Former Green Beret on Bowe Bergdahl: A Gross Miscarriage of Justice

Bowe Bergdahl Bergdahl was dishonorably discharged and fined but received no jail time for deserting his post on June 30, 2009. (Photo: Wikipedia).

It has taken a few days for the results of Bowe Bergdahl’s court-martial to sink in, but I feel I have finally regained enough composure to type without smashing my keyboard into pieces, hoisting the black flag, and driving my own rope up to Sun Valley, Idaho.

It’s only a 3-hour drive, don’t believe for a second the thought hasn’t crossed my mind. It’s sad that we now live in a pussified nation where everyone gets a juice box and a trophy, and a traitor gets to walk free.

The Army is a dictatorship by design, and you give up many of your rights when you enlist. The life you are required to lead is enough to make the skin of any free man crawl, but it is the price of doing business.

The military exists solely to smash things and kill people. As such, things must be done from time to time to keep order. This is a foreign concept to anyone that has never served but it is as true today as it was the first time a group of cavemen decided to fight together.

The most important virtue any army can possess is discipline. Discipline is what kept the shields of a Greek phalanx interlocked. It is also what kept formations from evaporating in the face of a fleeing enemy. It got Hannibal’s elephants over the Alps. Discipline keeps troops on the line when artillery and machine guns are chewing them into pieces.

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Discipline is the bedrock that makes scared men stand and fight, and without it, the first to break and run is annihilated. If discipline is the anchor of an army, then desertion is its polar opposite. Desertion represents the decay of the bonds holding an army together. It cannot be tolerated.

Some would say the United States is already lax on desertion punishments. Only one soldier was executed for the offense during WW2, Private Eddie Slovik. Don’t see the world with “Saving Private Ryan” eyes, desertion was a regular thing in the European Theater. Not alarmingly regular, but it did happen.

Slovik was even offered several chances to rescind his promise to never return to the front. He refused. Eddie, like many others, believed he wouldn’t face the death penalty. He thought at worst a prison sentence, and he had faced that before.

But Eddie was mistaken. Eisenhower signed his execution order on 23 December 1944, noting that it was necessary to discourage further desertions. And with an act that cost one man his life, General Eisenhower no doubt saved the lives of countless others.

Imagine, for a moment, you are part of a company or platoon that has been ordered to conduct a frontal assault. What do you think happens if midway through it, half of your force decides to cut and run? Those who remained in the fight will draw twice the fire. And depending on the scale of your assault, they all may be completely annihilated.

Everyone wants to live. That is part of being human. But a military must instill values that surpass self-preservation if it has any chance of success. Desertion is cancer to an army, and it must be eradicated before it spreads.

So, should Bowe Berghdal have been executed, if for no other reason then to serve as an example to others? Without question. Is that a barbaric and savage solution? Yes, it is, but combat is a barbaric and savage game.

Do I think Private Berghdal belonged in Afghanistan? Not a fucking chance. There is no doubt that Berghdal was naïve, stupid, and weak. He belonged in the Army, as a paratrooper no less, about as much as Kevin Spacey belongs at an all-boys boarding school.

This is a kid that had already washed out of Coast Guard basic, someone should have done the math. But he did enlist on his own free will, and that has consequences if you can’t live up to your end of the bargain.

Hell, at least you can argue Pvt. Slovik was drafted. Berghdal showed up seven years into a shooting war. A common refrain heard after 9/11, mostly from the support sectors, was “I only signed up for the college money.” Well, tough shit kid. Anyone that joins a military service without serious consideration that it may involve mortal combat is a fucking idiot.

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I was on a radio program a few days after Berghdal was released, and his former platoon mates were calling in. Those poor bastards searched heaven and earth for him, even though they knew he deserted.

When an American goes missing, every asset in the country stops what they are doing and focuses on getting them back. We did the same thing in Iraq, and we would jump off with half-assed planning at the slightest hint of a rescue. Getting our own back is that important. People were hurt and killed looking for a traitor, running missions they would never embark on had it not been for Berghdal.

