The political, social networking site that integrates politics with popular culture.
The political, social networking site that integrates politics with popular culture.

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Policy MAKES me SIGH @policysigh

@twocents I think its soon to tell exactly what is going on in this situation. Although I have a theory: The administration needed a distraction from the week long front page news about the VA scandal. This should make for a good distraction. Ill do some digging and get back on this discussion later. Thanks for posting.

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Ross Bryan @ross-bryan-31

Bizarre incidents like this are bound to happen in any armed conflict, but what irks me aren’t so much the actions of this one potential traitor. I’m more thoroughly disappointed in the Obama administration for negotiating with terrorists for his release. While it’s true we have in fact negotiated with terrorist groups on multiple occasions in the past – during both Republican and Democratic presidencies – I think this sets a dangerous new precedent. Especially in the post 9/11 era. It says, “Sure, take our people hostage. We’ll fold…”

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Coffee Addict @coffeeaddict

@twocents @policysigh @ross-bryan-31 I saw this video of the swap and thought I’d share it.

Ross, I agree this sets a dangerous precedent. Not only are we negotiating with terrorists to get back a hostage. We are letting them know that we will give them 5 of their top officials, for one low level deserter and possibly traitor. The fact that he actually went looking for the Taliban is very suspicious. The Taliban usually tortures people or sends us videos of them with their heads cut off. Why were all of the propaganda videos sent out by them just of him eating or saying he was scared? Seems strange…

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Kevlar @kevlar


It is pretty clear to me that Bergdahl is a deserter. It is pretty clear to me that in deserting his post he irresponsibly placed the lives of his fellow soldiers at greater risk and we actually have several dead soldiers to substantiate his dishonorable service and cowardly actions in front of the enemy.

He and his father claim that he went there to “help” the Afghan people. Ironically there is a method to do just that and it is called the “peace corps” but NOT the United States military.

The United States military doesn’t go anywhere in their combat offensive role to “help” people. If the United States military is deployed in a combat role they are there for one reason and one reason ONLY and that is to defend the United States of America and the rights and freedoms of its people. You might recall that we were attacked on 9/11/2001 by terrorists who operated and trained inside Afghanistan under the protection of the Taliban. You might also recall that these Taliban-harbored al Qaeda terrorists murdered some 3,000 innocent Americans in one day.

Bergdahl needs to face court-martial (he is lucky that he has not already been shot by friendly forces) for desertion in time of war and be sentenced accordingly. I believe desertion in time of war carries the death penalty. Failure to hold Bergdahl accountable for his actions will destroy good order and discipline which is the foundation of every soldier’s ability to fight and of the trust he places in his fellow soldier to fight alongside him. Take away the accountability of a soldiers actions of refusing an order to pursue whatever objective and you have rendered the United States military useless as a force to protect the American people.

Bergdahl dishonored not only his country but every man and woman who has ever worn the uniform of this country. Bergdahl single-handedly made a mockery of the patriotism and trust that holds the United States military together and gets the individual soldier through the most challenging and deadly of times. Everyone who enjoys the rights and freedoms which belong to every American should absolutely be offended and demand swift justice for this act.

Dispose of the Bergdahl thing quickly so that the nation can recover from this and press on. Don’t relent until this crime has been brought to justice and the deserter is made to account for his actions (probably with his life) because this can and will destroy this country if allowed to fester.

As bad as the Bergdahl desertion issue is, there is a more pressing concern that requires our more immediate attention (as if that is possible). I am talking about Bergdahl’s boss, his ultimate boss in the chain of command (the resident (this is not a typo) of the United States). Never before has a commander-in-chief touted a deserter as a “hero” and gone out of his way to get him back even at the expense of intentionally compromising national security.

Desertions, as harmful as they may be, are pretty much a one-off issue. This does not excuse the act of desertion but is to say that this nation has and still can survive a desertion, even in time of war. Collaboration is a completely different issue and that has not yet been determined, though in this case one can logically come to that conclusion. However, what this country cannot survive is the commander-in-chief sanctioning desertion and intentionally compromising national security and using this as an excuse.

Bergdahl was over there because he was sent there by this country. What he did or didn’t do while there is a matter of importance and concern but the bottom line is that he deployed at the request of the American citizen through the constitutionally prescribed and proper command structure.

That said it is logical that no matter what Bergdahl did we should try to get him back. In his case we sent him there and we should try to get him back to face court-martial for desertion. I say “try” to get him back because if the only way to get him back is to further damage our national security then it just sucks to be him (Bergdahl) and the national security of the United States is more important than one soldier.

That may sound cold but every soldier understands that when they sign on the dotted line and as a constant reminder of that obligation one could mention the name of every person who has ever died in service to this nation. The bottom line is that we try to get our people back but WE DO NOT RISK NATIONAL SECURITY in so doing.

However, that is exactly what we did when we released five extremely dangerous terrorists. These people should NEVER be freed. At the very least they should be locked up (and there is legal precedence for this) until the danger to the United States of their release is no longer a factor. Usually this is when the war is over but as these are illegal enemy combatants and terrorists, this war will never be over until all terrorists are dead. Long story short, these people should remain in prison for the rest of their lives.

What causes our resident (commander-in-chief) to release these dangerous prisoners which by all accounts have been deemed to still be a very serious threat to the United States especially when ALL common sense indicates otherwise?

Could this have been an honest mistake? No, congress has said over and over to the resident that he should not release these terrorists for any reason (he had full knowledge of and acted in blatant disregard for their unwavering position).

Could it be that having Bergdahl in enemy hands was actually more of a threat to the United States than the release of these five dangerous terrorists? Not hardly. Whatever Bergdahl knew at the time he deserted his post the enemy probably extracted from him in two days. However if Bergdahl actually did possess information the release of which would be even more devastating to the United States than the release of five high level terrorists, we should have acted in those two days and moved heaven and earth to secure that information. Clearly that was not the case.

So, once again why did the resident trade five extremely dangerous terrorists for this one deserter? What could have caused him to so blatantly ignore national security to make this happen?

I am not sure anyone can answer that because there is no logical answer. It only raises more questions. It brings up the question of a failed promise made on day one of his administration. On day one he promised to close GITMO within his first year.

For national security reasons he was unable that year and for those same national security reasons he has never been able to accomplish that failed promise. Perhaps in light of all of his other failures (the list is long so I won’t post it here but we all could add several things to it) he wants to have a legacy and emptying out GITMO as he said he would do is the only legacy he can see as achievable.

This also brings up an old issue and that is the issue of “natural born” citizen. Perhaps this subject and our lack of desire to pursue it at the proper time will come back to haunt us. The Constitution requires the president to be a natural born citizen yet it does not define the term other than being born on American soil.

Note that the astute reader will notice that the constitution mentions two terms, “citizen” and “natural born citizen” and if you find yourself asking why two terms instead of one if they mean the same, you can consider yourself an above average thinker. Hopefully this has already spurred you to do some research.

However the Constitution does make solid reference to the “Law of Nations” (and “offenses” thereof) which is a book that existed around the time of the writing of the Constitution. The “Law of Nations” defines in great detail the term “natural born” citizen. Basically this is not only someone born in the United States but is born of parents who are also citizens of the United States.

The Law of Nations further defines the need for parents who are citizens because this will ordinarily and logically reduce the possibility of getting a president/commander-in-chief who has loyalties to peoples other than American citizens.

Specifically the Law of Nations was concerned that the person in question (President) might have hidden loyalties to the nationality of his father. If this rings true to the current resident who recently appears to have more loyalty to the Muslim faith and Muslim countries than to the American citizen, then you might just be an astute reader. But how does this apply to the Bergdahl desertion case?

Simple, there is NO logical reason for the release of these five terrorists who are considered by ALL (to include the current administration and the resident himself by video taped admission) as constituting a serious threat to the United States of America and every one of its citizens. The release of these terrorists can never be of benefit and can ONLY cause harm to our country which in turn takes from each and every one of us some of our freedom.

When it comes to freedom there are only two ways to view it. Either you protect it for your people or you place that freedom in danger and that can ONLY benefits your enemies.

They have a term for that and it is called “aiding and abetting the enemy.” The Constitution, in Article 3, section 3, defines specifically aiding the enemy as being a treasonous offense.

Question: is releasing and freeing five Taliban top level commanders while we are still at war with the Taliban and other terrorist organizations, aiding the United States or is it aiding the Taliban, our declared enemy?

Ponder that for a while before continuing.

The resident may have been born in Hawaii just as he said he was (personally I believe he was although I cannot prove it, nor can anyone else) but he was NOT born to parents who were citizens at the time. Perhaps we should have paid attention to this because there is the distinct possibility that the founding fathers knew what they were talking about.

The “natural born” thing is all water under the bridge and due to a lack of interest by the public-at-large we decided that this was unimportant at the time. So what do we do now?

There is still a process by which we can remove traitorous people from office and we need to pursue that while we still have a country left. There are 435 people in the United States House of Representatives who have the power to bring articles of impeachment. Then there are 100 members of the United States Senate with the authority to remove any traitors who have been impeached.

