Eight months after his father joyfully exclaimed “bism allah alrahman alraheem” next to President Obama on the lawn of the Rose Garden, and six months after National Security Advisor Susan Rice referred to Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl as having served with “honor and distinction,” officials say Bergdahl will be charged with desertion.
According to the officials, and reported by NBC News, “the desertion charges would be based on allegations that Bergdahl abandoned his remote outpost in June 2009 to avoid hazardous duty or important service, which are grounds for charges of desertion under the Uniform Military Code of Justice, or UCMJ. According to one senior official, Bergdahl’s actions in Afghanistan go well beyond the lesser offense of AWOL, absent without leave, because he allegedly abandoned his post “in the middle of a combat zone, potentially putting the lives of his fellows soldiers at risk.”
“The charges will apparently not allege that Bergdahl left with the intent never to return. Bergdahl was reportedly captured by the Haqqani terrorist network in Pakistan. He was released in a prisoner swap for five Taliban commanders held at Guantanamo Bay in May.”
Wow, that was a heckuva trade, wasn’t it? Our nation can’t even do a decent prisoner swap. Sure makes me feel confident about negotiations with Iran.
“While a court martial could lead to imprisonment, defense and military officials tell NBC News it is likely Bergdahl would be given consideration for the 5 years he spent in captivity and be permitted to leave the Army with a “less than honorable discharge.” If accepted, Bergdahl would be denied as much as $300 thousand in back pay and bonuses, and reduced in rank to at least Private First Class, the rank he held when he disappeared from his outpost in Afghanistan.”
Just to refresh your memory about the disgraceful handling of this case, and the deliberate obfuscation from the most transparent administration in history, here are the top eight lies about the Bergdahl case, as we reported last year:
#1: Bergdahl was very sick – no he just had poor hygiene.
#2: The Taliban threatened to kill Bergdahl – even Sen. Dianne Feinstein said there was no credible intel on that.
#3: The administration informed Congress about the swap – well, if you count the discussion about prisoner transfer several years ago.
#4: The U.S. didn’t negotiate with terrorists – Ambassador Susan Rice said by negotiating through the government of Qatar, they weren’t negotiating with terrorists — except Qatar wasn’t holding Bergdahl captive, the Haqqani Network was. The Obama administration officially designated the Haqqani Network a terrorist group in 2012.
#5: Berghdal served with honor and distinction – if you count the distinction of being the only American soldier to desert his post in Afghanistan and walk into the arms of the enemy.
#6: The release of the terrorists poses little to no risk to the U.S. – Just days after being released from GITMO, family members of one of the five detainees released by the United States told NBC news that the former Taliban commander, Mullah Norullah Nori, planned to return to the fight in Afghanistan.
#7: The five terrorists released from Guantanamo Bay will be under U.S. monitoring – Qatari government officials would beg to differ and said the deal that was reached did not allow for U.S. monitoring of the detainees, and that they would be free to move about the country while they remained in Qatar.
#8: This was the “last, best chance” to bring Bergdahl home – Maybe, but to date, the Taliban have failed to engage in any meaningful peace talks with the U.S. or the government of Afghanistan. So why this time?