We have been receiving phone calls, emails and Letters to the Editor nearly every day since the story broke from people who have decided Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is a deserter, a traitor or an enemy of the United States. Some who raced beyond speculation to convict and sentence him say the Hailey native is all of the above. A few have gone so far as to suggest such crimes deserve a firing squad.
The authors of these opinions base their argument on an unsupportable extrapolation of one fact: that Bergdahl walked away from his unit five years ago on June 30, 2009.
Much of the vitriol and rush to judgment can be traced to the method used by President Obama and cabinet chiefs to extract Bergdahl - a prisoner swap involving five Taliban warriors. Additional emotion reverberated after soldiers purporting to have served with Bergdahl linked the deaths of some of their colleagues to efforts to find Bergdahl and then free him from his captors.
To be sure, there were some compelling accounts related about attempts to find Bergdahl five years ago. But how can some choose to believe this and not weigh it against what Defense Department Secretary Chuck Hagel had to say last week. Full editorial here. Idaho Statesman
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