Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Did the Bowe Bergdahl Story Get Michael Hastings Killed?

There have been many credible reports, from those who were in Afghanistan, which stated clearly that fellow soldiers were under orders of silence in reference to the desertion of Bowe Bergdahl. It is somewhat understandable to be guarded of sensitive information.
If a reporter was able to reach out to those same troops, and get them to break that silence, would that be enough to get such reporter killed?
On June 7, 2012 Michael Hastings had a piece published in Rolling Stone titled America’s Last Prisoner of WarThis was not a fluff piece. It was hard-hitting journalism that was the trademark of Michael Hastings’ reporting. Even back in 2012 Hastings was reporting that Bowe was a deserter and a lot of the stories you have been hearing and reading over the last week stemmed from that ground-breaking account. He was ahead of his time and effectively blew the lid off this story long before it was a story. Here is a brief excerpt from the article, although I would encourage you to read it in full.
The next day, American forces had a chance to free Bowe. The battalion operations officer, call sign GERONIMO 3, met with two tribal elders from the nearby village. The elders had been asked by the Taliban to arrange a trade with U.S. forces. The insurgents wanted 15 of their jailed fighters released, along with an unidentified sum of money, in exchange for Bowe. The officer hedged, unwilling or unable to make such a bargain, and no deal was struck. Instead, the Army ordered all units stationed in the eastern half of Afghanistan – known as RC East, in military jargon – to join the search for Bowe.
On July 4th, the search effort got a break: Bowe was spotted in a village in Ghazni, about 15 miles across the mountains to the west. He was wearing khaki, with a bag covering his head, and he was being driven in a black Toyota Corolla, escorted by three to five motorcycles. But by the time troops arrived to investigate, it was too late. That was the last time that Bowe would be seen until the first propaganda video, released later that month.
Michael Hastings got Bowe Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers to speak upon conditions of anonymity while disobeying the “gag orders” of their superiors.

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