I have heard it brought up several times that a PFC from the infantry wouldn’t have any classified information to share with the Taliban. True. But not all the information we keep out of enemy hands is classified. (And I seem to remember these same tools defending Hillary Clinton’s complete disregard for safekeeping of classified information, but that is another tale.)

Bergdahl’s own platoon has stated how much more effective Taliban IED’s became in their sector, and how enemy attack patterns changed. That is information the lowest Private in the infantry would have. Just understanding the armor locations on a humvee is enough to change the game in that regard.

Bowe Berghdal willingly left his unit, with the intention of surrendering to the Taliban. He is also on record as saying the Taliban treated him better than the Army ever did. He should have been hanged by the neck until dead. But in this perverse world we inhabit, apparently, oaths and promises mean nothing. A traitorous piece of shit walked free. But Lt. Michael Behenna, 101st Airborne, received 25 years. His crime? Killing an Al Queda bomb maker.

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website,

{ 61 comments… add one }
  • Kimberly Smith January 25, 2018, 1:45 am

    When you look at bergdahl’s upbringing and behaviour during deployment, its obvious that the guy was a wierd home schooled kid with an overactive imagination and zero social skills. He had no coping skills and fantasized about being the center of an action adventure story. I think this piece of shit did this for attention in addition to becoming offended and disenchanted with his leaders. I just cannot wrap my head around what a disgrace this person is.

  • Rick November 19, 2017, 7:01 pm

    This whole story boils down to ONE thing. PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY. Mr. Bergdouche, you took an oath. You violated that oath. You left your post. You got fellow soldiers killed looking for you. You’re complicit in their deaths. The torture you may have received at the hands of the enemy has NO BEARING on your case. Now you should pay for your failure as mandated by the UCMJ. But, instead, here come this enabler officer ruling he’s had enough. Wrong! Once again, you have someone in a position of power ignoring the rule of law. Shades of Comey anyone!? Your job is not to render OPINION, it is to enforce the law and make a ruling based on the law. Colonel Jeffery Nance, you violated your oath and at minimum should be forced to retire. You are a useless officer and Bergdouche’s case should be overturned and re-tried immediately. All the moron civilians who start shouting “double-jeopardy!” need to close your mouths: there is no such thing in the UCMJ. Bottom line: we have to make criminals (and that is what Bergdouche is, a criminal under the UCMJ) responsible for their actions and punish them according to the law. I’m reading comments about whether or not the current wars in the middle east are LEGAL. That doesn’t matter one bit to any Airmen, Marine, Sailor or Soldier. They are there to do a job, not inwardly reflect on whether they are deployed somewhere legally. All you sorry A-Holes putting military ranks on your posting name, it’s also illegal to represent yourself at a rank you never earned…..

  • Paul Morton November 18, 2017, 3:22 am

    I have become so disillusioned with my country and most of the bag-licking, tool-lapping politicians whose only true interest is in themselves, I want to puke. In the late 60s I went to the Army recruiter and asked to join. After we got the man upright and alert again, it was off to the races. I had an interesting time in Southeast Asia, and can say with pride and gratitude that I served with some of the best men I have ever known. Not one single Bergdahl-like traitor to be found. If you have never been in combat I don’t care about some bullshit, warm and fuzzy opinion you might have concerning why Bergdahl deserted his post and those depending on him. If it wasn’t critical for him to be where and when he was posted, my bet is that he would not have been there in the first place. It was pure luck that his deserted position didn’t become an open door for some people that didn’t quite share his warrior ethos. A couple more things: I’m sick and tired of seeing that picture of “sergeant” Bergdahl standing in front of MY flag as though he’s a real American soldier. He should be behind the flag; he used it long enough to hide behind and deflect the punishment that was truly due him. And as to the “punishment” handed down by the military judge, that bag-licker is no better than the scum he protected. He obviously has never been in a position where his life depended upon his fellow soldiers, either. And as to bag-lickers with rank, it was a treat to hear from Admiral John W. Flores. I think anyone that had a lick of sense and read his post knew something wasn’t right. Thanks to a few right-minded folks who punched his bitch card, the “admiral” was called out for what he was. The “Texas Navy” huh admiral? I damn near wet myself laughing. The ironic thing is that where I live, in Alaska, the Coast Guard he apparently did serve in is highly respected. Here An E-5 Rescue Swimmer is held in higher regard than a real admiral, let alone some bogus political hack posing as something in a comic book navy. I am grateful for the men and women in today’s military who have the honor, courage and sense of responsibility to serve, regardless of politics or other detractions. To the friends and families of those wounded and killed, as well as the heroes who made the sacrifice themselves in this war, I will continue to help where I can and to pray that God’s grace be with you. To now Private E-1 Bergdahl, I only hope what little life that may be left for you is filled with the agony only the worst of cowards know. To the other gutless muslim who spent his eight years doing all he could to destroy our country, there will be a day when you too will know the fear reserved only for the most special of traitors. I don’t really care for many characteristics of our present POTUS, but not even the current batch of liberal scum and a paid-for mainstream media can deny he has already done much to restore what was taken from us during the destructive reign of Obama.

  • Craig November 18, 2017, 1:52 am

    Bergdahl is a traitor and the least he should get in hard labor at a military prison. People died trying to find him. He should not get a pass on this. I am a Vietnam vet and if he just deserted well maybe just prison time. But people were killed trying to find his dumb ass self. That puts a whole new slant on it. He needs hard time to say the least and lot of it. Should he be shot? Well I’m not against it. But his punishment did not come close to the crime. Justice was not served !!!!

  • Boss November 18, 2017, 12:30 am

    I don’t want to see him in front of the American Flag anymore!

  • S. Ward November 17, 2017, 10:56 pm

    Being a USAF retiree and having a little knowledge of Military Justice, UCMJ. It have to be some circumstances unknown to the public that determine the out come of this Trail and the verdict. It have to be beneficial and cost effective for the US Army to render the verdict by the Trail Judge. That has to be the only reason, to my way of thinking. If you go by the UCMJ Manual the penalty would have been much harsher. It was easier to give him the sentence and let him live with the stigma of a disgrace Military reject, his life will be very hard, than to lock him up or capital punishment. I do not think the UCMJ has changed. The verdict was not made without looking at every aspect in reference to this trail. I also believe his captivity was harsh and degrading and that might have caused a mitigated punishment. I myself think the book should have been thrown at him, but that probably why I am not the trail Judge. In the NCO Academy, I was ask a question. if i was President , what would i do about a situation, I told them i would Nuke them, the Instructor said, that’s probably why you are not President

  • Larry November 17, 2017, 9:54 pm

    Just opinion, but at the very least he should have gotten 10 years hard labor, along with the DD … at a minimum. During WWII he would have been shot!

  • Steve Barnett November 17, 2017, 9:34 pm

    Thank you. I wonder how long the military judge who handed down that “sentence” will remain in the Service. I can imagine him being persona non grata.

  • Mike H. November 17, 2017, 7:54 pm

    Excellent story Clay. So the reason this Puss. joined the military was for the college monetary benefits. What did he think would happen? He’d just play until discharged. He should be put before a firing squad! I remember my first day of basic training! Oh Shit,what have I done? After the initial shock wore off and I learned how to play the game,it was a breeze. I cannot believe this punk got off so easy! But after watching the so-called news and all of the pathetic things that happen in this country nowadays,I’d believe damn near anything. Makes me want to pack up and disappear into the woods. The world has gone nuts!

  • Ronald Renken November 17, 2017, 5:34 pm

    I have been saying Private Slovik wants a new trial!

