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Bergdahl’s Team Leader Drops Unsettling Details About What Happened After the Soldier ‘Deserted’ Army Base

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Bergdahl’s Team Leader Drops Unsettling Details About What Happened After the Soldier ‘Deserted’ Army Base

Jun. 3, 2014 6:06pm Jason Howerton
 

Former Army Sgt. Evan Buetow, who was reportedly Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s team leader on the night he vanished from his base in Afghanistan, claims the military intercepted radio communications shortly after Bergdahl’s disappearance indicating that an American was searching for someone who spoke English so he could talk with the Taliban.

 

“When we heard that, it told us, okay, he’s actively seeking out the Taliban,” Buetow told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday. “And, yes, over the next couple of months, all the attacks were far more directed. … There’s a lot more to this story than a solider walking away.”

Screen-Shot-2014-06-03-at-5.00.08-PM-620

CNN

 

Buetow also alleged that the Taliban’s attacks against American troops became “far more directed” in the months following Bergdahl’s disappearance. He admitted that it could have been “coincidental.”

 

“Following his disappearance, IEDs started going off directly under the trucks,” he added. “They were getting perfect hits every time. Their ambushes were very calculated, very methodical, like they knew what we were going to do.”

 

“Obviously, there is no way to prove Bergdahl was feeding them that information, at least I cannot do that,” Buetow said. “It’s incredibly suspicious to me, although there’s no way to prove that Bergdahl was feeding them information, whether he was tortured or whether he was giving it on his own accord.”

 

Buetow said he doesn’t want to get into the politics of the matter, but rather show that “Bergdahl is a deserter. He’s not a hero, and that he needs to answer for what he did.”

Watch the segment via CNN:

 

Watch Interview

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Hopefully this young man's discussion in sharing his opinions will not dilute or compromise the value of what he might bring, in terms of information, to the military justice process.......I remain steadfast in my trust in that process, and in those military individuals charged with engaging it to its full extent.... It is indeed  becoming more evident that Bergdahl walked away, and that doesn't (for me) change the commitment to protect and defend the full extend of rights for any military service person, including all avenues of accountability, which need be tried in a military justice system, and not the circus tent of public opinion,.... to protect and uphold the assumption of innocent until proven guilty... and I'll probably continue to be a bit owly until he is engaged in the military justice system and as a soldier is scrutinized consistent with the objective determinants of that which is established for just that purpose... the UCMJ ... and not the opinion of some couch potato whose personal friends with Okie... Whether or not his actions were honorable, is the purview of the military justice system and it's integrity.... and until they examine all the factors and weigh in, ... I'll probably continue to be annoyed with anything resembling rat packing.... Frankly whether or not he was an azzz in my book , doesn't mean everyone else gets to act like one until that's determined....And in the meantime, I do trust the integrity of the process as it stands...

And ya know what guys, if its determined by the military he was in his right mind and was a deserter, by the military justice system,  I'll be the first one to buy the popcorn for everyone attending the sentencing fiesta...

 

In the meantime, here's a transcript of a PBS interview of the Army JAG and NY TImes reporter you might find interesting.... Its not a youtube and I couldn't figure out how to bring in a video that was embedded (on the PBS site).. if someone can figure out how to bring it in, it would probably be much easier to get through...

The interview gives some insight as to how the military justice system would proceed in determining its next steps... (kind of)., taking us to the next slice of the apple...

.

 

 

To help clarify in reading through this:

 

Judy Woodruff is the PBS interviewer

Eric Schmidt is the NY Times Reporter

Dana Chipman is the Army JAG

 

JUDY WOODRUFF: For more on all of this and a look at some of the options before the military in the Bergdahl matter, we turn to New York Times reporter Eric Schmitt. And retired Lieutenant General Dana Chipman. He was the Army’s judge advocate general and, as such, was the Army’s top lawyer. And we welcome you both.

 

Eric Schmitt, to you first

 

What is the best information you have about the circumstances of Bergdahl leaving his post?

 

ERIC SCHMITT, The New York Times: Right now, Judy, the circumstances appear to be, as the soldiers in his unit have suggested, that he did voluntarily walk off his base in June of 2009 into a hostile environment with the Taliban nearby in Paktika province.