As a side note it should be noted that it is unrealistic to compare this to the impeachment and non-removal from office of Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton was rightfully impeached, not for having sex in the oval office, but for lying to Congress and that is a crime.

The Senate rightfully didn’t remove Clinton from office because the whole thing was about the sexual exploits and extra-marital affair of Bill Clinton. Using your own set of morals you can either approve or disprove of that personal action but it (by itself) did not rise to the level of removal from office of the President of the United States.

Back to our elected Representatives and Senators. What did these people do for us yesterday? What are these people doing for us today? What are these people going to do for us tomorrow? They work for us so what are we going to do about it?

We are the most free people in the world and we have a constitution that guarantees that freedom to us. That constitution demands that ALL public officials, upon taking office, swear an oath in public to support and defend the constitution against ALL enemies. That in turn guarantees to each of us our protected freedom.

Keep in mind that even the citizens of North Korea are born with rights endowed by their creator and that these are the SAME rights that we as Americans possess and enjoy every day. As Americans we acknowledge this in our Declaration of Independence by saying that ALL men are created equal.

The only difference between us (the most free people in the world) and the North Koreans (the least free people in the world) is that we have a constitution that guarantees our freedom. We have a constitution that forces our politicians to publicly swear an oath to that effect, but the North Koreans have no such constitution that holds their politicians accountable to the people.

Every day we allow our politicians to shred a little more of the Constitution. Once the Constitution is gone, gone also is that guarantee of protection of our rights and freedoms. Remembering the North Koreans should be a constant reminder to us of the extreme importance of our Constitution.

The Constitution of the United States not only provides us with the answer on how to act in this situation but it tells us when to take that action. If we lose our freedom we lose our rights and our ability to take that action. Time is running out!

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Two Cents @twocents

@kevlar I am curious what you think about Bowe Bergdahl’s father Bob Bergdahl. I have been reading reports about his controversial statement at the White House: ‘bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim’

Apparently Bob Bergdahl said these words at the White House on TV. Which is now bringing a lot of criticism. People are saying he basically claimed the White House for Islam. I havent made up my mind yet.

You can read what the statement means HERE:

I think it makes sense that he would say something in Arabic because his son Bowe reportedly no longer speaks English.

I pretty much agree that this is uncharted territory for the US to bring home a deserter and treat him as a Hero. Deserters are typically met with death, or treated as traitors not Heros.

@coffeeaddict @ross-bryan-31 @policysigh

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Kevlar @kevlar


Two Cents:

I am not sure my personal opinion of Bob Bergdahl is important but I don’t hold him in high regard. I honestly believe he hurt his son very badly with his speech at the Rose Garden and other video tapped interviews he has done.

In my opinion it was not wise for him to speak in Arabic or Pashto. Nor was it wise, in my opinion, for him to have spoken from the Koran. While these things are certainly his right to do, sometimes a careful analysis of the situation can temper your judgement.

He said that his son was having difficulty speaking English. I don’t buy that for a second although I have never taken five years off from speaking English. However I will say this. I have spoken English all my life yet I didn’t start riding a bicycle until maybe ten years old. Then I stopped riding a bike about 18 or 20 years old. All that time I kept speaking English though.

My point is that I have considerable more experience speaking English than I have riding a bike and I have been absent from bike riding for about 15 years now and last month I got on a bike and rode away without difficulty. I believe I could abstain from speaking English (if forced) for considerably more than five years without problem. The use of foreign language by the father was pathetic theatrics and nothing more. Not only that but considering the circumstances it was hurtful to the American people. The evidence of that is overwhelmingly apparent today.

There are many questions surrounding Bowe Bergdahl and his departure from his post. I believe that the evidence is overwhelming that he left his post willingly and that constitutes desertion. Desertion is bad and in time of war it is really bad.

As for collaborating with the enemy, there is much to support that as well but I will wait for the evidence to appear before making that call.

One thing is for certain and that is because of the many questions of misbehavior in front of the enemy, the one thing that America did not need over any of this was a father who even appeared (regardless of whether he was or not) to be sympathetic to the Taliban. That will be a lifelong scar that the son will wear and it is due to the ill-spoken words of the father. Very sad indeed. I’m glad my father was never that careless in his love for his son.

To take that very important point farther, the father trying to depict the son as being in any way, shape, or form sympathetic to the enemy was devastating to the son’s cause. Even if this was unintentional this was devastating to the son.

The father is on video stating that “he was not there for national security.” Amazingly every other soldier who was there was there for national security. The father goes on to say “he was not there because he lost a personal friend on 9/11. He was there because the way he was raised forced him to have compassion.”

I think many Americans look at that as to how it applies to this situation in particular and think that is an example of failed parenting. For the sake of clarity, there is nothing wrong with your parents teaching you compassion. There is a place for compassion but that place is not the battlefield.

That video can be seen here: Starting at about 2 minutes 20 seconds

This is absolutely devastating to his son’s cause. If Bowe Bergdahl is to have any chance of redemption in the eye of the American citizen, the first thing he must do on arrival on American soil is denounce his father (those words of his father) aggressively and unquestionably. Bowe needs to make it clear that his father misspoke and that he went to Afghanistan to fight to defend the national security of the United States and the rights and freedoms of the American people. I am not going to hold my breath that this will happen.

Such is my opinion of Bob Bergdahl but as I said, I don’t think my opinion of him is important. What is important, far more important than Bowe Bergdahl could ever imagine, is the damage done to this country.

This country will get over Bowe Bergdahl and his desertion. Throughout history we have always recovered from deserters (yes, most of them were shot but we got over it, and so did they). What we may not ever recover from is the intentional damage done to this country by the resident of this country.

Senator Tom Daschle, Democrat from South Dakota, during the 107th Congress introduced Senate Joint Resolution #23 on 14 September 2001. It overwhelmingly passed the United States Senate by a vote of 98 – 0

That went on to the House of Representatives where it passed on 14 September 2001 as well. It overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 420 – 1 with the only “nay” vote coming from Congresswoman Barbara Lee of the California 9th District.

After overwhelming passage by both chambers of the United States Congress the bill was signed into law by the President of the United States on 18 September 2001.

This bill became known as the “Authorization for Use of Military Force” subsequent to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 in which some 3,000 innocent Americans were murdered on the streets of America.

Here are just a few lines from that bill:

“Whereas, on September 11, 2001, acts of treacherous violence were committed against the United States and its citizens; and

Whereas, such acts render it both necessary and appropriate that the United States exercise its rights to self-defense and to protect United States citizens both at home and abroad; and

Whereas, in light of the threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by these grave acts of violence; and

Whereas, such acts continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States; and

Whereas, the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States: Now, therefore…”


(a) IN GENERAL.—That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

This pretty much sounds like those listed in Sec 2(a) are most definitely defined as our ENEMIES.

Even a casual analysis will reveal that the Taliban is/was an organization which “aided the terrorist attacks…” and even more clearly, in case the reader is incapable of casual analysis, is the well known FACT that the Taliban “harbored” al Qaeda as they planned, trained, and equipped to carry out the attacks on the United States. This is UNDENIABLE. To be clear, what is undeniable is the FACT that, among others, the Taliban is officially an enemy of the United States of America.

18 USC 2381 defines Treason as follows: “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned…”

The United States Constitution, Article III Section 3, is the authority for this definition found in 18 U.S. Code.

Don’t confuse the notion of giving food/water/medical attention to captured enemy personnel as “aiding and comforting.” These actions are required by the Geneva Convention because once captured, the enemy assumes the status of “Prisoner of War” as opposed to “enemy combatant.”

Bolstering the ranks of top leadership is most definitely “aiding” the enemy and it is certainly damaging to the United States. The release of the five top leaders of the declared enemy of the United States, especially while we are STILL at war with them, is clearly “aiding” the enemy.

The founding fathers recognized this as a very serious issue, that of betraying the faith and commitment to the country to which you swear allegiance. Article II Section 4 of the United States Constitution requires that those impeached for and convicted of treason SHALL be removed from office.

Just a casual observation:

It is clear that the Taliban, among others, are the formally declared enemy of the United States.

It is clear that releasing five top level commanders of that declared enemy is beneficial to that enemy and damaging to the United States ESPECIALLY if released while we are still at war with them. It is very clear that this is “aiding the enemy.”

It is clear beyond doubt that “aiding the enemy” is defined as “treasonous” and a simple reading of the Constitution requires the removal from office of those responsible.

The elected officials in Congress are supposed to be intelligent, capable people who know this better than the casual observer. We can be certain beyond doubt that based on the actions of Congress to date, there are precious few intelligent and capable people in that institution.

I wonder if there are any “casual observers” in Congress who might be able to figure this stuff out? We hired you to represent us and we expect you to start any day (you were elected a long time ago, decades ago in some cases). Elections are just around the corner and the job applications are open. We, the American people are accepting interviews for your perspective replacements, so get to work and prove to us that you are worthy of our vote.

