quickly replaced). Thirdly, meeting with some senators is not getting approval from Congress. And lastly: Several people up thread destroyed the credibility of the “They would have killed him defense”.

          1. Several people up thread destroyed the credibility of the “They would have killed him defense”.

            Not in my opinion. Look, I’m not usually in the habit of defending unilateral executive actions. And I’m not even really addressing the action under discussion. My point is that you’re being partisan zombies. What matters more than anything else, more than this soldier’s life, more than whether the law was broken, more than your own dear children probably, is that Obama sucks. I have read this thesis. I think I get it by now.

            Let’s leave aside the discussion about how you guys would have reacted if Obama had failed to act and the guy had died and it came out that there was a deal that could have saved him. It’s pointless since obviously he can do no right.

            Instead let me remind you of something I have said frequently, years ago, before I was even convinced that it was true. Republicans’ (and by extension your) strategy of refusing to cooperate with this president on anything, ever, and the Congressional inability to accomplish anything as a result, will lead Obama to taking more unilateral actions, and it will be a bad precedent, but he will have no choice given that he is still a political figure. Looks like I was right. The law he allegedly broke was meant to prevent Obama from emptying Gitmo. Something you assholes also criticize him for.

            1. Tony|6.5.14 @ 4:09PM|#
              …”Look, I’m not usually in the habit of defending unilateral executive actions.”…

              You lying piece of shit.

              1. Isn’t that basically all he’s done for the last 6 years?

            2. First of all, the law that he broke was one he signed by his own hands. If he were so concerned about emptying Gitmo, why didn’t he just veto that law?

              Second, if the President can’t get something done with the support of Congress, it isn’t his responsibility to just go and do it unilaterally. His responsibility is to shame Congress, loudly and publicly, into support…and if he can’t get the support, it’s likely because he’s going against the Will of the People.

              The more the President is taking unilateral action–for any reason whatsoever, but particularly to make Congress itself impotent–the more he’s becoming an enemy to the Constitution and to the Republic.

              The fact that you’re so eager to defend the President’s actions, and downright defiance, even when people from both sides of the isle are becoming more and more disturbed by his actions, makes me think you’re both a shill for Obama, and an enemy of the Republic and of freedom yourself.

        3. The administration in its meeting with the senate said it had reason to believe Bergdahl would be killed if the prisoner swap plan was leaked.

          Oh, well, the Taliban threatened to kill a prisoner. I guess you have to do what they say.

        4. Have you even bothered to read the list of people that we swapped for him?

          They gave them Mullah Omar’s second in command.

          1. And he should a) have been charged with a crime years ago or b) have gotten released upon cessation of hostilities. They were going to be let go anyway. The only other possible way this could have played out is with a dead American POW in Pakistan instead of an alive one in US custody.

            1. He wasn’t a POW idiot.

              1. What was he? Special extra evil category beyond both criminals (which include serial killers) and POWs?

                1. Guest seems more appropriate.

    6. quick judgement? this guy deserted 5 years ago, it is not a new story

    7. “the fog of war”….

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      Pray, how does that lead to someone repeatedly telling everyone he is going to take a walk, carefully disposing of his stuff and walking off – its not like he got lost on a patrol.

    8. Perhaps you’d be so good as to point out where Nick said anything that was false.

  23. Did he have the unalienable right to freedom of movement? Does a person even have the authority to sell themselves into slavery? If you want to leave the slavery contract, can you?

    Did he have the right to leave? Yes.

    1. Does a person even have the authority to sell themselves into slavery?

      Why wouldn’t they?

      1. The next question is pertinent to the question. If you’ve sold yourself into slavery, can you leave it?

        1. That probably depends on the definition of “can”. I would say the person you made the contract with would be justified in attempting to enforce the terms of the contract you made, whatever they happen to be.

          1. So if I were to sign a contract saying “I have no rights from this day forward, and the punishment for attempting to assert any of them is instant death” while in a drunken (patriotic) stupor, you’d have no problem with someone trying to enforce it.

            Especially if the enforcer and the “3rd party” were one and the same…

            My question remains, do you even have the authority to sign away your rights? The only answer I can come to is no.

            1. ace_m82|6.5.14 @ 4:07PM|#
              “So if I were to sign a contract saying “I have no rights from this day forward, and the punishment for attempting to assert any of them is instant death” while in a drunken (patriotic) stupor, you’d have no problem with someone trying to enforce it.”