Why he did that is exactly — is still not known. And that’s what’s going to be going on with these debriefings that you mentioned in your report. Clearly, this was an individual who had expressed mixed concerns about his mission in Afghanistan to his parents in e-mails and to his soldier comrades. So, exactly why he did what he did when he did it, those are still answers we’re waiting for.

 

JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Eric, this is not just one of his comrades. This is several who are saying he walked away.

 

ERIC SCHMITT: That’s right, and that’s what Pentagon and other military officials have told us here at The New York Times as well, that he did voluntarily walk away from his post in Eastern Afghanistan in 2009.

But, again, what his intentions were, there have been some suggestions that he deliberately deserted to join the Taliban. We have seen no evidence yet of that. But, again, as both General Dempsey and Army Secretary John McHugh said today, there will be a full investigation once his medical and reintegration are complete.

 

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, General Chipman, let’s talk about an investigation. As we heard from Eric Schmitt and other reports we have seen, there are not just one, but there are several soldiers who served with Mr. Bergdahl who say that he left of his own accord. Is that the same as desertion?

 

LT. GEN. DANA CHIPMAN (RET.), Former Judge Advocate General, U.S. Army: Well, no, it doesn’t — it doesn’t mean the same as desertion.

He may have left of his own accord. That will be proven in the final investigation, because what we have right now is an effort that went under way when he left back in 2009. And now we will have a chance to interview Sergeant Bergdahl to determine from him what was your intent, what was your perspective, what were you thinking at the time, and that will enable us to conclude that investigation that really needs his perspective as well.

 

JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, as we, I think, said in that report, we said the Pentagon concluded in 2010, the year after he left, that he did walk away. So what more information would they need? If he did make this decision on his own, what would be a mitigating circumstance that would explain it?

 

LT. GEN. DANA CHIPMAN: Well, you will want to know from him, what was your motivation, what were the circumstances that led you to walk away, if that’s, in fact, what occurred?

And I don’t think you can determine that without getting into his state of mind and the actions he took at that time, and only he can fully supplement what we already know. And so I think, you know, one of the elements under the code, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice to prove desertion is an attempt to remain away permanently from military duty.

That’s what we will find out. What was his motivation, what was he thinking, what did he intend to accomplish at that time?

 

JUDY WOODRUFF: So was — so there’s an investigation which goes on for presumably months? Is that what normal procedures would be?

 

LT. GEN. DANA CHIPMAN: It can be quicker than that, but I would expect, with a case of this notoriety, with a case of this interest, that it will be a thorough investigation that could take a matter of months. And at that — the conclusion of that investigation, there will be a decision, was there criminality involved, will we in fact press charges under the Uniform Code?

 

JUDY WOODRUFF: Eric Schmitt, what are Bergdahl’s comrades who are in the Army serving with him at the same time, what are they saying about what they believe was on his mind at the time?

 

ERIC SCHMITT: Well, they are saying is that he expressed disillusionment with the mission in Afghanistan. Remember, this is 2009. The Taliban are resurgent now in Eastern Afghanistan in particular. They’re in this very remote outpost, just 30 or so soldiers, and it’s a very small outpost in the mountains of Eastern Afghanistan, not far from the Pakistan border.

Of course, the surge of troops into Afghanistan under the new president, President Obama at that time, had not yet started. So it was a very difficult time and, as the soldiers in your report indicate, hostilities all around. So it must have been a very dangerous and depressing environment for these soldiers.

 

JUDY WOODRUFF: And — but what they are saying and what you were telling us is that he gave every indication after a period of time that he was disillusioned and that he was thinking about leaving the military. We know there were communications between him and his parents.

 

ERIC SCHMITT: That’s right, but as the general said, to really understand his long-term goal, was he just in a fit of depression and walked off the base? What were his goals, what were his intentions, what were his long-term goals?

Again, there has been no indication from military investigators that we have spoken to both during this whole period that he’s been missing and more recently that he had any intent to go over to the other side to help and abet the Taliban. Again, these are things we don’t know until the military investigators actually speak to him and find out what was his state of mind at the time, what was going through his head and what were his intentions when he left that post.

