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Bowe Bergdahl

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toyomotor View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 Nov 2017 at 12:18
Bowe Bergdahl, a US Army Sergeant, walked away from his post in Afghanistan and was captured, imprisoned and tortured by the Taliban.

He was eventually released as part of a deal brokered by (then) US President, Barak Obama.

Bergdahl, upon return to the US, was charged with Desertion and Misconduct in the Face of the Enemy.

Donald Trump, then a Presidential wannabe, publicly stated that Bergdahl should be executed.

Since then, Bergdahl has been charged and faced a Court Martial, and Trump has been elected as President of the USA.

Bergdahl has escaped imprisonment on the charges, but has been ordered a Dishonourable Discharge.

This has great impact on his medical entitlements as  a US Serviceman, particularly as he has suffered at the hands of the Taliban and still has physical and mental health problems. Well may you say "Serve him right". But no-one has really got to the bottom of why he walked away from his unit and into the hands of the enemy. I suggest that at the time he was suffering from a mental disorder, be it stress, PTSD or whatever, and that needs detailed examination before a final decision is made on his future.

On hearing that Bergdahl had escaped imprisonment, Trump is reported as saying that the sentence is a "total disgrace", infering that his previous thoughts on execution were still his preferred option.

As  POTUS and CinC of US Military Forces, his opinions and utterings could be expected to have an effect on any decision making process in this and any other matter before the courts. As such, an appeal by Bergdahls lawyers may well hold water, as he has not been granted natural justice, free of political interference.

One US journalist is quoted as saying that "If Trump learned how to listen, he may learn how to govern". I agree with this assessment.

As it relates to Bergdahl and other person in the process of being charged with serious crimes, Trump should keep his mouth firmly shut!!!

To do otherwise is likely to see judgements overturned by the Supreme Court on the basis of political interference and fairness. 




Edited by toyomotor - 04 Nov 2017 at 12:30
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franciscosan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 2017 at 20:56
I think you may have misunderstood the decision, toyomotor, people in the Chain of Command are not supposed to comment on court marshals, and so when Donald Trump commented on what the outcome should be, that was to potentially prejudice the decision.  That actually was probably got him off on a mere dishonorable discharge, and not a stiffer penalty.  But of course, Trump will criticize to his base, lamenting how Bergdahl got off easy, when in reality it was _because_ of Trump that the court marshall had to decide it in that matter.  Ironic.  Or at least all that is my understanding, I have been wrong before;)

Dishonorable Discharge is the best that Bergdahl could do, I don't see any reason for an appeal.  It is kind of hard to tell if he had mental health problems then, because it is clear he has them now.  He was/is a menace to others and himself, and his actions resulted in other casualties.  I believe that people with mental problems have a lot more presence of mind than is usually given them credit.  And I say that from my own personal experience, being diagnosed bipolar (manic/depressive) myself.  It would be detrimental for the military, a deep insult and a bad example if he got off scot-free.  The fact is, the military is a volunteer service, on some level he chose to be there, he made a commitment, and then he broke it in a way that was dangerous to others, and costly to himself.  But, the danger is not over, and is not limited to his AWOL (absent without leave), now it is getting into that issue of separation of (military) justice and the executive Chain of Command.  Leave it to Donald to compound problems rather than solve them.  I am not sure Donald Trump should be all that concerned about whether people get what they deserve.  But it is probably efficient to getting his base excited, and that is what he wants after all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 2017 at 23:20
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I think you may have misunderstood the decision, toyomotor, people in the Chain of Command are not supposed to comment on court marshals, and so when Donald Trump commented on what the outcome should be, that was to potentially prejudice the decision.  That actually was probably got him off on a mere dishonorable discharge, and not a stiffer penalty.  But of course, Trump will criticize to his base, lamenting how Bergdahl got off easy, when in reality it was _because_ of Trump that the court marshall had to decide it in that matter.  Ironic.  Or at least all that is my understanding, I have been wrong before;)