              Can’t get the answer you’re hoping for with those goal posts in one place, ace?
              Are you trying for the gold in sophistry?

              1. The question before the libertarians (I am one, too) seems to be quite clear. If the state is supposed to protect the unalienable rights of the people AND enforce contracts, which one is more important? The best way to figure that out is to decide what to do when they conflict.

                I had a conservative tell me that the purpose of govt was to protect rights AND “protect society”. I asked what you should do when they conflict (the “lonesome stranger” argument). That got him thinking… This is similar.

                1. ace_m82|6.5.14 @ 4:15PM|#
                  “The question before the libertarians (I am one, too) seems to be quite clear. If the state is supposed to protect the unalienable rights of the people AND enforce contracts, which one is more important? The best way to figure that out is to decide what to do when they conflict.”

                  No conflict here, and I’ll ignore your claim to certain sympathies.

                  1. They do conflict. The contract says he has no rights. Which is it?

                    1. ace_m82|6.5.14 @ 4:19PM|#
                      “The contract says he has no rights.”

                      That’s a lie.

                    2. Do you mean my fictitious contract? Then yes.

                      Do you mean the actual military contract? Then not exactly no “rights”, but the “rights” you have can be taken away by man’s whim, and therefore aren’t rights. So he didn’t have rights.

            2. So if I were to sign a contract saying “I have no rights from this day forward, and the punishment for attempting to assert any of them is instant death” while in a drunken (patriotic) stupor, you’d have no problem with someone trying to enforce it.

              No, not really. Why should I care about your idiotic decisions?

              1. An honest answer, at least.

                So rights aren’t unalienable? So if the govt gets you to sign the social contract, you must abide by it?

                Ever said the pledge of allegiance?

                1. That’s an utter non-sequitur.

                  1. Why? You said you’d have to abide by your contracts even if they violate your rights.

                    Have you ever said the pledge of allegiance? Then you OWE your allegiance to THIS flag and THIS “republic”…

                    Man, that logic is flawless and condemns a whole lot of people, myself included. That’s one reason I don’t like it…

                    1. Have you ever said the pledge of allegiance? Then you OWE your allegiance to THIS flag and THIS “republic”…

                      I don’t recall the Pledge listing any specific punishments for breaking said allegiance, so again, I don’t see how that is in any way relevant to the discussion.

                    2. No, it doesn’t. So then it’s up to the other party to decide what they are, right? I mean, you entered into a contract without a sunset clause nor a limitation as to the punishment.

                    3. No, it doesn’t. So then it’s up to the other party to decide what they are, right? I mean, you entered into a contract without a sunset clause nor a limitation as to the punishment.

                      Pure sophistry.

                    4. How?

                      And even if the “punishment” were just a $100 fine each time you broke it, would you even pay it?

                      Also, the military contract doesn’t explicitly define punishments to be meted out if you break it (if I remember mine correctly). So the comparison is still quite strong.

                    5. I can’t believe I’m even bothering, but I’m a little bored and you seem more agreeable than the likes of Tony, so here goes:

                      How?

                      You seem to be claiming that one party to a contract can make new provisions to said contract out of whole cloth if they are not specified within the contract itself, which is nonsense. The fact that the Pledge, in your words, is “a contract without a sunset clause nor a limitation as to the punishment” means that insofar as it can be considered a contract, it is an entirely unenforceable one. Nothing more, nothing less. Shifting the terms of the debate like this to continue arguing purely for the sake of argument is sophistry.

                      And even if the “punishment” were just a $100 fine each time you broke it, would you even pay it?

                      Of course not. Because if the pledge said that, nobody would ever say it. Again, shifting goalposts purely to be argumentative.

                      Also, the military contract doesn’t explicitly define punishments to be meted out if you break it (if I remember mine correctly). So the comparison is still quite strong.

                      I have an extremely difficult time believing that military contracts do not include a provision stating that the enlistee will abide by the UCMJ, but I invite you to correct me on that point if it is not the case.

