June 12, 2014

"The closer I get to ship day, the calmer the voices are. I’m reverting. I’m getting colder."

"My feelings are being flushed with the frozen logic and the training, all the unfeeling cold judgment of the darkness... I will not lose this mind, this world I have deep inside. I will not lose this passion of beauty."

Reading Bergdahl's journal.


Jason said...


HoodlumDoodlum said...

From the article:
Several days after he vanished, a box containing his blue spiral-bound journal, his laptop computer, a copy of the novel “Atlas Shrugged,”

Berhdal is linked to Ayn Rand. Denounce him, denounce him at once!

n.n said...

The Washington Post's emotional appeal to empathize with Obama's judgment. Perhaps next time there will be a declaration of war. The piecemeal approach does not work.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Special Snowflake Scribbles.

Read the article and try to conclude he didn't purposefully abandon his post and desert. Does anyone wonder what the men who died searching for this amazing narcissist wrote in their journals? He was 23--that's not a child, not a kid. The more I learn about this the more anger I feel.

David said...

Here is a man who has made some colossal and consequential misjudgments in his young life. There is certainly a lot of personal discovery that goes on during military service, but it's not the reason one is there.

SGT Ted said...

What a fucking self centered drama queen twit that guy is.

khesanh0802 said...

He volunteered twice. After initial Coast Guard training he should have had an inkling what he was in for. The facts are simple he deserted his post. He should be court-martialed.
That he had doubts is nothing new to grunts at the front. Read Robert Leckie's "Helmet for My Pillow"; Eugene Sledge's "With the Old Breed", Philp Caputo's "A Rumor of War", the WWI poems of Seigfried Sassoon or any number of letters home from civil war soldiers on both sides to get an idea of the stresses of combat and the different way men have coped with them.

Humperdink said...

Read the complete article. Why in the world did this goofball join the military (twice)?

He is last guy I would want on my flank. A firefight erupts .... and then a butterfly floats by. What would Bergdahl do? Who knows?

averagejoe said...

This loser's writing reads like Barry Obama's poetry.

grackle said...

According to Coast Guard records, Bergdahl left the service in early 2006 with an “uncharacterized discharge” after 26 days of basic training. The term applies to people discharged before completing 180 days of service.

Many years ago when I was in boot camp we had some recruits who were not cut out for the military. They were given the equivalent at the time of an Entry Level Separation (ELS).

Those young men were not bad people and perhaps could function well enough under a less disciplined environment such as is usually encountered in the civilian world. They were virtually all what we called then, perhaps cruelly, "head cases," meaning they had psychological problems. Waivers allowing enlistment after such a discharge from another branch did not exist and seem to be a recent procedure.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I like that Private Bergdahl refuses to accept the rank of sergeant, that shows an element of honor.

Are you a deserter if you have an unsteady grasp on your mind and you lose it? It seems to me that puts you in the casualty category.

I wonder about his not wanting to talk to his parents. Does he think his father gave him bad advice, when his father advised him to follow his conscience? That didn't turn out well.

The better advice would have been to buck up, that he could serve out his tour of duty if he put his mind to it, and to seek support or treatment if he couldn't.

traditionalguy said...

Another Eugene Sledge he was not.

But then being a man not an honorable job description in his generation.

Gospace said...

Had one of those head cases at Great Lakes who slipped by the recruiting process. Had never shown up at his asigned Army Reserve Center, and was never actually released or discharged from the Army- hence not eligible to join the Navy. We tried to give him back- they backdated released him to enlist in the Navy, making him our problem.

There shoould not be any, ANY, entry level adseps ever accepted into another branch.

madAsHell said...

He should have been executed when he deserted his post.

Gahrie said...

What a fucking self centered drama queen twit that guy is.

I hate to be the one to break it to you Sarge, but in certain communities, most of them are like that now days.

madAsHell said...

Bergdahl is a fuck up.
Now, why was he in a forward operating base.
I think he had an agenda before he was deployed.

tim in vermont said...

"Are you a deserter if you have an unsteady grasp on your mind and you lose it?"

I think that is why the wartime penalty is death, to help you remain focused.

William said...

Obama and his administration oversold him. He didn't serve with honor or distinction. He was the very model of a modern major general fuck up. That said, he seems closer to a flake than to a traitor. He doesn't deserve any promotion, back pay or an honorable discharge. But he doesn't deserve any prison time or to be characterized as some kind of arch villain. Don't be as grandiose in your condemnation as Susan Rice was in her praise. He screwed up and paid a fairly heavy price. If he was close to the edge in a military camp, then I don't think five years of Taliban captivity made phimosis any saner. The best thing would be to let him live out the rest of his life in obscurity.

