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Old 25 December 2009, 13:43
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Bowe Bergdahl

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091225/...ptured_soldier

Please pray (if you don't believe in anything in particular, practice positive thinking/remote viewing or something!) for this man.

I ask you to send it to your friends with the same request.

SGMojito

KABUL – The Taliban released a video Friday showing a U.S. soldier who was captured more than five months ago in eastern Afghanistan.
Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl is the only known American serviceman in captivity. The U.S. airborne infantryman was taken by the Afghan Taliban in Paktika province on June 30.
"This is a horrible act which exploits a young soldier, who was clearly compelled to read a prepared statement," said a statement from U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Gregory Smith, spokesman for the NATO-led international force in Afghanistan that confirmed the man in the video is Bergdahl. "To release this video on Christmas Day is an affront to the deeply concerned family and friends of Bowe Bergdahl, demonstrating contempt for religious traditions and the teachings of Islam."
Bergdahl is shown seated, facing the camera, wearing sunglasses and what appears to be a U.S. military helmet and uniform. On one side of the image, it says: "An American soldier imprisoned by the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan."
The man identifies himself as Bergdahl, born in Sun Valley, Idaho, and gives his rank, birth date, blood type, his unit and mother's maiden name before beginning a lengthy verbal attack on the U.S. conduct of the war in Afghanistan and its relations with Muslims. He seems healthy and doesn't appear to have been abused.
The video, which has an English-language narration in parts, also shows images of prisoners in U.S. custody being abused. The speaker says he did not suffer such ill treatment.
A statement read by a Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, appears at the end of the video and renews demands for a "limited number of prisoners" to be exchanged for Bergdahl. The statement says that more American troops could be captured.
The Geneva Conventions, which regulate the conduct of war between regular armies, bar the use of detainees for propaganda purposes and prohibit signatories from putting captured military personnel on display. As an insurgent organization, the Taliban are not party to the treaty.
Statements from captives are typically viewed as being made under duress. The insurgents also released a video of Bergdahl a few weeks after he was captured. In the July 19 video, Bergdahl appeared downcast and frightened.
Bergdahl, who was serving with a unit based in Fort Richardson, Alaska, was 23 when he vanished just five months after arriving in Afghanistan. He was serving at a base in Paktika province near the border with Pakistan in an area known to be a Taliban stronghold. On Friday, NATO said a joint Afghan-international force killed several militants in Paktika while searching for a commander of the Jalaluddin Haqqani militant network that is linked to al-Qaida.
U.S. military officials have searched for Bergdahl, but it is not publicly known whether he is even being held in Afghanistan or neighboring Pakistan.
Lt. Col. Tim Marsano, an Idaho National Guard spokesman who has been serving as a liaison between the family and media, said Friday morning that he had been unable to get in touch with the family in the past day.
The previous day, Marsano said that the family had not seen the video since word of its possible release surfaced earlier this month. He spoke with Bob and Jani Bergdahl, Bowe Bergdahl's parents, earlier this week and described their mood as "anxiously awaiting" any new information about their son.
Marsano said the family still wasn't speaking publicly about Bergdahl's capture.
The man on the video said U.S. officials keep leading America "into the same holes," citing Vietnam, Japan, Germany, Somalia, Lebanon and Iraq.
"This is just going to be the next Vietnam unless the American people stand up and stop all this nonsense," he said.
___
Associated Press writers Deb Riechmann and Jim Heintz in Kabul, Noor Kahn in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and John Miller in Boise, Idaho, contributed to this report.
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Old 25 December 2009, 13:48
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Hate dispensed in force to those holding him in captivity.

Stay strong, private, you're in our thoughts.
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Old 25 December 2009, 13:59
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This the dude that wandered away from base? And who we probably have sent thousands of men in harm's way to recover? Maybe some of them died or were injured?

Same dude?

Yeah, I have better people -- I think -- to send my limited supply of positive thoughts.

