March 27, 2015

How Lenient Will the Army Be on Bowe Bergdahl?

Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, who faces charges of desertion, is the darling of the Obama administration. By golly, it was Barack Obama got the American boy home, going behind Congress’ back to do so. “Was it worth it?” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in response to the desertion charges, “Absolutely.” But the Army has responded differently to the laconic soldier who left his unit’s outpost in 2009. If convicted, Bergdahl could face up to life in prison – or get away scot-free. His lawyers are arguing that because Bergdahl was captured and imprisoned for five years, he should have time taken off any possible sentence. The Washington Post reports, “Bergdahl’s attorneys released a lengthy March 2 letter they wrote to Milley [the general who authorized desertion charges] urging leniency in light of his time in captivity. They also released a statement to Milley from Bergdahl in which he described being chained to a bed, spread-eagle and blindfolded while being held by the Haqqani network, an insurgent group allied with the Taliban. He said he tried to escape about 12 times over the course of his captivity.” America needed to bring Bergdahl home. We could not try him in absentia and condemn him to the hands of insurgents. That’s not justice and the American way. But neither is absolving him of deserting his comrades in a forward post during a time of war. More…

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