                    6. “insofar as it can be considered a contract, it is an entirely unenforceable one”

                      True, and my argument is that a military contract is utterly unenforceable too, because if you “break” it, they simply re-enslave you or kill you. That isn’t consistent with unalienable rights. I suppose you could enforce it by failing to pay the soldiers (pay isn’t even in the contract!), but that’s it. Also, the fact that the other party can break the contract whenever they like with no repercussions is worrisome and never explicitly said.

                      “Because if the pledge said that, nobody would ever say it.”

                      Probably wrong, as it isn’t quite as harsh as a military contract and yet people sign those all the time. But even it that were so, does that mean it isn’t a contract? Is the oath to the Constitution (made by politicians) a contract? They seem very similar. Yet there is no punishment clause there either.

                      “I have an extremely difficult time believing that military contracts do not include a provision stating that the enlistee will abide by the UCMJ, but I invite you to correct me on that point if it is not the case.”

                      Honestly, it was 10 years ago. I’d have to look it up.

                      Thank you for being courteous.

                      I do find it quite sad that the libertarians here are mostly arguing against unalienable rights… Perhaps they should change their title to “contractarians” or something…

                    7. I do find it quite sad that the libertarians here are mostly arguing against unalienable rights… Perhaps they should change their title to “contractarians” or something…

                      It’s a position more consistent with the concept of self-ownership than your somewhat bizarre definition of “inalienable”.

                    8. Just to make sure I’m not crazy, I looked it up.

                      Unalienable: Not to be separated, given away, or taken away; inalienable

                      But I don’t want to argue semantics, but real concepts.

                      Let’s say you’re really poor, and you volunteer to be an indentured servant to a rich person so they pay off your debts. Now let’s say that after working there for a month, your mother gets kidnapped (or sick or something) and needs YOUR help.

                      Now, according to the contract theory I think I’m hearing, you’d say that person is screwed. I say they have every right (there’s a better word than that, but it will have to do) to leave that person and go save their mother. And the person who lost their servant can demand that money back.

                      What I say they cannot do is tie them up in the basement or kill them for failure to live up to their end of the deal, even if the contract says that. The person still has unalienable rights regardless of what a piece of paper says. Even the authoritarian Hobbes recognized that the right to self-defense was above the state.

                    9. I’m sorry you wasted all your time typing that out, because it’s all entirely irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Nothing in the position I’ve outlined “argues against inalienable rights” as you insist on fallaciously accusing me of doing.

                    10. Now who’s shifting goal posts?

                      Does he have the right to leave? Yes or no?

                      Yes, then his rights are unalienable, that he can’t give them away or transfer them.

                      No, then his rights aren’t unalienable, that he can give them away or transfer them.

                      Should he be punished for failing to hold up his contract? Yes. Should he be re-enslaved or killed for it? No, because he never had the authority to transfer his rights to others.

                2. ace_m82|6.5.14 @ 4:20PM|#
                  …”So rights aren’t unalienable?”

                  Why do you keep lying? Do you think no one notices? Are you a pathological liar?

                  1. If I can sign away my rights, then they aren’t unalienable. Pray tell, how is that logic a “lie”.

                    Or did you just realize you lost and are now trying a red herring?

                    1. ace_m82|6.5.14 @ 4:36PM|#
                      “If I can sign away my rights, then they aren’t unalienable. Pray tell, how is that logic a “lie”.”

                      OK, asshole.
                      Willful ignorance or hoping no one sill notice.
                      Fuck off.

                    2. Ah, so no argument… I suppose you think you “won” now…

                    3. ace_m82|6.5.14 @ 4:53PM|#
                      “Ah, so no argument… I suppose you think you “won” now..”

                      Ah, so ignore facts…. I suppose you think you “won” now.

                    4. You’re the one who turned to insults because you couldn’t come up with a reason I’m wrong…

                    5. ace_m82|6.5.14 @ 5:00PM|#
                      “You’re the one who turned to insults because you couldn’t come up with a reason I’m wrong…”

                      Ah, so ignore facts…. I suppose you think you “won” now.

                    6. Did I break it? Now it just repeats itself…

    2. That is fucking retarded. And I am sure you thought the same thing when Dan Rather was making up memos trying to proof Bush deserted the National Guard.

      You don’t have a right to walk off a FOB in Afghanistan, not tell anyone where you are going and then leave everyone else there to risk their lives trying to find you. And even if you did, the government you walked away from has no obligation to make any effort to ensure your safety. You walked off didn’t you?

