The Media and Bergdahl . . . - The Missourian: Opinion

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The Media and Bergdahl . . .

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Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2014 8:31 am | Updated: 12:48 pm, Thu Oct 23, 2014.

It is an accepted fact that generally Big Media tilts in varying degrees to the left of the political middle, which brings us to the latest surge to protect the Obama administration in the Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl saga. A story Sunday on the front page of The New York Times reported Bergdahl was a member of a rather “raggedy” unit at the outpost where the sergeant deserted from about five years ago. As if that is an excuse for desertion.

Is it the “raggedy” unit that was to blame for the sergeant’s desertion?

Since the “uneven” trade for his rescue, the Obama administration, the family and hometown, which was planning a celebration, for Bergdahl, have been targets for severe criticism. The administration has been working overtime to justify the trade for the Army sergeant. In a nutshell, there has been a public outcry of indignation over the trade because it turns out Bergdahl was a deserter. (Armies used to shoot deserters if they were found.) 

There are other nagging facts that are emerging that have added to the criticism — that soldiers were killed looking for him, that the Taliban prisoners who were released are expected to be soon planning other attacks on America, and that Bergdahl was promoted twice while being held prisoner.

In The Times story, his outfit was taken to task because security was lax, the men were known to wear bandannas and cutoff T-shirts. Really! Talk to any veteran who served on a remote outpost and they likely will tell you things that were un-Army in varying styles, such as drinkng beer while on duty in the front lines, which happened during the Korean War. Many of our World War II soldiers “liberated” wine during the march through Italy, France and Germany and they didn’t wait until “at rest” to drink it. 

Waiting to get hit by the enemy, some boring days when there was no action in a particular sector, very few ranking officers ever visiting outposts, leaving “soldiering” to young second and first lieutenants, things can be lax. But under these conditions, soldiers also can be good fighters, particularly if they had experience in combat. 

The young fight wars. It’s not spit and polish on front lines.

We can’t come to a conclusion that a “raggedy” unit had anything to do with Bergdahl’s desertion.

The story by The Times was balanced for the most part, but the implication that his unit was a factor in his desertion was present. 

This was such an obvious attempt to smear Bergdahl’s platoon that The New York Times should have recognized the “information” as such. Like many, the reporters and editors at The Times apparently have never been exposed to life in an outpost or on the front lines of a war. We have never in our lifetime witnessed an administration that lies and tries to mislead people such as we have today. 

To imply that he was an oddball in a misfit platoon is correct as to the oddball tag for him, but there have been misfit soldiers, that is lacking spit and polish, who performed well in combat. Combat veterans will attest to that.

There is no one to blame for Bergdahl’s action but Bergdahl. We suspect there will be more attempts to soften Bergdahl’s desertion and the Obama-friendly Big Media will lead the way.

There now are reports that Bergdahl was treated harshly while a captive because he tried to escape. There also are reports that he enjoyed some freedoms and at least at times was treated pretty well. 

We don’t know if Americans ever will know the full story. One reason is because Bergdahl apparently has mental problems that undoubtedly became even worse while with the Taliban. We doubt if he ever will be mentally stable. It’s a sad story, and one can feel sorry for him, but let’s not make a hero of him. That would be insulting to members of our Armed Forces and to all veterans who served.

In the meantime, the left-leaning Big Media will continue to try to protect the Obama administration.

/opinion

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