Video Suggestions

by | Nov 1, 2017

Video 1

“Army Deserter Bowe Bergdahl Doubts He Could Get a Fair Trial after Trump Comments”

According to the article, former Taliban prisoner Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty to charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy after a short military hearing at Fort Bragg, North Carolina recently after expressing doubts that he could get a fair trial after campaign statements by Donald Trump.

Despite surviving five years in a Taliban cage, Bergdahl, Trump said in several campaign speeches as a presidential candidate, was a “traitor” who should be executed.

In an on-camera interview shot last year by a British filmmaker, Bergdahl says the words of the man who is now his commander in chief would have made a fair trial impossible.

“We may as well go back to kangaroo courts and lynch mobs that got what they wanted,” Bergdahl says. “The people who want to hang me — you’re never going to convince those people.”

Bergdahl, a 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment trooper, walked off his combat outpost in Afghanistan in June 2009 and was quickly captured by the Taliban. During his five years in captivity with the Haqqani Network — the same Taliban faction that held American Caitlan Coleman and her family hostage for five years until they were freed last Wednesday — he endured what one U.S. official called the worst case of prisoner abuse since the Vietnam War.

He was released in 2014 in exchange for five Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo Bay — a deal that was harshly criticized on the campaign trail by then-candidate Trump, who called Bergdahl “garbage” and even suggested that he should have been summarily executed.

“You know, in the old days — bing, bong,” Trump said as he mimicked firing a rifle. “When we were strong.”
Bergdahl was released in 2014 in a prisoner exchange for five Taliban soldiers being held at Guantanamo Bay.

Speaking to British war filmmaker Sean Langan, who was held captive by the same Taliban group in 2008, Bergdahl says he wants to fight back against what he calls a false narrative fueled by conservative outlets like Fox News that sought to portray him as a traitor and jihadi sympathizer who had been persuaded to fight against the United States alongside his captors.

Such rumors are false, military officials have said.

“You know, it’s just insulting, frankly,” Bergdahl tells Langan. “It’s very insulting, the idea that they would think I did that.”

In 2014, then–Fox News correspondents Megyn Kelly and James Rosen reported on “secret documents” obtained by the network that purported to show Bergdahl had “shown affection” for his captors, converted to Islam and become a “mujahid,” or jihadi.

According to Bergdahl, however, he thought the conditions in captivity might kill him before his captors could.

“It was getting so bad that I was literally looking at myself, you know, looking at joints, looking my ribs and just going, ‘I’m going to die here from sickness, or I can die escaping,'” he says. “You know, it didn’t really matter.”

In his first on-camera interview, Bowe Bergdahl spoke with British filmmaker Sean Langan, who was also taken captive by the same Taliban group.

He attempted to escape twice, according to military officials, and he was severely punished after being recaptured. Terrence Russell, a military official who debriefs former U.S. captives for the U.S. Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, says Bergdahl was tortured in a way reminiscent of the brutality visited upon prisoners of war in Vietnam decades ago.

“When they recaptured him and brought him back, the next day they spread-eagled and secured him to a metal bed frame,” Russell says to Langan in another video. “They took a plastic pipe … and they started beating his feet and his legs repeatedly with this plastic pipe … The idea was to just beat him and injure his legs and his feet so that he could not walk away again.”

Bergdahl also says he was confined for more than four years to a cage that was only 7 feet by 6 feet.
“From first year,” Bergdahl says when asked how much time he spent in that cage. “So second, third, fourth and then into the fifth year.”

It remains a mystery, however, why he walked off his post.
In his first on-camera interview, Bowe Bergdahl spoke with British filmmaker Sean Langan, who was also taken captive by the same Taliban group.

Another senior official who spoke to Langan for his documentary was retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who, as the former head of intelligence for special operations in Afghanistan and then as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, was deeply involved in the early search for Bergdahl.
He also briefly served as Trump’s national security adviser after working on his campaign, and he tells Langan that he “absolutely” believes Bergdahl left his base with the intention to meet the Taliban.

But Bergdahl disputes that, saying in a taped conversation with filmmaker Mark Boal that was broadcast in the second season of the “Serial” podcast that he walked off post in an attempt to report to senior officers that his platoon commander was “unfit” for his position.

Bergdahl has not been charged with any crime related to aiding the enemy.

Whatever his reasons were, at least two soldiers were seriously wounded during the search to find him, as the media first reported in 2014. In response to questions from Army Judge Col. Jeffery Nance on Monday, Bergdahl admitted multiple times that he did not fully appreciate the enormity of his actions.

“At the time, I had no thoughts anyone would come searching for me … however looking back I see it was a very obvious mistake,” Bergdahl said. “I believed they would notice me missing, but I didn’t think they would pull off a crucial mission to look for one private.”

After his guilty plea, the question remaining before the military is what form of punishment Bergdahl deserves. On that question, even Flynn doubts that justice would be best served by putting a former prisoner back in prison.

“So the guy deserted his men, his soldiers, his squad — no doubt,” Flynn says. “[But] I don’t think he should serve another day in any sort of confinement or jail or anything like that, because frankly, even though he put himself into this situation to a degree, we — the United States government and the United States military — put him in Afghanistan.”

Note: In addition to the video, please also see the following article also included at the above-referenced internet address:

Discussion Questions

1. Describe the Due Process Clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Do constitutional principles of due process apply to military hearings/tribunals? Why or why not?
According to the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, “(n)o person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…”

According to the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, “(n)o State…shall…deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…”

In other words, in the United States judicial system, due process standards limit what both the federal and state governments can do regarding deprivation of life, liberty, or property.

As mentioned in response to Article 2 (“Army Sacks General for Sexy Texts to Wife of a Sergeant”), Discussion Question Number 2 of this newsletter, the Army has a high degree of legal autonomy and is governed by its own Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and other internal regulations. With that being said, the Army does recognize its own version of due process.

2. Assess the propriety of then-presidential candidate Trump’s assertions in several campaign speeches, that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is a “traitor” who should be executed.

This is, in essence, an opinion question, so student responses to this question may vary.

3. Do you agree or disagree with Sgt. Bergdahl’s assertion that he may not receive a fair trial in this case? Explain your response.
This is an opinion question, so student responses to this question may vary. In large part, whether Sgt. Bergdahl receives a fair trial will depend on each juror’s ability to disregard (or ignore) Trump’s assertion that Bergdahl is a “traitor” who should be executed.

Video 2

“Hillary Clinton: Misogyny is ‘Endemic’”

According to the article, Hillary Clinton slammed what she called “endemic” sexism and misogyny in America during an interview with Fareed Zakaria.

Clinton, who was interviewed by Zakaria on his show, “GPS,” said sexism was so inherent that she purposely hadn’t highlighted her career history of fighting for women’s rights when she ran for president in 2016. However, she admitted that with the benefit of hindsight, she “could have tried harder” to do so.

“I’m a middle-class girl from the middle of the country, and so I always struggled with like, OK, so what’s my story. And it suddenly dawned on me that I was the beneficiary of these radical changes in, you know, women’s rights and opportunities that began in the ’60s and continue and that I could have and maybe should have tried harder to tell that story,” she conceded.

“I never thought there would be that receptive an audience,” she emphasized.

This was in contrast, she pointed out, to former Presidents Barack Obama and her husband, Bill Clinton, whose stories were more appealing to the public.

“People immediately saw this arc of, you know, poverty in Hope, Arkansas, from a biracial family in Hawaii, how really impressive and exciting their stories were,” she said.

Clinton said the election of Donald Trump, despite his “level of sexism,” was “Exhibit A of what we’re up against,” and observed what she called “a backlash against women speaking out.”

“I think sexism and misogyny are endemic in our society,” she said.

“You see it online, as women express an opinion and then are totally deluged. You see it in Silicon Valley, you see it in the media, you see it in a lot of places where women’s advancement has gone very far, much further than it certainly seemed at the time when I was coming of age,” she told Zakaria.
However, she noted that she had been encouraged by those who “push back” against sexism, especially men who are the “fathers of daughters, and husbands of wives,” who “care about fundamental fairness,” and who support female expression.

“There seems now to be a willingness by more and more women and girls to claim their rights in a very explicit way, not an apologetic way. Not like, ‘Oh, you know, excuse me, let me express my opinion,’ but ‘No, I have an opinion. I want to tell you what that opinion is,'” she said.

However, Clinton lamented that the word “feminist” still seemed to be “a word nobody wants to use.”

“Feminism is not about women having more rights. It’s about women having equal rights, in the workplace, in the politics of a society, in the culture, having the right to be yourself and to be able to express that, and to have that both appreciated and providing a platform to go as far as your talent and hard work will take you,” she said.
Note: In addition to the video, please also see the following article included at the above-referenced internet address:

Discussion Questions

1. Define “sexism” and “misogyny.”

Sexism is defined as prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.
Misogyny is defined as dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.

2. Do you agree or disagree with Hillary Clinton’s assertion that the word “feminist” appears to be “a word nobody wants to use?” Explain your response.

This is an opinion question, so student responses may vary.

3. Do you agree or disagree with Mrs. Clinton’s assertion that sexism and misogyny are “endemic” in America? Explain your response.

This is an opinion question, so student responses may vary.