I do see the detrimental side of these videos -- in that they may give the badguys a medium otherwise denied. So I certainly send negative thoughts, in the form of hopefully successful bombing runs by our guys, to these people.

The above is not wishing him harm, either. I am simply holding my positive thoughts in reserve until it is demonstrated his disappearance is not due to asshattery on his part....
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Old 25 December 2009, 14:09
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How about putting out those good thoughts...until you know he does not deserve them?

I don't know a thing about this kid except he's in the hands of the Taliban and he's one of ours. That's enough for me.
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Old 25 December 2009, 14:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGMojito
How about putting out those good thoughts...until you know he does not deserve them?
No....
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Old 25 December 2009, 14:29
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Your choice of course, I assume you know more about him than I do in that you make a choice like that.
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Last edited by Purple36; 25 December 2009 at 14:34.
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Old 25 December 2009, 14:48
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Bergdahl willingly left his FOB with some Afghani "friends". He's a strange young man who made very few friends in his unit, thus his Afghani "friends" he hung out with from the local guard force. He left with them to go do some drinking and smoke some hash. His "friends" turned him over to the local Taliban. This is not rumor. I was actively involved in this situation during my last trip over. He is basically AWOL. While I too want him back because he is one of ours, the thought of even one of our guys getting killed or seriously injured trying to recover him makes me want to vomit.
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Old 25 December 2009, 14:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOTB View Post
This the dude that wandered away from base? And who we probably have sent thousands of men in harm's way to recover? Maybe some of them died or were injured?

Same dude?

Yeah, I have better people -- I think -- to send my limited supply of positive thoughts.

I do see the detrimental side of these videos -- in that they may give the badguys a medium otherwise denied. So I certainly send negative thoughts, in the form of hopefully successful bombing runs by our guys, to these people.

The above is not wishing him harm, either. I am simply holding my positive thoughts in reserve until it is demonstrated his disappearance is not due to asshattery on his part....
I am with you in this one!

A lot of good people put their ass on the line searching for him...
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Old 25 December 2009, 16:03
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Best wishes to this young man so that he may return to his family. Whatever his shortcomings, I do wish his a safe trip home (if, in fact, that is actually what he desires).

As far as empathy for his current situation, I agree with the sentiment of others on this thread. Having others place themselves at risk because of the poor decisions of others is nothing new, and is certainly not limited to the military. But it appears his current situation was largely the result of his choices, actions and perhaps beliefs. His recovery is not a top priority in my book.
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Old 25 December 2009, 19:30
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I'm not at all convinced he's even being "held". He was clearly reading, but at some point transitioned to what appeared to me to be a heartfelt, anti-American Imperialism sentiment. He had no appearent fear in his demeanor and seemed quite at home with his-self...at least that was how I read his little youtube vid...
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Old 25 December 2009, 20:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDRODA396 View Post
I'm not at all convinced he's even being "held". He was clearly reading, but at some point transitioned to what appeared to me to be a heartfelt, anti-American Imperialism sentiment. He had no appearent fear in his demeanor and seemed quite at home with his-self...at least that was how I read his little youtube vid...
Agree.
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Old 25 December 2009, 21:41
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Thanks for the info Sharky.
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Old 26 December 2009, 05:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharky View Post
Bergdahl willingly left his FOB with some Afghani "friends" he hung out with from the local guard force. He left with them to go do some drinking and smoke some hash. His "friends" turned him over to the local Taliban. This is not rumor.
Dumbass.
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Old 26 December 2009, 08:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDRODA396 View Post
I'm not at all convinced he's even being "held". He was clearly reading, but at some point transitioned to what appeared to me to be a heartfelt, anti-American Imperialism sentiment. He had no appearent fear in his demeanor and seemed quite at home with his-self...at least that was how I read his little youtube vid...
My question is why the sun glasses. Why would he choose to wear them? I might be being picky but seems like he's trying to look cool. I may be far behind the times but I've never seen a POW wearing them. Seems like one of the captors would have a new pair.
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Old 26 December 2009, 08:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharky View Post
Bergdahl willingly left his FOB with some Afghani "friends". He's a strange young man who made very few friends in his unit, thus his Afghani "friends" he hung out with from the local guard force. He left with them to go do some drinking and smoke some hash. His "friends" turned him over to the local Taliban. This is not rumor. I was actively involved in this situation during my last trip over. He is basically AWOL. While I too want him back because he is one of ours, the thought of even one of our guys getting killed or seriously injured trying to recover him makes me want to vomit.
This situation undoubtedly poses a dilemma. While we should allow the really stupid sheep that are willingly lured away from the flock to be eaten, we still have an obligation as sheepdogs to keep them ALL safe, no matter how stupid, arrogant or how friendly they are with the wolf. While I agree that this one may be better off eaten as opposed to returned to the flock. Do we really get to choose?