  • Warren Hall November 17, 2017, 2:12 pm

    Thanks for an absolutely great, incisive description of all the aspects of military service that this guy personally flushed down the toilet when he walked away. Very well done and the best piece I’ve read on the subject. He (I won’t use his name) would give scumbags a bad name if we used that label.
    It’s a shame. He should at least be charged with depriving those who paid the ultimate price while looking for him under slimy rocks of their civil rights.
    -An aging Navy brat

    • Ronald Renken November 17, 2017, 5:37 pm

      I agree! Maybe the kin of the men killed and maimed will suit for wrongful death in civil court, or maybe they will do something else!

  • Eric Holder November 17, 2017, 2:08 pm

    The whole Bergy situation seems pretty bizarre. Dealing and trading with terrorists for his release? Young immature minds are what primarily enter the military and “discipline” (in some definitions) seems to blindly and foolishly follow indoctrination. I am not Military but Law Enforcement. Bergy certainly seemed to be having issues that he could not balance or deal with. If in fact he had brought those to others or superiors I would bet he was blown off and disregarded. It is very difficult to determine who is in fact really on the edge verses those who just want an easy out as we see today everyone has “PTSD”. I see Bergy being in enemy hands as a result of the poor choices he made but do not see that time as being punishment for the resulting deaths and injuries related to efforts to get him back by US Military. I believe that the courts made the decision to just let it go because he is now branded with his dishonorable discharge and publicly branded reputation. Being GOD and deciding lives is sometimes difficult. All very sad.

    • DON November 17, 2017, 2:42 pm

      You are of the same caliber as this deserter and should be in front of the same firing squad as Bergdahl should have faced

  • DaveW November 17, 2017, 1:02 pm

    “The military exists solely to smash things and kill people.”
    Did you pay any attention to your oath? The military exists solely to “protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic”. In doing so, our way of life is preserved for future generations. It does not require us to smash everything and kill people in order to live up to our oath. Much of what we do is humanitarian. In Vietnam we took medical care to people who had never had it. We built schools. We tried to set an example to the people, and, in large part, we succeeded, judging by the numbers of people who have sought to become citizens. The military was there in the Indian Ocean following the tsunami. We were there in many earthquake or hurricane ravaged places. It has never been all about killing and destroying. We do those things when we must, but not just to justify our existence.

    • don comfort November 17, 2017, 2:26 pm

      What paper doll world do you come from ? Did you fight in Viet Nam, not just go there but actually fight ? Well I did fight as a Marine. I also went to language school prior to going. I spoke to a lot of Vietnamese while in country The vast majority hated us as much as they hated the V.C. and the Governments of both North and South Vietnam. I saw the war up close and personal. There was a catch phrase at that time “pacification”Most Grunts applied the physiology that the best way to pacify the enemy was to KILL them.Your post is beyond “Fairy Tale World”

      • Boss November 18, 2017, 12:50 am

        When you’ve got ’em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.
        2/4 3rd Mar Div Fox Co VN 67-69

    • DON November 17, 2017, 2:35 pm

      Since you’re such an expert on military combat. when did you serve?

    • Steve Barnett November 17, 2017, 9:44 pm

      I’m not sure I recognize the military you’re referring to. The one I was in had mostly stuff that goes boom. Munitions from B61 to bullets. The other stuff was there mostly to take care of us. Sometimes some of the locals benefited too, but that was a side effect of our preparation to bust stuff up and kill people. Don’t confuse your oath with your mission. The purpose of the oath was to clue you in on who gets to decide what gets busted.

  • Dan Knowlton November 17, 2017, 12:21 pm

    Jeffery Nance is unfit to serve! I would bet he looks just like another of o’butthurt’s sons inside.

    I wish bergdahl a short and VERY unhappy life and hope he dies slowly. He placed others at risk for his stupid, snowflake actions and should pay the price they paid because of him.

    Sound like I am pissed! YEP, I am!

  • tracy November 17, 2017, 11:34 am

    Colonel Jeffery Nance did this country’s military a great disservice in sentencing Bergdahl.

    Giving Bergdahl a lighter sentence just because he suffered too much while in captivity is no difference in giving an criminal a lighter sentence just because he was shot after killing someone.

    FU Jeffery Nance, and FU Bergdahl.

  • Mitch T. November 17, 2017, 11:31 am

    The Dems. President let 300 convicts out of prison. Whats one more traitor that he allowed to escape justice matter. The ex President, the serving General and Bergdahl should serve in the same prison FOREVER

  • Dave Brown November 17, 2017, 11:29 am

    Well Clay, I only skimmed it, and I am guessing I would like to read the whole story as I like your work. Only thing is The Nazi also killed a lot of their troops if they tried to Run. Thus they say the Luger had an important purpose keeping the troops in line. I have no problem with DE, but he may have made a mistake on this one. My take is our military knows that a small percentage of our troops will do something like this. Most of them spent to much time living in their own heads, and came up with their plan. Some men or women simply will not make the grade, and we know this. Happens in everyday life all the time, so why should we think it cannot or will not happen to our Troops. I am not saying it is the Right Thing for any one to do, but It (that is S–t for us Grandpas) Happens. God Bless Them and All of US, Dave

    • Aardvark November 17, 2017, 5:13 pm

      S**t happens? This POS traitor got troops killed and wounded looking for his sorry ass, may have caused more troops to be killed or injured from what he disclosed to the terrorists, and other terrorists were released to free him by the POS ex-President, which probably led to other soldiers being killed or injured. So Bergdahl got a dishonorable discharge for costing America so much! And now the next snowflake that joins the military will expect the same treatment if he deserts. And our military is significantly weakened because of a PC, liberal leaning judge. How someone trained in law could come to the conclusion that a fitting punishment for so much time, cost, and lives lost as a result of Bergdahl’s desertion, would be “go home with stain on your military record”, I can’t imagine. This is a travesty!
      Great and honest article sir!

  • Patriot November 17, 2017, 10:27 am

    The treatment of Bergdahl is indeed, a gross miscarriage of justice. It is ludicrous we would give up five enemy prisoners for the likes of Bergdahl. The military judge responsible for this should very definitely be removed from his position and put in a position of no responsibility. I would like to see a less than honorable discharge for the “judge”, but we will never see that unless he is a Republican and has shown gross negligence in the handling of classified information.

  • fred November 17, 2017, 10:05 am

    Deserting from an illegal war? Good for him. Time for some therapy for your government-worshiping and misplaced loyalties.

    General Smedley Butler was correct, and he had more balls than all of you put together.

    • Mick November 17, 2017, 10:54 am

      Fred, Foxtrot Yankee !

    • Mike H. November 17, 2017, 11:21 am

      What kind of an Idiot are You-Fred Flintstone? Bergdahl should be sent to live with the Taliban and You along with him!!!!!

    • Big John November 17, 2017, 11:22 am

      “Illegal War”??? hey ASSHOLE ever hear of that little 9/11 thing. If Smedley Butler wants to see what a real man with balls acts like he should look up good friend of mine Ronnie Bucca that was lost in the Towers that day. Maybe you should read up on him too:

      Assholes like you should be more grateful “People Sleep Peacefully in Their Beds at Night Only Because Rough Men Stand Ready to Do Violence on Their Behalf”…instead of lashing out because you’re secretly ashamed you’re not one of them.

    • deanbob November 17, 2017, 11:49 am

      Was it illegal under Obama too? Were the 2 planes that hit WTC illegal? The only government worshiping is done by communists and socialists (or whatever similar name one might assign to them).

