I’m at home today, nursing a cough that’s so dry and racking, I’m afraid I may vomit up my diaphragm… or lose bladder control… or something. The screeching histrionics about the so-called “blizzard” that was supposed to hit the east coast culminated with a dusting of light snow in my driveway *EVERYBODY PANIC*, and I was going to head to work until I almost hacked up a lung.
So I’m home.
The first thing that hit my Facebook feed this morning from EVERY. SINGLE. CONSERVATIVE. WEBSITE. was the claim that Bowe Bergdahl (I absolutely refuse to call him SSG, as I am absolutely convinced that he’s not just a deserter, but a traitor who should be hanging from a tree, rather than sitting in a cushy office, being paid a military salary) is about to be charged with desertion.
If true, this would make me happier than a pig in shit. The problem is that EVERY. SINGLE. CONSERVATIVE. WEBSITE. is citing the same source: Retired Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, who currently works for the London Center for Policy Research, who revealed this information to Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, and claimed he received it from two independent military sources.
“The Army has come to its conclusion and Bowe Bergdahl will be charged with desertion,” he told O’Reilly.
“This is shaping up to be a titanic struggle behind the scenes,” he told O’Reilly. “Believe me, the Army here wants to do the right thing … And the White House, because of the political narrative, President Obama cozying up to the parents and because he, President Obama, releasing the five Taliban … The narrative is what the White House does not want to have come out.”
Yes, conservative “news” sites are citing BILL O’FUCKINGREILLY’s interview with a retired O-5, who works for some obscure think tank, citing secondary sources without corroborating evidence.
I think I’ll wait. I don’t know how true LTC (ret.) Shaffer’s claims are. Just like I don’t know whether his claims of DIA mishandling information about the 9-11 attacks are true. I don’t know who his contacts in the military are, or whether they’re credible. I also don’t know what kind of access his contacts have to information. For all I know, they could have overheard gossip in the halls of the Pentagon.
And while I would do a little happy dance if Bergdahl was, in fact, charged, I’ll wait for corroborating information.
You should too. WorldNetDaily is not a credible source.
UPDATE: My friend Cassy found this story from Military Times that quotes Army spokesman Paul Boyce as saying the investigation is not over.
I knew Paul from my PAO days – I doubt he even remembers who I am, as it’s been 10 years, but I also remember him to be a very straightforward, honorable guy, and I’m glad he’s still doing military public affairs.
The Army continues to review the case against Bergdahl, said Paul Boyce, a spokesman for Forces Command, on Tuesday.
But Boyce said there is no charge sheet and that the Fox News story “seems to be speculative in nature.” Bergdahl’s attorney Eugene Fidell declined to comment. NBC News, citing an anonymous senior defense official, is also reporting a desertion charge is coming, possibly within the week.