The President’s number one job is to protect and defend our rights and freedoms. He has no higher duty than to protect and defend our rights and freedoms.

He passively failed that responsibility during the attacks on the United States in Benghazi in 2011. Passive failure means that he failed the American people by doing absolutely nothing toward his sworn duty.

Then he actively and intentionally failed that task again when he bolstered the leadership of our declared enemy with the release of the five Taliban terrorist commanders. This time his act of disloyalty to the American people was more sinister because this time he actively and intentionally harmed our country and our freedom.

It is too late for the President to do his job. However, it is not too late for Congress to do their job but the clock is ticking.

The “Authorization for Use of Military Force” can be found at:

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Two Cents @twocents

@kevlar I completely agree. Whoever is responsible for releasing the 5 terrorists has aided our enemies no doubt. Although now, the administration is blaming Secretary Chuck Hagel. See this article: Now the White House says Hagel made final call on Bergdahl as criticism of Obama over prisoner swap mounts | Mail Online

I wonder if this is because of the mounting pressure against Obama for the swap.

I guess we will just have to keep following the story to see what happens.

As far as Bowe and Bob Bergdahl go, I think Bowe has denounced his father. He is in fact refusing to speak to him.

@ross-Bryan-31 @epharmd @jlriggs57aol-com @policysigh @juliaw @coffeeaddict

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Kevlar @kevlar


Two Cents:

The President of the United States is the Commander-in-chief and his number one and ONLY job is to defend our nation, our rights, and our freedoms. There is not one duty he has, or the rest of the federal government for that matter, that is not geared toward the protection of our freedom.

When I say this is his ONLY job I don’t mean that his job is easy or requires minimal time and effort such that he can go golfing all the time. To the contrary, this single job is so monumental that he has fully one-third of the United States Government at his immediate disposal to make certain that he can do his job. Incidentally the other two-thirds of the federal government are there to help him do that job correctly and in accordance with our Constitution.

The President publicly swears an oath to that effect. Coincidently so do those under him and that includes Hagel. For one thing, it doesn’t matter what Hagel does or doesn’t do, the president is accountable to the people for the national security of this country and there are NO EXCEPTIONS.

Let’s assume that Hagel unilaterally released these five terrorists and compromised national security in the process. There is no way he could have done this by himself but for the sake of conversation let’s assume this happened. The President would have to immediately act on his sworn oath to support and defend the Constitution (by extension the nation and people) against ALL enemies both foreign and domestic…

If this were true and Hagel unilaterally released those prisoners and by doing so compromised national security, thus becoming an enemy of the Constitution, the president would have to immediately arrest Hagel, as in physically arrest doing the proper paperwork later, because of his new status of ENEMY of the Constitution (by extension the nation and people). Has this happened or do we expect it to happen? The President knows that he MUST take this action immediately if Hagel indeed released these prisoners and thereby compromised national security. This has not happened nor will it happen because the president knows that any release of these prisoners must ultimately have the approval of the commander-in-chief (himself).

Coincidently and as a side-note to the topic, there is apparently a law that the president must notify Congress of release of GITMO prisoners 30 days in advance. Some believe this law to be unconstitutional and perhaps it is. One can argue that prisoners captured in war are ultimately under the authority of the commander-in-chief. However there are two things working against the president here.

First is that a law that has passed both chambers and been signed into law by the president is in fact a law that must be followed. The ONLY time it can be ignored due to unconstitutionality is when it has been properly deemed unconstitutional and properly struck down by a court of law and to my knowledge no court has struck this down.

If the president knew at the time he signed the bill into law that it was unconstitutional (it is reported that he did) then shame on the president for compromising his integrity and lying to the American public. You can take this same logic to both chambers of Congress and if they knew it was unconstitutional when they were debating it yet passed it anyway then shame on them for selling out the American public. This is why we have elections so we can get rid of these people who lack integrity (its called accountability). Unfortunately the American people are often so uninformed that they will happily re-elect these lying idiots.

Secondly, no matter if the law for notification of Congress 30 days prior is Constitutional or not, the president has sworn an oath to protect and defend, and providing aide and comfort to the enemy in time of war is counter to that oath. This by itself would have stopped anyone with an ounce of integrity.

Blaming this on Hagel is just a deflection and sadly many uninformed Americans will buy it and see it as though Obama had no say in the matter. Intelligent people will see it for exactly what it is: the United States of America and the freedom-loving people therein being sold out by their president (again).

Supporters of this president will try to paint those who see through this as “racists” because they “hate” the first black president. They will call us “racists” because they lack the ability to read and understand the Constitution. If you want proof, ask them detailed questions on the Constitution. These idiots who scream “racism” are on the very top of the list of uninformed Americans.

If Hagel is ultimately responsible for this he must be removed by the most expeditious means because he would be an extreme danger to this nation. Hagel, no matter what you might think of him (and I don’t hold him in high regard) is not ultimately responsible. If you wish to infer what needs to be done in realty, go ahead. I won’t, in writing, go any farther than to say that Congress needs to act and they need to act NOW.

The Constitution is clear on what needs to be done. It not only tells us what to do but it tells us when to do it. Ironically the Declaration of Independence tells us what is likely to happen if we don’t act in our national self-interest.

To put it bluntly, that 3:00 am phone call that the president refuses to answer is now ringing in the halls of Congress. It has been ringing in the Whitehouse for at least two years. How long do you think it will ring unanswered in Congress?

Interesting to see that you opined that Bowe might have denounced his father. I hope so because even though this by itself won’t clear him in the public eye, it would be a start. However, as much as I want this to happen for the sake of the country, I don’t think he is refusing to speak to them for this reason. I think he has received advice, either from legal sources or from psychological sources, to not converse with them for now. I could be wrong but I don’t think so.

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Coffee Addict @coffeeaddict

And the plot thickens… The daily beast obtained some letters from Bowe Bergdahl to his family while he was in captivity.

Before I give you my opinion… I’ll let you read it for yourself:


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First, what was Bergdahl’s state of mind to leave his unit. If I would be a deserter I would do it in Germany, Canada or Mexico. It would certainly not happen in the middle of Afghanistan. The only word that comes to mind is MAD!
Secondly, Israel shows how much it values its soldiers by exchanging one for one thousand. Regardless of the situation America must do the utmost to bring back any and all of its soldiers. Their families deserve this. We must negotiate with our enemy, whether it is another nation or terrorists.
And we should be commending his father for his effort in getting his son back. Why attack him for whatever he said?

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Kevlar @kevlar



Please, out of respect for the rest of us it would be helpful if you can provide some analysis, especially when your statements are so contentious. Certainly you are entitled to your opinion and there is no law that states that you must support your opinion, but it would be nice if you could do that for us. Thank you!

I understand, although I do not condone, what you are trying to say in your first paragraph. Your point was the location of Afghanistan versus some other country like Germany, Canada, or Mexico. Your point is made and the point itself is valid (in my opinion).

However when you make the statement “If I would be a deserter I would do it…” you lose most if not all credibility with your reader. Most Americans, and certainly anyone who has worn the uniform, are offended by someone who is/was/or even hints that they would desert. I don’t think you meant to even hint that you would desert but this is of such importance that it s advisable, especially in light of the Bergdahl thing, to not even come close to that. You lose credibility and you lose it very fast. That in turn devalues every thing else you might say.

Even though Israel is an important ally of ours, we are not Israel. If they feel the need to swap 1000 for one then so be it. That has NOTHING to do with what we should or should not do. We, like Israel, are a sovereign country and we make our own decisions.

Your following statement is very concerning and I hope you can clarify it for us: “Regardless of the situation America must do the utmost to bring back any and all of its soldiers. Their families deserve this.”

If you MUST do the “utmost” and do it without limitation and clearly you did not include any limitations, then is it feasible and logical to say that we will cede all the land and territories of the United States west of the original thirteen colonies to the Taliban in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl?

Why wouldn’t we do that if we “MUST” do the “UTMOST” and do it without limitation. I assume that if you thought limitation was important then you would have included some of those limitations.

This isn’t logical yet it appears to be the point from which you would start the negotiations. I served in uniform for 22 years and I recognize the value of “leaving no soldier behind” and believe me that was indeed a comfort.

However, we do leave people behind. Why? Several reasons but to start that discussion it needs to be clarified that contrary to the point the president tried to make to justify his actions, there is no LAW that states we must recover every soldier. The presidents words were slightly different, with just enough wiggle room for plausible deniability, but this is the message he wanted the American people to get because he believed this would justify his actions of releasing the “Taliban Five.” In other words, if the American people believed he had no other option, they would excuse the lapse in judgement and write it off as something the president didn’t want to do but was required to do. If this sounds like a “stretch” consider this – it worked on you.

We left people behind in Vietnam. How many are still Missing In Action from that war? We left Scott Speicher behind in Desert Storm and were unable to account for his whereabouts for some twenty years. We try to not leave people behind but it happens. If there was a law against it, and there is not but the president tried to infer that there is, the commander-in-chief would probably be in jail for breaking that law.

