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| Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Cindy A. Rose |


As Long as We Remember...

June 10, 2014

‘Nattering Nabobs’ Still Around Big Time

Harry M. Covert

The way I hear it is this. When a soldier walks away from his post, the Army has rules and regulations and investigators who immediately jump into action to determine the facts. That is before any adjudication gets under way.


There is a thing called a 15-6 investigation under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). A commander usually assigns another officer to promptly look into the matter. Is it AWOL (absence without leave), desertion, or a traitorous act?


Let’s further the conversation about rescued Bowe Bergdahl, private then but now sergeant, who walked away from his post in that god-awful place Afghanistan. He probably did so several times.


The puissance of local and national broadcasters leaves much to consider. The piling on of Machiavellian attitudes of politicians, military veterans, JAG (Judge Advocates General) officers (lawyers) past and present, and all sorts of know-it-alls show no support of the Idahoan recovering in an American hospital in Deutschland.


What happens to Sgt. Bergdahl will affect every young man and woman who volunteers for military service, American-style. Residents of Frederick County are well acquainted with the Army at Fort Detrick being such a valuable community commodity.


It is so easy to vocalize the old saying, “give him a fair trial and then hang him.” The facts are not even known yet; no military court has been designated to hear any charges. Yet, the cries are everywhere. His family is receiving threats. Of course, these intimidations come from unidentified people who don’t have the courage to sign their names.


For the record at this stage, Sgt. Bergdahl would have been handcuffed and shackled the moment he was released by his captors if there was any evidence of desertion, et al. If he was such bad soldier, his commanders weren’t much better either. They will probably be found inept.


Sgt. Bergdahl was released in a trade for five al-Qaeda-style Taliban terrorists at Guantanamo, Cuba. Conspiracy theorists will be having a heyday, if not already. I don’t doubt for a moment that clandestine agents will be watching every move these sweethearts make in Qatar.


It won’t be only American agents but others considered allies. Don’t be surprised for a second when reports dribble out that they have met with fatal mishaps of various sorts. That’s not conspiracy talk but facts. Chances are no reports of their demise will ever surface. The politicians will still mumble on about the swap.


No microchip implants were placed in the terrorists. Probably should have but didn’t happen.


On the surface, Sgt. Bergdahl’s physical condition is improving after five years of captivity. His mental state is far from healing.


The general public has been whipped into a frenzy and ready to convict this young fellow without knowing the real facts or hearing from him.


Even the most evil murderers, child molesters and other hated people charged with heinous crimes have received better treatment than Sgt. Bergdahl. He needs time to recover and return to his family.


There are those who also like to condemn his father for growing a beard, which in their words “makes him look like a terrorist.” How stupid can they get?


Ever read or see any legal descriptions of liars, thieves, heroes, musicians or babies who grow up to fit any of these categories? There was a Maryland governor who made it to national prominence, but lost his way taking a few bags of legal tender in his Senate president’s office.


The fellow above was an excellent orator. He spoke the words written by someone else, speechwriter William Safire, referring to the national media as “nattering nabobs of negativism.”


The late Mr. Safire’s lyrics are rather poignant today.


Sgt. Bergdahl deserves a chance. I’d like to see the Army’s official 15-6 investigation from Afghanistan, not the leaked faux reports.


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