Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News Bowe Bergdahl Released

  1. May 31, 2014 #1


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    After being held for five years, Bowe Bergdahl has been released by the Taliban:


    He was released in exchange for five Taliban detainees who had been held in Guantanamo.

    As stated in the article, there is some controversy about his release, since it required negotiating with the Taliban. I have mixed feelings about that, but I think it signals the Taliban are a much lower threat than they used to be.

    It will be a tough transition for him. One report I read said he was having trouble speaking English! In any case: Welcome home, Bowe!
  2. jcsd
  3. May 31, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Welcome home bro.
  4. Jun 1, 2014 #3
    Great news! Hope he writes a book, I'd read it!
  5. Jun 1, 2014 #4
    I hope he and his family receive plenty of counselling. I've heard too many stories of families not recognizing signs of suicide when soldiers (in the generic sense, no offence to men and women of branches other than the Army) return. His situation sounds like one that could lead to serious depression.
  6. Jun 2, 2014 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Yes, mixed feelings. This is not the end of WWII. Obama has the authority to order all troops home but he does not have the authority to end the war or stop the Taliban from fighting. Some other soldiers were likely put in harms way capturing those 5 Taliban, and unlike WWII, Korea, there's no capitulation here from the Taliban indicating those 5 Taliban leaders won't go on to attack, say, some US embassy.

    That Reuters article also states:

    If that's true, then more soldiers were likely put in harms way looking for him.

    There also seems to be 30-day notification of Congress law for releasing Gitmo prisoners that was ignored.
  7. Jun 2, 2014 #6
  8. Jun 2, 2014 #7


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    So, possible disertion?

    From Greg's CNN link.

    More http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/01/us/bergdahl-deserter-or-hero/index.html
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
  9. Jun 2, 2014 #8


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    If he deserted under fire and directly got people killed as a result then he should stand trial for extra punishment but if he bugged out late one night, got captured by being stupid and people died searching for him later, the 5 years and a dishonorable discharge is sufficient IMO.

    Unless Bowe Bergdahl voluntarily joined the Taliban to fight the US it's time to let him go home to get his head straight.
  10. Jun 2, 2014 #9


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

  11. Jun 2, 2014 #10


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Agreed, exactly so until the 5 Taliban leaders are factored in, which I don't know how weigh. If these 5 are likely to make baskets, fine, enough three meals a day on Uncle Sam. If they are likely to make plans for dirty bombs or crashing planes into buildings ...
  12. Jun 2, 2014 #11


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    There were plenty of people capable of terrorist plans and acts on the loose before these five were released and I wouldn't trust them with a firecracker if I was the Taliban after their many years of 'training'.
  13. Jun 2, 2014 #12
    I am hearing a lot of statements like that. The five were Taliban enemy combatants. That would be the same group that we helped to drive Russia out of Afghanistan. Just when did Taliban become confused with Al Qaeda??

    The description of the five as being dangerous Taliban confuses me. I thought that all Taliban were dangerous. The five did have leadership positions.

    Ironically the current information on the five was determined in 2008 by someone at gitmo and news agencies are using wikileaks info.

    Bold mine.

    Is the 2008 Guantanamo leadership (whatever that is) version of danger from the five the same as the current Guantanamo commanders version?


    I see a lot of political hype here. The five were all captured during the 2001 2002 time frame. Do they still hold their dangerous leadership positions? Will they be able to execute their previous leadership from Qatar?

  14. Jun 3, 2014 #13


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I don't know if anyone confuses the Taliban with Al Qaeda; the Taliban is just allied with/supporting of Al Qaeda.
    The would not be the first to leave 'Gitmo to return to the fight.
    Maybe, but only for a year, until they are allowed to leave -- less if Qatar doesn't do a good job of keeping tabs on them.
  15. Jun 5, 2014 #14


    User Avatar
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    Just spent the last 5 hours reading about Bowe, from many sources.

    A Buddhist joining the Army?

    Um, Army, to quote Paul McCartney, "that was your first mistake".


    Welcome home Bowe,

    I will buy you a sailboat, when you're ready.



  16. Jun 5, 2014 #15


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Pretty hard to sort the wheat from the chaff on this one. Some stories suggest he wandered out into the desert after his shift - which sounds like a death wish. It's not like there was a nightclub down the street. According to the Washington Post, he stumbled past a local village appearing stoned and on into the mountains, despite warnings from locals. Aside from abject stupidity, he probably deserves to be charged with dereliction of duty, if not desertion. The prisoner exchange was a plain awful idea that puts americans abroad at risk, IMO. I could perhaps see a straight up exchange for a minor Taliban functionary, but, five reportedly senior Taliban officials is a pretty lopsided deal for one obscure, disoriented nco. If these stories are true, the tragic part is the soldiers who were wounded or killed trying to find this guy. I'm fairly confident the guys we released will be giving interviews on Al Jazeera the minute they step off the plane and vanish shortly afterwards.
  17. Jun 5, 2014 #16
    The prisoner exchange was the only option. Deserter or dereliction or duty, he is still an American citizen.

    The five Taliban leaders have all been at gitmo for 12 years or more. I personally would question the leadership capability of anyone who had been detained at Guantanamo for that long.

    The current Taliban leadership may want several of those released back for something much more nasty than just a little homecoming celebration.

    Bold mine

    And it appears that two others had surrendered to the Northern Alliance. What, no fight to the death?

  18. Jun 5, 2014 #17


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Some discussion on the legal matters regarding how Bergdahl went missing.


    How will the U.S. military deal with the controversial case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl?
    Military law expert Eugene Fidell discusses these questions with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

    Eugene Fidell, teaches military justice at Yale University. He’s also co-founder and former president of National Institute of Military Justice.
  19. Jun 5, 2014 #18


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I think the case will go the way of Charles Robert Jenkins if he is declared a deserter. Little or no jail time if in fact he just left his post and did not willingly and actively plan or execute actions against the US government. The fact that people may have died looking for him while regrettable is a part of the normal risks of duty in SAR.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
  20. Jun 5, 2014 #19


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Is there a transcript posted? I don't want to listen. And I don't want to download anything.
  21. Jun 5, 2014 #20


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm not sure. I could only see the mp3 file.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Bowe Bergdahl Released
  1. The long bow (Replies: 22)

  2. Obama bows to King (Replies: 50)

  3. Should I Bow Out? (Replies: 2)

  4. Bow & Arrow (Replies: 8)