My point is that while it is good policy to make an effort to NOT leave people behind, it happens.

As for your statement that “Their families deserve this” I agree and disagree at the same time. The families (as all Americans do as well) deserve sound leadership from the president/commander-in-chief. The families deserve to know that their loved one was not killed or captured in vain. If they lose a family member in war they deserve to know that their loved one was lost while defending the national security of the United States, which in turn means that their loved one was lost defending their freedom. The death of a soldier is never what anyone wants, but if duty calls and that person is lost, it is comforting to know that they were lost doing something honorable, and defending the freedom of the American people is always honorable regardless of what the president says.

As a side note and I say this to illustrate the provably wrong and disgraceful stance of Bergdahl’s father, our nation dropped bombs in Libya in 2011 (before the terrorist attacks in Benghazi) and our stated mission there was to protect the Libyan people in an internal civil war that had absolutely nothing to do with the national security of the United States.

If you believe it to be morally honorable (and you certainly may) to defend those involved in an internal civil war in a sovereign nation then by all means, join a mercenary force or join the peace corps. The United States CANNOT get involved using offensive combat tactics in an internal civil war in a sovereign nation when the national security of the United States is not an issue.

For clarity, our national security was not at stake in Libya in 2011 so anyone we killed by dropping bombs on them were MURDERED and the commander-in-chief would have blood on his hands. To poor salt in that wound, had we lost people in that illegal war they would have died in the commission of an illegal act and that is dishonorable to the family and to this nation.

We came dangerously close to doing exactly that AGAIN with our near involvement more recently in Syria. You might recall that Putin rescued our president from that fatal error.

It is more likely than not that we will get involved to some degree in Iraq due to recent events. There are legitimate reasons to do this but that legitimate reason can ONLY be to finish what we started and that would be to make the United States of America safer from terrorist attacks from within or supported by Iraq or forces from within Iraq. However, this is not likely to happen because it would first take an admission by our president that he and he alone was wrong in his decision that the Iraq war (part of the war on terror) was over. In order to get involved in Iraq again, legally, he would need to admit that he was wrong to pull out. This isn’t likely to happen.

What is likely to happen, if we do get involved, is for our president to declare that the use of combat/offensive tactics in Iraq (after we have already pulled out) is needed to protect the Iraqi people. Again, while this may be morally satisfactorily to some Americans, anyone wanting to do that needs to join a mercenary force or the peace corps.

The “protection” of Iraqi people is NOT a national security interest of the United States and because of that the use of our combat offensive forces in Iraq would be illegal. To state the obvious again (because it can’t be stated enough for some liberals), any use of offensive combat tactics by the United States military in Iraq MUST be proceeded by a statement that we are going to “finish” the job of defending the national security of the United States. This is basically an admission on the part of the commander-in-chief that he pulled out before the threat to our national security was put down.

Back to Bergdahl and your next statement: “We must negotiate with our enemy, whether it is another nation or terrorists.” I’m sorry but that is one of the most irresponsible anti-American statements I have heard lately. If you want to wait until AFTER the war on terrorism is over and THEN negotiate with them, or negotiate with them as part of their unconditional surrender (the return of captured soldiers is normally discussed at this point), that would be fine. However, the war is NOT over and as such the exchange of personnel needs to have substantial military oversight. Clearly there was no military oversight on the trade for Bergdahl (please don’t tell me that Hagel’s involvement constitutes military oversight).

Your final statement requires attention too. That statement was “And we should be commending his father for his effort in getting his son back. Why attack him for whatever he said?”

The statements by his father from the Rose Garden are some of the most anti-American statements ever uttered on video from that microphone. There is only one person who has said more anti-American things from that location and that person was also there that day.

Bob Bergdahl publicly admitted that his son did NOT go over there for national security purposes (this is actually on another video referenced in this thread) but went there because he was “taught compassion.” Compassion is a worthy quality to teach your kids and I’m glad they taught Bowe what it means to be “compassionate.” Its too bad they didn’t teach Bowe to be honest, to have integrity, and hold up to and be accountable to all promises he made. Bowe Bergdahl took an oath to support and defend the Constitution… his reason for being in Afghanistan was exactly that and NOTHING more.

His father, by his statements made it clear that his son Bowe had no loyalty to the United States of America and the oath he swore. Bob Bergdahl made it clear that his son was consciously acting in an anti-American manner. As a veteran myself and one who also has a father who is a veteran, I certainly hope Bob Bergdahl was wrong about his son and I hope that the first words we hear from Bowe (I will graciously give him five minutes to do this) are to aggressively strike down the words of his father. Do I believe Bowe has the integrity to do this? No I don’t but I hope he does.

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Scott @tscott

There is more to be known about the matter but shouldn’t there already have been an investigation into whether or not he was a deserter? One of my biggest gripes is this, many are acting/treating him like a hero, he isn’t, and it seems to be lost in the argument the men that died searching for this idiot. If he “walked away” and is such as claimed of him “having does this before” then not only is he a moron but why wasn’t he punished by the military then?

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Lisa @lcraighead

I think that all the facts are definitely not in. This man may indeed turn out to be a deserter, but he should face a trial in a military court, not the court of public opinion in the media. The fact that there were disciplinary and operational problems in his unit makes me more sure that we need to wait for the facts to come out before passing judgement.
The statement that the father made in the Rose Garden , bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim (sp?) is a traditional blessing, not a claim of taking anything. The exact same words have been spoken in many instances by many leaders and it was understood that it was a polite and common blessing.
Mr. Bergdahls behavior in boot camp and once he was deployed should have put up red flags about his mental health and ability to be in a war zone. nothing was done on the other occasions that he had walked away.
The men killed form his unit were not killed looking for him. they were on other regular patrols after the search had been called off, though they were supposed to continue to keep an eye out.
I have to wait until the facts are known about what the men in his unit have been saying. The one interview I have seen was with a man from his unit that had received a dishonorable discharge from the military. I don’t know how reliable his word is.
My point is that there has been massive misinformation put out there in the media. As far as he Taliban, they no doubt are an organization that commits and supports acts of terror and should be opposed, It was Al-Qaeda members from Saudi Arabia that perpetrated the 9/11 attacks.
That seems to get lost in the outrage that is the default reaction of many members of government. It has become the practice of some to skip the briefings that would provide the information that they publicly demand. Demanding instant gratification,instant justice. That is not how our government is structured.
Srg Bergdahl is still an american citizen under the authority of the United States Military. We as a nation have to give him his right to a trial. I believe there will be a court marshal trial and I will respect what ever justice that the military court sees fit to hand down.
Not bringing him home should never have been an option. Unlike some nations we have a system of governing and legislation that needs to be adhered to. We can never leave a member of our military behind, we can and will find out the truth. I think he will probably end up standing trial in military court.

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Julia Wotten @juliaw

Only Republicans could find a way to be angry about bringing an American soldier prisoner of war home. Literally this President could have chosen Ted Cruz to be his running mate and Republicans would find a way to hate or discredit Ted Cruz. This is ridiculous. Regardless of whether he was a deserter, even a traitor, we do not leave Americans behind. We needed to bring him home, interview him, figure out what happened to him and who he is, and then decide what to do with him. Maybe it was premature to start calling him a hero. But in my honest opinion, any American that was held captive for 5 years is a hero in my eyes.

Really… should we have just left him there? Would you be happy then? What if his health was diminishing. What if he had died while still captive? Would you be attacking the President and his administration for not getting him? This is absolutely ridiculous none of the facts are in yet, its all speculation, and its all spin.

Lets figure out what happened, who he is, and then punish Bergdahl accordingly if there is any punishment due.

But our President and his team deserve nothing but praise for bringing an American soldier POW home.

@peter-t-burke @twocents

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Kevlar @kevlar



If you are going to include me in the address line of your posts, and I am thankful that you did, please read my previous posts first so that you don’t risk making a fool of yourself as you nearly did here.

I am speaking specifically about this statement of yours: “Only Republicans could find a way to be angry about bringing an American soldier prisoner of war home.”

If you read my previous posts on this thread you would realize that you are causing me of something I did not say or do, or even infer. Actually I said the opposite of what you are accusing me.

Please allow me to use your thought to start this.

Only Julia Wooten could find a way to be angry about someone whom she opposes suggesting that we do what we reasonably can do to bring an American soldier home.

If you haven’t yet figured it out I have quoted from my previous post that which if you could read and understand English would direct you to alter your senseless accusations:

“Bergdahl was over there because he was sent there by this country. What he did or didn’t do while there is a matter of importance and concern but the bottom line is that he deployed at the request of the American citizen through the constitutionally prescribed and proper command structure.

That said it is logical that no matter what Bergdahl did we should try to get him back. In his case we sent him there and we should try to get him back to face court-martial for desertion. I say “try” to get him back because if the only way to get him back is to further damage our national security then it just sucks to be him (Bergdahl) and the national security of the United States is more important than one soldier.

