..The estimable Ralph Peters, writing at National Review online, examines how the Obama Administration has made a mockery of military honor with the Bowe Bergdahl case. A brief excerpt:
“If this administration cannot embrace our military, might it not at least stop insulting those in uniform? No soldier is finally judged to have served “with honor and distinction” until his or her service is complete. There’s a glaringly obvious reason for that.
Of course, we’ve heard a series of increasingly ugly comments from White House staffers as their lionization of Bergdahl has collapsed. Administration hacks who have never served our country in any useful capacity stage-whispered that right-wing activists were “swiftboating” the reputed deserter. In fact, it was the other way around: The real character assassinations were launched from the White House, and they targeted soldiers from Bergdahl’s platoon who had, indeed, served with honor and distinction. Those courageous young men stood up for justice, refusing to allow the administration’s blithe betrayal of military values to prevail. In response, White House loyalists insinuated that Bergdahl’s comrades in arms might be psychopathic. This is Chicago politics leveled against truly honorable soldiers — yet more evidence of this president’s disdain for those in uniform.
Then, on Sunday, the New York Times front page — once again indistinguishable from its self-abusing editorial pages — snarked that Bergdahl’s unit was “known for its troubles” and that (Lord preserve us!) the soldiers in Bergdahl’s battalion, on dangerous duty at a harsh outpost, weren’t always properly attired. Well, ending the draft was great for our military, but dreadful for the country. Anyone who had served even a couple of months as a private at Fort Hood would grasp that soldiers sweating on sunbaked ground in eastern Afghanistan generally do not display the spit and polish of the Old Guard drill team performing in Washington, D.C.
And perhaps those bold reporters from the New York Times would like to criticize the imperfect field uniforms of SEAL Team Six or our Special Forces? To their faces.”
Lt Col Peters also outlines how Bergdahl may beat any charges filed against him by the military–with a little help from the White House:
“First, the White House will pressure the military to deem Bergdahl unfit to stand trial. That stage is already being set. After doctors treating him declared Bergdahl physically fit to return home (guess he wasn’t dying, after all), they’ve kept him secluded in Germany, making it known that he is in their view mentally unprepared to return to the States. The administration is going to go with the defense that Bergdahl is unbalanced, was unbalanced, and will be unbalanced.
If military doctors refuse to play along, “impartial civilian experts” will be called in. If that doesn’t work and the “too crazy to court martial” defense flops, the next step will be to strong-arm the Pentagon to reduce any charge to the comparatively minor Absent Without Leave, or AWOL (although overwhelming evidence exists that Bergdahl deserted). Then Bergdahl’s lawyers could plead him out, retain some benefits (perhaps all of them) for him, and the administration can claim, “See! He wasn’t a deserter after all.”
If some unexpectedly ethical general refuses to play along and the case goes to a court-martial, the administration’s fallback will be to insist on a “thorough” reinvestigation that pushes any court-martial past Obama’s 2017 departure from office (one suspects that Team Obama would love to dump this in Mrs. Clinton’s lap).”
Sadly, I can’t disagree with Peters’ scenario. We’ve been to the same rodeos and watched the brass fold like a cheap suit in the face of political pressure. It’s very clear that Mr. Obama and his advisers want the Bergdahl mess tidied up as soon as possible, and an Article 32 investigation–and subsequent courts-martial–don’t fit into their plans. If Bowe Bergdahl spends any time in jail–and that is highly doubtful–his stint behind bars will be very brief. And a presidential pardon can’t be ruled out, either. Mr. Obama’s recent body language suggests he is angry over criticism of the Bergdahl deal, and would be glad to pardon Bergdahl, just to stick another finger in the eye of his opponents.
As Peters observes, evidence supporting Bergdahl’s collaboration with the enemy has long been suppressed, and the Army led that charge, launching efforts to him the private as a “noble POW.” Mr. Obama’s political operatives were only happy to embrace the big lie and now the question becomes: does anyone have the guts to tell the truth about Bergdahl’s disappearance and subsequent relations with his captors.
Don’t hold your breath.