Desertion? Treason? Sure, but prosecuting him properly for such charges is so…right wing.
“Attorney says officer urges no jail for Bergdahl,” Associated Press, October 11, 2015:
AUSTIN, Texas — An Army officer is recommending that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl face a lower-level court martial and be spared the possibility of jail time for leaving his post in Afghanistan, his lawyer said Saturday.
Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban after leaving his post on June 30, 2009, and held until last year, when he was exchanged for five Taliban commanders. His commanding officers in Afghanistan say a 45-day search for Bergdahl put soldiers in danger.
Military prosecutors charged Bergdahl in March with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, a charge that could carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
But defense attorney Eugene Fidell said Lt. Col. Mark Visger has recommended that Bergdahl’s case be referred to a special court martial, which is a misdemeanor-level forum. It limits the maximum punishment to reduction in rank, a bad-conduct discharge and a term of up to a year in prison.
Fidell also said that Visger recommended that there be no prison time or punitive discharge against Bergdahl. In light of Visger’s recommendations, the defense is asking that the case be disposed of non-judicially, rather than by any court martial.
Visger presided over last month’s Article 32 hearing in Texas that reviewed evidence against Bergdahl. Visger submitted a report with his recommendation on Monday, but the Army hadn’t said what Visger recommended.
Gen. Robert Abrams, the commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command, will ultimately decide whether the case should be referred to a court-martial. No timeline has been given for a decision from Abrams.
The Obama administration’s prisoner swap was sharply criticized by many Republicans and some Democrats, who said it was politically motivated and counter to the U.S. policy against negotiating with terrorists.
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said Thursday that Bergdahl should have been executed for leaving his post in Afghanistan and called him a “no-good traitor,” which he also said in August….