On Fox News yesterday, guest Lt. Col. Ralph Peters labeled Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, “an apparent deserter.” He later said that the Taliban should kill Bergdahl, “If he walked away from his post and his buddies in wartime, I don’t care how hard it sounds, as far as I’m concerned, the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills.”
Here is the video courtesy of Think Progress:
Peters said, “I wanna stress first of all that we must wait until all of the facts are in to make a final judgment, but nobody in the military that I’ve heard is defending this guy. He is an apparent deserter. Reports are indeed that he abandoned his buddies, abandoned his post and walked off…Now there’s another problem Julie. On that video he is collaborating with the enemy, under duress or not, that’s really not relevant…He’s lying about how he was captured saying that he lagged behind a patrol….So we know this private is a liar we aren’t sure if he is a deserter, but the media needs to hit the pause button and not portray this guy as a hero.”
Peters said that if he is a deserter, the Taliban should kill him, “I want to be clear. If, when the facts are in, we find out that through some convoluted chain of events, he really was captured by the Taliban, I’m with him. But, if he walked away from his post and his buddies in wartime, I don’t care how hard it sounds, as far as I’m concerned, the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills.”
Julie Banderas did her best to try to soften his remarks at the end of the segment. How can Ralph Peters condemn the man as a deserter, if we don’t know all of the facts? Anyone who remembers the Pat Tillman case understands that it is not beneath the military to lie about the circumstances surrounding a soldier’s capture or death. It would not be surprising if some in the Pentagon are trying to downplay the first U.S. solider to be captured by the Taliban by labeling him a deserter.
Peters claim that it doesn’t matter whether, Pfc. Bergdahl was under duress in the released video is nonsense. The definition of collaboration states that it has to be voluntary cooperation with the enemy. Peters has already made up his mind that it’s Bergdahl’s fault that he got captured. Regardless of the circumstances, the U.S. has an obligation to rescue this young man from the Taliban.