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riverwalker

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Gender: Female
Current location: Minnesota
Member since: Wed Feb 25, 2004, 02:19 PM
Number of posts: 8,693

Journal Archives

Lawrence of Afghanistan: Rise and Fall of a Special Forces Legend

(absolutely fascinating story!)

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/jim-gant-top-green-beret-officer-forced-resign/story?id=24266710

Top Green Beret Officer Forced to Resign Over Affair With WaPo Reporter

Jun 24, 2014, 10:21 AM ET

By JAMES GORDON MEEK, RHONDA SCHWARTZ and BRIAN ROSS


A legendary Special Forces commander was quietly forced to leave the U.S. Army after he admitted to a love affair with a Washington Post war correspondent, who quit her job to secretly live with him for almost a year in one of the most dangerous combat outposts in Afghanistan.

U.S. Army Special Operations Command never publicly disclosed that highly-decorated Green Beret Major Jim Gant was relieved of command at the end of a harrowing 22 months in combat in March 2012.

His commanders charged in confidential files that he had "indulged in a self-created fantasy world" of booze, pain pills and sex in a tribal village deep in Taliban and al Qaeda country with his "wife," journalist Ann Scott Tyson.

“We did fall in love, I would say over the course of about a week,” Tyson told ABC News in an interview, recalling that Gant asked her to marry him within a few days of meeting each other in 2010. She laughed him off at first, but eventually he won her over.

By the time he was yanked out of Afghanistan two years later because of his relationship with Tyson, Gant also had won over three Pashtun tribes with substantial influence throughout Kunar province. Top commanders had tasked him with turning the tide of a conflict America was losing, and in his corner of the war, Gant was winning.
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Haqqani that captured Bergdahl killed in drone strike

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/haqqani-network-militants-killed-u-s-drone-strike-taliban-n129526

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Ten militants wiped out by a U.S. drone attack early Thursday were members of the feared Haqqani network that kidnapped U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a senior Taliban source said.

Among the dead were two senior Haqqani commanders known as “Qari Yar Jan” and “Roohullah,” the source told NBC News on the condition of anonymity.
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Bergdahl swiftboater on Hillary supporters: kill them all

Classy: @CodyFNfootball, the media star leading campaign against Sgt Bergdahl, on Hillary supporters: "Kill them all"
https://twitter.com/TheObamaDiary/status/476095608215056385/photo/1

Bergdahl Wasn't Only Soldier to 'Walk Off' Afghan Outposts

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/bergdahl-soldier-walk-off-afghan-outposts/story?id=24053366

WASHINGTON - Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl left his combat outpost in Afghanistan in 2009 and fell into enemy hands for five years, but the former Taliban prisoner wasn't the only trooper to sneak out of a U.S. base in recent years, military sources told ABC News on Sunday.

"At least a dozen guys just walked off their posts" in Afghanistan since 2009 for a variety of reasons, said an experienced soldier, one of four Afghan war veterans familiar with the incidents who spoke to ABC News. The other sources estimated the number could be more than a dozen.

The highly experienced combat veterans -- whose deployments cover the entire Afghan campaign -- said the significant incidents spanned a timeframe from when President Bush in late 2008 boosted conventional troop numbers in Afghanistan to well beyond President Obama's early 2010 surge that added 30,000 more troopers to the fight
The soldiers discreetly slipped "outside the wire" to find drugs or were already intoxicated, left to "hang out" with local Afghan villagers or Afghan forces, or just simply snuck away without any idea where to go or what to do, the Army sources said.
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Bergdahl kept in dark cage for months

(personally, I hope they keep him in Germany for a while, until some of the vomit from Faux and the GOP has been cleaned up)

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/06/07/us/sgt-bowe-bergdahl-controversy/index.html?eref=edition&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=cnni

As Bowe Bergdahl Heals, Details Emerge of His Captivity

WASHINGTON — Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has told medical officials that his captors locked him in a metal cage in total darkness for weeks at a time as punishment for trying to escape, and while military doctors say he now is physically able to travel he is not yet emotionally ready for the pressures of reuniting with his family, according to American officials who have been briefed on his condition.
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NYT says there was NO stinkin' note

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/06/08/us/us-soldier-bowe-bergdahl-case-highlights-a-unit-known-for-troubles.html?_r=0&referrer=

Bergdahl Was In Unit Known For Its Troubles

The platoon was, an American military official would assert years later, “raggedy.”
On their tiny, remote base, in a restive sector of eastern Afghanistan at an increasingly violent time of the war, they were known to wear bandannas and cutoff T-shirts. Their crude observation post was inadequately secured, a military review later found. Their first platoon leader, and then their first platoon sergeant, were replaced relatively early in the deployment because of problems.

