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As in the movie it is now up to Bergdahl to make the "saving" of him "worth it".

Chris the cop

It's got nothing to do with Pvt. Ryan or Tom Hanks or saving ourselves or whether you're under fifty or a goddam Republican. It has to do with whether Sgt. Bergdahl deserted. If he did, then trading him for 5 high level Taliban officials is not defensible. These are the people who cut the noses off young girls and shoot them in the head for learning to read. If he was an ordinary soldier doing his job, it's still a tough call, but very defensible. What decides it are the prior actions of Sgt. Bergdahl. It's that simple.

And what is this bilge about "members of his outfit who may not have been worth saving themselves had they been taken prisoner...they might have committed atrocities, they might have been cowards and shirkers, they might have been rapists. The same goes for the men who died looking for Bergdahl?" I don't see how you can give Bergdahl this massive benefit of the doubt and wonder in the same sentence if the people who "died looking him" moght have been cowards. How in God's name could you get killed looking for someone and possibly be a coward?

Lance Mannion


Whether he was a deserter is a question to be answered by a court-martial which he could only face if he was brought home. You seem to be arguing that he should have been assumed to have deserted and left to die. No trial. No presumption of innocence. No opportunity for Bergdahl to defend himself and confront his accusers.

And I think you're conflating desertion with defection.

You also seem to arguing that there are people who aren't worth saving, which is speaking straight to my point about Saving Private Ryan. And my question is how do we measure that worth and who gets to do the measuring? You're nominating yourself.

And of course there can be cowards on the battlefield. There's a long history of that. My point is that we don't know the conditions of strangers' souls or the qualities of their heart and when it comes time to saving them we don't ask. We mourn the loss of those men without asking if they really were a loss. We assume everyone is. We assume everyone's worth saving.

As for whether the White House gave up too much for Bergdahl, I'm inclined to agree with you, but that's not saying we shouldn't have tried to get him back at all. And it's another, separate debate, although apparently the debate you'd rather be having. Which is fine. But like I said, I'm inclined to agree, although there's still the matter that we were going to be releasing those five guys anyway.

One more thing,I'm on record here as not looking forward to our leaving Afghanistan because I'm afraid of what the Taliban are going to do when they take over and I wish we had plans for a major evacuation of women and children when we go but I doubt we do.

Lance Mannion

Steve, indeed!


I wondered about that.

I know it's not standard Army procedure to send soldiers out on a mission to rescue a POW unless they know precisely where he is being held, and even then, he has to be a high value soldier (officer, of course) before you can get enough brass off their asses to sign off on a mission like that.

So when I read that not one, but *six* families claimed their sons (of course) died looking for Bergdahl, I was highly skeptical, particularly when the whole "desertion" trope was tossed out.

It's nice to know my skepticism was well-placed.


Lance, we should also note the five prisoners who were exchanged were scheduled for release this year anyway, and they were transferred to "safe" soil, being held by the Qatari government.


EMTs don't ask what kind of person they are treating following a car accident - even if you are drunk and have just killed 4 people, you are still treated like everyone else. I don't recall Fixed Noise ranting on about something like that (at least not lately). Of course, with RWNJ logic doesn't seem to apply.

Chris the cop

I'm not saying he's not worth saving, but if he deserted then he wasn't worth 5 top Taliban commanders, period.

I hadn't heard that the 5 guys were to be released later this year. Is there a cite on that?

And as an aside, I could care less that Congress didn't get its 30 days notice, whether Bergdahl should have been traded or not. I've never been involved in swapping human beings, but something tells me the time table in negotiations would tend to flucuate a tad.

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