Marshall: Fox News analyst crossed line by suggesting Taliban should kill U.S. soldier

U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Macon), a former Army ranger, has signed onto a bipartisan letter from members of Congress condemning Fox News for an analyst’s suggestion that a captured U.S. soldier should be killed by his Afghan captors.

Read the letter here.

This week, the Pentagon disclosed that Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl of Idaho had been captured, and that a video of the 23-year-old private was posted online by the Taliban.

On Fox News, Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, a military analyst for the network said the following:

Nobody that I’ve heard in the military is defending this guy. He is an apparent deserter. Reports are indeed that he abandoned his buddies, abandoned his post, and walked off. We’ll see what the ultimate truth of it is.

But if he did, if he’s a deserter at war time, well, as o of my old platoon sergeants used to say, he’s in beaucoup deep kinshee…

We know this private is a liar. We’re not sure that he is a deserter. But the media needs to hit the pause button, and not portray this guy as a hero….

I want to be clear. If, when the facts are in, we find out that 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.

Here’s the video clip distributed by the liberal watchdog group, Media Matters:

Wrote Marshall and 22 other members of Congress, Republican and Democrat:

[Peters] implied suggestion that the Taliban should simply kill PFC Bergdahl to, “save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills,” was repulsive and deserves to be repudiated by your news organization.

We recognize and credit anchor Julie Banderas’ efforts to make it clear that Mr. Peters’ positions were not that of Fox News. However, that does not remove the responsibility your network has for the statements of one of its own analysts; especially those that suggest a member of the United States Army should be killed by his captors.

We demand an apology to PFC Bergdahl’s family and to the thousands of soldiers who put their lives on the line for our country. As a member of the military family, Mr. Peters should measure his remarks and remember that the United States will never abandon one of its own.

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54 comments Add your comment

Whatever

July 22nd, 2009
3:02 pm

I find it puzzling and amusing that there is an outcry over someone’s suggestion that a soldier be put to death; however, there was nothing said a couple of weeks ago when Bill O’Reilly (and backed by Sean Hannity) suggested that the taliban attack the US (which in my opinion was an act of treason). Why the double standard?

ANT

July 22nd, 2009
3:09 pm

I agree-if he left his post-then the Taliban should kill him.Looking at the video,he looks like he is trying to becime one of them.

Atl Resident

July 22nd, 2009
3:20 pm

This guy has the nerve to say let him die, no one cares about him, he definitely doesn’t have any family members in military cause there’s no way that would come out of his mouth. I don’t know or heard much about this guy captured or this issue but these high priced media guys need to chill national or local. They need to save the B.S. comments or join military to help save lives if it’s so easy.

Steve

July 22nd, 2009
3:22 pm

IF is a very big word. If he left his post, if he deserted…if, if, if. What if he didn’t and his parents have to hear someone on the airwaves say their son should be killed by his captures. A responsible journalist would have waited for the truth and the facts to come out before saying something like this.

TJ

July 22nd, 2009
3:25 pm

IF and that is a BIG IF…
IF he IS a deserter then I’m for the death penalty, HOWEVER, it should be US & NOT them.

Roger

July 22nd, 2009
3:29 pm

Unfortunately for many, abandoning your team in the heat of battle, in the face of your enemy, is deserving of nothing short of execution (treason at its’ best) can’t be understood by those with weak institutions, and shows us why they will never hold command positions…and shouldn’t.

My posiiton is simple, desert during war, give up and quit, humanity will return the favor to you. The military should only support those which support it…a deserter gave up on his team, and his country.

TJ

July 22nd, 2009
3:29 pm

Steve, he is NOT a journalist…he is a consultant.

BTW, I DO CURRENTLY HAVE FAMILY MEMBERS IN SERVICE.

ANT is a moron

July 22nd, 2009
3:32 pm

ANT, you’re an idiot. The rangers in Afghanistan have been growing thick beards and wearing the local style of clothing so they can blend in with the locals. This has been reported in the mainstream media for several years.

