I would like to correct Ms. Boyce on one “fact” in her Letter to Editor. The Secretary of Defense, and several staff members, both civilians and Generals, have stated there was an investigation and that in fact no soldiers lost their lives looking for Sgt. Bergdahl.
*Editor’s Note: This opinion is in response to a lake view titled “Bergdahl release wasn’t an equitable trade” by Jane Boyce published in the Tuesday, June 24 Lake Sun.
I would like to correct Ms. Boyce on one “fact” in her Letter to Editor. The Secretary of Defense, and several staff members, both civilians and Generals, have stated there was an investigation and that in fact no soldiers lost their lives looking for Sgt. Bergdahl. Unless they are all lying or twisting facts I have to believe them. These statements appeared in both the Army Times and Air Force Times in the last ten days. I agree with most of her comments concerning the Obama Administration but wish she would reserve judgment on the Sgt. until his conduct is investigated by the military, not the rumor mill.
I’m retired military. I joined near the end of the Korean War but saw no combat... There were quite a few prisoners of war (POWs) during the war. In the USA we had our first large scale experience with POWs treated savagely, not to obtain military secrets but to use them for propaganda. Quite a few POWs broke. Once I was demeaning some of the returning POWs who broke under torture and a wise old, highly decorated Sergeant said, “Son, until you’ve been there it’s best to keep your mouth shut. You have no idea what you would have done in their situation.”
Years later when I went through POW training as part of the “Vietnam experience,” I got a vague idea what he was talking about.
The Code of Conduct was changed a few years after the Korean War to allow propaganda statements derived under torture as acceptable behavior, with some caveats.
I’m sure Ms. Boyce admires Senator McCain who suffered untold torture while in ‘Nam. Yet this man preaches forgiveness of his former enemies. Yes, he’s part of the Republican Party’s protest against trading five known terrorists but not because of Sgt. Berdahl’s conduct. His concern is that these highly placed terrorist leaders should not be released for any reason..
“Innocent until proven guilty” may be the correct stance on this issue.