Fox analyst: Taliban should kill US soldier if he deserted

(RAW STORY)   Just a few months after he advocated for military attacks on journalists, Fox News strategic analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters is telling viewers that the soldier captured by the Taliban, now positively identified as 23-year-old Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl of Idaho, collaborated with the enemy by appearing in a Taliban hostage video.

Peters also said that the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl’s disappearance suggest he may have deserted his unit — and implied the Taliban should kill the US serviceman for that.

“We must wait until all the facts are in to make a judgment, but … he is an apparent deserter,” Peters told Fox’s America’s News Headquarters on Sunday. “Reports are indeed that he had abandoned his buddies, abandoned his post and walked off.”

Bergdahl disappeared from a base in eastern Afghanistan on June 30, and was declared “missing-captured” on July 3.

Peters said the video shows Bergdahl “collaborating with the enemy,” and added that it’s “not really relevant” that the private appeared on the video “under duress.”

Peters escalated his rhetoric when he suggested that the Taliban should kill the serviceman.

“I want to be clear. If when the facts are in we find out it’s through some convoluted chain of events he really was captured by the Taliban, I’m with him. But if he walked away from his post and his buddies in wartime — I don’t care how hard it sounds — as far as I’m concerned the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills,” said Peters.

Peters’ suggestion caused Fox anchor Julie Banderas to remind viewers that “regardless of what the situation is, we do not want to see any US soldier in harm’s way, and we hope this guy gets out of there safely. He’s an American, he’s one of ours.”

Other military analysts have not generally agreed with Peters’ interpretation of the situation. Maj. Gen. William Nash told ABC News that “it’s obvious from watching the Taliban video that Bergdahl is under extraordinary pressure, psychologically and possibly physically.”

“The United States Army is not going to leave that soldier behind,” Nash said. “And they are going to do everything necessary and possible to get him back.”

That line was echoed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who vowed Sunday the government would “do everything we can” to rescue the soldier from Taliban captivity.

Earlier this year, Peters stirred controversy when he suggested that “future wars may require censorship, news blackouts and, ultimately, military attacks on the partisan media.”

This video is from Fox News’ America’s News Headquarters, broadcast July 19, 2009.

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