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"The Future is Too Good to Waste on Lies": Bowe Bergdahl's Moral Odyssey

•, By William Norman Grigg
Trying to find their footing amid a gale-force outpouring of largely manufactured outrage, officials in Hailey, Idaho canceled their long-planned homecoming for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. They were understandably intimidated by the prospect of dealing with thousands of protesters who planned to besiege the tiny central Idaho town to demand the blood of a young man they now regard to be a deserter, and a father they consider a terrorist sympathizer.

To understand the kind of welcome the War Party has been preparing for Bowe and his family, it's useful to consider the treatment given to the family of World War I-era conscientious objector John Witmer.

A Mennonite from Colombiana, Ohio who was denied a deferment by the local draft board, Witmer died from the Spanish Flu while stationed at Camp Sherman, Ohio. Witmer's lifeless body was returned to his hometown on October 10, 1918, where the family – his father Dan, his siblings, and his fiancee, Nola – was greeted by a silent crowd heavy with sullen disapproval for the "slacker" and his family.

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