Charges against Bergdahl referred for trial by general court-martial
December 25, 2015   By:    Bowe Bergdahl   Comments are off   //   591 Views

The U.S. Army announced Monday that the case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been recommended for trial by general court-martial. On March 25, the military charged Bergdahl with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

The date of Bergdahl’s arraignment hearing at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, will be announced at a later date.

Bergdahl disappeared from Yahya Kheyl in Paktika Province, located in eastern Afghanistan, on June 30, 2009.

Two days later, amid public outrage over the swap of a suspected deserter for five of America’s enemies, National Security Adviser Susan Rice told ABC’s “This Week” that “Sergeant Bergdahl wasn’t simply a hostage; he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield”. Republicans in the House Armed Services Committee accused the White House in a report released last week of having an ulterior motive in exchanging Bergdahl for Taliban officials: closing down the Guantanamo Bay prison.

The order came as a surprise since the Army officer who had investigated Bergdahl’s case testified at a preliminary hearing after he was released past year that sentencing Bergdahl to jail would be “inappropriate”.

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has previously gone so far as to call Bergdahl a “dirty, rotten traitor” and suggested he merited execution.

Bergdahl, whose story grabbed the attention of “Serial” creator Sarah Koenig for the podcast’s second season, now works in a clerical position at the Army’s Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.

Five Guantanamo detainees were swapped for the soldier, when he was freed in May of 2014.

That characterization of events is backed up by Major General Kenneth Dahl, who interviewed Bergdahl at length and told a military case hearing in September that the soldier was “unrealistically idealistic” and remorseful for the trouble he caused.

The development comes less than a week after hit United States podcast “Serial” began airing a series about the case.

Bergdahl’s case has generated massive controversy in the United States after it emerged he walked out of his unit willingly, prompting a massive manhunt, and because of the circumstances of his release in return for five militants. If Trump continues to speak about Bergdahl, Fidell argued, it could taint a prospective jury pool.

The report said that the congressional committee will “remain abreast of the disciplinary process which is underway” and “ensure that standard procedures are properly implemented and administered”.

“He feels a responsibility to everyone who puts on a uniform that we are not going to leave them behind and the… way that Sgt. Bergdahl was rescued I think is a testament to the president’s commitment to that principle”, Earnest said.

Bergdahl’s defense attorney, Eugene Fidell, slammed the decision in a statement Monday and said that he “had hoped the case would not go in this direction”. Bergdahl recounts. “A person asked me, ‘Why does it hurt?” He said he “was trying to prove to the world” that he was a top soldier and that in some sense he even wanted to emulate someone like Jason Bourne, the spy-movie character.


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