On Monday’s “The Kelly File” on the Fox News Channel, two of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s fellow platoon members, Cody Full and Gerald Sutton, spoke out against hailing Bergdahl, who was held by the Taliban for five as a prisoner of war, as a hero. They contended Bergdahl was a deserter and should be held accountable.
Transcript as follows:
KELLY: Cody, let me start with you, do you believe Bowe bergdahl deserted?
FULL: Yes, I do believe he deserted without a doubt from my mind.
KELLY: You’ve been prohibited from talking about this since he was captured. The Army made you sign non-disclosure documents while he was in captivity. Tonight you’re free to speak. Why do you believe he deserted?
FULL: Some of the activities before he deserted made tell-tale signs of this — mailing all his stuff home beforehand, the e-mails you mentioned, him talking about the terrain extensively, talking to the AAfghan national police in a way that was not about hearts and minds. There was an agenda there when he spoke to them.
KELLY: Gerald, I know you were friends with Bowe in your platoon. What do you think?
SUTTON: I do think that it was premeditated and everything just like Cody said. His true motives and everything, I really don’t know. He never spoke about them. But yeah, pretty much what Cody said, too.
KELLY: Susan Rice went on the Sunday talk shows this week, yesterday and said the following. Listen.
RICE: He served the United States with honor and distinction and will have the opportunity eventually to learn what transpired in the past years.
KELLY: Cody, do you believe that Bowe Bergdahl served the United States with honor and distinction as she said?
FULL: He did not serve the United States with honor. We all took an oath. He violated his oath when he deserted us and put other Americans in jeopardy.
KELLY: Why do you say that? Because I know a former battalion mate has come out Nathan Bradley Bethea and said that he has much to answer for. He attributes the death to at least six service members to incidents in which they were searching for him and lost their lives.
FULL: What I can say on that is I don’t — I can’t prove that he caused deaths. What I can prove is those soldiers would not have been there at that location that they died or severely injured. There is a high probability they wouldn’t be looking for him if he didn’t desert because then we wouldn’t have a mission to find him.
KELLY: Gerald, apart from that link, that the loss of lives that the soldiers who were looking for him, why do you think Americans should be paying attention to whether Bowe Bergdahl was a deserter?
SUTTON: Well, I just don’t want to see him hailed as a hero and I want him to face the consequences of his own actions, and possibly face a court martial for desertion.
KELLY: The president has come out and said we leave no service member behind and that is why we struck this deal, even though it is controversial for a number of reasons, some we’ll get to later, including the character of these five Taliban members, Guantanamo detainees. Your thoughts on that, Cody, as a service member yourself?
FULL: I don’t think we should — I mean, I’m glad he’s home. He is an American. I can only judge him on his actions and I think he needs to be held accountable for his actions. Anybody else that violates their oath or the military justice code gets a trial, and I believe he should have a trial for what he did.
KELLY: Gentlemen, thank you both for being here and thank you both for your service.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor