On the day before celebrating D-Day, when we should be remembering the sacrifice of all who landed on the shores of Normandy, 70 years ago, I find the furor surrounding the prisoner exchange of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, disgusting and disappointing.
General Stanley A. McChrystal had it right when he stated this week that, ” We don’t leave Americans behind.” For those families of our servicemen and women who face the potential prospect of having their loved ones become a prisoner of war, they are comforted by and can count on the knowledge that if an American becomes a POW, we as a nation will do whatever is necessary to bring our soldier home, period. This is not a fact that has any qualifications, this is a vow that we have made to those who serve our nation in the military.
If there is any question regarding the honor or alleged criminality of a POW, the time to find out the facts is not prior to the release or exchange of the prisoner of war but after we get him or her back. We are lucky in this country to have the legal principle that you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Thank God, we do not have the French, system that started with Napoleon, that you are presumed guilty. If you have been watching Fox TV, they have already convicted him for desertion and treason without a trial. This is just wrong, and un-American. If there is any probable cause to justify a hearing as to the behavior or conduct of Bowe Bergdahl, let JAG bring forth the allegations and allow the person accused the opportunity to face his accusers in a court of law. The media is not the place to conduct a trial but that is what is happening now, as he and his family are facing horrible accusations. Let Sgt. Bergdahl have the chance to recover from his ordeal. Let the town in Idaho , celebrate his return without making it a media circus. We, the public, do not have the facts surrounding his capture, but the military does. It has come to the public’s attention, just today, that Sgt. Bergdahl was known to take a walk about during his training and in Afghanistan, but he always came back.We do not know all the facts. Let the proper authorities handle the situation. We owe, the former POW, the time to heal and the chance to have justice served.
Certain things used to be above partisan politics, but this appears to be changing. A person’s service to our country was not part of partisan politics, but now it is, but it should not be.
Let us recall another controversial war, Vietnam, for a moment. Ross Perot, was absolutely correct in his fight to bring all of our POW’s home. We may have left some POW’s behind. Was their any honor in that?
Is it not true that what we did in agreeing to get our POW’s back from Vietnam more questionable? If you choose to compare and contrast prisoner releases and exchanges was what we agreed to do far more serious in Vietnam? Nixon agreed to withdraw from Vietnam in exchange for 591 POW’s who served their country under the most trying of circumstances and who had undergone horrible torture. But sorry, there is no comparison between withdrawing from a country where we lost 58,000 plus soldiers and releasing 5 Taliban members.
We need to draw the line and have some sense of moral decency. The media in order to draw an audience, seems quite willing to win partisan battles at any cost. They are no better than whores selling their wares for partisan gain, no matter what the lie or what the cost in human decency. To bring up the idea that we should have left Bergdahl behind or that it would have been better if the Taliban had just killed him is unconscionable. It is better to lose a campaign honorably than to shame your cause by hurting people without reason. Please give Sgt Bergdahl, his chance to recover from his ordeal, and to be with his friends and family in peace. Let justice ring true at the proper time and place. Let us always stand for the idea that we not leave any American behind.