Report: Bergdahl Wandered Off Before and He Returned

Members of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s squad say he simply walked off the base on the night of his capture. This unverifiable bit of information has been used by critics to say that he was a deserter who had no intention of returning.

That’s one possibility, but according to individuals briefed on a classified report and interviewed by the New York Times, Bergdahl had a history of wandering off on his own but he always returned.

WASHINGTON — A classified military report detailing the Army’s investigation into the disappearance of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in June 2009 says that he had wandered away from assigned areas before — both at a training range in California and at his remote outpost in Afghanistan — and then returned, according to people briefed on it.

The roughly 35-page report, completed two months after Sergeant Bergdahl left his unit, concludes that he most likely walked away of his own free will from his outpost in the darkness of night, and it criticized lax security practices and poor discipline within his unit. But it stops short of concluding that there is solid evidence that Sergeant Bergdahl intended to permanently desert.

According to the military report, Bergdahl was never called out or disciplined for wandering off, making it likely that he would continue doing so.

Interestingly, there is no citation in the military report of a letter Bergdahl supposedly wrote announcing his intent to become a deserter.

Does that letter even exist?

Just how much of the right wing smear campaign is a fabrication?

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  • Wilson Michael

    “Just how much of the right wing smear campaign is a fabrication?”

    All of it!!!!!

  • missliberties

    The GOP War Room had this smear locked and loaded and ready to go.

    How stupid is the media? The wingnuts were all screaming free Bergdahl. If Bowe had died as a POW they would scream some more.

    No apologies.

    Thx Obama.

  • muselet

    Does that letter even exist?

    Five bucks says no.

    –alopecia

  • Christopher Foxx

    Just how much of the right wing smear campaign is a fabrication?

    100%.

    Given their record of outright, blatant lies, there is absolutely no reason to believe otherwise. Maybe if they can present actual documents in triplicate notarized by a signer of the Declaration and authenticated by independent parties. And even then you can be sure they’re lying.

    • Nefercat

      “And even then you can be sure they’re lying.”

      Exactly. Remember the birth certificate, chumps? Right back at ya. No proof will be good enough.

  • Clavell Jackson

    More GOP propaganda.

  • Newsy 2

    The fact that he had walked off more than once in the past was brought up to me by a friend, with the question–if this was such an egregious thing to do, according to the other men in his platoon, then why wasn’t he brought up on charges the first time this happened? Why was he able to do this more than once? Perhaps if he had been charged and taken into custody, he would not have wandered off that last time, and six men didn’t have to die searching for him. This whole situation could have been avoided.