Any way you look at it, they’re not home


Lots of people call Bowe Bergdahl, who has been held by insurgents on the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier for nearly three years, a prisoner of war. Even his father, Bob, used the term for his son in a recent chat with Time’s Nate Rawlings. But he’s not a POW, and never has been, at least as far as the Pentagon is concerned.

In fact, the Pentagon told Time on Wednesday – to the surprise of experts in the field – that it stopped using the term “prisoner of war” in 2000. That’s before 9/11 and all the legal debate over the status of alleged al Qaeda operatives at Guantanamo Bay (the Bush Administration ultimately termed them “illegal enemy combatants”).

“It is true that Sergeant Bergdahl is being held by criminal actors, and not a nation-state and signatory to the Geneva Conventions, but the POW designation was changed several years ago to `Missing-Captured,’”…

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