Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking? CNN Asks If 'Homeland' Writer Sees Brody in Released POW Bowe Bergdahl

By Cindy Davis | Miscellaneous | June 5, 2014 | Comments ()


Bowe Bergdahl.jpg

I’m not going to wade too deeply into the controversy over whether recently released POW Bowe Bergdahl deserted his post and unit; I’ll leave that to the professionals. But my first thought when I heard about his return and the surrounding circumstances was, “Hey, this is eerily similar to what happened to Homeland’s Brody. *SPOILERS ahead* If you don’t know the story (which writer Gideon Raff first told in Israeli series, Prisoner of War), the gist is that CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) becomes obsessed with American POW Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) returned to the United States after eight years in Iraqi captivity. The audience is uncertain whether Brody has been “turned” — knowing he became disillusioned by American drone attacks that killed civilians and children, and that Brody was subjected to torture, that possibility was real. Likewise, Bergdahl expressed his feelings about the way he perceived things in Afghanistan:

“I am sorry for everything here,” Bowe told his parents. “These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid…

“We don’t even care when we hear each other talk about running their children down in the dirt streets with our armored trucks.”

Whether or not Bergdahl willingly left his post (a military report details multiple instances of Bergdahl having “wandered away” from assigned areas before, but notes he always returned), reports have him attempting to escape his captors at least twice. I respect his fellow soldiers’ beliefs that evidence points to Bergdahl leaving of his own accord, but I do wish everyone would wait to hear all sides of the story before the worst conclusions are drawn. Apparently there is a petition on the White House web site to have him immediately court-martialed; it already has over 15,000 signatures. The only presumption I’d like to make is that the real life agents who’ll investigate this will be more rational, and less likely to sleep with Bergdahl than Carrie Mathison.

Here’s CNN and Gideon Raff discussing the similarities between Bergdahl and Brody:

Cindy Davis, (Twitter)



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  • TimeTravelMan

    I was thinking that Quentin Tarantino should remake Rolling Thunder with Bowe's story.

  • Finance_Nerd

    I am a veteran and here are my two cents: All this speculation by the media and politicians is just noise. Nobody except Bergdahl truly knows at this point if he willingly left his post. Lots of soldiers will complain to each other that they don't agree w/a mission, so some of that may be out of context. As a former infantry team leader, I can tell you that it would feel like the ultimate betrayal for one of your own men/brothers in arms (whom you literally trust w/your life on a day-to-day basis) to go AWOL during a combat mission b/c he didn't like/believe in the mission. Soldiers may sign up initially for patriotism or pay, but the reasons you see them re-enlist or serve multiple tours is b/c they fight for one another. If Bergdahl just walked away from that, then I completely understand if members from his platoon/company feel resentment and anger towards him, especially if more men were lost in the efforts to rescue/recover him. However, as much as I despise betrayal, I would not leave him to be held by the enemy. Soldiers follow the UCMJ - it's the JAG's responsibility to judge and punish him, not the Taliban or the media. If civilians don't like the trade that occurred or feel the judgement isn't appropriate once all the facts are given, then they can express their feelings in the elections and vote out those that were involved and/or supported it.

  • BlackRabbit

    Yes, but the cold question must be asked-is his life worth the long-term trouble those 5 Taliban prisoners might cause? If yes, then that's blood on your hands if you're able to make that choice. I don't know if I could, unless I KNEW they would never trouble anyone again. Would I want them to make that choice for me, if I were the POW? I don't know.

  • nick bottom, the weaver

    no.
    it's blood on their hands.
    my behaving in a way consistent with my moral beliefs does not make me responsible for their actions.
    in the hospital where i work, we don't stop a code because the patient is a bad person who might, if resuscitated, go on to do more bad things. we do what we believe is the right thing and save their life if it is at all possible. we are not then responsible for the rest of that person's life.
    when a criminal is convicted and imprisoned for anything less than life without parole, the justice department is not responsible for their future crimes.
    when i am driving down the street and don't run over that creepy kid who skins live squirrels in his backyard, i am not responsible when he grows up to be a serial killer.
    when i trade a group of prisoners of war for the freedom of one of our men, i am not responsible for the future action of either of those groupings. this has been done throughout the history of war, the only reason that john mccain is able to complain about it is that someone made that same trade to free him.
    we do what is right. it's that simple.

  • BlackRabbit

    What if you knew that kid was gonna be a serial killer? I mean an angel or Marty McFly came and told you so a night before that kid runs in front of your car. Do you avoid him? Am I saying it's guaranteed those 5 guys are gonna be trouble in the future? No, of course not. But the possibility is there. You made the choice, knowing what the consequences might be, so yes, to some extent it is on your hands. It's inevitable, no easy choices. Very rarely are things cut and dried.