Manny

July 22nd, 2009
3:35 pm

OK, if he’s a deserter, let the US government handle him in accordance to our laws. But you don’t wish that the enemy will kill him.

Oh, and for the genius who stated that the kid is trying to look like them, it is in accordance to Sharia Law that a man cannot cut off his beard. He merely looks like a captured soldier to me.

And if you have a human conscience- try to imagine if that was your son. Or your brother. To me, it’s just painful to watch.

ANT is a moron

July 22nd, 2009
3:37 pm

Everyone needs to wait until the whole story is out before condemning this soldier. And even so, if you have never been in a real military conflict, then don’t bother talking junk about it. Most of you would soil your shorts as soon as your feet hit the sand.

David

July 22nd, 2009
3:39 pm

It’s disgusting to me that some of you are giving a consultant on Fox News, presumably just because he’s on Fox news, the benefit of the doubt over a soldier in the United States military. If someone had suggested a soldier was a coward or deserter on CNN, you’d cry bloody murder instantaneously. All our troops deserve our support.

Smart Jay

July 22nd, 2009
3:42 pm

The guy’s paid to have an opinion. The anchorette made it clear it wasn’t the opinion of Fox News and was Peters’s own.

Last I checked, Obama hasn’t repealed the 1st Amendment yet, so, feel free to say how much you agree with it, but, one of the things our guys are fighting for is our right to say stuff many might find stupid.

If you want this to be an offense-free society, maybe you’d like rule under an Islamic Caliphate. THEN you won’t be offending anyone (well not more than once).

BravesFan79

July 22nd, 2009
3:44 pm

The media should not label a deserter as a “Hero”, but what do you expect from the liberal media!? But regardless ill pray for his safety….he didnt do anything to deserve to get his throat cut.

Jefferson

July 22nd, 2009
3:47 pm

Who can watch Faux News anyway? It’s a Jerry Springer wanna be…

Moses Woodruff

July 22nd, 2009
3:51 pm

WOW! How can anyone suggest such a thing based on hearsay? This young man is still in harms way! Let’s rescue this American soldier! FOX has shown irresponsible journalism by airing this filth!

Jane

July 22nd, 2009
3:53 pm

He should wear a dog collar and be forced to stand up when people take pictures of him. He should be treated as horribly as the prisoners in Gitmo who received 3 hot meals a day, visits from religious leaders, lawyers, as well as recreational opportunities. He heaven for bit be forced to depend on Government provided health care. Unfortunately, I doubt the Taliban are as accommodating to the ACLU as we are.

So, good luck soldier, I will keep you in my prayer. Until proven otherwise, you are a Hero to me.

Hey you

July 22nd, 2009
3:55 pm

Enter your comments here

Plee

July 22nd, 2009
3:56 pm

So we let the Taliban behead him and then somehow the US will investigate to see if it is was justified.
Whether or not he deserted is a question for the US military to investigation and if necessary courtmarshal him.
The military analyst was hired by and paid by Fox News. For Fox to say nothing is inexcusable.

Hey you

July 22nd, 2009
3:58 pm

@Whatever

“I find it puzzling and amusing that there is an outcry over someone’s suggestion that a soldier be put to death; however, there was nothing said a couple of weeks ago when Bill O’Reilly (and backed by Sean Hannity) suggested that the taliban attack the US (which in my opinion was an act of treason). Why the double standard?”

Well because your an idiot…

Even though I don’t agree with those two bafoons I must point out how equally stupid you are. They were saying it would take an attack by the Taliban on American soil to make America realize the true threat of the Taliban.

Dur dur dur idiot. Maybe you should actually think things through instead of your stupid knee-jerk reactions. Dur dur dur…

george

July 22nd, 2009
3:59 pm

i wonder if lt col. (not exactly an overachiever) peters condemned hannihy, o=reilly, limbaugh, cheney, gingrich, etc. who never served at all, but find it marvelous to send other peoples kids off to fight. if this kid paniced he will be dealt with, what about the cowards who never served. semper fi.