William said...

Where it reads phimosis please substitute made him any closer to sanity. I wasn't aiming for some kind of obscure metaphor.

Nichevo said...

I doubt I want to know very much about his captivity except in as much as I have to, but one of the criticisms of Richard Perle a long time ago was that during the Russian adventure in Afghanistan he encouraged the use of sound trucks to try to cultivate Russian defectors. Apparently, the very few that they got from this effort ended up being turned over to the CIA by the Afghans after having been, as the source explained, raped out of their minds.

I don't know if they treated him like a king or, as you might say, like a queen, but it seems very likely that unless he was a master traitor and lavished with VIP treatment, being the guest of those people probably did not do him any good. One does wonder whether he learned anything constructive from the experience.

Freeman Hunt said...

Having read this, I'm looking at the Army. They couldn't tell this guy was a bad fit for soldiering?

tim in vermont said...

I agree he looks like a nutjob more than a master traitor. Still, he left of his own accord and did not deserve the Rose Garden announcement ore the effusive praise of our top diplomats on national television.

Nor should accused war criminals wanted by the UN have been traded for him.

The Taliban claim he helped them make bombs. That would be a pretty tough fact to overcome, if confirmed, and let him off for "time served."

grackle said...

I like that Private Bergdahl refuses to accept the rank of sergeant, that shows an element of honor. Are you a deserter if you have an unsteady grasp on your mind and you lose it? It seems to me that puts you in the casualty category.

"Unsteady grasp" is too vague. From what I've read of his journal excerpts he strongly disagreed with what the Army was doing in Afghanistan. As far as I'm concerned extreme angst about policy and strategy doesn't give him a pass on desertion. An insanity defense is always possible I suppose but it seems to have severe criteria.

The Act provides that (1) only severe mental disease or defects can form the basis for an insanity defense, which do not include abnormalities manifested only by repeated criminal or otherwise antisocial conduct, or minor disorders such as nonpsychotic behavior disorders and personality defects; (2) the defendant must be totally unable to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of his acts; and (3) the defense must prove insanity by a clear and convincing evidence standard.


I think the case for defection or collusion to be impossible to prove. The only evidence or testimony obtainable would come from his Taliban captors or from Bergdahl himself and I would trust neither.

Since we cannot really know with any degree of certitude exactly what happened with him after he was captured I think that we ought to give him a kind of a benefit of a doubt.

Unlike most POWs Bergdahl was totally on his own. John McCain, for instance, harrowing as his ordeal must have been, was imprisoned with other POWs and could interact with them. No doubt the group solidarity boosted the morale of the group members.

Bergdahl had none of that. He could have been tortured or broke in other ways where the Taliban is known to have expertise. I doubt they treated him gently. They could have forced him to witness a beheading or some other atrocity. No, I'm not going to condemn Bergdahl on the basis of what he may or may not have done after capture.

Curious George said...

He certainly i his father's son. Whack Job Jr.

tim in vermont said...

The other thing, besides the Rose Garden announcement that sticks in my craw is the trashing of those who served with him.

SGT Ted said...

Having read this, I'm looking at the Army. They couldn't tell this guy was a bad fit for soldiering?

Freeman, the thing is, with a solider, you just don't know, until he gets to the point where they need to be separated.

The first phase of training Basic and AIT weeds out a certain percentage, that simply cannot handle that environment. So some cannot handle the training and get tossed out. Those are the admins separations; the "misfit" discharges, usually "failure to adapt".

Then, when the new troops reports to his unit, he is further tested by his squad and team and the new culture of an actual line unit. Some break down there and get tossed out, usually petty discipline problems that reveal them unfit. But, most adapt OK, even if they don't really like it anymore. They'll do their time and get out.

The next stage is the combat zone, the highest stress environment I can think of. This is where even the "studs" can break down and lose it.

That was obviously Bergdahl's breaking point. That, and his habit of spending all his time in his own head, in which he shows that he was in somewhat of a fantasy world, where he imagined himself to be some sort of morally superior being, Thinking Big Thoughts, while, of course, those around him were idiots and dupes of The Man. He didn't bond with his fellow soldiers because he saw himself as a superior human.

Also, his father gave him very shitty advice, because his father is obviously separated from reality and suffers from misplaced sympathy, typical of leftist ideology. Instead of "Follow your conscience", the advice should have been "Do your duty, honor your oath and word and then get out".

His was the typical result of the moral narcissism of leftist ideation taken to it's logical conclusion.