The Spokesman-Review

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Conscience as guide

Dana Milbank’s June 12 column, “Obama groupthink worrisome,” bemoaned, among other things, self-inflicted damage to our president caused by “a Rose Garden ceremony featuring (Bowe) Bergdahl’s eccentric father.”

Said eccentricity may derive in part from Bob Bergdahl’s and son’s beards (which to some commentators implied radicalism), Bob’s post-capture interest in Afghan culture and the Taliban, and his anti-war stance. But I’m guessing Milbank’s ire is mostly stoked by Bob’s candid assessment of the military’s expectations of our sons. After receiving Bowe’s final message before his capture, which was highly critical of the U.S. Army and its role in Afghanistan (Google “Bergdahl obey your conscience”), Bob responded with this:

“Obey Your Conscience.

“Dear Bowe, In matters of life and death, and especially at war, it is never safe to ignore ones’ conscience. Ethics demands obedience to our conscience. It is best to also have a systematic oral defense of what our conscience demands. Stand with like minded men when possible. Dad.”

Whenever our government or our military volunteer to take this sort of thinking out of our hands, we should all have eccentric fathers like this.

David Fietz

Springdale, Wash.



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