Look, I'd rather not be thinking the way I'm thinking. But this story
really does have an odd smell to it...
Within days of his disappearance, says Buetow, teams monitoring radio chatter and cell phone communications intercepted an alarming message: The American is in Yahya Khel (a village two miles away). He's looking for someone who speaks English so he can talk to the Taliban.
"I heard it straight from the interpreter's lips as he heard it over the radio," said Buetow. "There's a lot more to this story than a soldier walking away."
Firsthand accounts from soldiers in his platoon say Bergdahl disappeared while he was on guard duty.
Buetow says Bergdahl was about to go on guard duty, but when a fellow soldier went to wake him, he was not in his tent. He had left behind his weapons, his bullet-proof vest, and night vision gear.
Although this account strongly hints that Berghdal aided the Taliban, the Taliban doesn't seem to have had any affection for him. They have released a video
showing his transfer back to American hands...
The video has few words in English, other than this message superimposed over Bergdahl:
"Don'come back to afghanistan"
Hm. Doesn't sound like he was a Muslim convert or anything of that sort.
Suspiciously enough, we've been given multiple versions of what happened when he left his base. Here's the Wikipedia summary:
Bergdahl went missing on the night of June 30, 2009, near the town of Yahya Kheyl in Paktika Province. Accounts of his capture differ. In a video, Bergdahl stated that he was captured when he fell behind on a patrol. Taliban sources allege he was ambushed after becoming drunk off base; U.S. military sources deny that claim, stating, "The Taliban are known for lying and what they are claiming [is] not true". A Department of Defense spokesperson said, "I'm glad to see he appears unharmed, but again, this is a Taliban propaganda video. They are exploiting the soldier in violation of international law." Other sources said Bergdahl walked off base after his shift or that he was grabbed from a latrine.
In other words, at different times the Taliban and
the American military brass have given three different accounts of what happened -- and all three stories now seem to be bogus.
Admit it: That fact is weird
In 2010, the military released a statement saying that they had incontrovertible proof of desertion. Later, reporter Michael Hastings
(!) offered an excerpt of an email to Bergdahl's parents in which he outlines his disillusionment with the Army.
If Bergdahl were actually an infiltrator, then Hastings' piece went a long ways toward establishing cover. It's clear from the article that Hastings received a lot of help from the military and/or American intelligence. Obviously, someone "on high" wanted
that portrait to appear in Rolling Stone
I'm not the only one thinking this way. New York Magazine
published a guide to Berghdal conspiracy theories
While Bergdahl had been in captivity for five years, U.S. officials said they had to act quickly because his health and safety were suddenly in jeopardy. InfoWars suggests Bergdahl's life was in danger because he was an undercover U.S. agent whose cover was blown when the White House accidentally released the name of the CIA's highest-ranking spy in Afghanistan last week. "Bergdahl may have actually been an embedded intelligence asset who allowed himself to be captured in order to infiltrate the Haqqani network, yet was ultimately endangered by the Obama administration’s blunder," according to the site.
I despise giving the Alex Jonesians credit for anything. For one thing, they're libertarians. For another thing, they're so paranoid they annoy even me
C'mon. Look at this piece
: Do the authors give us any evidence
linking Bergdahl to that recent slip-up
? I don't see any. I don't even see anything resembling a halfway-logical argument.
Nevertheless, the authors of that article do make one very good point:
Recent statements by Bergdahl’s father – as well as his mannerisms – also suggest that Bergdahl was trained by an intelligence agency to penetrate the Haqqani network under deep cover.
For one thing, it’s puzzling that Robert Bergdahl, Bergdahl’s father and an Idaho resident, can speak Pashto, one of the official languages of Afghanistan, considering that the State Dept.’s Foreign Service Institute considers Pashto one of the most difficult languages for an English-speaker to learn, especially without immersion in a native environment.
Both the FSI and the Pentagon’s Defense Language Institute are likely the two best sources for Pashto course material for native English speakers.
Bergdahl's own bookishness indicates someone preparing for an assignment.
The Bergdahl-as-spy theory may well be proven wrong in days to come. Right now, though, this narrative suggests answers to some troubling questions:
1. If Bergdahl really did desert his post just before being put on guard duty, why didn't the military simply say
so right away? Why have they given wildly varying accounts?
2. If he was working for the Taliban, then why do they now seem to hate him?
3. Why send a Special Forces team
to rescue a deserter?
4. What's the deal with the father?
Let me stress once again that we may soon receive reasonable explanations for all of the above. But at this writing, we have both a right and good reason to speculate. As I always say: Speculation has its place, as long as it is clearly labeled as
Incidentally, most stories indicate that Berghdal was held by the Haqqani network, which was once (in the days before 9/11) funded by the CIA. That network now seems to be a creature of Pakistan's ISI
-- which itself once had strong ties to the CIA. The current status of the relationship between ISI and CIA is absolutely unfathomable to me. Hell, it's probably unfathomable to a lot of people within
those two services.
The ISI has used the Haqqanis as fighters in a proxy war against the U.S. -- a war that included a 2011 attack on the U.S. embassy in Kabul. If Berghdal was infiltrating this network, perhaps his job was to find out the true relationship between ISI and the Haqqani operation.
Or consider this: Haqqani leaders have been targeted in very precise drone strikes. An infiltrator might have been able to identify and locate the leadership.
The obvious question arises: How would a captured Bergdahl secretly communicate with anyone on the outside? Perhaps one of my readers may suggest an answer.