Dishonorable Discharge is the best that Bergdahl could do, I don't see any reason for an appeal.  It is kind of hard to tell if he had mental health problems then, because it is clear he has them now.  He was/is a menace to others and himself, and his actions resulted in other casualties.  I believe that people with mental problems have a lot more presence of mind than is usually given them credit.  And I say that from my own personal experience, being diagnosed bipolar (manic/depressive) myself.  It would be detrimental for the military, a deep insult and a bad example if he got off scot-free.  The fact is, the military is a volunteer service, on some level he chose to be there, he made a commitment, and then he broke it in a way that was dangerous to others, and costly to himself.  But, the danger is not over, and is not limited to his AWOL (absent without leave), now it is getting into that issue of separation of (military) justice and the executive Chain of Command.  Leave it to Donald to compound problems rather than solve them.  I am not sure Donald Trump should be all that concerned about whether people get what they deserve.  But it is probably efficient to getting his base excited, and that is what he wants after all.

1. No, I've read and understood the decision well enough.

2. It's finally being revealed that many soldiers are returning from active service with severe mental problems, as I mentioned Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for example. These illnesses didn't suddenly occur when the shores of home were sighted. They started in the fear and fury of combat, and no-one really knows what was going through their minds during their deployment.

3.  It''s not just Trump, no-one has the right to prejudice a fair trial, and it's being seen that Trump may have done just that. That he is the CinC makes it worse.

4. I agree. He's recently been quoted as saying "It's about me", and to be fair, it was in another context, but it's also an accurate self assessment if you like.

5. As a result of the comments made by the CinC, Bowe Bergdahl may be acquitted on all charges.




Edited by toyomotor - 04 Nov 2017 at 23:21
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2017 at 01:10
Yes, Bergdahl was acquitted, except he still gets a dishonorable discharge, which means that he does not get veteran's benefits.  Including counseling benefits for PTSD, which he definitely has.  Some people advocating for him think he should get benefits, because he "needs" it.  I think most people recognize he is "screwed," but have limited sympathy because he did "it" to himself.  Why would someone who so egregiously violates the rules should have the same benefits as someone who follows the rules?

Should one have sympathy for someone who pisses on an electric fence?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2017 at 11:04
Quote Yes, Bergdahl was acquitted, except he still gets a dishonorable discharge, which means that he does not get veteran's benefits.

No, sorry, I think that you'll find that he pleaded guilty to both crimes and was therefore convicted.

My question as to his guilt or innocense hinges on his mental state while serving in Afghanistan, before he went over the wire.

Is it know what state his mental health was in while overseas?

If not, why not?

If it is known, and he was in fact mentally ill, surely he should been found not guilty, and ordered treatment before a decision is made as to his future suitability for service.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Windemere Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 2017 at 17:36
It's true that Bergdahl will forfeit any financial, educational, pension Veterans' Benefits that he might have been eligible for, due to his dishonorable discharge. However, he may still be eligible for medical benefits, including PTSD counselling, if his medical condition is found to be service-connected. Each application for V.A. medical benefits is considered on an individual basis.

Edited by Windemere - 08 Nov 2017 at 17:38
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2017 at 01:31
The article I read was concerned with whether Bergdahl could get medical benefits.  It portrayed Bergdahl as not going AWOL, but as leaving his post because he was concerned about superiors issuing dangerous or illegal orders (or something), and he wanted to go elsewhere to report it.  

I think that Bergdahl is the kind of stupid, presumptuousness that gets not only him, but everyone else in trouble.  I have little sympathy with him, on the other hand, that kind of stupidity is best avoided if you can.  To concern oneself excessively over whether he deserves benefits, is spending too much time on him, (whether one answers it pro- or con-).  It is an interesting question, but to get worked up about it either way is 'investing good money after bad.' or in other words, pouring more money into an already loosing proposition.  If the government decides he gets nothing, I am not going to sleep over it.  On the other hand, if the government decides he gets benefits, well I am sure that it is not because of his stellar record, but because they are looking at the big picture.

Some people have such an overabundance of confusion, that they decide they want to share it with others, I would consider Bergdahl, Manning and Snowden in that category.  More self-righteousness, then common sense.
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