 

JUDY WOODRUFF: And, General Chipman, just to be a little bit more clear about what we’re talking about here, so you said they will be wanting to know what his intention was, his long-term intention. Does that mean that he had to have been planning to join the enemy or simply that he was walking away from the United States military?

 

LT. GEN. DANA CHIPMAN: It doesn’t mean that he was planning to join the enemy, Judy.

Desertion is when you leave military service with an intent to remain away permanently from military control. So what your ultimate motivation is, to join the enemy, to go away to Canada, to Europe, desertion is complete when you have proven — or when we have proven, the prosecution has proven that you do not ever intend to return to military control.

And we have had desertion as an offense under the code for a long time, prosecuted many deserters in Vietnam and other conflicts.

 

JUDY WOODRUFF: And how tough is it to prove?

I know that General Martin Dempsey, who is the chairman of Joint Chiefs, he was quoted today as saying he is innocent until proven guilty, as is the case with all Americans. But what — how tough a standard is it to prove that someone deserted?

 

LT. GEN. DANA CHIPMAN: I think it’s very difficult to prove, in this sense. It’s a subjective standard.

You have to be in the mind of the soldier. And how do you show that intent? It can be circumstantial, in the testimony of his peers, fellow soldiers. It can be his direct quotes, “I intended to leave and never come back to the U.S.” But it can be very difficult to prove a desertion case, unlike simple absence without leave, where, if you leave without authority, that’s pretty much all you have to prove.

 

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, does the Army go into a case like this with some predisposition one way or another or with a completely open mind?

 

LT. GEN. DANA CHIPMAN: Judy, with a completely open mind.

In fact, as General Dempsey said, if we prefer charges here, he is in fact presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court-martial proceeding. And so we will have no predisposition. We will have a charge sheet and we will let that criminal prosecution play out, as we do in any other case.

 

JUDY WOODRUFF: General Dana Chipman, we thank you.

Eric Schmitt, we thank you both.

 

ERIC SCHMITT: Thank you.

 

LT. GEN. DANA CHIPMAN: Thank you.

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These are only distraction story's Obama is a calculated man.

Obama throws the media a piece of meat to distract from other things he has screwed up.

Therefore watch what he is sneaking under the table. Within another week there will be story after story taking away the reporting of another story.

Obama has played the American people and Harry Reid like a mistro plays an instrument.

Remember within just another few days another story will be out the another and another.

Until he has divided and destroyed American dreams, American capitalism and faith in our government.

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Kid4dinar,  you are absolutely correct.  Watch what happens in the near future.  What's that statement Holder made... "Never let a good crisis go to waste" something to that affect.  Or Hillarious, "What differences does it make"  This administration is good at distractions. 

 

Let the military hash this out, justice will be served to their liking.   We the people just need to keep a keen eye on this administration. 

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I, for one, have never personally met Sgt. Bergdahl.....or Sgt. Buetow.....or Jake Tapper, for that matter.  I do know (not by sight) many on this site......and their "consistency" is unwavering, good and bad.   <_< 

 

GO RV, and NO BV 

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These are only distraction story's Obama is a calculated man.

Obama throws the media a piece of meat to distract from other things he has screwed up.

Therefore watch what he is sneaking under the table. Within another week there will be story after story taking away the reporting of another story.

Obama has played the American people and Harry Reid like a mistro plays an instrument.

Remember within just another few days another story will be out the another and another.

Until he has divided and destroyed American dreams, American capitalism and faith in our government.

Absolutely, don't take your eyes off Trey Gowdy and the Benghazi investigation.

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Thanks Razur -  we are obviously biased but it appears the integrity and power of the UCMJ, Court Martial and Military Tribunal are the only processes left within government still considered sacrosanct.  Hopefully, politicians will not be able to manipulate the process.

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These are only distraction story's Obama is a calculated man.

Obama throws the media a piece of meat to distract from other things he has screwed up.

Therefore watch what he is sneaking under the table. Within another week there will be story after story taking away the reporting of another story.

Obama has played the American people and Harry Reid like a mistro plays an instrument.

Remember within just another few days another story will be out the another and another.

Until he has divided and destroyed American dreams, American capitalism and faith in our government.

yep, eyes off VA scandal now.

