Sunday, June 8, 2014

Bowe Bergdahl: Hero or Deserter

Bowe Bergdahl, US Army, public domain

I've been following the online and TV coverage of the Bowe Bergdahl story since it broke several days ago. But I have to say a Facebook friend's comment zeroed in on the issues with much more insight than any media pundit that I've come across. My friend Barbara Raye wrote:

I wonder when/if Bowe Bergdahl can stop being either a "hero" or a "deserter" - but a soldier and prisoner of war? He is a soldier that is coming home in exchange for other prisoners that we didn't have enough evidence to even file changes against and that we have kept far longer than 5 years. When will he be a human being and not another pawn in the political bickering between people as far away from the "field of battle" as they can get? The Cuban prison should have been closed years ago - people were/are being held against our principles and laws - some of them are also being freed. Both they and Berghdahl have a lot of healing to do. I wish them safe travel and an opportunity to recover their humanity. I wish the same for us as a country.
This morning the BBC reports on the death threats recently received by Bob Bergdahl, Bowe's father:

US authorities are investigating emailed death threats to the father of Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier released by the Afghan Taliban last week after five years in captivity. 

Four threatening emails were being investigated, police told Reuters.

Meanwhile he is reported to have said that his captors locked him in a cage in total darkness for weeks at a time.

US opinion is divided as to whether he is a hero or a soldier who endangered his comrades by deserting his post.

On Thursday a welcoming party in the hometown of Sgt Bergdahl was cancelled.

The first of the four death threats was sent to Bob Bergdahl - Sgt Bergdahl's father - at his home near Hailey, Idaho, the town's police chief Jeff Gunter told Reuters.

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