That may sound cold but every soldier understands that when they sign on the dotted line and as a constant reminder of that obligation one could mention the name of every person who has ever died in service to this nation. The bottom line is that we try to get our people back but WE DO NOT RISK NATIONAL SECURITY in so doing.

However, that is exactly what we did when we released five extremely dangerous terrorists. These people should NEVER be freed. At the very least they should be locked up (and there is legal precedence for this) until the danger to the United States of their release is no longer a factor. Usually this is when the war is over but as these are illegal enemy combatants and terrorists, this war will never be over until all terrorists are dead. Long story short, these people should remain in prison for the rest of their lives.”

Julia, I hope that having a second chance to read what you neglected to read the first time will give you a chance to pause and reflect on your extremely partisan politics (sadly I doubt you have that ability).

Lets take a look at the rest of what you wrote.

Your statement – “Regardless of whether he was a deserter, even a traitor, we do not leave Americans behind.”

I think I proved beyond doubt that we do leave people behind (those missing in action in Vietnam, Scott Speicher, some others). That said we live by a creed that we don’t leave people behind and that knowledge is absolutely essential to the peace of mind of every soldier. However, every soldier also knows that national security will not be sacrificed to rescue them.

To be clear, risks will be taken to recover them, yes, but national security will not be sacrificed. However, we now have a new standard. That new standard is that if the only way to rescue you is to compromise national security, it sucks to be you.

That is UNLESS you happen to be a deserter and then not only will we risk the lives of a rescue team for you but we will absolutely sacrifice national security to get you back.

If you are a deserter we will rescue you no matter how many American lives (including innocent civilians in your home town) we have to risk. I can’t think of a better way to encourage soldiers to desert their post and their fellow soldiers than that. However, it won’t work on a big scale because of the American spirit of the soldier (few exceptions, such as Bergdahl).

Your next statement worthy of intense scrutiny (because of its anti-American meaning) is as follows: “But in my honest opinion, any American that was held captive for 5 years is a hero in my eyes.”

Are you really trying to tell me that someone who takes an oath to defend your rights and freedoms as an American against those who would kill you if given a chance, if that person decides that you Julia are no longer worth the oath he swore (to defend your freedom), you will still consider him a “hero?” After he compromised your freedom and security you would still consider him a hero?

Please tell me that you have at least some patriotic blood in you. I certainly hope you do but this actually goes a long way to explain some of your anti-American positions in posts all over this site.

You go on to say: “What if his health was diminishing. What if he had died while still captive?”

Neither one of these statements have any bearing whatsoever on anything. Regardless of the soldiers health we should make an effort to rescue him (or his remains if applicable). However, as I have said many times already, regardless of the health of the soldier WE DO NOT COMPROMISE NATIONAL SECURITY FOR ONE PERSON. Such is the nature of warfare.

Your statement: “This is absolutely ridiculous none of the facts are in yet, its all speculation, and its all spin.” This is also extremely incorrect.

It is true that not all of the facts are in yet. For example we don’t yet know if Bowe Bergdahl collaborated with the enemy (a treasonous act and I hope if this is proven you will drop your hero worship of him). However, we do have enough facts to determine that Bowe Bergdahl indeed deserted his post in time of war. Perhaps if you could read and understand English you would know this. As you have proven in your last post you do not possess this ability.

And last but certainly not least your final sentence is chocked full of extremely blind partisanship and a complete lack of appreciation for your rights and freedoms as an American.
That statement is: “But our President and his team deserve nothing but praise for bringing an American soldier POW home.”

As a combat veteran who served this country for 22 years I find this statement of your’s to be extremely offensive. I have a disability from OEF/OIF that I will deal with for the rest of my life but that pales in comparison to those American heroes who gave their lives defending your freedom. These guys paid the ultimate price for you because our national security was compromised (you might recall that we were attacked by terrorists on 9-11-2001 when the freedom of some 3,000 innocent Americans was snuffed out). Now in a blatant attempt to show contempt for those who died on the battlefield for you, you are heaping praise on the “President and his team” for intentionally compromising national security even more.

Julia, if you don’t like this country keep in mind that you have the freedom to leave (the North Koreans don’t even have the freedom to leave the country they hate, but you sure do). However, most Americans do love their country and are appreciative of those who volunteer to lay down their lives to defend this country.

By the way; POW – not so much. Deserter who sought refuge in the camp of the enemy – yes

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@Kevlar …. ‘Please tell me that you have at least some patriotic blood in you’, ‘I have quoted from my previous post that which if you could read and understand English’, ‘because of its anti-American meaning’, ‘if you don’t like this country keep in mind that you have the freedom to leave’….. Maybe I missed a few but your posts remind me of the WSJ, TOO LONG to keep me interested in reading. It is amazing to me that for 22 years you fought for this country and freedom and yet you are so offensive and condescending when one person disagrees with your views. Perhaps you do not like the the foremost article of our bill of rights? Or you like freedom for yourself and those who have your views?
You missed my the point I was trying to make and I did not accuse you of not understanding our English language. Are you ‘patriotic’ and true American because you advertise your service to your country? Have you considered that some of us do not want to commercialize a personal decision to volunteer and serve? But you do and it is your right. You earned it! But it is not un-American not to volunteer and it does not make you less of an American if you did not serve.
To recap… in my opinion Bergdahl went mad. And after an investigation of what really happened he should be discharged. His five years in captivity are enough of a punishment.
And common sense dictates that you do not risk two, three, five or ten lives for one.
Lets disagree and still remain respectful.

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Peter T. Burke @peter-t-burke



I would appreciate your having some of the civility you talk about and not include me in your bitch fit diatribes.

I had enough when you did your little temper tantrum in response to something I wrote and showed what sort of person you are. Your personal attacks are not worthy of a response.

I doubt that you were ever in the US military because the folks there would have taught you some manners and you probably would not survive that many lessons.
I am surprised that you remain on Volkalize as the in-house troll.

I didn’t ask to be included in your diatribe so keep your trash talk to your self there Louise.


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Kevlar @kevlar



I said nothing about you nor to you but I think I see the problem and it is clearly my fault. When Julia wrote the post to which I responded she clearly included my name in the address line. Then without specifically addressing any one person to whom she included in that post, she cut into everyone on the list.

Some of the things she included to us all were inconsistent with what I had previously written and she had accused me of saying things I did not say and not saying things I had said. She would have caught this had she read my posts and that was my point to her. Sadly it escaped you.

You can argue that she wasn’t talking about me in particular but then I would submit that she addressed it to several of us and never singled out anyone specifically. Therefore everything she said was directed to everyone in the address line.

If I did anything wrong, and I think I did but I didn’t know you weren’t very good at logic anymore (at one time I considered you to be pretty smart but I am re-evaluating that), it would be that I copied her address line into my post and that is how your name got in there.

I am truly sorry that you were unable to see that in my post I specifically addressed the words to Julia and NOT you. Again, the waters were muddied by my copying her list. I have always done it this way and it has never yet been a problem. My guess is that you saw a bandwagon upon which you couldn’t resist jumping. For some being a follower is much easier than being a leader, sorry if that hurts you but it is directed at you.

You were unable to decipher that and I should have realized this inability of yours. Shame on me for not excluding you but I thought it fair to include in the address line all those she included when she badmouthed me.

By the way, Peter, I noticed that you did the exact same thing, that is copy the address line (@xyz) and pasted it into your post, of course removing your name. Funny how when I did it it was wrong but when you do it it is OK. Double-Standard – YES.

I noticed how you were unable to support any of the things you said against me but I am sure that is only a matter of integrity. I’ll let you dwell on that but I know you won’t get it.

As for a civil tone in my posts most of them are very civil. However the stupider (is that a word?) others get the more direct my response gets and of that I am not ashamed. You have seen me do this before when you have made foolish statements which you were unable to support.

As I said to Fred in the last post (I was talking about Julia and what she had written), when someone takes comfort and joy in aiding and abetting the enemy, for which many have fought and died protecting our freedom, I guess I do get very direct and the gloves come off at times. You can call my military service a sham and I won’t debate you on that because it would be a waste of my time for a whole list of reasons. I have more important things to do than justify my military service to you (such as re-arranging my sock drawer).

Is it fair that Julia is free to include you when she badmouths her country (in my opinion but well supported opinion that nobody yet has seen fit to dismantle) but I can’t include you in the response to the same? No, but why let fairness be a consideration when you have a political agenda to support?

I guess since this is a free country you can decide for yourself that one side of the conversation is all you want to hear. This is a liberal tactic and until now I haven’t considered you to be a liberal.

I consider myself warned as of now that you only want to hear one side of the debate. This makes no sense to me but that is your call.

Do me a favor. Support the arguments you made attacking my military service (again I don’t care but I do need something to read and laugh at).