    • STAN November 17, 2017, 3:34 pm

      Fred has it right
      Bergdahl was thrust into an illegal war based on fraud. Maybe he figured it out and decided not to participate any longer.
      Most of my life I was a flag waver like the author. Anyone that told me 9/11 was a fraud was in for an argument at the least from me. One day listening to Jesse Ventura on youtube I thought what he said made since. I decided to look into 9/11 for myself. It changed my life. With at least 1,000 hours of study the truth can hardly be anymore obvious. I was no different than most. I took in the government/media story hook line and sinker. Learning the truth about 9/11 lead into learning the truth about real history not what we have been spoon fed. There has been only one time the military fought for our freedom and that was the revolutionary war. Every war since has been a fraud. When was this country ever in danger of attack. Even Pearl Harbor was a set up to give our masters and excuse to send our men and women to die for their profits.
      “The purpose of the military is not to win wars. The purpose of the military is to steal public money to enrich private individuals.”
      And for those who will call me a snowflake. I’m a Vietnam vet. Until recently I was a flag waving proud veteran. Knowing what I know now, if I could take back my participation I would. We’ve been lied to and used as suckers for a long long time.
      Ignorance is a choice. Learn the truth

  • Mike November 17, 2017, 9:29 am

    Dude you are absolutely right this nation has become so pussyfied and politically correct it’s insane. The mothers today are terrible indicting every kid get a trophy every kid needs to be treated like broken eggs it’s horrible when I went school public and private if committed a rule break you were punished I got paddled more than once sure it hurt a bit sure I was upset but I didn’t break that rule again I found another,hhaha.. The worst this shows the rest of are entitled soldiers and kids desert your brothers in arms surrender to enemy tell anything then you you miss mommy so come back and nothing happens people were hurt looking for this guy ,doesn’t that mean anything.. This entititled way teaching has to stop. Yesterday I hears now army wants to let in cutters and people with other mental defects WHAT that’s crazy,now we send a message to all the the pussies that think I don’t be here anymore I’m gonna leave they won’t do anything to me and people ask why all this crazy stuff is happening it because of one thing exactly what you said NO DISCIPLINE ANYMORE. SORRY IF MY GRAMMAR OR SPELLING IS OFF IM SO PISSED

  • pa4445 November 17, 2017, 9:22 am

    Clay is dead on!

  • Rouge1 November 17, 2017, 9:06 am

    Who would encourage their child to join an organization that is as corrupt if not more so than the rest of the federal government? Then again who would send their child to public education or college. Banana republic.

  • Don tros November 17, 2017, 8:58 am

    Clay, you presented a well thought out and passionate argument and while I don’t necessarily agree with it all, most of what you said is well reasoned and expected by someone who is a warrior.
    You mentioned the Army being a dictatorship. I had a Col tell me that the Air Force was a benevolent dictatorship and I believe he was correct. The problem with the other types of dictatorships is you sometimes get a dick in charge and they do sh*t that is just plain wrong making it necessary for those under them to revolt. Yes they do so at their own peril but to do otherwise is just cowardice. I’m not saying that this is the case with this situation, however like most things today, there’s more about this that I don’t know than I do, so I cannot say with conviction, one way or the other. It appears he got off very
    lIght but I’m thinking capital punishment is a bit overboard considering this war and those political fools that rushed us into it! But either way, thank you for your views and your service to the country.

  • alej November 17, 2017, 8:12 am

    Paratrooper? Red beret, but no jump wings.

  • Infidel762x51 November 17, 2017, 8:02 am

    ‘A gross miscarriage of justice’ – Understatement of the decade.

  • joefoam November 17, 2017, 7:23 am

    I cannot get the spectacle of this guys parents being escorted through the white house by Obama like he was some kind of returning hero out of my mind. The thought of 5 killers being released for this deserter nauseates me. In years past he would have sat in prison, now as commented above he will probably get a book deal and retire a millionaire.

  • Dennis Droege November 17, 2017, 6:58 am

    Clay, you bring into sharp focus the necessary guidelines for living a responsible, free life. Thank you..

  • Admiral John W. Flores November 17, 2017, 6:52 am

    This man at least had the courage to join and serve, which is much more than the traitor in our White House did. Treason carries a much stiffer penalty than other crimes, as it should–especially when you’re sending brave young people like yourself into battle or special ops. These modern wars since the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq, are bullshit nothing wars that just blow money and kill good people. I used to support our government and military, but not under the dictator we have now. And the horrible congress and senate we have now.

