People The Taliban release video of Sgt. Bergdahl’s release David Reeder June 4, 2014 0 COMMENT Apparently yesterday the Taliban (or a group affiliated with the Taliban) released video allegedly showing the Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl “hand off” to U.S. personnel for his return to the United States. Presumably the latter were SOF or from 3-letter agency elements (or both); we can only speculate as to the specific identities of the former. As you are no doubt aware by now, POTUS traded several GITMO prisoners for Sgt. Bergdahl in a prisoner swap, a move that has stirred up no little amount of controversy. Men on the ground when he went DUSTWUN (Duty Status -Whereabouts Unknown) allege the man is at best a deserter, at worst an collaborator and in either case complicit in the subsequent death of US military personnel. Several spouses of men who were killed or injured in the search for Bergdahl when he disappeared have been even more vocal. There is even a petition at the White House demanding Bergdahl be punished as a traitor. The petition and outrage, while understandable, does not obviate the man’s right (and our obligation) to a military trial. If found guilty we can then add him to the list of military personnel currently awaiting execution under the UCMJ (and hopefully he would not wind up like Pvt. Ronald Gray). As I understand it the Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth has a facility designated for capital punishment by the United States military. Given the political climate and the nature of our litigious society it’s unlikely he’ll face the death penalty even if found guilty (and assuming he is given a genuine trial); if he is found guilty there will still be a hue and a cry that it wasn’t right or fair. If nothing else I hope they get some actionable intelligence out of what will I’m sure be a thorough and exhaustive debrief – something that will allow our guys still on the ground the opportunity to smoke check some deserving villains. I remain skeptical that Bergdahl will have an unbiased, politically unencumbered Court Martial. We will see. In any case, it’s an interesting video (look at 1:18). I’m sure there was some puckering going on there. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall when they set up QRF, overwatch and other contingency plans – and when the men tasked with the mission were away from their brass and able to talk freely.