I don’t know the circumstances behind Bowe Bergdahl’s capture and imprisonment, and I don’t know what transpired over the course of those five years.
You know who else doesn’t know the circumstances behind Bowe Bergdahl’s capture and imprisonment?
Just about every other person on the planet.
There are, however, a few things I do know.
I know that anyone who pretends they know the truth is a lying sack of dirty diapers.
I also know that I am beyond livid when I hear or read anything other than “Good, we got him back.” I resent the implication that our military and our – yes our – president don’t have the sense they were born with when it comes to dealing with getting back an American serviceman using a method that has been in existence for as long as there has been warfare.
Honestly, I would rather Congress have a major case of butt-hurt than another dead American serviceman. Oh, and John McCain, I have a heaping bunch of scorn directed at you normally, and it just hit critical mass. This is one of those times I hope there is a real, literal hell, and you burn in it for all of eternity, plus a day. I hope you at least have the grace to be thankful that no one wanted to play politics with your freedom.
To those members of Congress using him to score cheap political points against the president and polish up their bona fides: Shame on you.
To bloggers and columnists who claim to have talked to a guy who served with his second cousin – so they, of course, know the truth – to run up page hits and comments: Shame on you.
To the talking heads and media people who are propagating lies and innuendo against his family: Shame on you.
To the mouth-breathing-knuckle-draggers who have threatened his life and the life of his family: Shame (and a pox) on you.No one knows.
See, that’s because this is still America and we still have the rule of law and the presumption of innocence.
There will be an investigation by the appropriate military personnel. They will most likely interview Mr. Bergdahl and his family; they will also most likely interview his friends and his second-grade teacher. I’m quite certain they will interview those with whom he served.
See, that’s what we do. If someone is accused, we try to get to the facts. We have a system. We have rules and law and procedures. Moses on a moped, that’s the whole reason men and women like Berghdal are serving – to preserve our way of life and our way of doing things.
If you don’t believe in that, then you have no business wrapping yourself in the flag and declaring that you support the troops. Because one thing we don’t do: We don’t leave anyone behind, no matter what we may think of their character or their alleged behavior. We allow – no, we guarantee with American lives – that they get that right.
It may turn out that he is a deserter and sympathizer. If that is the case, he will be dealt with accordingly.
It may turn out that he was tormented and naive and disillusioned. If that is the case, he will be dealt with accordingly.
It may turn out that a satisfactory explanation is not forthcoming as people are nuanced and complex beings.
One thing will remain the same. Bowe Berghdal is an American and a soldier and should be dealt with accordingly, regardless of what has been alleged against him.
And shame on anyone who doesn’t understand that basic fact, because that is our way.
The American way.
I trust it.
Originally published in the Old Colony Memorial on June 18, 2014 and on wickedlocal.com/plymouth on June 19, 2014