      Just take that idiotic shit elsewhere.

      1. I was too busy in Marine Corp boot camp to pay any attention to that scandal. My opinions here are well researched, first hand.

        You have the right to leave a voluntary contract. Then have no right to force you into a contract.

        Was what he did right or smart? No. Did he have the right to do it? Yes. Should the US govt protect him? No.

        1. “Then” should be “They”…

        2. Just out of curiosity, did you complete your enlistment in the USMC, or did you discover that you were really just a pussy?

          1. Silence answered that question. A pussy.

    3. He had the right to leave by the terms of his contract.

      1. The unpublished “terms” of the contract are absolute slavery, and they are the enforcer of the contract… Sounds like a conflict of interest. If you question the absoluteness, ask yourself if the “rights” they “give” you can be taken away whenever they want. Also, the govt can violate the contract whenever they choose (involuntary extensions) and you have no recourse. If you violate the contract, you get prosecuted, but nothing happens to them.

        My question again stands. If you foolishly sign your life away, can you change your mind?

        1. …”My question again stands. If you foolishly sign your life away, can you change your mind?”

          No, that isn’t the question you asked, and I’m sure you were hoping we are as dumb as you and wouldn’t notice.
          Now, I have a question for you: Have you stopped beating your wife?

          1. It isn’t a non sequitur so your example is disanalogous. The man realized he foolishly signed his life away. Did he still have those rights or not? Are rights unalienable or not?

            1. ace_m82|6.5.14 @ 4:18PM|#
              “It isn’t a non sequitur so your example is disanalogous.”
              It may not be a non seqitur, but is a loaded question, so my response is exactly analogous.

              “The man realized he foolishly signed his life away. Did he still have those rights or not? Are rights unalienable or not?”
              Strange how the pejorative ‘foolish’ has now crept into your supposed argument, isn’t it?
              Now, let’s say you agree to work for someone and that contract requires you to be at work from 8AM to 5PM; do you still have rights?
              You might think your sophistry is ‘clever’ but assholes like Tony have you beat all hollow.

              1. Your statement was both, but loaded question is probably a better way of describing it.

                Did he sign his life away? Yes, either for 4-8 years or permanently if they get him killed.

                Let’s say he wasn’t “foolish” then. How does that affect anything? He changed his mind and wants his rights. Are they his or does the contract overshadow them?

                Yes, I still have rights in your contract, because I can just NOT SHOW UP. The guy doesn’t pay me. I still have my rights (I have no rights to your money, but do have my right to freedom of movement).

                I suppose what I’m saying is that you have no authority to sign away your rights, but if you violate your contract the other person can take away what you have no right to (like their money).

                1. “Let’s say he wasn’t “foolish” then. How does that affect anything?”

                  Either you are serious and insulting or not real bright.
                  ALL contracts require some sacrifice; at the very least, I have agreed to spend my labor (time) making money to pay for the goods for which I’ve contracted.
                  Some contracts actually put the person’s life at risk (race-driver, electrical line worker, etc,) along with the time loss.
                  And if you sign them for a specified term, you pay the costs of reneging if you’d like to bail.
                  ————————-
                  “I suppose what I’m saying is that you have no authority to sign away your rights, but if you violate your contract the other person can take away what you have no right to (like their money).”

                  WHAT?

                  1. Sevo
                    “And if you sign them for a specified term, you pay the costs of reneging if you’d like to bail.”

                    Such as “not getting paid”. None of the contracts you keep trying to bring up have their punishment as “death” or other loss of rights IF the person decides to fail to live up to them. That’s the important part.

                    “WHAT?”

                    You have no authority to sign away your rights. If the punishment for failure is to take your rights away, then the contract has no meaning. They can take what they would have given you, but not your life (Liberty, etc).

                    1. Your lack of reading skills is your problem.
                      Fuck off.

                    2. Ah, the old “I can’t win the argument so I’ll insult you” play. Gotta stick with the good ones…

                    3. ace_m82|6.5.14 @ 4:52PM|#
                      “Ah, the old “I can’t win the argument so I’ll insult you” play. Gotta stick with the good ones…”

                      Ah, the old “I’ll ignore reality and pretend I’ve got some mysterious conundrum” play!
                      Gotta stick with the good ones…”
                      Fuck off.

