by Suzanne Eovaldi
Just what is holding up the release from captivity of the only American POW, Sgt. Bowe Robert Bergdahl, 27, of Ketchum, Idaho? Is this beloved 27 year old American soldier now a ping pong ball in the Afghanistan-US peace talks? Or is he being held as a bargaining chip between our State Department and Senate because President Obama’s aim to close Guantanamo Prison in Cuba is being thwarted by Congress which doesn’t want it closed?
And, if as the Taliban supposedly demands, America must release five prisoners being held in Gitmo to show confidence before Sgt. Bergdahl can be freed, how come “two Algerians held at Guantanamo Bay prison for a decade have been returned to Algiers?” (1) And what about this in the same AP report: “There are still nearly 90 prisoners who have been cleared for release or transfer from the prison out of the total population of 164.” Just what is going on here, and why is an active US soldier being left to languish somewhere around the Afghanistan–Pakistan tribal border area while State Department employee Jen Psaki smiles? How come this 34 year old woman, who can be contacted at www.linkedin.com/pub/jen-psaki-23/549/79, can remain as the Benghazi Survivors spokeswoman, but can’t tell Congress directly what went on with that sorry saga?
Reporter Paul Shinkman in two reports during June of this year (2) quotes Taliban member Shaheen Suhali, saying “the US first has to release detainees (five) from Guantanamo Bay to build confidence,” before anything can go forward on the release of Sgt. Berkdahl. One video allegedly quotes him as saying, “Release me, please. I’m begging you. Bring me home.” But trying to get this picture to load is difficult. The same reporter says Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in September reiterated that everyone is doing everything they can. Sure, right you are. Well, then why isn’t something happening?
We used to have a promise in the US Military that no soldier would be left behind. Well, here’s one that is left behind in the Obama administration’s war of words, and Jen Psaki appears to have an awful lot of control over something that is well above her pay grade. Where are the statements from our generals, our Pentagon leaders, anybody, anywhere?
What is being done to bring this suffering American soldier home to his family and friends in Ketchum, Idaho? His parents are afraid to speak out “so as not to jeopardize their son.” But are the people in control really doing anything? I’m sorry, but this mumbo jumbo rhetoric of the other guy working on it is an insult to Sgt. Berkdahl, to other soldiers putting their life on the line for this country, to his parents, to the legacy of MIA’s in other wars that just somehow fell through the cracks of an American system that seems able to cherry pick what prisoners they release.
How would these ineffectual politicians and bureaucrats feel if they were imprisoned somewhere in the wasteland of Afghanistan? Have leaders on both sides simply lost their own humanity? Bring Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl home now! Don’t let him be just another wrist bracelet on an unknown arm who prays for him, to no avail.