Jun 18 2014

On War, Crime, and Accountability

(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Every now and then, Politico has a story of substance, one that does not glorify politicos or obsess over meaningless political nonsense. Today, I read Saving Private Bergdahl, a story about a failed mission to rescue Bowe Bergdahl, the sole anonymous source of which claimed to have been injured on the mission.

This paragraph on the second page really jumped out at me.

“I don’t hate Bergdahl,” says C. “But he needs to be held accountable for his bad decision to leave his crew during war. When people say Bergdahl served his country with honor, that’s an incorrect summary of his service. There are families whose loved ones went deep into harm’s way because of Bergdahl’s choice.”

If he were a deserter, he made a bad choice. Maybe even an illegal choice. He left his post. And the missions to save his life put others in serious danger. His decision harmed others. Fair enough.

But was he the only person to make a wrong decision? Or even an illegal decision?

What about the people who gave the orders to go to war? In retrospect, did they make the right decision?

What about the people who authorized torture? Did they make a legal decision?

What about the officials who authorized the assassination of an American citizen without due process?

What about the officials who “accidentally” kill innocent civilians because they drop bombs from remote-controlled airplanes on flimsy intelligence?

Why is “accountability” only for the those at the bottom of the totem pole?

Whatever happened to the term “lead by example”?

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