Sometime after midnight on June 30, 2009, Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl left behind a note in his tent saying he had become disillusioned with the Army, did not support the American mission in Afghanistan and was leaving to start a new life. He slipped off the remote military outpost in Paktika Province on the border with Pakistan and took with him a soft backpack, water, knives, a notebook and writing materials, but left behind his body armor and weapons — startling, given the hostile environment around his outpost.
That account, provided by a former senior military officer briefed on the investigation into the private’s disappearance, is part of a more complicated picture emerging of the capture of a soldier whose five years as a Taliban prisoner influenced high-level diplomatic negotiations, brought in foreign governments, and ended with him whisked away on a helicopter by American commandos.
Allahpundit asks: “Does the Army have the note Bergdahl left before leaving?” My question: did Obama know about that note before making the trade? And did he know about this?
Mr. [Cody] Full, then a specialist in the platoon, said he and other platoon members grew increasingly bitter at the time they were spending looking for Sergeant Bergdahl. “He had sent all his belongings home — his computer, personal items,” said Mr. Full, now 25.
The platoon members had good reason to be bitter. Indeed, questions have been raised about whether the search for Bergdahl led to the deaths of soldiers:
The furious search for Sergeant Bergdahl, his critics say, led to the deaths of at least two soldiers and possibly six others in the area. Pentagon officials say those charges are unsubstantiated and are not supported by a review of a database of casualties in the Afghan war.
“Yes, I’m angry,” Joshua Cornelison, a former medic in Sergeant Bergdahl’s platoon, said in an interview on Monday arranged by Republican strategists. “Everything that we did in those days was to advance the search for Bergdahl. If we were doing some mission and there was a reliable report that Bergdahl was somewhere, our orders were that we were to quit that mission and follow that report.”
Oh — let’s not forget that Susan Rice said Bergdahl “served the United States with honor and distinction.”
She also said he was “American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield.”
Contacted by patterico.com for a comment about Rice’s statement, Tommy Vietor replied: “Dude, that was like, two days ago.”
How’s that “Don’t Do Stupid Shit” principle looking these days, Mr. Obama?
UPDATE: Wow. The Army knew where Bergdahl was, according to this story — but the decision was made not to risk special forces to save him, because he was a deserter.
UPDATE x2: As a reminder, here is the price we paid: