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For father of released POW, growing a beard and studying captors defined the years
Washington Post ^ | 6/3/14 | Todd Frankel

Posted on 06/03/2014 11:52:24 AM PDT by Persevero

Bob Henley, former pastor at the(ir) Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood, recalled how friends periodically would ask Bergdahl if he hadn’t crossed some line, if he hadn’t succumbed to some form of the captive-bonding Stockholm syndrome.

But Bergdahl assured his friends he was just doing whatever he could to ensure his son’s release. “I guess you really had to be in his shoes,” Henley said.

The five-year waittook a toll on both of his parents, according to friends and others .

Bergdahl is fiercely intelligent, friends said, yet he dropped out of college, going to Idaho with his wife in 1980 after studying at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He taught himself Pashto. He is religious, at one point making the 300-mile round trip a couple of times a month to attend an Orthodox Presbyterian church in Boise with his family.

Bergdahhas said he grew his beard as a chronology marking the time that his son was missing. Bergdahl also did it in a bid to win sympathy from his son’s captors.

At the time their son was taken, the Bergdahls were attending a conservative Presbyterian church in Boise. Glenn Ferrell was the pastor.(H)e talked at length with Bergdahl, as the father questioned and probed his own beliefs to reach some understanding of the radical Islam driving the Taliban.

Bergdahl also talked with Mark Stephensen, a board member of the National League of POW/MIA Families, who lives in Boise. Stephensen’s father was a Vietnam War MIA for 21 years. Stephensen saw how Bergdahl had changed his appearance and altered his interests to align with his son’s experience.

“I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt,” Stephensen said, “because, by the grace of God, I wasn’t in his position.”

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; US: Idaho
KEYWORDS: bergdahl; bowe
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I think this is a more balanced perspective on the Bergdahls than we have been getting recently. I am concerned about the rush to slam Bowe and his dad.

ALL respect to the six who died looking for him; I don't pretend to know what went on. But I can't respect the eager willingness to immediately believe the worst.

I hated having to cut out so much of the article. Please go to the link and read to get a more insightful look at the family, particularly the dad.

1 posted on 06/03/2014 11:52:24 AM PDT by Persevero
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To: Persevero
You expect balance from the WaPo?

This sounds more like Damage Control.

2 posted on 06/03/2014 11:53:46 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae. Vicit Leo de Tribu Iuda, Radix David, Alleluia!)
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To: Persevero

The problem was having him do his thing on international television while standing next to the President of the United States. The act belittled the White House.


3 posted on 06/03/2014 11:55:58 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Conservatism is the political disposition of grown-ups.)
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To: Persevero

The statements made by his fellow soldiers, and the statements proven to have been made by Bowe are more than enough for me.


4 posted on 06/03/2014 11:56:07 AM PDT by clintonh8r (Soon, "the grateful dead" will be more than just the name of a crap band...)
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To: Persevero

The Washington Compost is a direct propaganda rag of the Islamic Obamanistas. So, I’m not surprised that it paints a rosey picture.


5 posted on 06/03/2014 11:56:45 AM PDT by JohnKinAK
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To: Persevero

Wow.


6 posted on 06/03/2014 11:57:22 AM PDT by petitfour
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To: Persevero
The only part of the narrative I'm skeptical about is the assistance he gave his captors since the source are the terrorists.

Corroboration, if available, would probably be locked up in government archives.

7 posted on 06/03/2014 11:57:31 AM PDT by AU72
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To: Persevero

Not supposed to change title. You didn’t know that? This will probably be pulled.


8 posted on 06/03/2014 11:58:58 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever!)
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To: Persevero

6 KIA because Bowe did a walk around with the Taliban. Explain that to the 5 year olds who have and never will have their fathers.


9 posted on 06/03/2014 11:59:22 AM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: AU72

Based on what we know now he probably wasn’t tortured or otherwise abused, so it seems likely that he cooperated with the enemy. After all, he sought them out.


10 posted on 06/03/2014 11:59:51 AM PDT by clintonh8r (Soon, "the grateful dead" will be more than just the name of a crap band...)
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To: Persevero
I'll take the word of the soldiers in his unit before all others. Everything else is playing the game.

Remember, Hasan was a work place incident. I'll never forget Obama saying "Don't come to any conclusions".

And the father had the nerve to thank allah at OUR WHITEHOUSE.

11 posted on 06/03/2014 11:59:52 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Persevero

Bowe deserted his post in a war zone. As a result others died.

The only remaining question in my mind is did he also actively aid the enemy.

That is very bad no matter how you slice it. At a minimum he should be prison for a long, long time.


12 posted on 06/03/2014 12:00:23 PM PDT by DB
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To: Persevero

Bull$***.

You shoul dbe concerned about what this guy did, the loss of American lives, the five maniacs that monster in Washington released.

Where is your common sense?????


13 posted on 06/03/2014 12:01:25 PM PDT by ZULU (Impeach Obama NOW.)
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To: Persevero

“fiercely intelligent”....what the hell is that?


14 posted on 06/03/2014 12:01:41 PM PDT by clintonh8r (Soon, "the grateful dead" will be more than just the name of a crap band...)
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To: Persevero

At a minimum, Berghdal is a deserter...that much is fact.

He needs to face the full punishment for that action.

The only question left for me is whether he was/is a collaborator...

His dad, well, that’s another topic, but he sure hasn’t ingratiated himself by uttering islamic phrases.


15 posted on 06/03/2014 12:02:24 PM PDT by SZonian (Throwing our allegiances to political parties in the long run gave away our liberty.)
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To: Persevero

WTF?

Growing one’s beard to show solidarity; learning to speak Pashtu to communicate with those holding a loved one captive; and even watching, favoriting, and subscribing to jihadists’ YouTube channels to better understand the enemy is one thing, but reciting the bismillah in Arabic at a White House press conference in the Rose Garden AFTER that loved one is safely in U.S. custody is a whole different thing.

I don’t understand Bob Bergdahl’s actions. Stockholm syndrome doesn’t even begin to answer the questions about him.

My two cents.


16 posted on 06/03/2014 12:03:38 PM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (There are those that break and bend. I'm the other kind. ~Steve Earle)
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To: clintonh8r

Both the above 2 posts sum up my feeling quite well.

It is called making your own bed and lying in it
or maybe their chickens have come home to roost.

If we didn’t know so much about what went on between the father and son BEFORE the traitor walked off I might be different
But no one should pretend this is some honorable warrior coming home.


17 posted on 06/03/2014 12:03:46 PM PDT by RWGinger
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To: don-o

“Not supposed to change title. You didn’t know that? This will probably be pulled.”

Oops, been too long since I posted. Well, if it gets pulled it gets pulled.

Just trying to get people to see that not every bad interpretation is necessarily the right one. It seems I am fighting a losing battle.

I said in my opening statement there all due respect to the six who died, their five year olds and so forth, and that I don’t KNOW what went on, just want to try to stop the rush to judgment. It seems it’s falling on deaf ears.

Many accuse me of being deaf, stupid, whatever because I am not buying the “traitor sleeper cell family” line whole hog. Well, don’t be deaf, stupid, whatever the other way, either. Anyone with their eyes open can see there are things going on here that make no sense and do not jive. I can’t explain it but I don’t think it is so cut and dried as many posting these days are saying.


18 posted on 06/03/2014 12:04:16 PM PDT by Persevero (Come on 2016)
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To: clintonh8r
Based on what we know now he probably wasn’t tortured or otherwise abused, so it seems likely that he cooperated with the enemy. After all, he sought them out.

Very likely, probably. But I don't think he had to brain power to show them how to trigger an IED with a cellphone.

19 posted on 06/03/2014 12:04:23 PM PDT by AU72
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To: BuckeyeTexan

“I don’t understand Bob Bergdahl’s actions.”

Neither do I, but I am taking a “wait and see” position instead of an “off with his head!” position.


20 posted on 06/03/2014 12:05:04 PM PDT by Persevero (Come on 2016)
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To: ZULU

“You shoul dbe concerned about what this guy did, the loss of American lives, the five maniacs that monster in Washington released.”

I am absolutely concerned about all of the above.

Also innocence before guilt, “handling,” delicate negotiations, mental cracks, and inconsistent reports which do not come together to make any sense.

I don’t understand this situation.


21 posted on 06/03/2014 12:06:23 PM PDT by Persevero (Come on 2016)
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To: DB

If he deserted his post in a war zone, I agree, unless it’s proven that he went bonkers or something.

I don’t defend desertion.


22 posted on 06/03/2014 12:06:55 PM PDT by Persevero (Come on 2016)
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To: Persevero
"Bergdahl is fiercely intelligent..."

But forgets how to speak English, so his father has to recite a Muslim Prayer at the White house for him...

I guess he's now a muslim too?

23 posted on 06/03/2014 12:07:23 PM PDT by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period. PALIN/CRUZ 2016)
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To: Persevero

So if the dad grew the beard to curry favor with the ‘captors’, why didn’t he cut it when the son was free?

It’s no easy task to maintain one of those btw. I’m kin to duck dynasty types. You have to want to have that beard.


24 posted on 06/03/2014 12:07:24 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Sacajaweau

“And the father had the nerve to thank allah at OUR WHITEHOUSE. “

Not defending it. Just trying to figure out WHY. It doesn’t make sense to me. Thinking there is more to the story than meets the eye.


25 posted on 06/03/2014 12:07:35 PM PDT by Persevero (Come on 2016)
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To: jwalsh07

“6 KIA because Bowe did a walk around with the Taliban. Explain that to the 5 year olds who have and never will have their fathers.”

I acknowledged that in my opening post thing and will continue to do so. I have nothing but respect for those soldiers and do not support their death AT ALL.


26 posted on 06/03/2014 12:08:20 PM PDT by Persevero (Come on 2016)
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To: Persevero

Just ask the admin moderator to fix the title


27 posted on 06/03/2014 12:08:22 PM PDT by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period. PALIN/CRUZ 2016)
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To: Persevero

What do you do with the statements of his comrades in arms, who would have taken a bullet for him? Are you reading and understanding what they are saying?

btw, congrats - the mods had mercy and changed the title for you.


28 posted on 06/03/2014 12:08:57 PM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever!)
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To: Mr. K; moder_ator

Um. .. how do I do that? Pinged to moderator. . .


29 posted on 06/03/2014 12:09:09 PM PDT by Persevero (Come on 2016)
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To: don-o

“What do you do with the statements of his comrades in arms, who would have taken a bullet for him? “

I give them credence. I would not dismiss them.

I think they are telling the truth, as they know it and see it.

Why did he walk off base? I don’t know. But he walked off. That’s pretty clear to all.


30 posted on 06/03/2014 12:09:55 PM PDT by Persevero (Come on 2016)
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To: Persevero

I just thought he was a Duck Dynasty fan....


31 posted on 06/03/2014 12:11:00 PM PDT by nascarnation (Toxic Baraq Syndrome: hopefully infecting a Dem candidate near you)
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To: Persevero

He taught himself Pashto.
_____________________________________

Why ???? and when ???


32 posted on 06/03/2014 12:11:10 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: clintonh8r

The only, and I mean ONLY, thing in his defense on that one is the intercepted Taliban communications reported by Michael Hastings in that 2009 Rolling Stone article.

The Taliban seemed to think Bergdahl was a big fish based on the size of, extent of, and resources dedicated to the military search to recover him. That’s what saved his life. They thought we would play ball ... and eventually we did.


33 posted on 06/03/2014 12:11:48 PM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (There are those that break and bend. I'm the other kind. ~Steve Earle)
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To: Persevero

Bergdahhas said he grew his beard as a chronology marking the time that his son was missing.
___________________________________________

isn’t that what a calendar is for ???


34 posted on 06/03/2014 12:11:58 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: Persevero

admin moderator...

that other mod_erator addy is supposedly the dead mail office...


35 posted on 06/03/2014 12:12:28 PM PDT by SZonian (Throwing our allegiances to political parties in the long run gave away our liberty.)
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To: Persevero
I have to think there's some kind of code mixed in between the father and son and the Taliban. Someone needs to look for it.

I think the mother knows about the code but doesn't know the code herself.

The son sent some boxes home just before taking off. He said to use them. Them what??

36 posted on 06/03/2014 12:13:16 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Persevero
I think the father is irrelevant and would have stayed irrelevant if Obama had not cooked up the Rode Garden stunt. It backfired and now the media is in full deflection mode. What many of us are concerned about is that the careerists in the Army and the administration will try to sweep this under the rug with a bunch of feel good publicity.
Bergdahl needs to face the music for what he did to his unit and Obama must be held accountable for the mess he made by negotiating with terrorists.
37 posted on 06/03/2014 12:13:51 PM PDT by Old North State
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To: Persevero

He enabled his son’s self destructive actions; that is not intelligent.


