Author’s note: As much as possible, I have refrained from editorializing and let these compelling quotes speak for themselves.
On Sunday, June 1st, less than 24 hours after the White House’ Rose Garden press conference announcing the trade for and release of Bowe Bergdahl, I was contacted by a man who told me “I work for the Pentagon.”
He went on to tell me that “the American people need to know the facts regarding this ‘Traitor Trade’ for Bowe Bergdahl, and I want your help in informing them. They need to know about this whole treasonous mess. I read your ‘American Hero Stories’ in the Huffington Post and think I can trust you.” He then arranged for me to speak with two soldiers, “Jimmy” and “Ron” (not their real names), who were in Afghanistan in Bergdahl’s company/battalion in the summer 2009 when he walked off. Though all three of these sources are unidentified and unverified, I believe them. The information they gave me shortly after the Rose Garden’ announcement has been widely corroborated in other news reports since then. And there is no way, in my estimation, they could be faking the fear they have in speaking out.
The Pentagon sources, “Jimmy” and “Ron,” were very afraid but also respectful about not divulging classified information or the specifics of the threats and intimidation they came under. This seems true of most US military service members who, no matter what, retain that clear love-of-country and strong desire not to ‘badmouth’ their country and commander-in-chief. But like true whistleblowers, these three service members were chomping at the bit to tell their truths. Just like those serving in battle, the people at the Pentagon have the same reservations. I believe that most of the Pentagon staff were not knowingly involved in this gigantic deception of the American people and the families of the dead and injured. They were following orders. But it was also clear they came under illegal threats and tremendous political pressure from this government to keep dirty secrets about what really happened; who Bergdahl really was as a person; and the real story behind the “Traitor Trade” for Bowe Bergdahl.
“Americans have to understand who Bergdahl was … who this deserter we exchanged for five of the world’s most murderous terrorists … really was. And, he wasn’t what this White House wants us to think he was. The truth must come out.” –Pentagon official
“When I first met Bergdahl, he gave me the creeps. He was a very weird, creepy loner who seemed ready to blow. He was really wound very tight.” –Jimmy
“Everybody knew that Bergdahl was losing his mind over there. And he wasn’t just going any kind of regular crazy but ‘Major Hassan/Fort Hood’ crazy. ‘SF’ was his nickname, because he thought he was some kind of Special Forces’ ace. We were afraid he was going to pick up his weapon and slaughter us at any time.” –Ron
“He was very isolated and never hung out with the guys. He seemed to think he was above us all, reading high-brow books about Islam and saving the world and smoking a pipe like some kind of English lord. And this is in a war zone. He really alienated everybody he touched.” –Ron
“He would talk about how f***ed up America was and how horrible the Army was. ‘Liars and fools’ he called us. He regularly questioned the orders of our commanding officers. He mentioned a lot how he could run the Army better than the officers and the Pentagon.” — Jimmy
“He had this absurd concern for other people, not our soldiers—he didn’t give a damn about us—but all the Afghanis, the villagers. Like he was going to help them change their lives all by himself. And all around him, there were explosions, Americans getting killed and maimed. It was the strangest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” –Ron
“Honestly, he seemed disconnected from the rest of us over there. Like he wasn’t part of the team. We all had a tough time dealing with the emotions and fears of being in a war in Afghanistan. But Bergdahl seemed immune to everybody else, almost like he was walking through a stage play.” –Jimmy
Photo Credit: Sean Smith
“He seemed to think he was much smarter and better educated than the rest of us. Like he was there in Afghanistan for another, higher purpose to help the Afghani people instead of fighting and watching our backs. He was very interested in talking to and trying to win over the locals by helping and not all at aware he was being shot at and bombs were exploding all around us.” –Ron
“He was oblivious that the same children and villagers he was trying to get to like him were a deadly threat to himself and the rest of us. They were shooting and blowing themselves up just to get one of us.” –Jimmy
Photo Credit: Sean Smith
“He talked a lot about how he really wanted to be in the French Foreign Legion. Who does that? Seeing as how he wanted to help people so much, why would he want to join a mercenary fighting outfit like that? Very strange.” –Jimmy
“He asked more than once, ‘What would happen if I just walked off into the mountains? Would I reach India, China or Pakistan?’ Nobody who wasn’t there could imagine how much that kind of talk hurts the morale of soldiers during battle.” –Ron
“Although we were all just trying to stay alive … not get killed and make it home to our loved ones, Bergdahl seemed only interested in the locals. We knew we couldn’t count on him if attacked and hoped the officers would get him some psych help.” –Jimmy
“When we heard that he had asked what would happen if his ‘sensitive-gear went missing,’ we knew the time was near for him to do something rash and un-American. His days fighting with us were numbered.” –Ron
“All his terrible talk, his nonsense was really getting to all of us and hurting morale. It hurt us. Then, when he sent his belongings home—a clear sign he had checked out on us and America—we all tried to avoid him and definitely didn’t want him to have our back.” –Ron
“When Bergdahl went missing, there was a sigh of relief among many of us who had felt he was a ticking time-bomb ready to go off. On us.” –Jimmy
“Since right after Bergdahl defected, the Pentagon, CIA, Departments of Defense, State and this White House knew the facts and actively kept them secret while spinning the tall tale that Bergdahl had been ‘captured’ by the Taliban. To have our government lying to the American people, when we knew the truth, was just about the worst thing a government can do to its people. And our men were being killed.” –Pentagon official
“Bergdahl was a weird agent. Perhaps the weirdest guy I’ve ever met. Our government has tried to make him out to be a hero when he truly is not. Why would America and this President do that? And we are all still in shock that they made this trade for a defector; a psychopath who turned against his country and the men who fought with him.” –Ron