                    4. I will not “F off”, thank you very much. Apparently, I never signed my right to freedom of speech away…

                    5. ace_m82|6.5.14 @ 5:01PM|#
                      “I will not “F off”, thank you very much.”

                      I’m sure you won’t. Proving you’re an ignorant asshole seems to be your goal

                    6. Your insults just make the reader realize I’m right. This isn’t the 3rd grade… I’m pretty sure.

                    7. ace_m82|6.5.14 @ 5:11PM|#
                      “Your insults just make the reader realize I’m right. This isn’t the 3rd grade… I’m pretty sure.”

                      Your ignorance is such that you presume others are as ignorant as you, asshole.
                      As you can see, others are not impressed with sophomoric whining.

                    8. You do agree to be subject to the UCMJ which can sanction a death sentence under certain circumstances.

                2. The rights don’t conflict because they were not removed involuntarily. They’re your rights and you can sell them. When we agree to work somewhere, and to restrict what we say while at work or to not carry a weapon at work, or sign non disclosure agreements we have sold our ability to exercise our rights. The terms of the contract are less severe in firing, not receiving pay but the premise is the same. Essentially you’re saying it’s okay to gamble with some of your money, not all. They’re your rights you can sell them off in a contract.

                  1. The question that maybe I see as relevant is whether I could build my own jail or have someone agree to a contract with a death penalty? Would the government allow me to do that? Probably not, although I’m not sure anyone would sign but it should be allowed in theory. There are contracts like police or doctors where certain malpractice or failing to act could be considered criminal only because of position which IMO is every bit a part of the contract. But military contracts are unusual in the possible severe penalties because the violations are severe in terms of getting others killed.

                  2. “They’re your rights and you can sell them”

                    No, you can’t. They are unalienable and non-transferable.

                    The punishment of failing to “follow orders” is enslavement or death. That means that the contract sought to transfer your rights in an absolute fashion, which you cannot do. You can promise to obey, and if you do you should, but you can’t actually get rid of your rights no matter how much you want to.

                    The reason contracts are so important to (most) libertarians is because failure to uphold them is seen as theft, you took one thing and didn’t bring what you promised. Now, can (should) humans be owned? The military contract promises to be a slave, and if you fail to be a slave, then you are enslaved. So it is absolute slavery. In fact, the party that volunteered to be that slave got nothing from the contract!

                    If you fail to uphold the contract, then you must give up what the other party gave you to sign the contract. As the other party never owned YOU before the contract, they can only ask for their pay back, at most.

        2. Maybe the question in your case should be “Should a blithering fucking moron who doesn’t understand what he’s signing but signs it anyway, be held to the same legal standard as everyone else, or should we just give up and let “stupid” be an acceptable excuse for everything”?

          1. Forget intelligence has anything to do with it. Do you have the authority to sign away your rights, even your right to self defense/life? Not even Hobbes thought so!

            1. The correct answer is yes. My body and mind belong to me, and I can do with them whatever I please, even if it includes being disemboweled by wild hogs on pay-per-view. A contract is a contract. Can you violate a contract? Yes. Are there legal repercussions for violating a contract? YES. If you have enlisted in the military you are made aware that one of the stipulations of the contract is that desertion is punishable under the UCMJ, and that desertion in a time of war is punishable by death. It’s no fucking mystery why. If you have a problem with that, then by all means speak up while you’re in boot camp, and identify yourself before you get put in a position to get your buddies killed. If you wait until after you’ve completed boot camp,and received a couple of years of training and benefits at taxpayer expense, and THEN decide that you’re a fucking pussy and don’t want to play anymore, then you pay the price for violating the contract.

              1. While that is the common concept, I tell you it’s wrong. A person is under an obligation to do what is right even if it violates their contract.

                Apparently unalienable rights are not transferable, by definition. By having the “punishment clause” of the contract take your rights away, the contract is actually in error. They may take your money and benefits away from you, but not your life or liberty.

                Should a person do what he did? No. Did he have the right to do it? Yes.

                Should the “3rd party” deciding the contract also be the holder of the contract? Absolutely not!

                1. A military contract is unlike any other contract, as it should be. Once signed, a person is under an obligation to do what is right, and what is “right” includes not violating your contract. You may have a perceived right to walk away from from that contract, but the government, your countrymen, also have a right, a real “no shit” right, to imprison you or put you up against a wall and shoot you for violating that contract under certain conditions. The simple reality is that a military enlistment contract is like no other contract, it never will be, and it never should be.