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"Following his disappearance, IEDs started going off directly under the trucks,” he added. “They were getting perfect hits every time. Their ambushes were very calculated, very methodical, like they knew what we were going to do.”

I'm not sure what kind of information an infanty PFC could have given that would have made these attacks "More directed."  I'm pretty sure he wasn't privy to operational plans above the platoon level at most. I know he was on a small outpost, but if it's like most operations that were run in Iraq/Afghanisatan at the time, routes and times were routinely switched to be as unpredictable as possible. Personally - I find it hard to believe he could be responsible for that.  Just my opinion of course.  There's a reason for OPSEC and and compartmentalization.

 

 

Again - Rayzur and I are on the same heading with the same coordinates. 

 

Gen. Dempsey told the Associated Press that "questions about this particular soldier's conduct are separate from our effort to recover any U.S. service member in enemy captivity."

"This was likely the last, best opportunity to free him," Dempsey said. "As for the circumstances of his capture, when he is able to provide them, we'll learn the facts. Like any American, he is innocent until proven guilty."

 

http://dinarvets.com/forums/index.php?/topic/179225-bergdahl’s-team-leader-drops-unsettling-details-about-what-happened-after-the-soldier-‘deserted’-army-base/

 

So - if after the investigation he is formally charged with UCMJ violations and found guilty - I'll help Rayzur pop the popcorn.  Until then, I'm in on "standby" mode.

 

What does concern me is the statments being made by his "former platoon members."  I'm not a JAG (military lawyer) but it seems to me that derogeratory statement being made to the press may become inadmissable for any hearings.  I could be wrong, but I'm thinking they could be doing more harm than they are considering.  Again, just my opinion.

 

That is all - Carry on.

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"Following his disappearance, IEDs started going off directly under the trucks,” he added. “They were getting perfect hits every time. Their ambushes were very calculated, very methodical, like they knew what we were going to do.”

I'm not sure what kind of information an infanty PFC could have given that would have made these attacks "More directed."  I'm pretty sure he wasn't privy to operational plans above the platoon level at most. I know he was on a small outpost, but if it's like most operations that were run in Iraq/Afghanisatan at the time, routes and times were routinely switched to be as unpredictable as possible. Personally - I find it hard to believe he could be responsible for that.  Just my opinion of course.  There's a reason for OPSEC and and compartmentalization.

 I have only 2 replies.

1) Shabs (consistent.)

This soldier could tell them .put a timer on the IED we wait standard 5 minutes for the all clear then we drive on. Behind the big wheel roller. 1 simple idea and he has injured, helped and assisted the enemy.....

 

Again - Rayzur and I are on the same heading with the same coordinates. 

 

Gen. Dempsey told the Associated Press that "questions about this particular soldier's conduct are separate from our effort to recover any U.S. service member in enemy captivity."

"This was likely the last, best opportunity to free him," Dempsey said. "As for the circumstances of his capture, when he is able to provide them, we'll learn the facts. Like any American, he is innocent until proven guilty."

 

http://dinarvets.com/forums/index.php?/topic/179225-bergdahl’s-team-leader-drops-unsettling-details-about-what-happened-after-the-soldier-‘deserted’-army-base/

 

So - if after the investigation he is formally charged with UCMJ violations and found guilty - I'll help Rayzur pop the popcorn.  Until then, I'm in on "standby" mode.

 

What does concern me is the statments being made by his "former platoon members."  I'm not a JAG (military lawyer) but it seems to me that derogeratory statement being made to the press may become inadmissable for any hearings.  I could be wrong, but I'm thinking they could be doing more harm than they are considering.  Again, just my opinion.

 

That is all - Carry on.

  

I, for one, have never personally met Sgt. Bergdahl.....or Sgt. Buetow.....or Jake Tapper, for that matter.  I do know (not by sight) many on this site......and their "consistency" is unwavering, good and bad.   <_< 

 

GO RV, and NO BV 

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I understand and applaud the loyalty of one soldier to another. But it is like a family if your brother robbed a bank or killed someone it's still your duty to see justice done and not try to protect him. So until all the facts are known  ( and with this administration that's not likely) to attack those who are speaking out against Bergdahl  is not right either.  

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