    • Supreme Commander November 17, 2017, 7:21 am

      Clay thank you for your service and for taking time to get it right. Admiral? I know several and none would even think of talking bad about a sitting or retired president, much less calling one a traitor, unless of course you ‘re talking about the navy in your bathtub. This is about Burgdahl not your views on presidents, that forum is at the Washington Post.

    • Dogface November 17, 2017, 7:27 am

      You Sir, are no Admiral and I pray you no longer lead in our military. You are a paid democrat political hack and belong nowhere near real weapons. Take your agenda to your SAFE SPACE and troll elsewhere. You Sir are a DOUCHE.

    • Rattlerjake November 17, 2017, 8:45 am

      Really? Braindead much? Trump did NOTHING illegal. Not everyone can serve and it is the government that established the rules on how to avoid serving. Trump has served this nation far better than ANY of the past Presidents since Kennedy by producing JOBS! Exactly what did your savior Obastard do? For that matter, what is your savior Ovommit doing now? Nothing but lying, committing fraud, and theft!!!!!!!!!!!! Only one thing you said is true and that is that government has been initiating and funding illegal military actions, but it has been going on for far longer than Iraq. And if you really are/were an admiral then you were a part of the problem by doing their bidding. Trump is no dictator, just name what he has done that leads you to that ignorant conclusion; not only is he actually doing his job as outlined in the Constitution, but he is doing it well. It is true that congress is horrible – by the way, MORON, the senate is part of congress, an admiral should/would know that!

      • DaveW November 17, 2017, 1:16 pm

        Right ON! Many a farm boy avoided service because of the nature of his occupation. There were 29 exemptions available to anyone. Including people like Clinton who organized anti-war demonstrations while at Oxford. Those who received exemptions were only exempted as long as they met the requirements for the exemption used. Education, for example, required maintaining a specific Grade Point Average. Fall below and off you could go. Those who got into the National Guard and Reserves were not free of risk. The supplies we received were often delivered by reservists doing their monthly or summer training. During that era, there were doctors and professors rubber stamping exemptions for just about anyone.

        Some people, like my own brother, intentionally committed a crime in order to get a criminal record exemption after their conscientious objector status was rejected. Others ran and hid out in places like Canada.

        While I understand POTUS granting blanket amnesty to draft evaders when the war ended, I wish he had included some form of mandatory service to atone for deserting the nation. What they got was approval for future generations to refuse service.

        Those who did not live through that era have no idea what things were really like, and should keep silent and not judge anyone who did live through it.

    • Don tros November 17, 2017, 8:45 am

      Sir, I’m gonna assume that because you appear to have used your full name and military rank, that you are who you say you are. I completely agree with your statement about illegal wars and the congress but I’m a little concerned by your comments about the President. First, I have to say that Trump was my last choice of the Republican candidates but compared to Hillary he is 1000 miles ahead as far as the good of the country is concerned. My concern is not that you said what you said, but the reason. I expect all of the CNN brain washed fools to be parroting their dumb BS but I wouldn’t expect a high ranking officer to do the same unless they had good reason?

    • Rouge1 November 17, 2017, 9:14 am

      It takes stupidity to join a two class anti-American organization that in no way represents American values. Cognitive dissonance is the amerikan

      • DaveW November 17, 2017, 1:19 pm

        Not so. It takes far more. Patriotism, courage, responsibility, ethics, morals, pride, and caring more about your fellow citizens than about yourself.

      • Don Tros November 17, 2017, 1:25 pm

        How can it be anti-American if it does America’s bidding? And without the military, there would be no American values. Only NAZI or Communists or even worse, Islamic values! To believe otherwise is complete ignorance and foolishness!

