At this hour, The Washington Post is touting an “exclusive” in which Afghan villagers give their eyewitness accounts of the day Bowe Bergdahl walked away from his post. They say he appeared, inexplicably, to be deliberately seeking out the Taliban:
To them, it’s clear something was wrong with the American. And he seemed to be deliberately heading for Taliban strongholds, they say.
“It was very confusing to us. Why would he leave the base?” said Jamal, an elder in the village of Yusef Khel, about a half-mile from the American military installation. (Like many Afghans, he goes by only one name). “The people thought it was a covert agenda – maybe he was sent to the village by the U.S.”
Locals remember Bergdahl walking through the village in a haze. They later told Afghan investigators that they had warned the American that he was heading into a dangerous area.
“They tried to tell him not to go there, that it is dangerous. But he kept going over the mountain. The villagers tried to give him water and bread, but he didn’t take it,” said Ibrahim Manikhel, the district’s intelligence chief.
“We think he probably was high after smoking hashish,” Manikhel said. “Why would an American want to find the Taliban?”…
This comes out as the Taliban releases video footage of the handover of Bergdahl to U.S. special forces. In the video, the sergeant looks highly stressed, even terrified. Of course, there could be many interpretations of that. Even if everything about his “capture” were kosher and he was thrilled to be handed over, he could have been afraid they’d shoot him at the last minute.
But that is secondary to the Post story. The newspaper’s political blog, The Fix, declares that “Bergdahl is the new Benghazi.” Indeed. Only this is one that people other than dog whistle-attuned Republicans can understand.
No wonder, as The Guardian reports, “US military promises ‘complete review’ into Bowe Bergdahl capture.” The whole happy-welcome-home scenario seems increasingly untenable.