Do me another favor and answer the overarching question that this thread is begging to have answered (nobody is actually asking but it would put this thread to rest). In case you forgot the question it is this: “at what point is it OK for the President/Commander-in-Chief to intentionally compromise the national security of the United States?

This is the heart of the discussion but perhaps you would rather argue debating points and ignore the real subject. Those who are unintelligent tend to do just that. Where do you fit into that, Peter?

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Kevlar @kevlar



Sorry, I got attacked by the insignificant ravings of a lunatic and I had to address that. Your last point first. You stated: “Lets disagree and still remain respectful.”

I agree with that and I support it fully. Disagreement can exist while respect is still there. That said, it appears that you and I have been members here about the same length of time. You and I don’t often, until recently, debate on the same threads and as such I will assume that you have not closely followed some of the anti-American things Julia has put forth. In the post of hers that I answered today it is very clear that she includes statements in her writings that are very anti-American. Perhaps she doesn’t mean them that way but she is consistent in making them, not only on this thread but others.

It would be wrong of me to make those accusations of anyone if I didn’t support them and as such I go to great length to support them if I make them. I even go to the point that some people like you start to complain that my posts remind them of the Wall Street Journal and are so long that you lose interest in reading them.

Out of respect for the person I am addressing I tend to read their post before I dissect it. In fact as you saw I often quote them. I am curious, does your statement about my posts being so long that you lose interest indicate that you are dissecting my posts without reading them? It doesn’t seem that way to me because at least you can address point by point my post whereas she cannot.

Nevertheless, if you are offended on her behalf and you can substantiate the notion that it was something other than the points I addressed, those for which I offered considerable support, I will address my shortcomings in this public format. I support my opinions with logic, rational thought, and fact.

She does not but she is not alone because many people will make bogus statements without considering what they mean and they offer no support whatsoever. Having ones opinion is fine but especially if that opinion is contentious, it should probably be stated as opinion. Everyone knows this, except for maybe Julia, because it is difficult to argue opinion.

I don’t get “offensive and condescending” (as you say) when a person disagrees with my views. On the contrary I offer valid discussion to support my side or if my side is only opinion I try to make it clear that it is “opinion.”

However, in this case, a point needs to be made and let me make it in this fashion: Men and women in uniform are sacrificing their lives on an almost daily basis to defend the freedom of every American. When someone like Julia publicly takes joy, by virtue of informing us all that Bergdahl was a hero and by stating that the President and his team deserve nothing but praise for rescuing a deserter, even when they clearly endangered the lives of EVERY American in the process (by releasing five top level Taliban commanders while we are still at war with them), it does concern me. It should concern every American.

To re-state the obvious, because I imagine that there are a few others that will have trouble understanding this, brave soldiers are dying nearly every day to defend freedom and our President goes out of his way to assist our enemy in their efforts to kill us, yes, I guess I do find that offensive and an example of someone offering up my life and the lives of others in uniform (I am retired now) for what seems like entertainment purposes; I suppose political votes is probably more accurate. This doesn’t seem to bother you and that is interesting as well.

You, seemingly confidently, invoke the first article of the Bill of Rights. I would ask you to study that article in depth because you obviously don’t have a clue what it means. It states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech; or of the press; or the right of the people peacefully to assemble; and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Fred, you strike me as a person who has at least a high school education and likely more than that. Please tell me how you were able to confuse me with congress? In case you didn’t read it properly, this restricts CONGRESS from making laws against these things (plain English). It restricts me of nothing.

For the sake of clarity, Congress cannot pass a law restricting her speech. This has no impact on me. Also for the sake of clarity, should I decide that I needed to restrict her speech, the means by which I do so would be illegal but under other laws. A quick example is in order:

If I decide to restrict Julia from speaking (this is just an example) I would probably wrap duct tape around her head which would force her mouth shut so that she could not speak. There is one problem with that (actually many problems). If I wrap duct tape around her head thus taping closed her mouth, that is assault and assault is ILLEGAL.

Sorry about the lengthy explanation but I needed to illustrate the fact that you should probably go back and study the constitution before you misspeak again. I appreciate it when people support their arguments but that support needs to be good support and this was not.

I seldom invoke my military service and usually only do that to give credibility to what I might have to say regarding what a soldier thinks and such. I look at my service as a personal thing, worthy of talking about but not worthy of bragging about. I think most veterans feel this way about their service.

I have stated in these threads on this site that there are numerous ways to serve your country and wearing the uniform is only one way to do that. If there were no citizens with freedom there would be no need for service members to defend that freedom. I do nothing to advertise my service but on occasion I do wear a t-shirt that might say something like OEF/OIF or MAFFS or something like that but you probably wear a t-shirt that says Ford or Chevy and I doubt that you consider that you are an advertiser for Ford or Chevy.

Bottom line, if past experience gives you credibility to make a statement that you might not otherwise have credibility to say, I see no harm in using it. For the record, I am NOT sorry if my military service offends you. From what you wrote I think it does offend you but at least you still have a right to say what offends you (unlike those people in North Korea who have no rights and no constitution requiring the president to defend those rights and freedoms).

One more statement of yours I feel compelled to comment on. Your second to last statement of the post: “And common sense dictates that you do not risk two, three, five or ten lives for one.” I agree in concept but must first point out a technicality (inconsistency). We often send in a rescue team of more than one person to rescue only one person. That said your point is correct.

Please tell me then why did Obama risk the lives of some 300 million plus Americans (by releasing five top enemy terrorist commanders) for only one person? Note that it really doesn’t matter that the “one” was a disgraced deserter, because YOU NEVER DO THAT. People are getting their shorts in a bunch over one disgraced deserter and they are willing to sacrifice the security of the entire country to get him back. Are the priorities backwards or have we elected to join our enemies in the active and aggressive destruction of America?

This thread can be sufficiently ended by CORRECTLY answering one and only one question and that question can be in the context of retrieving a deserter, retrieving a POW (not at all the same as a deserter), retrieving someone who has been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor or for that matter, anyone. This question can be in the context of ANYTHING you can possibly imagine, to include all the proverbial tea in China.

By the way, I encourage even the smart people on this site (and there are many, you know who you are) to answer that question. I know the answer but clearly Julia doesn’t know the answer and it seems that (with all due respect) Fred doesn’t know the answer either.

That question?


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Peter T. Burke @peter-t-burke



When I joined the US military they educated me on a couple of points;

1. If I walk away and go into town to see some girl or for what ever my reason is as long as I have my dog tags and retain a believable appearance of still being in the military – I will be AWOL. That is punishable under the UCMJ generally under article 77 through 134. AWOL is in the general class of misdemeanors.

2. If I walk away and make it clear that I am not coming back – I ditch my dog tags, military issued gear, clothing, ID, and take on the appearance of being just another civilian – I will be a deserter. Desertion in peacetime is not as significant as desertion in war time but it is very serious – definitely a class B or A felony type crime and it is handled by a Courts Martial. (Still UCMJ Art 77 through 134)

3. If I walk away and act in concert with the enemy by any means I will be a deserter – and – I will be a traitor. My politics simply don’t count.

Benedict Arnold was a highly respected military officer but he was a deserter and a traitor. His name has become the common identification of a deserter and a traitor. You might want to read his Letter to the Inhabitants of America. Clearly he thought he was following his conscience.

In my mind, Bergdahl was a deserter and a traitor. He walked away and joined the enemy. His reasons are irrelevant.

If he developed a problem of conscience with carrying out his duties he had a well defined method of refusing to be a part of the issue. All he had to do was to go to his commanding officer and make it known that he had become a conscientious objector and that he would not be able to carry out certain morally objectionable tasks. There would be a price for doing that but it would be nothing like the price he will pay for desertion and treason.

This has nothing to do with being a Republican. The majority of people in the US have served in the military in one capacity or another and that same majority understands what is wrong with what Bergdahl did.

I hated being in the military. They were constantly telling me what to do and they would not co-operate when I told them what to do. I found them to be stubborn and unco-operative and I was glad when we both finally came to a clear understanding and I got to go back to the ranch.

As hard-headed as I am, it was clear to me that if I dropped my weapon and walked away the US military was not going to be happy about having the opportunity to search the jungle for me so they could give me a ride back to Texas.

What Obama did was make a trade and it has turned out to be a bad trade. Since Obama has no experience with the issue he apparently just got his first lesson in this sort of issue. I don’t like the idea of a military President but it would help if the Commander in Chief had some common cultural experience with us low-born commoners who are required to fight their wars.

Do you think that the lives of US citizens should have been lost to recover somebody who was obviously a traitor and a deserter? How many citizens should be traded to recover one collaborator?

Personally I would have just left him. He is a deserter and a traitor by his actions and I would not have wasted two minutes looking for him.

Do you think that Benedict Arnold, Hanoi Jane, Tokyo Rose, or Lord Hawhaw will be forgiven for their actions and welcomed home as a US citizen in good standing – oh that’s right – Hanoi Jane has made it back home after helping the guys who were actively trying to kill us.

By the way I am not sure how you see this as a “Republican” issue. The first Republican President also took a very hard line towards traitors and deserters. I think the people you are mistaking for Republicans are actually Liberepublicrats.


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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com


I have been out of town for a while and will be again starting Monday. (No phone or internet)

It appears this has turned into quite a hot topic.

Having served in the military myself and having been raised an Army brat, I also have an inside perspective on this situation. Don’t confuse my last statement as saying I am smarter than everyone else, I just have some insight that others may not.

I believe Kevlar’s frustration may stem from a few places on this topic, first of all as Pete has well shown and stated, Bergdahl is a deserter and a traitor. With his desertion he put American lives at risk. Even if Bergdahl never told one bit of information to the enemy, he put lives at risk. When you are a member of any given unit, you perform a certain task in that unit, if you are killed then someone has to do your job and theirs, which means he can do neither at 100%, it is unfortunate but little can be done because death is part of war, however because a link is missing there is greater risk of something going wrong, which means casualties. When someone deserts you have the same situation, someone is doing two tasks and the chance of something going wrong and lives being lost because of it, is greater. Here, the big difference is the soldier that got killed did not purposely abandoned his unit and create that weak link, the soldier that deserts knows that he is creating that weak link but leaves anyway.

Does this kind of behavior infuriate any person who understands the full impact of a soldier who deserts? Yes. Why else would desertion have such a harsh punishment. Should it infuriate someone who understands this, when someone defends the actions of a deserter? I can only speak for myself. I’m with Pete, I would have just left him.

As for obama trading 5 key enemy personnel for a traitor, lets try to put this into perspective.

During the height of WWII, Private Riggs decides he has had enough of the war and decides to defect to the Nazis. In the Allied prison camps are Field Marshal Hermann Goering, Adolf Eichmann, Joseph Mengele, Heinrich Himmler, and Josef Kramer (“The Beast of Belsen”). Does anyone, with any thought processes at all think that Roosevelt would have traded these 5 for the deserter, Private Riggs? Not if Roosevelt was on the biggest bender he had ever been on, would it have happened.

There is no logic, no common sense, no point of tactics that makes this something, anyone would do, ever. There can only be one reason this was done, to curry favor with the muslim extremists. But we can let that be for another discussion.

If Kevlar spoke with a bit of fire in his words, maybe he had good reason. Maybe part of it is the way real, true, veterans are being treated in this country by our Pretender-in-Chief, who is acting like those who served valiantly are not worth his time, but a traitor is now a hero worth saving.

I am not trying to defend Kevlar, he does well enough on his own, but sometimes we tend to see things through our very narrow points of view and not question why someone, who has been there, feels the way they do.

There was a comment made, I don’t care who said it originally. It was said, “if you don’t like this country keep in mind that you have the freedom to leave.”

If you know of another country who’s system of government is better, who’s way of life is better, and who’s economy is better, basically you feel that it is a better country, then I agree, “if you don’t like this country keep in mind that you have the freedom to leave.”

For my last comment I would just like to thank Pete for adding Hanoi Jane to his list of traitors to Our country, it is to our shame that she was not imprisoned a long, long time ago.

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Kevlar @kevlar



Thanks for adding some stability and rational thought to an important debate that was about to go down in flames due to unfounded personal attacks.

While I do not condone personal attacks, as an American I believe that standing up in the face of anti-American speech is absolutely warranted. I also believe that to maintain credibility one must be careful to not get in the mud with pigs because it only annoys the pig and makes you muddy. This is a problem I often face and usually easily conquer, but the more the comments become anti-American and the more I see my fellow Americans supporting that anti-American rhetoric the less cautious I can become.

Again, James, thanks for the nonpartisan stability you provided here.

I find it interesting that a week has gone by since I asked the very simple question “At what point is it OK for the President/Commander-in-Chief to intentionally compromise the national security of the United States of America” and to date nobody has taken a crack at that question.

I even asked the intelligent people on this site to chime in and answer this question, however having seen where this debate has gone I don’t blame those intelligent members if they decide to stay away. Again, why get into the mud with pigs when all you do is annoy the pig. For those who cannot understand the English language, this is a “figure of speech” and I am NOT calling anyone a “pig” but it will be interesting to see who reads this sentence and takes it wrong anyway.

There is only one answer to the question “when is it ok to intentionally compromise national security” and ironically it is only one word long. Even a detailed answer to that question should be only one word long. However, I am sure there are some here who will not be able to provide that answer.

I also think it is interesting to read what Peter wrote AFTER attacking me.

First a personal statement from me regarding the nature of this post. I intentionally did not address this post to Peter specifically because I posted earlier (last week) something that did not mention him at all either directly or indirectly. Then I inadvertently included his name in the address line (@xyz) because I copied the address line from the post to which I was responding and it contained his name. This is something I have always done because it beats typing in all that tedious stuff in an address line.

Certainly this was my error but like I said I have always done it that way and it has never been a problem. In fact most people on this site do it that way and it is not a problem. In further support for what I did regarding the address line, when Peter responded with his personal attack on me he actually did the same thing. I will try to overlook his double standard there.

I am uncomfortable talking about someone behind his back (in this case Peter) but that clearly is the way he wants it and if anyone doesn’t understand that I would suggest they go back and re-read these few posts because his desire was very clear. That said, I would urge anyone who reads this post to please consider this a response not to Peter but to the words and thoughts Peter used in his attack on me. In a debate it is nice if you can debate a person but it is also acceptable to debate an idea put forth by a person.

Peter is actually smart enough to correctly (in some cases but not all) analyze this stuff. Ironically he analyzed this case much the same as I did even though he criticized me for it.

It seems fitting that Peter was unable to work within the confines of a military command structure. Seems he thought he should be able to tell the military what to do. What he doesn’t realize is that the military is not there for him or anyone else new to the system to tell them what to do.

The military is run by experienced people and commanded by the President/Commander-in-Chief (a civilian). The military is not there to be a social experiment to find out if the new recruit can direct the military. They are there to defend our country and our freedom. This is constitutionally driven, not driven by the new recruit. Perhaps that slipped by Peter.

It is ironic to see from what has been written that on the point of recovering Bergdahl I would actually take the side of Julia with one exception. She would trade the national security of ALL Americans for the return of a traitor while I would make an honest effort to get him back but unlike our current president/commander-in-chief I would stop considerably short of sacrificing the national security of the United States. Ironically, Peter who is against everything I have said has publicly chosen to NOT even attempt to recover Bergdahl.

As for not attempting to recover Bergdahl I am not in substantial conflict with that. Personally I would let him rot in the Taliban comfort he chose over and above that of the United States. However, what I want personally is of no consequence and making an effort (a reasonable effort) to get him back to face justice under the UCMJ is acting responsibly.

Peter said: “If he [Bergdahl] developed a problem of conscience with carrying out his duties he had a well defined method of refusing to be a part of the issue. All he had to do was to go to his commanding officer and make it known that he had become a conscientious objector and that he would not be able to carry out certain morally objectionable tasks. There would be a price for doing that but it would be nothing like the price he will pay for desertion and treason.”

Ironically Peter is exactly right here. If the commander ordered Bergdahl into the fight and Bergdahl refused (which he effectively did do) it would be treated as disobeying a direct order and that would be bad for Bergdahl (as he is going to learn, hopefully).

However, unlike the soldier who is ordered to clean the latrine and refuses but due to the lawfulness of the order to clean it he can be FORCED to clean it, Bergdahl would NEVER be put in that situation because a commander would NEVER (if at all possible) bet the lives of the rest of his men on a known weakness.

Keep in mind that if you are acting defensively you will do whatever it takes to survive but a commander will NEVER take this risk offensively if he has an option. The commander’s option here would be to remove Bergdahl from the fight and get a replacement. Peter is correct that Bergdahl would pay a high price for this but he had an option to desertion and he didn’t take it. For this he will pay an even higher price, possibly his life.

Peter went on to say: “What Obama did was make a trade and it has turned out to be a bad trade. Since Obama has no experience with the issue he apparently just got his first lesson in this sort of issue.”

Interesting point of view here and one that many Americans take, much to their peril. Obama certainly did make a “bad” trade, that is for sure. However, last time I went to the car dealer I also made a “bad” trade. Ironically life went on and even I got over the “bad” trade I made rather quickly. My point is to treat what happened here as just a “bad” trade is to sell yourself out, and your fellow American. To be clear I am sure that was NOT Peter’s intention.

Although Peter is very inarticulate in my opinion I do think he is pretty smart at times, although I won’t say always. What Obama did here was aiding and abetting the enemy (and did so in time of war) and that is, by every definition, treasonous.

Certainly this has not yet gone through any court or impeachment proceedings in the House but it is by definition damaging to this country. This has been admitted by nearly all analysts who can look past the party line. Obama has great difficulty looking past the party line but even he has admitted that this can endanger Americans. My point is that this is significantly more than just a “bad” trade and to write this off as such is to give it a level of understanding (or misunderstanding) and acceptance that can lead to the destruction of this country.