                  1. “A military contract is unlike any other contract, as it should be.”

                    Yes and no. It is different, but it is evil. The govt has no more power to do anything than the individuals who started it had. I never had the authority to (absolutely) enslave another being so the govt doesn’t have that authority either.

                    “what is ‘right’ includes not violating your contract”

                    So if your Superior tells you to rape and murder then rape and murder becomes “right”? No, you don’t get to sell your conscience like that.

                    Also, govt has no rights, only powers.

                    But thank you for giving me further reason to recognize that enlistments in the military are evil. Militias are the way to go, and they are voluntary, and you can leave at any time.

  24. Bergdahl enlisted of his own accord, then abandoned his comrades.

    I absolutely do blame him for his conduct, and he should be tried at courts martial.

  25. Well, that’s a load of B.S. If he didn’t want to be there anymore, there are procedures. He should have gone up his chain of Command and made them aware of his feelings. At the very least, he should have laid done his weapon, stated his intentions not to fight, and waited for the MPs to show up. What he did was irresponsibly and an act of treason which cost the lives of other soldiers. For that, he should be HUNG as a traitor.

    1. So he has no rights if he signed a piece of paper?

      Should he have done what you suggest? Yes. Did he have the RIGHT to walk away? Yes.

      1. Remind my local fire department not to hire you.

        1. I didn’t know the punishment for failing to jump into a burning building was death. Good to know.

          1. ace_m82|6.5.14 @ 4:41PM|#
            “I didn’t know the punishment for failing to jump into a burning building was death.”

            Did you bring the strawman all the way from home, or find it on the way?
            And I’m still waiting to hear whether you’ve stopped beating your wife.

            1. I was pointing out how it was disanalogous. I suppose it does sound a little like a strawman if you only look at that one post…

              1. ace_m82|6.5.14 @ 5:03PM|#
                “I was pointing out how it was disanalogous. I suppose it does sound a little like a strawman if you only look at that one post..”

                You mendacious twit, it’s been explained to you often enough for a cave-man to understand.
                Fuck off.

                1. No, it hasn’t. You claimed “A”. I showed why “A” conflicts with your own acts and libertarian theory. Then you insulted me.

                  1. Sorry ace, being able to contract yourself into slavery is absolutely not in conflict with libertarian theory.

      2. ace_m82|6.5.14 @ 4:22PM|#
        “So he has no rights if he signed a piece of paper?”
        Which you admit is a lie

        ….”Did he have the RIGHT to walk away? Yes.”
        At the cost of what he agreed in that contract you keep lying about.

        1. So at the cost of everything. So you have no more rights if you sign them away. So contracts are stronger than unalienable rights.

          1. Military contracts are unique. They always have been. Maybe you should educate yourself, as you sound very silly right now. Like a child playing some tangential semantical game.

            For your own benefit, don’t do that

          2. If you agree to the terms of the contract, yes.
            Hence the idea of free will.

        2. He legally waived his rights to do whatever he wants when he signed the contract.

          1. “Legally”, yes. My question is should the law apply? That’s the more interesting question.

            1. It’s really not that interesting. Especially since we went through this debate on Monday with entropy_factor (pro-tip: he didn’t shift the goal posts and didn’t act like he had the right answer and we were all just too stupid to see it.)

      3. No, he didn’t. What the fuck are you talking about? Desertion is highly illegal on the military. You have no right to do it as a member of the Armed Forces. There is no question of that.

  26. Bullshit.

    Former Captain

  27. The war is definitely complicated, but that doesnt excuse anyone to violate the oath they took.

  28. Agree.

    Afghanistan pre-Tora Bora made sense. Afterwards it didn’t. Nation building is silly unless you plan on investing decades (Japan and Germany).

    In addition, this article is fucking stupid. You sign a contract when you join the military. It’s not a bullshit made up social contract but an actual contract. Do your job or use one of the mechanisms to get out early. If you go bat-shit wacko crazy and go for a nature hike in a war zone you deserve the blame.