1stGeorgiaPeach

July 22nd, 2009
4:01 pm

It is sad that we have become a nation of people who get “offended” at every other word that is spoken. I say everyone whether we like what they say or not should be able to speak their minds. We have turned into a bunch of wimps . . . waiting until someone says something that “offends” us and then whinning about it. I am offended by many things . . but I’m an adult and quite honestly . . I can handle it! There’s much to do over this and so many other things that people tend to dwell on that is a wast of time. If you are offended by what was said get over it and if you’re not . . . then you agree with what was said. . . big deal.

News Corpse

July 22nd, 2009
4:02 pm

Ralph Peters is a serial traitor. A few weeks ago he wrote an article (and followed up with an appearance on Fox News) advocating MILITARY ATTACKS ON THE MEDIA!

http://www.newscorpse.com/ncWP/?p=1279
“Although it seems unthinkable now, future wars may require censorship, news blackouts and, ultimately, military attacks on the partisan media.”

Does that include Fox News?

Jon

July 22nd, 2009
4:11 pm

This type of “analysis” plays to the people who watch Fox News. These are the typical comments that are made over and over in the evening hours of this network. Their audience is the extreme right wing who are totally disconnected with reality.

Whatever

July 22nd, 2009
4:13 pm

@ Hey You. Even suggesting that the taliban attack the US under any circumstances should be an act of treason. We already know about the threat of the taliban and we’ve already experienced the devestation of a taliban attack, so we don’t need any refreshing of how threatening the taliban can be. Oh, and by the way, name calling doesn’t make you smarter.

ARGHHH

July 22nd, 2009
4:15 pm

“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.”

This is sick! No wonder people are in America are fed up!

Big D

July 22nd, 2009
4:22 pm

I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard some liberal wish President Bush dead for so called treason..your a motley bunch of ignorant hypocrites that have given us a real a real problem…Obama.

WelfarefortheRich

July 22nd, 2009
4:22 pm

What man can wish death on another! These same religious zealots who condemn abortions will let a U.S. soldier (regardless) die as a traitor and be happy and spread it on a News channel but then cry about a women’s right to choose. I guess you fight for your country and your country condemns you to death…..

Sad…..

gatorman770

July 22nd, 2009
4:33 pm

I’m still waiting for the execution of “Hanoi Jane” and NY Times Editor and contributing writers for their treasonous disclosures and actions that directly or indirectly led to the deaths of American servicemen and women and the elongation of the Vietnam Conflict and War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan!

Big D

July 22nd, 2009
4:38 pm

The liberal fanatics ( ones who love to hear their own voice and no other ) can’t wait to say anything bad about the only news outlet that dares to report anything other than “RA RA OBAMA”. Be afraid of what they are not reporting ( THE TRUTH ) about why all these bills are being pushed through. Just keep on being distracted and see where we will be when he is done.

cool rock

July 22nd, 2009
4:40 pm

shut up Big D. you need to read more instead of putting your foot in your mouth

Jon

July 22nd, 2009
4:45 pm

The liberals are able to make decisions based on the information provided. They don’t need their own news network because of the great liberal conspiracy. We already have seen where Bush and the Repubs put us. If I remember, it was his administration that brought us the first bailout. I guess that means the free market, anything goes crowd, always needs the taxpayer to bail them out at the end (after they loot). Just like in the 80s with the Savings and Loan crises (from Reagan and Bush I).

Big D

July 22nd, 2009
4:47 pm

Rocky, Please give me an example of your intelligent reading material. FYI , I would rather my foot in my mouth than my head up my A*&^&*. ! ; ).

Big D

July 22nd, 2009
4:50 pm

Jon, I believe the Dem congress had two years to screw up the loan and banking system…executive branch can”t spend money.