    • Paul November 17, 2017, 1:46 pm

      “Admiral Flores”, per WikiBin, “. . . enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard for four years active duty as a search-and-rescue crewman based out of Naval Air Station New Orleans (Group New Orleans).” In 2011, he “. . . received on behalf of the Gov. Rick Perry of Texas a commission to the rank of admiral of the State’s historic civil defense group, the Texas Navy.” He is not one who earned a high rank through military or naval service to the United States.

  • Jim peace time USAF November 17, 2017, 6:41 am

    I was never shot at , the only live ammo i touched was in basic training but even then we knew
    the penalty for desertion ( 1958/62 ) . He should have been given a blindfold at best before facing the firing squad. Now he will get away with $ 300,000 and a lucrative book deal .
    No justice for sure.

  • Dr. Strangelove November 17, 2017, 5:33 am

    I agree with Clay 100%.

  • Big John November 17, 2017, 3:55 am

    Spot on Clay, couldn’t have said it better myself.

    One slight correction though, Bergdahl was not a Paratrooper, he was a nasty f’n “Leg” assigned to an Airborne unit. He never attended Jump School, his maroon beret was issued not earned. Much like the early days of SF when non-quals were issued green berets with a “candy stripe”, qualified SFers wore a full flash. When the long tab was issued in the late 80’s non-quals got a full flash but no long tab. Slight point, but I’m sure the Paratroopers out there would appreciate the clarification.

    • clay martin November 17, 2017, 10:24 am

      Holy Shit! I didn’t think that still happened! My fault, I assumed that because he was in an Airborne Infantry unit, he had to have gone to jump school. What kind of a lunch box sends a leg to a PIR in Alaska? No wonder he was unpopular.

  • JGinFlorida November 17, 2017, 3:13 am

    We cut slack for returning warriors who suffer from post traumatic stress and do terrible things. Why not cut this fellow some slack for his reaction to being in battle?

    • Steve November 17, 2017, 7:56 am

      He knew this could happen when he enlisted,the thought would be in the back of anyone’s mind.
      He IS a traitor and should be shot,no mercy.

    • Irish-7 November 17, 2017, 10:13 am

      “Why not cut this fellow some slack…….?” Because several GOOD MEN DIED looking for this coward, that’s why. Families are torn apart as a result of the treasonous acts of this POS Bergdahl. Also, the precedent set by releasing this traitor has a cancerous potential. Avoiding punishment may motivate future service members to make similar terrible decisions. An argument can be made that Bergdahl has actually been rewarded for his actions (back pay and possible book/movie deals).

    • DaveW November 17, 2017, 12:53 pm

      Cut some slack? You might as well say it’s OK to desert; to cut and run? That kind of thing gets people killed. In Vietnam we had an unwritten policy… if anyone cut and ran, we would shoot his legs out from under him. First, because if he isn’t helping our side, he is essentially helping our opponents. Second, our opponents would should him in the back with the intent of killing him. While Bergdahl was a “prisoner”, I wonder what kind of information he might have given up.

      • Bill Runge November 19, 2017, 3:52 pm

        JG….You are a God Damned Idiot….Clay is spot on….You do not understand how the military works do you?….Snowflake

  • Patrick Kelley November 15, 2017, 10:48 am

    Mr. Martin is on it! Stated with the knowledge, background and conviction that ONLY a man who served could.

    Thank you for your service fine sir and thank you for this article.

    Patrick E Kelley

  • SuperG November 15, 2017, 10:37 am

    I think the trade of releasing 5 Taliban terrorist commanders in exchange for him was the stupidest idea. He deserted and he should have been left there, which was a fitting punishment to me. Whichever desk jockey general approved this deal should be discharged and replaced with a real commander.

    • C. Aldridge November 17, 2017, 1:01 pm

      He was when Trump was elected, but he should have been sent over to the ISIS turds and left there with the whiney piss ass Bergdahl. They should both be shot along with HilLIARy, Bill, Soros, Chuck, Nancy, Maxine, Elizabeth, and all the other socialists in the government. They’re all treasonous good for nothings.

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