Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Whole Story on Bowe Bergdahl?

In this 15-minutes-of-fame world, where we want it all and get it now and instant gratification takes too long, the story of Bowe Bergdahl is so yesterday that a lot of people won't even recognize his name.

Bergdahl was the US soldier in Afghanistan who somehow wandered off from his remote outpost and was taken prisoner by the Taliban. Five years later he became the subject of intense scrutiny when his release was engineered at the exchange rate of five-to one for Talibani prisoners of war detainees held in Guantánamo.

It's an extremely interesting story, and Robert Young Pelton has written a lengthy but incredibly detailed article on it, "Finding Private Bergdahl", over at Vice.

Because the details of Bergdahl's leave-taking and the five years he was held captive are still not clear, and because his name and his face bear a more-than-passing resemblance to those of the traitor/Islam-convert/terrorist Nicholas Brody, the former US prisoner of war held in Iraq, in the HBO series Homeland, it was easy for the nonthinking wingnut media to conflate Brody with Bergdahl and paint him as a traitor as well.

They are still at it. A Google search for the words "Bowe Bergdahl traitor" yields nearly 80,000 hits, the vast majority of them from wingnut sites. You know, the usual suspects: World Net Daily, Breitbart, Western Journalism Review, et al.

Will we ever know all of the details? Probably not, but Pelton's article likely comes the closest to describing the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl's disappearance and the Byzantine governmental -- and non-governmental -- machinations behind his ultimate release.