Freed POW's father criticized for looking, speaking like his son's captors

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  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    June 6, 2014 10:40 a.m.

    Yes donn I do in fact know what the punishment for desertion in time of war is. Eddie Slovik was the last U.S. soldier to be executed for desertion. His sentence was carried out near the end of WW II. He was also the only soldier executed for desertion during WW II and the only one since the America Civil War. No I have not served in the military. No I do not approve of his desertion. Once again I wonder if you even read my posts. Did I at any time say that I did approve of said desertion? For what feels like the 20th time all I have actually said is that we don't know what was going through his mind when he left his post and perhaps he wasn't thinking clearly. Unless you know more than everyone else you also don't know what was going through his head. Does that completely excuse his actions? No, but it does add context.

    My opinion is pretty simple donn. I don't know why he left his post but right now I'm just happy he's not a P.O.W.

  • donn layton, UT
    June 6, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    RE: The Wraith, If the current evidence turns out to be true and Bergdahl is a deserter. Do you know what they do to deserters in a time of war? Do you know what the UCMJ is? Were you in the military? Do you approve of (his) desertion?

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    June 5, 2014 5:11 p.m.

    @ Donn

    Did you hear me once dispute any of that? In any of my posts do I call him a hero? All I have said is that we don't know what was going through his mind at the time and perhaps he wasn't in his right mind when he left his post. I have no idea what kind of character this young man has or had. I don't know what he was thinking when he deserted his post. However I am glad he doesn't have to be a P.O.W. anymore regardless of those reasons.

    My only other argument was that I thought he had been punished enough by spending 5 years in captivity and that I was glad he was home.

    The real heroes are in fact the men who searched for him both those who died and those who lived. Please don't put words in my mouth.

  • donn layton, UT
    June 5, 2014 4:30 p.m.

    RE: The Wraith, A Pentagon report clearly indicates that as early as 2010,the Department of Defense knew that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had, in fact, Deserted his fellow soldiers by walking away from his post.

    The REAL Hero's are those 6 Who lost their lives searching for him.

    In 1970 I was guarding airplanes in the jungles of Vietnam and Thailand(USAF infantry). A member of our Security Police Squadron left his post for less than honorable reasons, elements of my squadron were sent into harms way to find him. The NCO who ordered the search, years later was dishonorably discharged for the bad decision. He put lives at risk for a dubious character.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    June 5, 2014 3:17 p.m.


    This release of this soldier does not add in any way to the incentive the Taliban had in capturing Americans. That incentive was set to 11 from the day the war started. They have tried to capture Americans before and they will continue to do so with just as much effort had he not been released. Capturing Americans was, is, and will remain one of their top goals.

    Thanks for the post GR, I thought what you added was great.

    Not to mention that anyone who complains he dad "looks" like his captures is well just plain mean. His dad has stated over and over that he simply stopped shaving when he son was captured. If anything we should all look at the beard and think, yeah 5 years is an extremely long time.

    June 5, 2014 12:29 p.m.

    @The Wraith

    Should you add to your list that it's also not important or relevant

    - how many died looking for him
    - Or the parents, wives or children and family of those who died looking for him
    - Or those who died capturing the 5 terrorists who are now free
    - Or the families of those who died capturing those 5 terrorists
    - Or the people who died at the hand of those 5 terrorists
    - Or those who WILL die at the hand of those 5 terrorists.

    Yes, you are right. The only thing that matters is that he is now "free" despite the evidence indicating that he chose to leave. Well, at least he did not open fire on his own people before he left.

  • donn layton, UT
    June 5, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    RE: The Wraith, ”I'm glad he's out of captivity - regardless of how or why he was captured.”?

    Americans are now a high value target for kidnapping, especially now that such a tremendous incentive has been established. A Taliban commander told TIME Thursday, “It’s better to kidnap one person like Bergdahl than kidnapping hundreds of useless people. It has encouraged our people. Now everybody will work hard to capture such an important bird.”

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    June 5, 2014 11:36 a.m.

    Wow you people are cold. What was going through this young mans mind when he left? Was he thinking clearly? Was he experiencing a severe mental breakdown and not thinking clearly? Or because he left are you so merciless that you feel he should have just rotted and died there no matter what. I have no idea why he left but there are a few things I do believe strongly.

    -He was a P.O.W. for 5 years, whatever crime he committed he paid for.
    -None of you sitting comfortably at home have the right to judge this young man or pretend to understand what he was going through.
    -In the posts I read above all I could see was a total lack of compassion for this young man and for reasons I can't understand.
    -I'm glad he's out of captivity - regardless of how or why he was captured.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    June 5, 2014 9:14 a.m.

    Well said, Kay Hunt.

    I find it interesting how many members of the American armchair army will judge a soldier based on their surety of how they would have behaved if they had fought. War isn't a video game, it's real. Governments make mistakes. War is destructive and full of ugly practices that harm the innocent. None of us can judge what we would do in a war situation because we just don't know.

    Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? You know, one of those great American virtues that soldiers like Bergdahl are supposed to be fighting for.

    I have a suggestion. Let's all be good soldiers and learn to control our emotions and show a little respect for one of our own -- and a little bit of the Golden Rule.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    June 5, 2014 9:10 a.m.

