Bowe Bergdahl 'deserter' trial is nearing an end. This morning Col. Jacobs, a frequent commentator on MSNBC made a serious and telling mistake a long time ago and repeated that mistake again this morning. He represents an element of society in this country that laws are framed to protect us against, which is mob mentality. Media reports of what his fellow soldiers said of him when he walked away from his unit in Afghanistan five years ago caused headlines: he was an American disserted. Among other things, his fellow soldiers did not like him, he acted strangely from time to time, and he was a “dope” head. An element among Americans love to hate and this is especially true in the “band of brothers”, a term applied to military units when they have been in dangers. They saw Bergdahl as someone who turned his back on them—a coward among heroes. They are there to fight and die for a cause and he wasn’t.
Col. Jacobs echoed that sentiment this morning on the Steve Kornacki show. This man is a true hero out of the Vietnam War. He is a Medal of Honor winner; his citation for that award is remarkable; he risked his life repeatedly to save his fellow soldiers. Many American feel we should respect what he says for that reason. He could be, and in one sense is, a leader of a mob who feels Bergdahl should have been left in the hands of the Taliban.
He said something that caught my ear this morning; he said something to the effect that the military should rescue any of their “band of brothers” from the enemy; the military should never leave a soldier on the field of battle. Implying that “the military” should decide to rescue him or not. Clearly, he would not have been rescued if the soldiers in his unit were to make that decision. The nuance is clear; President Obama did a bad thing when he traded five Taliban fighters for Bergdahl.
The President is a man of the law; he is not a Texas cowboy, who shoots from the hip. No one knows why Bergdahl left his unit. They did not know if he was out looking to buy drugs or was wounded and captured by the Taliban. They assumed he deserted out of fear or allied himself with the enemy—they did not know. They had their suspicions. The soldiers in his unit had convicted him although they did not actually know why he left. As he should, the President felt this man was a United States soldier and we as a nation should not abandon him—that would be a cowardly thing to do. There is not a single person in uniform that thinks differently. In addition, we are innocent until proven guilty. All of a sudden, Col. Jacobs is leading lynch mob intent on abandoning a U.S. soldier in the field without a trial or even an investigation only because of suspicion.
Col Jacobs is a warrior, a paid consultant, and a Republican. I seriously question his motives for talking the way he is talking. From what I have heard from him in the past, he is not above joining the crowd of Obama haters and twists his act of political courage in rescuing this man from the Taliban to bring him back to the United States for a fair trial—it is the American way. Personally, I think Bergdahl is probably guilty of desertion and should be found guilty by a military court—out of the spotlights of a politically motivated media—but is not a coward who should be hung without a trial.
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