Editors Note: Being a Veteran myself I feel I have earned the right to both Criticize and Condemn the actions of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. There is no greater dishonor than to desert your fellow soldiers in a combat zone and to consort with the enemy.
President Barack Hussein Obama to bolster his image seized the chance to play upon the feelings of most Americans to secure the release of a captured American combatant. Obama and members of his administration knew from the beginning that there were questions regarding Sgt. Bergdahl’s leaving his base and resulting capture. With this knowledge Obama disregarded the advice from his military advisers and traded (5) high ranking Taliban leaders for Sgt. Bergdahl’s release. With great fanfare and a nationally carried broadcast, Obama flanked by both of Sgt. Bergdahl’s parents announced that he had negotiated and instrumented the release of their son Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. It was then learned to cost for that release was the return of (5) Taliban leaders specifically asked for by the Taliban. With his reckless disregard President Obama has enabled these (5) proven Terrorists to return to the battlefield to possibly initiate the killing of more Americans. With this in mind Congress needs to investigate if Obama or any members of his administration are guilty of pressuring the Army to drop the investigation so any possible Court Marshal would not embarrass the President for his fool hardy trade for a deserter.
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will be tried for his alleged crimes in a Military Court according the the rules set forth in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) under Articles #32, #85 and #99.
Article #32 INVESTIGATION
(a) No charge or specification may be referred to a general court-martial for trial until a through and impartial investigation of all the matters set forth therein has been made. This investigation shall include inquiry as to the truth of the matter set forth in the charges, consideration of the form of charges, and recommendation as to the disposition which should be made of the case in the interest of justice and discipline.
(b) The accused shall be advised of the charges against him and of his right to be represented at that investigation as provided in section 838 of this title (article 38) and in regulations prescribed under that section. At that investigation full opportunity shall be given to the accused to cross-examine witnesses against him if they are available and to present anything he may desire in his own behalf, either in defense or mitigation, and the investigation officer shall examine available witnesses requested by the accused. If the charges are forwarded after the investigation, they shall be accompanied by a statement of the substance of the testimony taken on both sides and a copy thereof shall be given to the accused.
(c) If an investigation of the subject matter of an offense has been conducted before the accused is charged with the offense, and if the accused was present at the investigation and afforded the opportunities for representation, cross-examination, and presentation prescribed in subsection (b), no further investigation of that charge is necessary under this article unless it is demanded by the accused after he is informed of the charge. A demand for further investigation entitles the accused to recall witnesses for further cross-examination and to offer any new evidence in his own behalf.
(d) The requirements of this article are binding on all persons administering this chapter but failure to follow them does not constitute judicial error.
Article #85 DESERTION
(1) without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently;
(2) quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service; or
(3) without being regularly separated from one of the armed forces enlists or accepts an appointment in the same or another on of the armed forces without fully disclosing the fact that he has not been regularly separated, or enters any foreign armed service except when authorized by the United States; is guilty of desertion.
(b) Any commissioned officer of the armed forces who, after tender of his resignation and before notice of its acceptance, quits his post or proper duties without leave and with intent to remain away therefrom permanently is guilty of desertion.
(c) Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.
Article #99 MISBEHAVIOR BEFORE THE ENEMY
Any person subject to this chapter who before or in the presence of the enemy–
(1) runs away;
(2) shamefully abandons, surrenders, or delivers up any command, unit, place, or military property which it is his duty to defend;
(3) through disobedience, neglect, or intentional misconduct endangers the safety of any such command, unit, place, or military property;
(4) casts away his arms or ammunition;
(5) is guilty of cowardly conduct;
(6) quits his place of duty to plunder or pillage;
(7) causes false alarms in any command, unit, or place under control of the armed forces;
(8) willfully fails to do his utmost to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy any enemy troops, combatants, vessels, aircraft, or any other thing, which it is his duty so to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy; or
(9) does not afford all practicable relief and assistance to any troops, combatants, vessels, or aircraft of the armed forces belonging to the United States or their allies when engaged in battle;
shall be punished by death or such punishment as a court- martial may direct.
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban after abandoning his post in Afghanistan, then freed five years later in exchange for five Guantanamo detainees in a deal hailed by the White House but blasted by his fellow soldiers, will be charged with desertion, officials told Fox News.
The development comes 10 months after his May 2014 release — which initially was a joyous occasion, with his parents joining President Obama in celebrating the news in the Rose Garden. Bob Bergdahl, who had studied Islam during his son’s captivity appeared with a full beard and read a Muslim prayer, while Bergdahl’s mother Jani embraced the president.
But that euphoria quickly gave way to controversy in Washington as Bergdahl was accused of walking away from his post and putting his fellow soldiers in danger. The trade of hardened Taliban fighters for his freedom raised deep concerns on Capitol Hill that the administration struck an unbalanced and possibly illegal deal.
The military plans to address the case at a press conference Wednesday afternoon at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
U.S. President Barack Obama stands with Bob Bergdahl (R) and Jami Bergdahl (L) as he delivers a statement about the release of their son, prisoner of war U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington May 31, 2014. Obama, flanked by the parents of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier who is being released after being held for nearly five years by the Taliban, said in the White House Rose Garden on Saturday that the United States has an “ironclad commitment” to bring home its prisoners of war.
Fox News has learned he will be specifically charged with desertion and misbehavior toward the enemy. A senior U.S. official said he will face a court martial and likely trial.
Bergdahl 28, walked away from his post in Afghanistan and was captured, then released years later by the Taliban in the controversial prisoner exchange.
Gen. Mark Milley, head of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, has been reviewing the massive case files and had a broad range of legal options, including various degrees of desertion charges.
A major consideration was whether military officials would be able to prove that Bergdahl had no intention of returning to his unit — a key element in the more serious desertion charges.
The announcement marks a sharp turnaround for the administration’s narrative of Bergdahl’s service and release. After the swap last year, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction.”
But as Bergdahl faced criticism from fellow servicemembers for his actions, the administration faced heated complaints from Congress over the Taliban trade itself.
“This fundamental shift in U.S. policy signals to terrorists around the world a greater incentive to take U.S. hostages,” said former Rep. Mike Rogers, (R-Mich.), then the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
Bergdahl disappeared from his base in the eastern Afghanistan province of Paktika on June 30, 2009. A private first class at the time, he had three days earlier emailed his parents expressing disillusionment with the war.
“The future is too good to waste on lies,” Bergdahl wrote, according to the late Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings. “And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their ideas and I am ashamed to even be American.”
Bob Bergdahl, a former UPS delivery driver in Sun Valley Idaho, replied with a message bearing the subject line, “OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!”
Bergdahl left a note in his tent that said he was leaving to start a new life and intended to renounce his citizenship, Fox News reported last year.
For the next five years, Bergdahl is believed to have been held by the Taliban and Pakistan’s infamous Haqqani network. In one of several hostage videos released during his captivity, he said he was captured when he fell behind a patrol, but fellow soldiers, outraged after the trade was made with the Taliban, accused him of deserting. Some asserted that American servicemembers’ lives were put at risk in the hunt for Bergdahl.
Bergdahl was freed on May 31, 2014, after the White House agreed to trade five high value Taliban operatives held at Guantanamo Bay for him. He was turned over to Delta Force operatives in eastern Afghanistan, near the border village of Khost, while the Taliban members were handed over to authorities in Qatar, which helped broker the swap.
The trade was branded as illegal by lawmakers, who said they weren’t advised beforehand, It was also blasted by critics who said it violated America’s longstanding tradition of not negotiating with terrorists, and from Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers, many of whom view him as a traitor.
There were also concerns – which would prove well-founded – that the Taliban members would return to the fight against the West. Of the five, Mohammad Fazl, the former Taliban army chief of staff; Khairullah Khairkhwa, a Taliban intelligence official; Abdul Haq Wasiq, a former Taliban government official; and Norullah Noori and Mohammad Nabi Omari, at least three have attempted to rejoin their old comrades, sources told Fox News.
Then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Bergdahl was a “prisoner of war,” and that the deal did not amount to negotiating with terrorists. He also said concerns about Bergdahl’s deteriorating condition made it imperative that the U.S. move quickly to make the trade.
A Pentagon probe concluded in 2010 that Bergdahl had walked away from his base, but stopped short of accusing him of desertion, reopening the probe after his return.
Bergdhal was promoted to sergeant while in captivity, and had accrued more than $200,000 in back pay by the time he was freed. He was assigned to duty at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, after his return and reportedly refused to speak with his parents.