Modal close

Hi there,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free daily news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines, or our in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. You need news that isn't being paid for by campaigns or corporations. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on your support. Right now, every new monthly sustaining donation to Democracy Now! will be tripled by a generous supporter. That means if you can give just $4 a month, Democracy Now! gets $12 today.  Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, start your monthly contribution today. Thanks so much. -Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Donate

Bergdahl, Afghanistan and the “Darkening of the American Soul”

ColumnJune 05, 2014
Column default
Listen
Media Options
Listen

Close circle
Media Options
Close circle
Media Options
Related

By Amy Goodman with Denis Moynihan

When Bowe Bergdahl was reported missing in Afghanistan on the morning of June 30, 2009, a crack formed in the U.S. narrative about the longest war in our nation’s history. Bergdahl’s release this week, as part of a prisoner-of-war swap with the Taliban, has provoked the partisan pundits to hurl invective at the American POW, his family, and at President Barack Obama. Far removed from the din of these professional Beltway hecklers, though, in Hailey, Idaho, Bob Bergdahl, the young prisoner’s father, has been struggling for his son’s release. The ordeal of the son, and the disciplined, contemplative activism of the father, projects the U.S. war in Afghanistan through a different lens.

We know little yet of what exactly led to Bowe Bergdahl’s disappearance that night in Paktika province. Sean Smith, a filmmaker with The Guardian, met him the month before his disappearance. “Bowe was a softly spoken, intelligent and thoughtful guy,” Smith wrote. Smith produced two remarkable videos, one with footage shot in Afghanistan, another in Idaho, showing Bob Bergdahl’s personal efforts to not only free his son, but to understand the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. Bowe himself is not interviewed in Smith’s films, but two fellow soldiers, in their tightly-knit group of five or six, were:

SOLDIER ONE: “These people just want to be left alone.”

SOLDIER TWO: “They got dicked with from the Russians for 17 years and then now we’re here.”

SOLDIER ONE: “Same thing in Iraq when I was there. These people just want to be left alone. Have their crops, weddings, stuff like that, that’s it, man.”

Days later, Bergdahl disappeared. Smith told me, “They weren’t criticizing the chain of command, but they were questioning the war and the concept of it … a number of American soldiers expressed queries and questions.”

Read More

Related Story

Video squareStorySep 11, 2018John Bolton Threatens International Criminal Court Judges for Probing U.S. Torture in Afghanistan
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation
Up arrowTop