This is easy for me to say snuggled into the heart of the midwest, but in similar situations I think what really makes me mad is not so much how stupid he is, but that he is this stupid and somewhere, something inside of me is still called to go and confront the wolf.

Wow, I need a nap now
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Old 26 December 2009, 09:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fat Guy
....we still have an obligation as sheepdogs....
I am soooooooooo glad this word was not in vogue when I was in. I am also glad this word cannot be applied to me in the slightest.

I believe the evidence is as Sharky has commented. If there is really no doubt as to that having been the case, then rather than send good men into harm's way on a "rescue" mission, I would hope sound minds would simply route a couple of air strikes instead. Afterwards, have some forensics people ID the people and gather intel from the site....
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Old 26 December 2009, 09:44
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The weight of the evidence is clearly against Bergdahl. If all in this thread is true, the guy is a colabarative heel. If he were not, his captors would have a snuff video out by this time.
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Old 26 December 2009, 12:40
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...I'd like to see his safe return.
So his family can breathe easy, (they seem to be unwilling victims in this bizarre event) and also so he can bear the full weight of responsibility for his desertion in combat in the face of a belligerent force.
He is still one of ours... if there is any "judgment" to be made on this man it is ours to mete out not the enemies.
It does however seem as though he has made his own bed.
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Old 26 December 2009, 13:04
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Originally Posted by Cayenne6 View Post
My question is why the sun glasses. Why would he choose to wear them? I might be being picky but seems like he's trying to look cool. I may be far behind the times but I've never seen a POW wearing them. Seems like one of the captors would have a new pair.
My immediate assumption was that the taliban had him wear those in an attempt to avoid the possibility of him sending duress messages through Morse coded eye blinks. There is a well known example of a POW in VN having done this. That or to hide evidence of him being under the influence of narcotics or to conceal an injury.

I agree with Sharky and SOTB WRT to this guy basically not being worth the trouble to go get him. I also find it interesting that he is even alive. This is distinctly counter to the pattern of graphic butchery that nearly always befalls western captives in AQ custody. Perhaps this guy is going to be the next Adam Gadahn and start doing freestyle anti-American rants with him as a member of the AQ team.
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Old 26 December 2009, 17:31
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I'll reserve judgement for the time being, although it's clear he's a knuckleheaded fool for walking away with a couple of his Afghani "friends", and I'm certainly not pleased with the tenor and tone of the videos he participated in.

As for him still being alive, he's remains a useful tool for propaganda purposes, and they will continue to use him in that respect until such a time that they decide that he is no longer useful in that role.

There's still a very good chance he'll meet a nasty end, not unlike the fate of several people who have fallen into enemy hands already. I don't wish that on anybody, and regardless of the circumstances regarding his falling into enemy hands, he still has a family that's worried sick about him.

I think every reasonable effort should be made to rescue him, and if his location can be fixed, I'd expect that the Army would attempt to carry out such a mission.
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