  29. Tony, have you bothered to read the list of who we gave up for him?

    Here it is: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetw…..soner-swap

    Do you doubt for one second that these guys are going to be back in Afghanistan fighting with the Taliban in a month?
    How many US soldiers will die because we let these guys go?

    1. And they should a) have been charged with a crime years ago or b) have gotten released upon cessation of hostilities. They were going to be let go anyway. The only other possible way this could have played out is with a dead American POW in Pakistan instead of an alive one in US custody.

      As I tried to tell you when Bush set up this god-awful concentration camp, treating Muslim fundamentalists who are, in fact, defending their own land from our invasion, as so scary that we can’t even apply the law to them (meaning scarier than Nazis), means the terrorists win.

      1. Tony|6.5.14 @ 4:52PM|#
        …”As I tried to tell you when Bush set up this god-awful concentration camp,”…

        obama’s promise to close guantanamo, 10/2008
        http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=
        Keep licking that ass, Tony.

      2. concentration camp? Other than the fact they can’t leave, these terrorist assholes live better than most people. Probably better than most of them lived when they were free.

        YOur view of these monsters is sickening. And yes, some of them ARE scarier than Nazis. Maybe you should go spend some time around these lovely souls you so exalt. See how you feel then.

      3. “so scary that we can’t even apply the law to them (meaning scarier than Nazis)”

        You really have no clue, do you? There are few things as scary or as dangerous as an army of sociopaths bent on doing “god’s will”.

        1. Except maybe ones with death camps and a world-class war machine?

          1. If you are applyibg some bizarre equivalency between America and a bunch of murdering Muslim terrorists then you truly are lost.

            There isn’t.

            1. Um, I’m pretty sure he was saying that NAZIS had death camps and a world-class war machine. Tony tends liberal, and while I can disagree plenty with him, I’ve never heard him claim the US has “death camps”. That’s far right crazy, not far left crazy.

              Point is, our terrorist enemy doesn’t have a “world-class war machine” or “death camps”, and yet the most powerful nation on earth has spent the last decade soiling itself over the “existential threat” that the terrorists pose.

          2. Dude, I spent years in Iraq and Afghanistan hunting some really bad people. To give you an idea how bad, I’ll tell you a little story.

            In 2005-2006, there were numerous groups of Shia muslims that were conducting kidnappings and extra-judicial killings of Sunni muslims in and around Baghdad, Ramadi, and a few other places. They would stop the target’s car at gunpoint, kidnap him, and take him to torture room…real torture, not waterboarding. They’d call the guy’s family, and then use blowtorches, pliers, and cordless drills on the victim, burning their genitals off, pealing their faces off with the pliers, and drilling through major joints, chests and skulls. All the while, the family would hear their loved-one screaming in agony. You see, the family was told that if they hung up the phone, their loved one would be killed. Quite the quandary when your husband or father is being tortured to death. There were no ransom demands, or purpose to this, other than to terrorize and kill. This was happening to hundreds of people every week.

            GITMO isn’t even remotely similar to a “concentration camp”, water-boarding isn’t even remotely like having your face pealed off with pliers, and we are nothing like the savages you compare us to.

          3. We on the other hand, sent people to prison for such things as stacking prisoners in naked pyramids, making them wear panties, and taking pictures, so fuck you and your moral equivalency. As far as “death camps” go,

            I’m betting you’ve never visited a real fucking death camp like Auschwitz, or you wouldn’t be making such an utterly ridiculous comparison.

            And finally, that “world-class war machine” doesn’t mean shit when it’s just you and a dozen other guys, 30km from the nearest friendly forces, and your air is tied up looking for a fucking deserter, or someone sitting in a cubicle across the country has decided that the risk of collateral damage from an air strike is too great.

  30. “If the war is unjust, you can just surrender to the other side without notice, thereby risking the lives of others who may search for you or may become targets when you give up information.”

    Got it.

  31. Boy, when Reason is wrong, it’s wrong.

    First, the ‘endless war’ thing is nonsense. The guy was wandering off post from his first days of deployment.

    Second, nobody cares what some hipster ‘libertarian’ behind a keyboard sipping a latte would do in a soldier’s situation. We care what a SOLDIER does in a soldier’s situation, which is why they are held to a higher standard.

    It just goes to show how relative peoples morality can be. You’re against the war, so you don’t think a soldier deserting during it is a big deal. Which is insane.

