Bowe Bergdahl: Deserter or Hero?

boweBowe Bergdahl, a United States Army Sergeant, was released after being captured by the Taliban in 2009. He is currently in Germany and recovering. Bergdahl was the only remaining POW from the War in Afghanistan. In order to get him back home, the United States swapped with the Taliban, giving them five Guantanamo Bay prisoners. One of them was “directly associated” with Osama Bin Laden, according to CNN.

Shortly after Bergdahl’s capture, six fellow soldiers were allegedly killed while searching for him. These soldiers are 2nd Lt Darryn Deen Andrews, SSgt Clayton Patrick Bowen, Pfc. Morris Lewis Walker, SSgt Kurt Robert Curtiss, Pfc. Matthew Michael Martinek, and SSgt Michael Chance Murphrey.

Bergdahl’s time in captivity has no doubt been a rough one. However, recent revelations, particularly secret documents held by Fox News, reveal much about Bergdhal’s actions during the five years with the Taliban. Based on an eyewitness, he called himself a “mujahid,” or a warrior for Islam. He even reportedly converted to Islam in 2010. At times, the report claims, he was even allowed to carry a gun and had AK-47 target practices with the Haqqani fighters. At first, yes, he was treated like the anticipated prisoner, but then he altered over time into a “much more of an accepted fellow,” a source tells Fox News.

Megyn Kelly from Fox News had an interview with six of Bergdahl’s platoon members. His team leader stated that the morning they found out that he had gone missing, two children came running up to them as they walked to their village. One of the children told them that “an American crawled through the bushes and went that way,” continuing that “he was alone-you guys are never alone.” It was the only lead they ever got to try and find Bergdahl. Kelly also asked them questions that reveal the potential legal actions Bergdahl could face. She said, “Raise your hand if you think he deserted.” They all rose their hands. She then asked, “Do you think he should be court martialed?” They all rose their hands again. The soldiers discussed they would want at least due process, and that they “just want him to be accountable for what he did.” She also asked, “If you could talk to him today-what would you say to him?” One of the six said, “I would just ask him, ‘Why?’”

Bergdahl’s actions display he may not be structurally sound to come back to the United States. According to The Huffington Post, he has sent four e-mails threatening his parents. The FBI is now investigating those e-mails. And, even though officials offered for Bergdahl to call his parents, he did not take the opportunity to do so. Additionally, while he was still with his platoon, he sent his parents e-mails saying that he was disillusioned with the army, and that he was “ashamed to be an American.”

Several questions come to mind when examining Bergdahl’s relationship with the Taliban and his discord with the American Army. For instance, did he tell them any vital information during the five years just to stay alive or to hurt America? Did he even change his mind about being American like the multiple e-mails point out? If he walked away from the base without any of his gear, why did he do so? It’s intriguing what the answers to these questions will reveal once they are obtained.