Gimmeadollar

July 22nd, 2009
4:56 pm

Faux news is the same organization that had an old decrepit analysist who said Osama and Obama should be killed. They removed her from her post for a little while, then brought her back. What a tabloid news organization

RetiredSoldier

July 22nd, 2009
4:56 pm

I saw an earlier interview with Peters and he didn’t make the comments about “if he is guilty…” Peters made the point that he had spoken to a number of high ranking officers in Afganisstan and they all felt Bergdahl did not leave his post under duress. If that is the truth, then Bergdahl should face a courtmartial. Like it or not Peters is connected in military circles and his opinions usually prove to be correct.

One last point, I fail to understand the point liberals want to make with conservative leaders that have not served in the military. Does that also hold true with Obama, Kennedy or Boxer? Get a life and apply the same standard to your side as well as you do to the ones you hate.

Bubba

July 22nd, 2009
5:00 pm

Col. Peters was broadcast live on O’Reilly when he made made the statement last night. So, there was no preempting the comments.

If PFC Bergdahl did desert his post, Peters looks like a milder version of Foot-In-Mouth Patton. “Okay, you were right, but good grief, couldn’t you tone it down?” If he didn’t, I hope Bergdahl’s family sues Peters for his pension. They certainly won’t get satisfaction from him – do you think Peters gives a flying f*** what anybody else thinks?

Gimmeadollar

July 22nd, 2009
5:02 pm

Big D- this isn’t a democratic thingy. the article states that the letter received BIPARTISAN support against the Faux News analyst

VNV

July 22nd, 2009
5:33 pm

Hey, what’s the big deal here? They kill him, so what, it’s just collateral damage. Comes with the turf, right? Slice his neck & show it on youtube. After all, weren’t we all spit on when they came back from ‘nam? Yet, with the wave of patriotism for the idiots who signed up, we’re all gung-ho USA. Right?

Gary

July 22nd, 2009
5:45 pm

Don’t like it. Change the channel. There is plenty of liberal garbage out there for you. Watch MSNBC. The fact is Fox is the number one cable news Network and the people you hate the most have the best ratings every year. The opinion was hypothetical based on a lot of unconfirmed ifs. It was also implied, not directly suggested.

Example: If, hypothetically speaking, I was anal enough to watch a channel I hated, whose opionions I detest, if I were to be offended, maybe I should walk to a bridge and, who knows… Might save the tax payers a few bucks and be one less person on the new healthcare program.

Steve

July 22nd, 2009
6:06 pm

Plee,
Go back and re-read the article. Fox did indicate that Peters opinions were not necissarily the opion of the station. This is the standard disclaimer ALL news medias use when broadcasting analyst’s opinions.

While I agree that Fox News typically leans to the right, they also report news that none of the liberal news agencies will report on. They are the only channel I’ve seen that will question decisions Obama makes. ABC is so in bed with Obama, they should just change their name to the Obama channel.

Billy Bob

July 22nd, 2009
6:15 pm

Treason is punishable by death, plain and simple. jane fonda should have been executed in the sixties for her crimes.

MrShallow

July 22nd, 2009
6:31 pm

I sure hope they don’t do that, but if they do we have more soldiers, right? I would have signed up, but I had 9 more payments on the Porsche, and Uncle Neal in florida said I probably wouldn’t have to go. Oh, and Mum & Dad bought me a new I-phone, and I don’t think that would work in africa in war time. That’s where we’re at, right? Mom? Dad?

Jane Fonda

July 22nd, 2009
6:32 pm

HEY!!! You leave me alone you big meany or I’ll tell on you!

chaps

July 22nd, 2009
6:59 pm

News Corpse wrote:

“Does that include Fox News?”

Nope, it only includes the outlets like CBS, NBC, CNN, et al, who are cheering for our enemies.

