A Bergdahl/Hekmati Dichotomy


Amir Hekmait_1

As a 20 year retired veteran, I write with a certain amount of anger on this subject. Bowe Bergdahl, a known deserter who walked away from his fellow soldiers, is still not in jail, or worse for desertion.

Amir Hekmati still languishes is jail in Iran, with no resolution in site.  Bergdahl’s parents were received at a Rose Garden ceremony, on May 31, 2014, where they spoke Arabic, and Hekmatis friends and family are hidden from the people of the country.

This can be no more, each and every one of us needs to call our Representatives, and let them know this can not stand.

Does anyone believe that Obama did not know of Bergdahl’s desertion at that time, or the men who had been killed or injured looking for him? Did Obama not understand that national security, and the security of our soldiers over there are not worth a photo op?

This administration has made a mockery of all our standards of diplomacy, so it should come as no surprise that the past policy about negotiating with terrorists shouldn’t go by the wayside as well.

To trade one deserter who may have collaborated with the enemy for five top commanders of the Taliban is  treason.  To allow Susan Rice NSA Advisor to say Bergdahl served with honor and distinction is disgusting.

Desertion during wartime merits a court martial and firing squad, not a Rose Garden PR stunt.  How many of his fellow soldiers have been killed or maimed because of this man? To allow those five to go to Qatar, and then be freed, as they will soon be, is a slap in the face to all military personnel.

It has been made quite clear, focusing of the Amir Hakmati case, that Obama considers military personnel expendable for political purposes.

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, rejected the swap, as did Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense at the time. This was done by the closely-held “American Taliban” of Obama, and his little band of socialists. It was not given to Congress for ratification. In fact, Congress was not informed until afterwards.

The White House forced a deal that makes it more difficult on the battlefield, and how many more Guantanamo detainees will be swapped in the future? After all, Obama wants his legacy to include the closing of Gitmo, no matter what it takes, and no matter who gets hurt.

Even General Barry McCaffery was – to say the least – upset. In his words ”it is incomprehensible to me that the President walked out in the Rose Garden with his parents and Susan Rice saying he served with honor and distinction.”

Not having the courage to take on a retired general, the State Department Spokeswoman said the swap was “absolutely worth it”. To Obama perhaps, but having others, including Susan Rice and Jen Psaki, do the dirty work of covering up his desertion is beyond most normal people’s credulity

Amir Hekmati served with distinction and honor, not Bergdahl. Why aren’t we working on getting him out Mr. President? Is it because you can’t try to swap prisoners for him, or is it because you don’t want to upset Iran?

And finally, Bergdahl has been charged with desertion, not something the Administration wanted. They can’t stop it, but they can delay it. It has been at least two months since he was charged, when is the trial Mr. President? Perhaps you can work on getting Amir back before the end of it. You could always swap Valerie Jarrett and Jen Psaki for him, but no, the Iranians don’t want them either.


by John Velisek USN (Ret.)

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  1. No, Congress can not try for treason of military personnel. It can only be done by court martial under the UCMJ, although it can be appealed to civilian court. Civilian personnel and public employees are different. Think anyone would have the guts to charge Obama?

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