Lest we forget one of our own
By: Diane Sori
I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy.
— United States Army Ranger Creed
For every parent who sends their son or daughter off to war, the ultimate nightmare is seeing a uniformed officer walk up to the door, stand solemnly at attention as they tell you that your beloved child is dead. For Bob and Jani Bergdahl, this nightmare has no end and no closure, for their son Bowe, while not dead, has fallen into the hands of the dreaded and barbaric Taliban.
On June 30, 2009 Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl (a machine gunner with the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Airborne Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division), disappeared from his outpost in eastern Afghanistan. Shortly thereafter, the military learned that Bowe had been captured by the Taliban, and believe him to be held by the Haqqani network, probably in Pakistan’s northwest frontier on the Afghan border.
Since his capture the Taliban has released five videos showing him in captivity. This video, one of the first, shows what is obviously a forced confession by Bowe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hZ2O4CS5-w
In exchange for Bowe’s release the Taliban demanded $1 million plus the release of 21 Afghan prisoners, including the infamous Aafia Siddiqui (an American-educated Pakistani cognitive neuroscientist sentenced by a US district court to 86 years in prison), who is currently being held in the Federal Medical Center Prison, Carswell, in Fort Worth, Texas. They threatened to execute Bowe if Siddiqui, known as the ‘Grey Lady of Baghram' was not released.
Obviously, no deal was made but thankfully Bowe was not executed.
Two years after Bowe’s capture, Bob Bergdahl made a video he posted on YouTube where he appealed directly to the Pakistani military for Bowe’s release: http://battleland.blogs.time.com/2012/05/15/waiting-for-bowe-americas-last-captured-soldier/#ixzz1v80AAbSi
Also, it appears that around that time, a deal to release five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo, in exchange for Bowe’s release, had been in the works but failed, because Bowe’s plight got caught up in the tangled peace negotiations between the US, the Taliban, and the Afghan government.
And since then...nothing.
Adding to the mix of silence is that The Associated Press, who occasionally had reported on Bergdahl's case thus keeping his name in the spotlight, agreed last year NOT to report on any proposed prisoner swap at the request of the White House, on the grounds that public discussion would endanger Bergdahl's life.
Frustrated by what they saw as stalled efforts to free their son, Bowe’s parents have gone public with previous failed secret attempts by this administration to trade their son for prisoners in US hands. Then suddenly on May 10th, FOX News reported that a trade of Taliban prisoners for the release of Beau Bergdahl might yet be possible. FOX even said that his original captors SOLD him to others, those captors saying that we could have easily found Bowe if we really had wanted to, and that Bob Bergdahl had pleaded with the White House to do so but to NO avail.
FOX then went on to state that since Bowe's dad couldn't get any help from Obama and his people that he took it upon himself and contacted the Taliban though underground channels on his own.
The latest news is that Bowe was the subject of a recent proposed prisoner swap in which the Obama administration would allow the transfer of five Taliban prisoners held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo. But this proposal is now in limbo and faces serious opposition in Congress anyway because the policy is that we do NOT negotiate with the enemy. Plus, the Taliban walked away from these talks in March, saying the U.S. had reneged on several promises.
Yeah right...Obama and his administration not only negotiates with the enemy but caters, acquiesces, and even apologizes to them on many occasions, like when some Marines peed on dead Taliban terrorists, and when some qur’ans were mistakenly burnt by US soldiers. If he can do that for the enemy why can’t he negotiate for one of our own!
Sadly once again, it’s what the 'All About Me,Me, Me' president wants and NOT what the Bergdahl family wants. They feel, and rightly so, that the more publicity the better to help put pressure on the Taliban to release their son.
So here we are at a stalemate. Bowe remains a prisoner, Obama does nothing, and the Bergdahl family waits and worries. There is just something inherently wrong here as we start our withdrawal from the area and forget that one of our own could very well be left behind.
Below are some good sites to visit to learn more about Bowe Bergdahl and to help bring him home: