Missing Soldier Update with video of PFC Bowe Bergdahl

As all who have been following this blog or following me on twitter know, I have been following this missing soldier issue ever sine it has happened. I have had multiple sources in and outside of Afghanistan feeding me info that I have pretty much been keeping to myself out of respect for the soldier’s safety, OPSEC, and the family.

A week or so ago my fried PJ Tobia put up a blog story about this soldier which told how it is referred in country by the soldiers as Operation Where’s Waldo. Of course that is not the official name of the operation looking for this soldier, but it is what all the troops on the ground have been calling it.

Within a day of putting up my posting which pointed to PJ’s, I took it down. In hindsight and after much consideration I decided to not spread the word on this yet. There was something in me that knew many, many family members of deployed service-members read this blog and I didn’t want my blog to be the conduit of more pain in this family’s life.

However now that the video is out and it is very clear that the soldier is not under any duress, stress, strain, etc. I think it is safe to call it like it is. I have said from the onset that this was a very fishy case and it did not add up.

After seeing the video, I feel even more so now. The rumors of desertion and walking off his base voluntarily have been out there for the last 10 days. The video speaks volumes if you know what to look for and I don’t mean having to be trained to read body language, etc. It is common sense.

He has no marks, no visible wounds, he is eating well (not scarfing it down), he is talking in a calm demeanor and overall looks very stress free. He is even sporting one nice looking Taliban haircut and beard. The Taliban and most in the rural areas of the mid-east shave with straight-razors. They don’t have Gillette and Schick out in the middle of nowhere. This kid’s head has been neatly shaved with a straight-razor yet he has no cuts, or scrapes. Even a twitch or a shake of the head would guarantee a slice of the scalp somewhere. So what that tells me is he was calm and still as they shaved his head. Just something to think about.

I know exactly the area he went missing and I know the base he went missing from very well. I, along with many others I am sure, are trying to figure out how he ended up getting off the base and nobody seeing this soldier with apparently no tactical gear walking in the open. I am sure there are a lot of questions being asked of his chain of command. Regardless of how this turns out for this soldier, I think there are many leaders in his unit who’s careers are over. I hope not (unless they are guilty of negligence). I think one must also look at the mental state of this soldier and evaluate if he ever showed signs that would cause those that know him to think he would be capable of this.

He came in the Army just one year ago. He enlisted in June of 2008, went to basic training, AIT, and airborne school before being assigned to the Geronimos of the 1/501st ABN. We now know he was home-schooled, and was very active in the ballet and in fencing. Not exactly the type of person that wants to excel and be part of a high-speed Airborne Infantry Unit, if you ask me. Could it be his fellow soldiers knew of his past and harassed him? Could they have made him feel like an outsider? Who knows, and really it does not matter as what he did (if desertion as PJ implies) is inexcusable. I am confident that as the past comes to light we will see this soldier demonstrated behavior that would be considered outside the norm.

I saw an AP report that stated this soldier lagged behind on a patrol and it implied he was kidnapped that way. But the same article said he was not noticed missing until a formation the next day. I can tell you that story is complete BS. No leader of any kind takes his unit on dismounted patrol and then comes back into the base without knowing he has everyone. Afghanistan is not the type of environment where everyone walks “Ranger File” or “Ducks in a Row” and you lose someone because they are walking slow. Were not talking about triple canopy jungle here, we are talking about desert. Regardless, that story is completely false and shame on the Associated Press for even thinking about printing it, much less actually printing it.

Overall this is a sad case for all except the enemy. This is a huge IO (Information Operations) campaign for them and they will come out smelling like a rose to those they can influence.

This is sad for the soldier, sad for his unit and the chain of command (who’s careers are probably over), sad for all the soldiers in Afghanistan who are working non-stop night and day looking for him and not doing their regular missions, sad for Afghanistan whom should be using the American assistance to get ready for the national elections one month from today. I can guarantee that in this area of Pakitika, Ghazni, and Paktia provinces they aren’t focusing on election preparation and probably are focusing on nothing but finding this soldier. It is also very sad for the Afghan and US family members of soldiers who have been killed or wounded as a result of the exhaustive and extensive searching that has been going on.

Most importantly it is sad for his family, who is probably getting no sleep or rest ever since they found out it was him missing back on June 30th (when they were first notified). If he did break ranks or if he does go to the other side it will even be more painful for them.  They will suffer forever because of this. Unless our military is able to rescue him, I doubt he will ever be released alive. The Taliban will use him for everything they can to sway Afghan and US public opinion.

As a parent of a combat vet myself, I cannot imagine the heartbreak or anxiety they feel. I am very sorry for them if the indications and allegations are true. With all that said, I will close this posting for now. Stay tuned here to Bouhammer.com as I will post updates as they become public knowledge.