Steve

July 22nd, 2009
7:09 pm

Not the same Steve in an earlier post. I spent half my life in the military. I served in Viet Nam twice, Iraq twice, Panama and several other hot spots. There is nothing so demoralizing as people that make statements as listed above, politicians AND the media. First, war is not nice. It is kill or be killed. I retired because of the rules put in place that we had to maintain a defensive posture so a lot of Americans have died since we were reactive and not proactive. Second, friendly fire is a reality. If you cannot trust another then you get them gone and maybe you will get someone better in place. Ever wonder why friendly fire stats are not released? In a combat situation if a person were to desert then there are variables that combat couch potatoes do not understand. A deserter will give up critical information about your unit that puts Americans at risk. People that have never been in combat DO NOT GET THIS!!!!!! I had 6 friends die in combat because they vould not get artillery to fire since a senator was meeting and greeting troops. Artillery fire would have stopped his photo op. How do I know? I was on patrol and listening to the radio. Grow up. This is not Hollywood. As for the video. I watched it. The behavior is not consistent with the Code of Conduct for a POW. If he is not a deserter then at the very least he is a collaborator. All you flag flying patriots need to try and get a combat vet to open up. I am not talking about some office clerk. I am talking about someone that served in combat. IF (big if) you can get them to open up you need to listen nonjudgementally. There is no common sense in combat and while politicians would love to have rules about playing nice -reality is that it is dirty and UGLY. Quit playing with what ifs. Personally, I think we should go get the troop, bring him home and then get to the truth. Unfortunately, politicians and lawyers will intervene and we will never get the truth. On the other hand, not all combat vets believe that we should get him and let’s eliminate the dog and pony show. I certainly understand that side also. I just wish that most Americans understood instead of basing their comments on lack of experience in this situation. Until then – the best thing is to stop making statements and let this play out. This is about combat troops and their morale. If you do not think they read this stuff – think again. This needs to be about supporting them. When I was in Viet Nam, Hanoi Jane got the headlines. Not only was this devestating for our troops but the NVA and Viet Cong played this up and their morale went way up. Think about it. How many of you have actually written to someone in combat? USO package?

sane jane

July 22nd, 2009
7:13 pm

I like the guy who calls himself “Smart Jay” and tries to get all Constitutional by invoking the “hey, freedom of speech, first amendment, right?”… while conveniently forgetting that the words of televised talking heads IS NOT PROTECTED SPEECH.

You do realize “freedom of speech” has limitations, right? “Fire” in a crowded theater, making threats etc – NOT PROTECTED.

Michael

July 22nd, 2009
7:13 pm

No man left behind?

Dennis

July 22nd, 2009
7:35 pm

Steve @7:09 PM,

First, thank you for your service, and for making my life safer as a result. Second, thank you for your perspective as one who served. I have not served, but after reading the article, my thoughts were going in the same direction as yours. This is not a game of fairness. War is not fair. It is kill or be killed, literally. A deserter puts us all at risk. I’m personally sick of politicians looking to score a few points by exploiting an issue like this. All under the guise of supposedly supporting the troops, while yet railing against them in other arenas.

Jim Callihan

July 23rd, 2009
8:10 am

Sad…very sad. We DO NOT FORSAKE OUR OWN!!! Right or wrong (the disposition of PFC Bergdahl) he needs to be rescued; he needs to be brought home. This young man volunteered and has served his country – that should not be discredited on speculation.

And regarding his appearance on video, YES, ever since Vietnam, Americans have “gone native” (dressing like the enemy, carrying their weapons, etc.) – it gives them a tremendous advantage in combat.

BRING HIM HOME!

JASON P

July 23rd, 2009
8:56 am

I believe that LtCol Peters crossed the line by saying what he did in a public forum. This case closely resembles the case of Sgt Altaie who is still currently missing in Iraq. Having been involved with the Altaie case and having dealt with the family, we have an obligation to the family and solider to do everything we can to recover him. With that being said ‘How many other soliders lives should we risk and/or lose to try and recover a individual that may have walked out the front gate?’ Is losing 2,5,10 American lives worth trying to save a individual that walked out the front gate? That is a decision only the ground force commander can make…I personally would not want to make that decision.