Some former U.S. Army soldiers are claiming that six to eight of their fellow servicemen died while looking for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who went missing in June 2009, and was later captured by the Taliban.
The ex-soldiers making that claim about Bergdahl are giving interviews to the media, which are being set up by a public relations firm, Capitol Media Partners, that is co-owned by former Bush staffer and ex-Romney strategist Richard Grenell, noted MediaMatters.org.
In response to these claims, The Daily Mailwrote today, "A huge search ensued during which time at least six US soldiers are said to have died while hunting for Bergdahl, 28, who has just been released from five years in captivity with the Taliban."
Likewise, the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post recently ran the headline, "6 soldiers killed searching for ‘deserter’ POW, fueling backlash," which was parroted by conspiracy theorist Ssg. Joe Biggs on Infowars.com.
Rolling Stone confirmed years ago that Bergdalh walked off his post in June 30, 2009, after being disillusioned by the U.S. military mission and some of his squad leaders, but were six to eight American soldiers actually killed while looking for him?
In reality, critics of Bergdahl are blaming Bergdalh for every U.S. soldier death from July to September 2009.
According to The New York Times today, the critics are not mentioning that July to September 2009 was a time of major fighting in the Paktika region, where Bergdahl vanished.
In fact, all across Afghanistan,122 Americans died from July to September 2009, up from 58 deaths the previous year.
In May 2009, a month before Bergdahl disappeared, Taliban commander Mullah Sangeen brought in “hundreds of foreign fighters” to attack Americans, claimed a joint statement by American and Afghan forces.
What about the claim that two soldiers were searching for Bergdahl when they were killed by the Taliban on July 4?
According to The New York Times:
Two soldiers died during the most intense period of the search after Sergeant Bergdahl’s June 30 disappearance. Both were inside an outpost that came under attack, not out patrolling and running checkpoints looking for him. The other six soldiers died in late August and early September.
Likewise, the other six U.S. soldier deaths happened under intense attacks by the Taliban.
As evidence, The New York Times cites U.S. military reports of America’s war in Afghanistan that were made public via Wikileaks by Chelsea Manning, formerly Bradley Manning.
So how do Bergdahl's haters justify their accusations? Their claim is that the Taliban somehow knew that U.S. forces were stretched thin by the search mission for Bergdahl so they launched extra attacks.
However, additional surveillance planes were brought in to search for Bergdahl, so U.S. forces actually increased in the air.
Also, the leaked U.S. Military June 24 logs show that the July 4 attack against the two soldiers at the outpost was a “complex ambush planned for sometime, and was “Mullah Sangeen’s desire to conduct a spectacular attack” against the outpost, notes The New York Times. The U.S. Military log doesn't even mention the search for Bergdahl in relation to that attack.
One soldier, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The New York Times that it is “ludicrous” to lay all the blame on Bergdahl because Americans patrols were going to get hit during "fighting season" anyway.
It's worth noting that Bergdahl was highly critical of several of the soldiers and leaders in his unit in his emails to his parents that were published by Rolling Stone, so their unfounded claims may be a case of revenge.
Sources: MediaMatters.org, The Daily Mail, New York Post, Infowars.com, Rolling Stone, The New York Times