The link to PJ’s article is here, http://trueslant.com/pjtobia/2009/07/20/source-bergdahl-deserted/

The entire 28 minutes of video (and not just the parts that the MSM wants you to see) is below.

16 thoughts on “Missing Soldier Update with video of PFC Bowe Bergdahl”

  1. Bouhammer,
    An insightful and most thoughtful post.
    It’s a sad case. Like it or not, he’s one of ours. Imperfect, quirky and lost. Thoughts go out to his family, who must be incredibly distraught.

  2. Let me get this “straight”. You’re saying that because Bergdahl was “home-schooled, and was very active in the ballet and in fencing. Not exactly the type of person that wants to excel and be part of a high-speed Airborne Infantry Unit, if you ask me.”, he wasn’t an effective soldier?

    It’s obvious you’re implying Bergdahl to be gay. In a highly homophobic manner.

    That’s sad…and an insult to the thousands and thousands of gay military you work alongside every day.

    1. Howey,

      For someone that wants to get it straight (pun not intended to hurt your feelings 🙁 ) You are surely letting your political and preference views get in the way. It is clear that you never served in such type unit or probably never in the combat arms of the Army or Marines. In fact I see from your site that you are a gay Airforce Veteran. Thanks for your service, even though I am not sure how long that was.

      I never said he was not an effective soldier. I also never said he was gay nor did I imply such thing. Is being home-schooled make you gay? I don’t think so, as I know many who are true and straight and have been home-schooled. Is being in ballet mean you are gay? No as I don’t believe that is a pre-requisite. Or all fencers gay? Not that I have ever seen.

      After looking at your site (theworldofhowey.wordpress.com/) I can see the little world of howey is all about promoting the ultra-liberal Gay agenda and repealing DADT, slamming Fox News, The Palin faimly, blah, blah, blah. I wonder are you threatened to have a woman like Sarah Palin be more of a man than you?

      BTW, I don’t work alongside thousands and thousands of gay military every day. There may be one or two in my unit, but since there are only roughly 3000+ in my Brigade I doubt they are all gay and hence there not being thousands and thousands that I work alongside.

      Do us all a favor, if you want to read this blog and learn about things in Afghanistan then read. But don’t try to spin or inject the “woe is me as the gay man” bullshit into my blog posts. My comments are in there for a reason and those who are smart enough and have the experience in the Army that I do will be able to read them and know what the intent of them was. Those that don’t should STFU and go back to watching LOST, reading the Huffington Post or votevets.org or attending the latest comic convention.

  3. Please explain to me how you can say:

    “We now know he was home-schooled, and was very active in the ballet and in fencing. Not exactly the type of person that wants to excel and be part of a high-speed Airborne Infantry Unit, if you ask me.”

    without implying, at the very least, these activities are considered “gay” or “effeminate” in your mind. Of course you are. You’re just too scared to admit it, big guy.

    Furthermore, since you admit to being somewhat knowledgeable of the area and Bergdahl’s unit, can you give us a little more insight into this statement?

    “Could it be his fellow soldiers knew of his past and harassed him? Could they have made him feel like an outsider?”

    I suspect you know damn well that is the case. If the worst happens and Bergdahl is found dead or beheaded, those very same fellow soldiers will share in the blood on the Taliban’s hands…just like the soldier who brutally killed and burned the body of August Provost at Camp Pennington.

    Let me guess…You agree with Faux News and LtCol Peters that the Taliban should go ahead and “finish the job” too, don’t you?

    And thanks for reading my blog.

    1. Howey,
      Unless you have been around this type of unit, then there is no explaining it to you. The bravado, testosterone, and teasing that happens is usually done without malice, however that does not mean some don’t take offense to it or that some don’t sometimes cross the line. You don’t know me or anything about me. Have you not read this blog? If you had, you would see there is not too much I am “scared” of. Voicing my opinion is certainly not one of them. I am not “scared” of gay people and in fact have several close friends who are gay and family members too. I could really give a crap what they do in their bedroom, to each their own. Just as I am sure you are friends with straight people, I am sure you don’t look down at them for not being like you. You quote a second statement from me which is related to the first one. Can you not see through your rainbow glasses the reference? Are you that blinded by the shiny lights of your mis-guided opinions to not see the truth.

      How dare you say that the soldiers in his unit will have blood on their hands. The only blood on their hands is their own and the blood of others that have been shed looking for this guy. I do NOT support Peters’s statement and think he is a poor example of a leader and a ex-military officer to have said such a thing. I have also never seen FOX NEWS as a media outlet say they support his statement, not has any regular correspondent on that station stated that. So your guesses are wrong. In fact I have much more knowledge of the situation leading up to and about Bergdahl’s disappearance that has yet to be made public. But it serves no interest to discuss these facts on my blog at this time. I have also been in contact with family friends that read this blog and they are not filled with near the blind hate that you are.

      I said it before and I said it again, STFU and go back to ranting on your own little blog. Talk about all your years in the air force and the latest episodes of Lost and how you feel we should all be LGBT happy world. Live in your dream state of nirvana and let those of us who have had to face the horrors of mankind continue to do so, so you can sit back and throw darts from your safe haven. I am glad that people like me and my fellow soldiers have sacrificed so much so you can have the freedom of speech and freedom of safety that you do to live in a lah-lah land of care-bears and fairy-tales.

  4. BouHammer said

    -I do NOT support Peters’s statement and think he is a poor example of a leader and a ex-military officer to have said such a thing.-

    then maybe you should do a blog blasting him instead of talking about whether or not Bergdahl was a ballet dancer and fencer, which IMO was a way of getting a little ‘snark’ in while still being able to claim innocence if someone called you on it.. Especially since WA Times says he was also “a born adventurer” and “constantly talk about joining the military” ..

    I’m not gay.. and I’m around a lot of ‘manly-men’ hunters,boxers,ex rangers-..dude’s dudes… and I understand the ribbing..I also understand the undercurrent in the ribbing at times.. and this time seemed like you were saying w/o saying..and IMO that was unnecessary

    I thank you for your service as I thank Howie and any other person who sacrifices so that I could .. “have the freedom of speech and freedom of safety that you do to live in a lah-lah land of care-bears and fairy-tales.” But being raised by a WWII vet, marine drill instructor taught me something you forgot in this blog.. and that’s “we don’t leave our men behind”

    talk smack about the kid when he’s safe.. ream him a new ass (metaphorically speaking) when he’s home and out of danger.. do your worst when and if you find out this is faked from beginning to end..whatever.. but at this point-he’s a lost brother and he deserves your respect.. not your speculation as to whether he’s really scared,his head was compassionately shaved or whether he wolfed his food down..

    at this point, this liberal feels like the only way the people doing all this questioning will be happy is if there is a beheading.. I understand we all live in a cynical world but where is the harm in letting this play out until the kid is safely recovered before we call for his head.. literally?
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..“The Taliban can save us alot of legal hassles and legal bills” .. are you kidding me? =-.

    1. Kelly,
      Why do I need to blog blast Peters, you and Howie seem to be doing enough of that for all of us. Have you served? Have you served in elite combat units? If no, then hanging around those that may have doesn’t qualify you to speak with any authority. I hang around pilots a lot, but that does not mean I know what it is like to fly.

      You my friend don’t know the facts, just as Howie doesn’t. So you can whatever you want. I on the other hand have multiple sources in and out of country plus from some that are close to the family. I wrote my post and there is yet to be any new facts. So I am not writing about it. When something more concrete comes out, then I may update it. But my blog is not dedicated to all things Bowe. It is about the military and geo-political issues of Afghanistan.

      Ironically you and Howie come after me and make all sorts of wild and dreamed up accusations, but those that are close to the family says my blog post is one of the most level-headed ones they have read. I don’t think I have talked smack one bit. I have not accused this kid of anything. I pointed to another blog that did, and I am watching many others who are going with that same theme. I don’t know for a fact how this kid came into the enemies hands. I know what I saw on the 28 minute video and I know what my very reliable sources are telling me. I blogged some things I noticed, I never blogged anything that was not my opinion of the video or that was not mentioned in news reports, and some blogs.

      Take a breath, calm down and rather than attack my blog becuase you good buddy Howie told you to…read it for what it is.

  5. where did I speak authoritatively ? I said thank you, and if that’s not a sentiment you want then I will take it back..

    and why in the hell do I need to have served to be able to understand the kind of …”The bravado, testosterone, and teasing that happens”… that you’re talking about.. it is you my friend who needs to take a breathe and calm down if you think only a serviceman can understand the bravado..

    why should you go after Peters? Because at the very least he’s calling for a terrorist organization to kill an American.. at most, to kill an American Soldier.. You’ve shown more anger at Bowe, Howey and me than you have the real problem in this puzzle..

    and I read it for what it was.. and IMO it was a questioning of that which doesn’t need to be questioned.. at this time.. later, yes.. now? no… now support is what is called for…

    but hey, I’ve never served a day.. so maybe support and respect is not something you guys want…
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..“The Taliban can save us alot of legal hassles and legal bills” .. are you kidding me? =-.

  6. Actually the “rumors: of walking off his base voluntarily have been out there for a lot more than 10 days:

    An internal military investigation found that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl intentionally sneaked away from his forward operating base in Afghanistan just before he disappeared in 2009 – and that may not have been the first time he left the post without permission, according to officials familiar with the probe.

    “We have no indication that he intended to leave permanently,” one government official familiar with the investigation told Military Times. . .

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