Welcome to the 21st century political reality. Hypocrisy all around.
President Obama proved that he can release Gitmo detainees without the approval of Congress after six years of hiding behind their intransigence on the subject. John McCain, who is hailed as a hero only because he was a Prisoner of War in Vietnam (certainly not due to his heroics in war or the way he was captured), originally was all for the prisoner swap to get Berghdahl’s release — that is, until Obama did it.
As for all of Bergdahl’s former platoon-mates (if that’s what you call his fellow soliders) who are blaming him for the death of six to eight others searching for him, The New York Times today warns that the “facts are murky.”
As I’ve been saying all week, there is no black and white, especially pertaining to war. And last night I heard from a friend of mine who served in Vietnam, and is a former member of Seal Team 2:
one of the things that was drummed into us, beginning with the recruiting process (when I joined the teams you had to be invited by UDT/SEALs to the training, you couldn’t just walk up and say “dude I want to go to BUDs) was that “there has never been a SEAL captured or left behind, living or dead.”
during our training if a classmate or crewmate (we were divided into boat crews by height, since you spend a lot of time carrying those fucking boats that part makes sense) got hurt, if the injury was not life threatening (and believe me our instructors had a strange scale to measure what constituted threatening) then it was our duty to carry that person through the rest of the exercise while the instructors screamed into our ears “there has NEVER been a SEAL captured or left behind, living or DEAD!”
sometimes if no one got conveniently injured an instructor would touch someone of the shoulder and say “your leg’s broken.” and the same drill would ensue with the appropriate screaming at us.
times were not adjusted to account for the extra effort. (because there are no such adjustments on the battlefield) if you blew your time, your time was blown.
in quang ngai during a recon I caught a bullet in the hip. it blew off a chunk of my iliac crest and cracked my pelvis. the guys on my team did the usual bandaid type first aid, rigged a stretcher, and humped my ass the hell out of there nearly eight miles to try and reach a place where the choppers could reach us to evacuate. I was hurting like hell, I was also feeling guilty for slowing my guys down, and feeling responsible since we were supposed to be avoiding contact and when the contact came I had been on point. at one point when the pain and jostling had gotten to be more then I could stand, along with the guilt for being the cause of all this, I begged my guys to put me down, leave me with an m60 so I could at least slow the folks chasing us down.
to my great relief they put me down and stopped the bouncing. to my surprise they all busied themselves digging the fuck into a perimeter around me. I told them “no, leave me, you guys get outta here.” I was greeted with seven guys shouting in my ear “there has NEVER been a SEAL captured or left behind, living or DEAD!”