Tags: Afghanistan | Kenneth Dahl | Bowe Bergdahl | U.S. Military

Bergdahl Is No Hero

Image: Bergdahl Is No Hero

By    |   Monday, 12 October 2015 10:02 AM

As children we all read fairy tales. And we learn to distinguish between the world of witches and dwarves and the real world in which we live. Unless, apparently, we are major generals in the United States Army.

Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl is the officer charged with investigating the disappearance of Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan in 2009. Actually, to be more precise, he is the second officer charged with conducting such an investigation.

The first investigating officer completed his work in 2009 and, not surprisingly, concluded that Bergdahl was a deserter and had abandoned his post and his fellow soldiers in the middle of an armed conflict.

That was, of course, before the president decided to trade away five senior enemy commanders for Bergdahl, and before he staged a Rose Garden ceremony to celebrate Bergdahl's return and before Susan Rice announced that Bergdahl had served with honor.

Dahl spent 59 days investigating the Bergdahl case. He spent countless hours interviewing Bergdahl and wrote a 371-page report on the case.

During those long hours Dahl listened as Bergdahl recounted a truly fantastic tale. He claimed that he had become disenchanted with his service in Afghanistan, because his unit was not aggressive and effective enough.

He claimed that his leaders were incompetent. He claimed that, in frustration and because he believed it was critical that he get his concerns directly to higher command, he snuck away from his unit in the dark of night intending to run 19 miles to another forward operating base.

In short, Bergdahl explained, he was not a coward who had deserted his comrades in time of war. He was a hero. He had risked his life on a desperate mission to get the truth to senior officers who could take the necessary action to win the war and save lives.

Dahl listened. Then he did something truly amazing. He said he believed the story.

Every individual with a lick of common sense anywhere on earth would have heard the self-serving, ridiculous fabrications of a man who did not have the courage to stand his ground and do his duty.

Dahl concluded that Bergdahl was unrealistic and naïve but well intentioned. When he presented his report to the Article 32 investigation, a sort of military grand jury, Dahl went further and opined that jail time of any length for Bergdahl would be inappropriate.

Based on Dahl’s comments it now appears that the Article 32 investigation will conclude with a recommendation that Bergdahl not be sentenced to confinement and that he not be punitively discharged from the service.

In short, whatever punishment Bergdahl suffers, he will, in all likelihood, be allowed to serve out his remaining time on active duty and return to civilian life with an honorable discharge. He will then, presumably, be entitled to all the benefits veterans enjoy including the GI Bill.

The convenience of this result for the president cannot be overemphasized. The military will announce that it has completed its internal investigation free of any command influence. The president will praise the impartiality of the process.

The injustice of this result for the millions of American men and women all over this country who have served with honor also cannot be overemphasized. Everyone in uniform who has ever served in combat has been afraid, lonely, and disillusioned. Every one of them has had second thoughts, feared death and spent long nights dreaming of home.

And, then, they have done what Americans always do. They have sucked it up, gotten back in the fight and done their duty.

This result is a slap in the face to all of those brave men and women. It makes a mockery of their service.

Maybe Evan Buetow, who served with Bergdahl in Afghanistan, said it best in talking to Fox’s Megyn Kelly last year about the swap that lead to Bergdahl’s release.

"He's not a hero, and he did not serve with distinction, and that's a spit in the face to everyone who joined the Army and anyone who died looking for him. What do you think their families think? They don't get their loved one back like Bergdahl's family," said Buetow.

Dahl and Barack Obama may choose for the sake of convenience and political expediency to believe Bergdahl’s fabrications. I don’t. Neither do the millions of other veterans out there who are shocked and disgusted by this miscarriage of justice. Bergdahl is no hero.

Charles S. Faddis, president of Orion Strategic Services, LLC, is a former CIA operations officer with 20 years of experience in the conduct of intelligence operations in the Middle East, South Asia, and Europe. He is the senior intelligence editor for AND Magazine and a contributor to a wide variety of counterterrorism and homeland security journals. His nonfiction works include "Operation Hotel California," a history of the actions of his team inside Iraq from 2002 to 2003, "Willful Neglect," an examination of homeland security, and "Beyond Repair," an argument for intelligence reform. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2018 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

1Like our page
Dahl and Barack Obama may choose for the sake of convenience and political expediency to believe Bergdahl’s fabrications. I don’t. Neither do the millions of other veterans out there who are shocked and disgusted by this miscarriage of justice. Bergdahl is no hero.
Kenneth Dahl, Bowe Bergdahl, U.S. Military
Monday, 12 October 2015 10:02 AM
Newsmax Inc.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved