Gen. (Ret.) McChrystal: We Knew Right Away That Bergdahl 'Walked Off Base Intentionally'

Jeffdunetz | May 27, 2015
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Despite what Americans were told when U.S. hostage Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released May 31st of last year, Bergdahl was known to be a deserter at the time the deal was announced. Retired General Stanley McChrystal who commanded our troops in Afghanistan at the time Bergdahl went AWOL, revealed this during an interview with Fox News on Tuesday:

"I had been in command about a month or so when he left in 2009. My initial understanding based upon the reporting I got is that he had walked off intentionally.  I do not know if he walked off to be picked up by the Taliban or just walked off. We made a massive effort to try to get him back for a couple reasons. One is he was one of our soldiers, its was the right thing to do. Second we didn't want him to get taken by the Taliban and put in Pakistan.  I think he was a confused young man which was my assumption at the time, and that will probably turn out to be the judgment of time. But it became this focus of a propaganda effort on the part of those who held him, and it became powerful against the United States and put us in a difficult position."

At the time of the trade of Bergdahl for five senior Taliban terrorists, President Obama celebrated Bergdahl's return at a gala ceremony in the White House Rose Garden.  Soon afterwards, members of the former hostage's platoon objected to the pomp and circumstance, saying that Bergdahl was a deserter:

Evan Buetow and Cody Full, two U.S. Army soldiers who served with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in Mest Malak, Afghanistan, said they know their disgraced former fellow mate deserted because they “were there” at the time.

“On June 30, 2009, in Mest Malak, Afghanistan, Bowe Bergdahl left his unit and deserted the U.S. Army,” the two wrote in a USA Today op-ed. “We know he deserted because we were there when he did it.”

Despite their eyewitness account, the Obama Administration sent National Security Adviser Susan Rice on to ABC's "This Week" to refute the charges.  Rice praised Bergdahl saying, "He served the United States with honor and distinction." 

Eventually, the members of Bergdahl's unit were proven correct and he is now facing a court martial - but, until McChrystal made his revelation on Fox News, there was no proof that the Rose Garden Ceremony, the release of five senior Taliban terrorists, and Susan Rice's defense of the deserter Bergdahl, was made despite the fact the Administration knew Bergdahl was a deserter.

In a related story, the five senior Taliban terrorists will be free from their one-year travel ban by this coming weekend:

The one-year travel ban is expiring for five senior Taliban leaders who were exchanged for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl last year, raising the possibility that they can move freely around the world as early as Monday.

Under the terms of the May 2014 exchange, the five detainees were sent to Qatar, where officials there agreed to track their activities and prevent them from traveling out of the country.