38 posted on 06/03/2014 12:14:04 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Do The Math)
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To: Persevero

Thank you for making me a better person.


39 posted on 06/03/2014 12:14:26 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: DB

BUMP!


40 posted on 06/03/2014 12:14:58 PM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (There are those that break and bend. I'm the other kind. ~Steve Earle)
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To: Persevero
"Anyone with their eyes open can see there are things going on here that make no sense and do not jive."

Such as.......?

41 posted on 06/03/2014 12:15:21 PM PDT by circlecity
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To: Tennessee Nana

“isn’t that what a calendar is for ???”

indeed, that would make more sense.


42 posted on 06/03/2014 12:15:23 PM PDT by Persevero (Come on 2016)
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To: DB

did he also actively aid the enemy.
__________________________________________

apparently so...

they knew just where to ambush and kill our troops..

up to then only one guy in the unit had died...due to an EID


43 posted on 06/03/2014 12:16:22 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: clintonh8r

Americans caught by the Taliban star in snuff flix. So that he is still above ground and still possessing his noggin is purely suspicious. Also, captives are usually isolated and don’t end up speaking fluent Arabic to the point they forget their native tongue. That means he was working closely with Arabic speakers for some time. It is a stretch to say that indicates he was likely a turncoat?


44 posted on 06/03/2014 12:17:10 PM PDT by attiladhun2 (The Free World has a new leader--his name is Benjamin Netanyahu)
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To: attiladhun2

Yes. The Haqqani were those of the Taliban rape tapes.


45 posted on 06/03/2014 12:17:59 PM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto!)
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To: Jeff Chandler
I can get this from the father's perspective. He had to go through what his son was going through in order to survive the waiting. I wonder if the parents were told that their son now faces trial as a deserter?

I wonder if the father felt some level of guilt for not preventing his son from enlisting.

As far as the thing about praising Allah while at the podium with the President? Wasn't Obama exploiting the parents when he marched them out there to get credit and photo ops for releasing their son's release? I'm not unhappy that the media maneuver backfired.

46 posted on 06/03/2014 12:18:36 PM PDT by grania
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To: Sacajaweau

I heard Mark Steyn say that the homecoming parade for him was canceled.


47 posted on 06/03/2014 12:20:51 PM PDT by AU72
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To: circlecity

“”Anyone with their eyes open can see there are things going on here that make no sense and do not jive.”

Such as.......?”

- a family that are members of Bible believing churches with credible pastors for decades being accused of being Muslim sleepers

- a ‘lover of the Taliban’ weeping for joy after identifying his rescuers as Special Forces (didn’t see that with Lindh!)

- a conservative Christian who suddenly spouts Pashto

- a “hater of America” that consults with Vietnam MIA experts and is received and defended as genuine

- folks who want to utterly believe what some soldiers say and disbelieve others

- assumptions as to his motivation for leaving base when they are not known

- news reports of repeated escape attempts vis a vis Muslim reports that Bowe was a happy converted bomb making Muslim

- Bowe’s haggard appearance, why so for a man who is lovingly accepted into some new Muslim family

- army didn’t list him as a POW? yet traded five prisoners for him?

- lack of notice to Congress. . .

- the Bergdahls press appearance which really smelled of “handling” to me. . .

all kinds of weird stuff. I can’t explain it.


48 posted on 06/03/2014 12:21:11 PM PDT by Persevero (Come on 2016)
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To: AU72

I assume that means they’re moving it to DC?


49 posted on 06/03/2014 12:21:28 PM PDT by nascarnation (Toxic Baraq Syndrome: hopefully infecting a Dem candidate near you)
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To: Persevero

This is WaPo.

WaPo is in deep with Obama.

So why is WaPo providing this article?

Answer: to help Obama.

How?
My guess:
to “humanize” the parents. Get America to know how the Bergdahls; where they go to church, where they walk. But mostly to show America how the parents have suffered, the counselling they’ve had. I expect there to be a series of “comfy” interviews with the Bergdahls in the next few days. Oprah on the couch - complete with crying.

Then there will be the reunion. And scenes of joy. Because WaPo has laid the ground work for this reunion, America will have empathy for the parents, and see their son through the eyes of the parents. And America will then wonder - why should we prosecute this man? How can we make those lovely parents suffer any more?

Or do I exagerate?


50 posted on 06/03/2014 12:22:33 PM PDT by kidd
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