Six members of Bowe Bergdahl’s platoon spoke to the media in recent days, offering a consistent account of Bergdahl leaving his platoon.
“We all served together and we were all in it together over there and he broke that bond by leaving us,” Army sergeant Josh Korder told NBC’s The Today Show.
Sergeant Evan Buetow, in the New York Daily News:
Sgt. Evan Buetow, 28, recalled he was among a small team including an interpreter who spied on radio and cell communications in the area of their base on the frontlines in eastern Afghanistan, listening for clues to the Bergdahl’s whereabouts following his disappearance on June 30, 2009. He said he heard Afghans from a nearby village say: “There’s an American here looking for someone who speaks English so he can talk to the Taliban.”
Sergeant Matt Vierkant, speaking to CNN:
“I was pissed off then, and I am even more so now with everything going on,” said former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl’s platoon when he went missing on June 30, 2009. “Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war, and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”
Pfc. Jose Baggett, also speaking to CNN:
Former Pfc. Jose Baggett, 27, of Chicago, was also in Blackfoot Company and said he was close to two men “killed because of his (Bergdahl’s) actions.”
“He walked off,” Baggett told CNN. “He left his guard post. Nobody knows if he defected or he’s a traitor or he was kidnapped. What I do know is, he was there to protect us, and instead he decided to defer from America and go and do his own thing. I don’t know why he decided to do that, but we spent so much of our resources, and some of those resources were soldiers’ lives.”
Joshua Cornelison, a former medic in Sergeant Bergdahl’s platoon, speaking to the New York Times:
“Yes, I’m angry,” Joshua Cornelison, a former medic in Sergeant Bergdahl’s platoon, said in an interview on Monday arranged by Republican strategists. “Everything that we did in those days was to advance the search for Bergdahl. If we were doing some mission and there was a reliable report that Bergdahl was somewhere, our orders were that we were to quit that mission and follow that report.”
Cody Full, another member of Sergeant Bergdahl’s platoon, also speaking to the New York Times:
Cody Full, another member of Sergeant Bergdahl’s platoon, Mr. Cornelison and Mr. Full both said they wanted to see Sergeant Bergdahl court-martialed as a deserter.
“I’m not going to speak on the political, but I think that now that he’s back, he needs to be held accountable,” Mr. Full said.
Mr. Cornelison echoed Mr. Full. “I won’t get into the politics, but now that he’s back he needs to be held 100 percent accountable,” he said. “For putting myself and 29 other people in my platoon in hell for 90 days.”
At this point, no member of Bergdahl’s platoon has come forward offering a contrary version of events. No one has articulated a reason to doubt the veracity of this account from these men who were there at the time and knew Bergdahl.
The new spin from the Obama administration and its defenders is that there has been a rush to judgment, and that Bergdahl is innocent until proven guilty. That is true in a courtroom. But with six men who served with him offering a clear and disturbing account and little or no contrary evidence, the public is free to draw its own conclusions.