    1. Yeah, this article is poorly researched. And by someone who knows nothing of the military. They should have gotten a Vet on their staff to write it.

  32. Many of us, who sever, do wonder what truely is the point of endless war. There is a right way and a wrong way to do things though. His disappearance (which more and more looks like desertion) put the lives, safety, confidence, and moral his brothers in arms at risk. As a down to bone libertarian, I see the necessity for a force to secure liberty from those who threaten to destroy it. In order to maintain this people must be willing to sacrifice their liberty in order to stand shoulder to shoulder with those willing to do the same. The maximum punishment should be sought in order to protect the fidelity one has to his brother.

    1. Don’t sever me, bro.

  33. Of course the war was pointless. And stupid.

    But Bergdahl signed up for it. If he wanted out, he could file for CO status – perhaps spend some time in a military prison. He had other options than defecting to the enemy (whether they should have been the “enemy” or not is a different question).

    America is manipulated by six corporations that frame more than 90% of the “mainstream” news media. They also make munitions and other war materiel. For them, war is just a profitable business where they can plan on obsolescence and replacement orders. It doesn’t matter how many people die, because those profiting (CEOs, members of congress, etc.) don’t have a dog in the fight. Or a son. Or a father. Or a brother.

    It would be interesting to see some time how the percentage of congressional family members killed in war compares to the Nation at large. Something tells me a ratio of 100:1 or even 1000:1 isn’t out of the question.

    1. It’s a volunteer military. So I’m not sure what your point us about congress members kids enlistment rates. Do you think the military is just some last resort for young people with no options?

    2. Corporations…jeez. I’ll just leave this here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erTN58xt-jo

  34. I don’t think the author of this article understands a God damned thing about the military, and what it is like to serve.

  35. “The fog of war” is NOT a reference to moral chaos. It is a reference to the common predominance of missing and wrong strategic information. What was the moral chaos of WWII? Two murderous empires were trying to enslave the world and the only way to stop them was to destroy them. Neither does war warrant actions that are “unambiguously bad” in civilian life. Good people have to kill bad people in self defense all the time. This is nothing unique to war. Neither is collateral damage. Acts of self defense often pose risks to innocents.

    In sum, a pathetic article, sodden with the author’s own moral confusion about right and wrong in the Afghan war. Good thing he didn’t volunteer to fight in it then. Bergdahl did, and betrayed his less morally confused brothers in arms.

  36. What the hell did this article have to do with Bergdahl? There were a lot of quotes from this and that author, but no mention of Bergdahl and his situation. This was the biggest waste of time, I’ve ever spent 2 min reading.

  37. Article 85 of the UCMJ is quite clear. He went well beyond Article 86, UA, unauthorized absence. He left his post with no intention to surrender himself to U.S. military authority, desertion.
    One can BMC, bitch, moan, complain, theorize, strategize, summarize and attempt to legitimize this, but we traded a deserter for 5 enemy commanders.
    I am willing to wait to see if these 5 go on to be successful tomato farming magnates.
    I am willing to bet the answer, with a huge effort to be forever unknown, won’t be one showing their agricultural prowess.
    Fog of war, what a reach/loser for an argument.

    1. We should just pop the five of them, and any of their buddies we can get too.

  38. Articles like this one explain why libertarians can’t be taken seriously.

    1. Every libertarian in here disagrees from what I’ve seen. Sheldon is just an idiot. Maybe he gets paid to always find a ridiculously passive stance on things. Otherwise this article can’t be taken seriously.

      This guy is a deserter and a possible traitor. He deserves court marshal and possibly death.

    2. Every political point of view generates bad articles like this one. Not just evil progressivism/Marxism.

  39. Nope. Still blaming him.

  40. Bergdahl was pretty clearly a gung-ho ‘nation builder’. It is why he deserted isn’t it? And isn’t it that attitude/mindset – not the gung-ho soldier mindset of average grunt – that is the cause for why we feel compelled to fix everything everywhere endlessly?

  41. ?The “fog of war” is a reference to the moral chaos as well as the rampant confusion on the battlefield.

    “Moral chaos”? No, it doesn’t refer to anything like this. You’re making shit up.

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  43. Bowe Bergdahl spent a lot of time and effort to get himself into a military type environment, so yes, I do blame Bowe Bergdahl for his own desertion.

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