What is the going rate for American military being held in foreign countries?

Five.

The answer is five.

Honestly I don’t really know what to say about either one of these stories. I mean, really, I don’t. Unless you’ve been living in a Taliban cave for the last couple of weeks, you’ve probably heard about the story of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl being traded back to the US for five Taliban members. While the conversion rate seems odd, the entire veteran community seems to be pretty pissed off about it. I’m far removed from the event, and my introduction to it was within the last 48 hours or so (like a lot of people). I’ve read the anecdotal testimonies of his squad mates and seen the general butt hurt online, but even outside of that, the whole thing is just really full of fuck.

My opinion is irrelevant, and I’m keeping it out of this, but the story is just really odd even from my detached point of view. From what I’ve read amongst the many blogs and stories, this soldier allegedly went AWOL (UA in Marine terms) while in Afghanistan of his own intent and is considered by many a traitor and deserter. On top of that, six soldiers lost their lives trying to save him. Then, after all of this, the magic deal they strike to bring him home is not just a simple trade but a fucking 5 for 1 deal. We’re giving them FIVE Taliban for one soldier that no one even wants anyway. An odd ratio, to say the least.

But seriously, what brilliant Jack Bauer-with-downs-syndrome negotiator did they send to strike this amazing deal? That’s really the best they could do? I didn’t even know the Taliban negotiated, or more importantly that we negotiated with them.

“Five huh? That seems a little steep. People don’t even like this guy.”

“It is good deal. He still has all organs.”

“Well… okay.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to make light of POW’s here, but this isn’t a traditional POW.

It also doesn’t help that his dad looks like a dirty hippy and tweets pro-Taliban shit.

captured-soldier-2

Then we have the story of Sgt. Tahmoorsessi, who was arrested in Mexico under gun charges. This story is much less confusing, but I guess the moral is not to wander into Mexico with illegal (in Mexico) weapons. There’s been some hubbub in the media over it as well as a petition to get some attention from the White House. As of writing, I’m not really sure where all of it stands, but I’m sure it’ll get sorted out one way or another. As an American and a Marine, of course I want to see this Marine come home, but who drives around with three weapons in their truck in California to meet some friends for dinner and then accidentally drives into Mexico?