By Anonymous Writer
America has a lot to digest between Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release after five years captive by the Taliban and the two month imprisonment of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi in a Mexican jail cell. The obvious differences in how Bergdahl’s and Tahmooressi’s situations are being handled are hard to ignore and highly politicized. Most notably, Bergdahl is free and Tahmooressi is still being held captive in Mexico.
There is heavy speculation that Bergdahl deserted his post on an OP in southeast Afghanistan. His motives are still unclear, but the testimonies of many of the men he served with do not paint a strong picture of Bergdahl’s mental state nor his commitment to the American efforts in Afghanistan. In fact, many of his contemporaries are calling him a traitor and feel he should be tried under the United States Military Code of Conduct (USMCC). What’s more, the Obama Administration conducted a prisoner exchange of five of the highest ranking al-Qaeda members being held at Guantanamo Bay including Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa, a direct associate of Osama bin Laden. Several politicians, including Sen. John McCain (AZ) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC), have serious concerns over the release of these known terrorists because of the danger they pose to American units in the Middle East, as well as the incentive it creates to capture other American and ANA soldiers.
While Bergdahl begins batteries of medical and psychological exams before he can return home, Tahmooressi is pleading for freedom in a Mexican courthouse after allegedly being held in horrific conditions, which included beatings and lengthy physical restraint. A petition asking President Obama to demand the release of Sgt. Tahmooressi has more than 120,000 signatures as of Monday morning. Tahmooressi was apprehended by Mexican authorities after unknowingly crossing into Mexican territory with three registered firearms and has been held for two months.
To be sure, Bergdahl’s return will surely be accompanied by a firestorm of criticism, based on the testimonies of his teammates in Afghanistan combined with the news that six men died actively searching for him in the mountains. Tahmooressi’s unfolding drama is also sure to cause a stir because he served his country with honor, yet he is sitting in a jail cell just a border away.
Has the swap for Bergdahl set a precedent for future POWs? Should we be worried about terrorists capturing more soldiers for negotiating future trades? And why isn’t the government pushing to free Tahmooressi?
Weigh in on the discussion here and connect within the military network.
*These opinions belong to the Anonymous Writer and in no way reflect the views of RallyPoint.