WaPo: Bergdahl 'disillusioned,' 'self-deluded'

Time to bring out the world's smallest violin for the soldier who served with "honor and distinction" but decided to desert his post and misbehave in the face of the enemy.

The Washington Post gets the pity party for Bergdahl underway:

Army Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl was fed up. He was five weeks into a deployment in southeastern Afghanistan and frustrated with his mission and his leaders. He and his fellow soldiers weren’t going after the Taliban as aggressively as he wanted, and his sense of disillusion added to the disgust for the Army that he had begun developing while still in basic training.

Looking to make a stand, Bergdahl hatched a plan: He would run away from his platoon’s tiny outpost in Paktika province late on June 29, 2009. He would stay away from the Army a day, maybe two, and then reappear about
19 miles away at a larger installation and demand to air his grievances with a general. He knew that the region was crawling with insurgents, but he had “outsize impressions of his own capabilities,” according to an investigating officer, and was determined to create enough chaos to get the attention of senior commanders.

Those were among the details that emerged in a preliminary hearing here late last week. The soldier, carrying just a disguise, a knife and some provisions, was captured by insurgents by 10 a.m. the following morning, beginning four years and 11 months of captivity and torture by the Haqqani network, a group affiliated with the Taliban, according to Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, the senior officer who carried out an investigation of Bergdahl’s actions and interviewed him at length.


Bergdahl joined the Army a few years after washing out of initial training for the Coast Guard. The Washington Post reported previously that it was for psychological reasons, but Bergdahl’s lawyer and Dahl were more specific in the hearing: The future Taliban captive was diagnosed with depression and sent home after he was found in distress in a Coast Guard barracks, sitting on a floor with blood in his hands, possibly from a bloody nose, Dahl testified.

“He wasn’t ready for it,” Dahl said of life in the Coast Guard. “He was overwhelmed, found himself in the hospital and was released.”

Bergdahl received a waiver to enlist in the Army. He was physically fit and well regarded for his work ethic, but quickly became disenchanted with his fellow soldiers and the Army’s training program. Among his gripes: He couldn’t believe higher-ranking soldiers wanted him to lock his wall locker to prevent theft and saw pre-deployment training at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., as “lame,” Dahl said.

Bowe Bergdahl: the poor, misunderstood head case who only wanted to bring what he saw as incompetence to the attention of a superior officer.  Baloney.  His defense team is going to try to advance the notion that the kid didn't understand the consequences of leaving his post, that because his parents were ex-hippies who lived off the grid, he was unable to relate to normal people.

I think the fix is in on this case.  Bergdahl may be court-martialed, but the lead investigator in the case doesn't think he should go to jail.  How could he?  It would make the Obama administration look even worse than they already do for exchanging five terrorist leaders for this piece of human waste. 

So Bergdahl will probably walk.  Who knows?  He may write a book about his adventures and get even more sympathy.  I'm sure the Washington Post will review it favorably. 

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