    How many more people will be killed because of the release of these terrorist?

    Wasn't the twin towers enough?

    June 5, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    @ Hamath

    Washington Post, tv stations, other newspapers. I heard about it on the news. Do a search on Bob Berdahl tweet. It's all over the place. I paraphrased the tweet but got the gist of it. Apparently it was directed to a taliban contact which is very disturbing to say the least.

  • Kay Hunt Celebration, FL
    June 5, 2014 8:07 a.m.

    I have been watching the news about Bowe. I knew he had disappeared from his unit. All the Things that Liberal Ted stated we don't know are true. There has been a media blackout by the Army and I think for good reason. this young man needs to heal. And then if he did go AWOL then he needs to stand up to that. Blaming his father for trying and figure out what his son was going through is stupid and made by someone who does not understand that every parent going through this would go through it differently. We don't see Bowe's mother dressed conservatively but the dad felt a need to connect with his son on this level. Does he have sympathy for the Afghanistan people? I would hope we all do. Their country has been torn by war for decades. Let the military deal with Bowe. And had Bowe died in captivity everyone would be blaming the President for that.

  • LittleStream Carson City, NV
    June 5, 2014 7:46 a.m.

    The media asked the father why he grew his beard. He told them he stopped shaving it when his son was captured. That not being enough of an answer the media has now turned it into an article like this. His son is a deserter, he is a Taliban loving father. I am so looking forward to learning the truth, if that can be found while Obama is President. I for one am glad Sgt Bergdahl is free. I hope his parents can be reunited with him soon. I hope he shaves his beard soon so thie hue and cry will stop.

  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    June 5, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    @ GR

    Yes. That would. Source?

  • Thidder MAPLETON, UT
    June 5, 2014 7:07 a.m.

    Let's see if the Deseret News censors squash this comment when I use the word "deserter" like they have in my two previous comments on the young Sargent. He is a deserter!

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    June 5, 2014 7:01 a.m.

    It's not troubling to question the fathers intent. This is America where we are encouraged to ask questions about everything. It's only troubling to ask questions in countries that suppresses it's people.

    I understand learning the language and culture. I get it. But, when he claims to have to speak to his son Pashtu, because he no longer understands English. He spent his Pashtu time praising Allah and the cause of the enemy. Then he went ahead and spoke to his son in English. Does that make sense? Is it bad to ask a question as to why he spoke English to his son, that he claims can no longer speak or understand English?

    His son left a note indicating he is deserting. In that note he indicated his disgust with this country and the desire to be among the enemy. The count is at 14 soldiers that lost their lives "rescuing" this deserter. Now barack released five murdering terrorists, to kill again. How many lives were lost to get those people? How many more will be lost when they kill again?

    Iguess you can go to the left wing punt of "It's Bush's fault"alloveragain.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    June 5, 2014 5:50 a.m.

    There are 2 issues here.

    1) - a member of our armed services was being held captive by the enemy and a deal was made to free him.
    2) - his status (AWOL?) needs to be determined and dealt with by the military.

    These are 2 separate issues. How about we give this soldier his day in court and determine the facts?

  • SAS Sandy, UT
    June 5, 2014 4:58 a.m.

    Because long unkempt beards are un-American. Unless you have a TV show involving ducks.

    June 5, 2014 1:44 a.m.

    Hamath, how about a tweet expressing that he is still doing all he can to free all the terrorists from Guantanamo and saying that the death of every Afghan child will be avenged? Does that count for something?

  • Janet Ontario, OR
    June 5, 2014 1:24 a.m.

    What would you do to get a captive son or daughter back? Learn the captors' language? Try to look a little more like someone they could relate to? Learn about their religion? Lobby your Congressperson? Write to the president? Rally your neighbors? Yeah, I suspect you might do all you could, and so did the Bergdahls. It has been said that Bowe Bergdahl asked his leadership about taking a gun or night-vision goggles off base and was told not to, so he didn't. It has been said that he stated his intention to walk to Pakistan or India, that his conscience was bothering him for participating in the war. Desertion is one thing, especially in light of his idealistic (Quixotic?) mindset. No one has yet accused him of going intentionally into Taliban custody or of aiding and abetting the enemy. The Army will do its investigation and make its determination. His parents have suffered for five years, and they will no doubt suffer more, but what have they done that most of us wouldn't have done to save our children? Why are we so quick to judge and condemn?

  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    June 4, 2014 4:49 p.m.

    Certainly criticizing the father for his actions is troubling. He broke no laws. He sought to build bridges. This is commendable not shameful. Unless other evidence shows something else, we should not criticize him.

  • Shelama SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 4, 2014 3:08 p.m.

    Even if he has converted to Islam, so what?

    If people can believe the Bible is the word of God then they can certainly just as well -- and with just as much justification -- believe the Qu'ran is the word of God instead.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 4, 2014 2:58 p.m.

    If he deserted his post he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. Having spent 5 years with the terrorists doesn't mean anything - he WANTED to go join them if he deserted in search of them.

    And if its true that 6 brave soldiers died directly or indirectly while searching for him - shame on him all the more.