They say they do not remember his leaving behind any note or explanation




Contrast with Faux News couple days ago:

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl wrote a note expressing a desire to renounce his American citizenship, according to Fox News.
Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin reported Tuesday that members of Bergdahl’s unit said he left behind a note saying he felt disillusioned with the Army and wanted to renounce his citizenship before he was captured in 2009.

Bergdahl and NYT reporter Rhode were captured by same group

Bergdahl reveals the impossible choices faced by hostages’ families
http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/06/06/bergdahl-reveals-the-impossible-choices-faced-by-hostages-families/
I’m biased about Bergdahl. Five years ago, I was kidnapped by the same Afghan Taliban faction along with two Afghan colleagues while I was on leave from The New York Times, researching a book in Afghanistan. An offer for an interview from a Taliban commander who had previously met twice with European journalists proved to be a ruse. We were abducted at the meeting point and then transported to the tribal areas of Pakistan.

FDR's D-Day Prayer

The White House distributed the text on the morning of June 6, 1944, so that the afternoon newspapers could publish it and listeners could pray along with Roosevelt when he broadcast that evening. With an estimated audience of 100 million, FDR was to lead what must rank as one of the largest mass prayers in human history. Here are his words, spoken in an hour of peril and of promise.



June 6, 1944

My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.
And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home - fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas - whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them - help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too - strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen.



Soldier Calls ‘PR Campaign’ Against Bergdahl ‘Disgusting’

(He helped Hastings with his Rolling Stone article)

Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Matthew Farwell, a former infantry soldier in Afghanistan who helped write a 2012 Rolling Stone profile of Bowe Bergdahl.

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2014/06/04/bowe-bergdahl-taliban

“The political game being, you know, playing typical Washington games of using U.S. soldiers as pawns and props to make a political argument. Also, Bob and Jani Bergdahl, the parents of Bowe, are lovely people, they are good Americans, and they have been through hell in the past five years, and I think the amount of disrespect they’ve been getting from all sides has been absolutely disgusting."


Read the profile of Bergdahl in Rolling Stone by Michael Hastings

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/americas-last-prisoner-of-war-20120607

Don’t Desert Bergdahl

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/frame_game/2014/06/the_bergdahl_prisoner_exchange_doesn_t_reward_terrorism_it_keeps_our_promise.html

Don’t Desert Bergdahl
Trading Taliban prisoners for a POW doesn’t reward terrorism. It keeps our promise to our troops.


The Code of Conduct for members of the armed forces, published more than half a century ago, details every service member’s obligations to the military and the nation, even in captivity. In exchange, the code promises:


Just as you have a responsibility to your country under the Code of Conduct, the United States government has an equal responsibility—always to keep faith with you and stand by you as you fight for your country. If you are unfortunate enough to become a prisoner of war, you may rest assured that your government will care for your dependents and will never forget you. Furthermore, the government will use every practical means to contact, support and gain release for you and for all other prisoners of war.

The army’s training pamphlet on being a POW repeats this commitment: “Every captured US individual continues to be of special concern to the US. The US government expresses this concern by … employing every available means to establish contact with you and gain your release.” In light of that commitment, it’s unwise to focus, as many critics of the Bergdahl deal do, on the circumstances of his capture. They say he left his post without authorization, provoking search and rescue operations that endangered other troops and led to several deaths. None of these claims has been adjudicated, and some of them are already unraveling. But the larger principle is that our allegiance to our soldiers has to be as solid as their allegiance to us. We don’t have to love their character, any more than they have to love the character of their commanders. In the military, loyalty transcends personality. And loyalty goes both ways.
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