  • nick bottom, the weaver

    no.
    this is very cut and dried.
    the only moral decisions i am responsible for are my own. if i compromise my beliefs, even for what seems like the best of moyives, then i am a failure as a moral being. if i take an action at is morally wrong, my motives don't matter, i am doing something that is wrong.
    the only person responsible for an act is the person who commits that act.

  • Finance_Nerd

    That is the million dollar question. Here's the alternative (in my mind). The US gov't decides that he isn't worth swapping for, so the Taliban decides the best use of Bergdahl is propaganda. As a result, they decide to torture and execute him on video (similar to Daniel Pearl). The US gov't politicians would still be divided among party lines second guessing each other (why didn't we trade for him) and our enemies would see us as weaker for leaving one of the members of our armed forces to be executed while in enemy captivity.
    Is his life worth the potential trouble these prisoners can cause now that they are released? Statistically speaking, the US has killed between 10-15 enemy combatants in Afghanistan for every single US casualty (i.e 20-35K Taliban killed to 2200 US armed forces so far). I don't think trading five assholes who all have been in prison for over ten years will be a huge force multiplier that will dramatically change the course of the war or increase terrorism. I expect that these five will be so closely monitored that it will be difficult for them to be anything more than figure heads at best.
    Finally, Bergdahl is a soldier and while he may not want his superiors to make decisions for him, it's his duty as a soldier to follow those orders regardless of his feelings. Thanks.

  • Halbs

    I agree - if the trade didn't happen people would be upset about leaving more soldiers behind. Hard decisions. I don't think there are really any awesomely clear cut responses to scenarios like these.

  • Maguita NYC

    The reality of war has often been kept away from the public's knowledge. The media will not freely show you the consequences, the severed limbs, the psychological hell these men and women go through... And often enough, especially when it comes to this particularly unending war, allow those victims of war to freely question, why the fuck are we here? What is the use of us engaging in battle anymore?

    Yes, some schmuck would yell "because Freedom", and those with a modicum of functioning brain cells would point out the fact that war does not equal freedom, and that is what this soldier is talking about: How in the name of "Freedom" have we come to kill so many innocents, so nonchalantly.

    This poor soldier might be a deserter, he might be a too sensitive soul for the mass-murdering of children, or hell, this might even be a new reality show of "Whack the dog". Whatever it is, people should stop so easily demanding that someone be denied their Freedom, just because they look like a sensitive version of some TV show character... Also, a bit hotter on the ginger beauty scale IMHO. Isn't it time we understood that not all people are meant to blindly follow orders into raging war? No matter how much we want to believe the success of brainwashing they go through during training.

  • Uriah_Creep

    I'm guessing you meant "Wag the dog", Maguita, but I like your version better.

  • Maguita NYC

    ...I'mma keep it like this. A reminder how the ginge affects me.

  • Some Guy

    I think if you'd ask most service members, at least the ones I've met, it's not "because freedom,"

    It's because "someone else's freedom."

  • BlackRabbit

    No one's freedoms have been or are likely to be threatened in the US. And Maguita, I may have misunderstood you, but soldiers are not that brainwashed-following an illegal or immoral order can and will get you kicked out or executed. The US military isn't about "Just Following Orders." Is their legal and ethical code different than that of civilians? Yes. But they're not robots.

  • Some Guy

    Just making the point that some might see the US soldiers fighting so that women and girls can go to school in Afghanistan without fear of being murdered for pursing an education, something that might be considered a good thing.

    Again, someone else's freedom. Never said anything about it being American freedoms.

  • BlackRabbit

    Well, yes, that's what it turned into, because we could not (and rightfully so) ignore that kind of trouble. But that was an effect of us being there, not the cause. And we ain't gonna be there forever, nor should we be.

  • lowercase_ryan

    An acquaintance on facebook posted a couple of days ago that "As a veteran, I would rather have had my head sawn off with a rusty dull blade than be traded for 5 terrorists."

    Really dude? Because you know what it's like to be held captive for 5 years? Because the state department sent Bergdahl a text "U WNT RSCUE?"

    Idiot.

  • Nobody

    It's called selfless sacrifice, something the general public doesn't have. While your acquaintence might not be eloquent he understands that keeping the 5 mid to high level Taliban commanders in a prison camp is more important than his own life.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I keep thinking about it and I may have misread his intent. I took it to be him saying that he was more of a patriot than Bergdahl. I don't like that he assumes that were he in that position he would opt for death. That's easy to say on facebook. I don't know, I actually really like the guy so I'm regretting how harsh my comment sounded.

  • Halbs

    I don't know if he is opting in to death as much as just wishing he wasn't traded, as in it happened to him passively and outside of his control.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    I mean, I'm not proud that it was my first thought...but it was TOTALLY my first thought when I heard this story on the news.

  • Merski

    Same here! I was just waiting for someone to bring it up...

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