Recent rulings by Bowe Bergdahl court-martial Judge Col.Jeffery Nance indicate things are not looking good for this deserter. That’s bad news for him.
Most everyone knows the basic points of the Robert Bowdrie (Bowe) Bergdahl saga. He left his post in Afghanistan and was captured by the Taliban, a Sunni extremist group. Based upon his last letter to his parents before he went AWOL, he called
His battalion commander “a conceited old fool”
the U.S. army “the biggest joke the world has to laugh at”
“I am ashamed to be an american”.
There was little doubt that he deserted his post as well as the army.
Ignoring the policy that the U.S. does not negotiate with terrorists, President Obama brought “POW” Bergdahl home in exchange for five Taliban terrorist prisoners being detained at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison facility. As President Trump often says, this was a “bad deal”!
Then, in December 2015, General Robert Abrams reaffirmed Bergdahl be tried by a general court-martial for his actions based on two charges:
One count of “desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty”
And one count of “misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit or place.”
If Bergdahl is convicted, the maximum penalty is life in prison.
In the meantime, spokesman for U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, Paul Boyce, reported in December 2015, that trial judge, U.S. Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance told prosecutors and defense attorneys that jury selection process will begin on Oct. 16, 2017, and the trial will begin on Oct. 23.
Now here is the latest news affecting Bergdahl’s impending court-martial. On July 1, 2017, Judge Nance rejected the argument by the defense that the charge of misbehavior should be dropped; and also ruled that injuries sustained by two personnel who went looking for Bergdahl after his desertion could be used in determining his sentence if convicted.
About the injuries of Sgt.1st Class Mark Allen and retired Senior Chief Petty Officer James Hatch, a Navy SEAL, Judge Nance said
“Neither Allen nor Hatch would have been where they were doing what they were doing but for the actions of the accused, assuming he is found guilty of (misbehavior before the enemy).”
Both were severely injured:
Allen was shot in the head while searching for Bergdahl. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, is confined to a wheelchair and is unable to communicate. Hatch suffered a career-ending broken femur on a separate mission to search for Bergdahl.
Most veterans believe that facts indicate Bergdahl should be convicted and be given the maximum penalty of life in prison. Anything less would be adding insult to the injuries received by Allen and Hatch during their search for this deserter.
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