Once again, this is more than just a “bad” trade, it is treason. Then to further his point that treason is insignificant (I’m not putting words into Peter’s mouth, a reasonable person can conclude that he believes this) Peter then states that Obama got his “first lesson” in this sort of issue. The mere words “first lesson” indicate that there may be more lessons to follow. This is unacceptable and should be unacceptable in the minds of all freedom-loving Americans.

To even hint that there might possibly be a “second” lesson is extremely concerning. It reminds me of the medieval knight in the Monty Python movie “Holy Grail” who after getting both arms and both legs cut off was still challenging his opponent to a fight declaring that all he had was a “mere flesh wound.” The movie was funny and that is a great one-liner but there is no room for that mindset when it comes to our President/Commander-in-Chief.

You can give the president a second chance when he illegally bails out General Motors and you can give him a second chance when he gives a half billion of our tax dollars to Solyndra (who throws it away) and you can give him a second chance for many of his shortcomings. But when it comes to defending your freedom from those who want to take it from you (perhaps kill you if you don’t convert to Islam) you CANNOT give him a second chance when he makes an obvious and egregious error like that. To call that a “lesson” is to freely offer your freedom to whomever wants to take it from you.

Alas I think I must say it again. Even though I am not talking about Peter personally I am discussing the thoughts and concepts he considered important enough to make public. In light of that, although there is no legal obligation to include his name in the address line, I personally believe there is a moral obligation to include him. Unfortunately he has made it clear that addressing things to him (at least by me) is offensive and unacceptable. Therefore the only solution is to address the matter on the merits and exclude his name in the address line.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com


Kev, I also get my hackles up when I hear Americans spew anti-American rhetoric. If there are things that ANY American does not like, politically, socially, etc., there are steps that have been put in place to change these things and they can be done without badmouthing the country. I feel that most people confuse problems with politicians with problems of the country. It’s not what Our Constitution says or what Our Bill of Rights allows, it’s what the politicians in Washington do that infuriates people. The answer to the problems is not to destroy or invalidate the things that make this country great, the answer is to get the dead weight in D.C. out of there and put some people in there that actually address and back what the citizens of their given state want, liberal or conservative. If you really get down to the nitty-gritty of the thing, there should be no need for political parties because no matter how the politician feels, his actions should reflect what the majority of the people in his state want, period.

As far as obama’s inexperience goes, all I can say is “horsehockey”, he has dozens of advisers for every issue he could be faced with and has no excuse for these stupid decisions he’s been making. He has worsened our economy, he has made us a laughingstock, as far as our foreign relations go, he has constantly lied to us as a people, he has proven himself to be anti-American and does not have the best interest of this country in mind when he does any of these unreasonable things. He has stated numerous times that “he was not informed” of major things that went on in his administration. When he found out that he, as president, is not being kept in the loop of what is going, head’s should have rolled. All of these people, which have been many according to obama, should have been fired, yet none have been. obama is either covering for his own purposeful wrong doing or he is the most inept half-wit we have ever elected, either way he should be gone.

Oh, and in answer to your question, “At what point is it OK for the President/Commander-in-Chief to intentionally compromise the national security of the United States of America”…….Never, none, no.

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Kevlar @kevlar



Well said. The structure of this country is sound. That structure includes the Constitution which includes the Bill of Rights, combined with the Declaration of Independence which serves as a reminder of several things; One: why we are a nation, Two: the sole purpose of a federal government, Three: spells out our rights which are “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and ironically places no limits on those rights so that the only limit on your rights is the point where the exercise of your rights starts to interfere with and deny me of my rights.

The structure of this country is perfect and to the extent that things change as time goes on there is a way to change (or more appropriately “amend”) the Constitution. The reason, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, for us even being a nation is the furtherance of freedom, and that will never change. Nor will the sole purpose of the federal government to protect and defend our freedom ever change, although the liberals are trying hard to make the purpose of the federal government that of illegally caring for the people from cradle to grave.

If the structure of this country is perfect, and to the extent it may not be there are procedures to amend things, and there are still problems then you are right that the real problem is the politicians and their abuse of that sound structure.

Your statement “The answer to the problems is not to destroy or invalidate the things that make this country great, the answer is to get the dead weight in D.C out of there” is timely and could not be more accurate.

If the answer is to remove the dead weight in Washington D.C., why then do we not do that? All it takes is to cast an INFORMED vote during the elections. If everyone did this for six years in a row we could rid the nation of all the political dead weight (it would take six years due to terms of office and Senators are elected for a term of six years).

Please allow me a rhetorical question. If taking back our nation is that simple, as simple as placing a mark next to a name on a ballot, why can we not do that? Are we morons?

Now let me answer that rhetorical question. Yes, a large part of the voting public are morons who refuse to put any rational thought into politics (perhaps just 20 minutes per day to comprehend the current events of the day). This is not rocket science and one does not have to have a degree in geopolitics to understand why one candidate is better than another.

It takes more than a military to defend freedom and if it is done correctly the military will never have to be used. More important than the military in defending our freedom is the American people, specifically the American voter. If we elect good people who faithfully do their job and who can lead on the international scene and are willing account for and stand up to what they say, the world will recognize that steadfastness and act accordingly, which in nearly all cases means that a potential enemy will stop whatever unwanted aggression (Iran or North Korea building and advancing nuclear weapons or Syria using chemical weapons to kill civilians or any country supporting and harboring terrorism).

It is THAT simple yet the American people refuse to participate in the defense of their own freedom. Instead of paying attention to current events and trying to understand the impact they have on geopolitics, many Americans would rather watch “America’s Got Talent” or some entertainment show on television and let the military defend their freedom, that is as long as nobody gets killed in the process.

This never works. A strong military by itself can defend freedom but they can’t do it without killing people, yet that seems to be the way we want it. We want to have our cake and eat it too.

My point (James I know you got my point long ago and probably had the same idea long before either of us joined this site) is that if we invested just a small amount of time each day (like 20 minutes) to educate ourselves in geopolitics so that we could make informed decisions at elections, we could solve nearly all our problems. Again, your statement “The answer to the problems is not to destroy or invalidate the things that make this country great, the answer is to get the dead weight in D.C out of there” hits the nail squarely on the head.

Finally an answer to my question. I didn’t think it would come from you because I knew that you knew the answer all along. I was hoping it would come from someone like Julia because if it had come from her that would be an indication that she is learning from the political debate/discussion that takes place on this site. I am confident that someday she will be able to answer that question (and others like it) on her own and do so correctly.

For clarity, in case someone reads this post they won’t have to go back to find the question, I will re-post it here:

“At what point is it OK for the President/Commander-in-Chief to intentionally compromise the national security of the United States of America?”

I was looking for a one-word answer because any more than one word would be a waste of words. James, being thorough in his analysis as he usually is looked at this question in a three dimensional way (it is a three-dimensional world, maybe more) and answered it from each of those angles.

Again, for the sake of clarity I will repeat James’s answer: “…….Never, none, no”.

Folks James is absolutely correct and you can apply that logic to almost any geopolitical situation this country faces. Are there any more questions on the trade of five Taliban commanders for one deserter (Bergdahl)? The ONLY complete answer to that question, no matter how it is asked, is NEVER, NONE, NO.

Let me re-ask Julia’s original question in a different manner (it was actually a declarative statement when she made it). Should we heap praise on the President for getting back Bowe Bargdahl as Julia would suggest we do? The clear answer is that if we have to intentionally sacrifice national security then not only NO but HELL NO.

Julia, I hope this answers your post where you thought we should treat Bergdahl as a hero and heap praise on the “President and his team” for getting him back. The President sacrificed national security (intentionally) to do that and any support of the effort to sacrifice national security is absolutely anti-American.

Obama sacrificed national security (intentionally) in the process and the only thing you can do to rectify that is become informed and cast an informed vote next time (unlike last time when you re-elected the already known “incompetent” candidate).

The mere fact that you are an American does not, by itself implicate you in this treasonous act. However, when you adamantly support the treasonous act you are by definition part of the problem.

As a side note, I really don’t care if Peter comes to your rescue and supports your anti-American statements again. If he wants to be included in supporting treasonous behavior then so be it. Personally I don’t think he does but his coming to the rescue and support of you and your position brings that into question.

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As a veteran of OEF and OIFx2 it may seem unfair what “were” doing over there. However Bergdahl did sign a contract. If he seems the contract is unjust (in my opinion) he did, he took it upon himself to instill more trust in the PASHTUNWALI. As far as the taliban collaborations, we will never know. He is still a hero for having to leave his family and friends behind for the services. I have experience with a soldier who went AWOL in Iraq, never returned, and not to my knowledge, not a single person cared if he came back.
In my opinion he wanted to just go home. Gaining hindsight and looking back at my deployments I can tell from experience that he was dealing with many MANY MORAL INJURIES as of many of US VETS are facing today. WE WERE THERE FOR THE FUCKING OIL AND POPPY.

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