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U.S. Army's Bergdahl spared prison for desertion in Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Related' started by SHOOTER13, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 ON DUTY Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator

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    REUTERS
    By Greg Lacour 2 hrs ago


    [​IMG]
    US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl arrives for a second appearance of the day during sentencing proceedings in his court martial at Fort Bragg

    FORT BRAGG, N.C., Nov 3 (Reuters) - U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl on Friday was spared prison time for endangering fellow troops when he deserted his post in Afghanistan in 2009, but a military judge ordered he should be dishonorably discharged from the service.

    Bergdahl, now 31, was captured by the Taliban and spent nearly five years under brutal captivity by the insurgent group. He had faced up to life imprisonment after pleading guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy in a case that sparked debate on whether Bergdahl was a villain or a victim.

    The sentence drew swift condemnation from President Donald Trump, who called it "a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military" in a Twitter post from Air Force One as he flew on the first leg of a trip to Asia.

    As a Republican candidate for president last year, Trump, now the military's commander in chief, called Bergdahl "a no-good traitor who should have been executed."

    In a military courtroom at Fort Bragg in North Carolina late Friday morning, Bergdahl trembled as he waited to hear his punishment.

    Army Colonel Jeffery Nance delivered the sentence in a hearing that lasted just two minutes, and did not comment on his decision. He also recommended that the Hailey, Idaho, native be demoted to private and forfeit $10,000 in pay.

    Defense lawyers, who had urged Nance to show leniency, said Bergdahl was relieved and eager to move on.

    "This has been a terrible ordeal," Eugene Fidell, one of the soldier's lawyers, said after the hearing.

    Prosecutors, who had sought 14 years of confinement, did not comment.

    A dishonorable discharge, given for the most serious offenses, typically means a loss of all veteran and military benefits, including healthcare from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    That could pose difficulties for Bergdahl, who, according to testimony, suffers significant nerve damage as a result of malnutrition and torture while a prisoner of the Taliban and has several mental health conditions.

    The discharge will not take effect until an appellate court affirms his conviction and sentence.

    Bergdahl's actions in Afghanistan drew withering criticism from political leaders in Washington and fellow soldiers, both for the dangerous efforts to find him and the Taliban prisoner swap brokered by the Democratic Obama administration that secured his release.

    In May 2014, Bergdahl was handed over to U.S. special operations forces in Afghanistan in exchange for five Taliban detainees, who were released from Guantanamo Bay prison and flown to Qatar.

    Nance, acting on a defense motion, had previously ruled that Trump's comments had not influenced him nor affected Bergdahl's chances of a fair sentence, but said he would consider them a mitigating factor.

    Defense attorney Fidell said on Friday that Americans should be offended by Trump's behavior.

    "President Trump's unprincipled effort to stoke a lynch-mob atmosphere while seeking our nation's highest office has cast a dark cloud over the case," the lawyer said.

    Defense lawyers had argued during Bergdahl's sentencing hearing that he was a young, hardworking soldier who did not understand the full consequences of his actions when he deserted.

    Bergdahl, who has said he wanted to report problems in his unit, apologized in court this week for the suffering he caused his comrades and admitted he had made "a horrible mistake."

    Fidell said Bergdahl was especially grateful for "those who heroically sustained injuries" searching for him after he left his combat outpost in Paktika province in June 2009 without permission.

    Prosecutors, however, said Bergdahl knew his disappearance would trigger alarm in the war zone.

    They acknowledged that Bergdahl suffered during his years as a prisoner of the Taliban, but argued that did not diminish the pain of fellow service members who were wounded during the futile hunt for him.

    ~~He should have been hung...his remains shot...and then buried in an unmarked ditch in the desert.~~
  2. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator

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    I agree.

    Just look at what a precedent they set.

    What do you have to do to have the book thrown at you?

    He deserted. Put the lives of countless people at risk. Obama traded 5 known gitmo terrorists for this bastard that are already back on the battlefield fighting against us. Undoubtedly released critical intel.

    What the hell folks.
    Elbert Garrett and SHOOTER13 like this.
  3. ripjack13

    ripjack13 Resident Sawdust Maker Administrator Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    13,712
    That is such bullshit. He should be strung up.
  4. MikeD

    MikeD I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    The families of the six that died looking for him deserve more.
    John A., SHOOTER13 and ripjack13 like this.
  5. Djcala

    Djcala 20g Supporter

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    960
    "I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved."
    One of the very first things drilled into your head so hard you remember for life. There was a time when such things mattered and those who would cut theyre own throat before breaking them. For all of us who have stood a post wether it was a retarded barraks fire watch or standing guard at a FOB while our brothers slept its a slap in the face.
    John A. and SHOOTER13 like this.
  6. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    5,400
    As much as this guy should be punished per the code, we have let a lot worse go scott free.

    How many died at Benghazi?

    I don't know the whole bergdahl story, My recollection was he deserted his post and in a time of War, and in a hot war zone.

    That's definitely a firing squad offense, if that's how it happened.

    Now, this is not the same guy that tried to frag his own crew, is it?
    SHOOTER13 likes this.
  7. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 ON DUTY Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator

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    Desertion in the face of the enemy...dumb ass walked off, got caught, spent 5 years in Taliban captivity...WHICH HE DESERVED !!!

    6 real soldiers paid the ultimate price...one soldier shot in head and lived...doesn't know his own wife...Navy Seal shot in leg...18 surgeries...career ended

    5 Enemy Combatants released back into the fray, to KILL MORE Americans...AND FOR WHAT !!!???...a friggin' deserter...NOT FIT TO WEAR THE UNIFORM...

    busted down from sergeant to private...dishonorable discharge...lost his benefits ( he's appealing that )...and walks off the base scot free...like it never happened !!??

    If I ever see the scumbag walking down the street....
    well, I'll have a criminal record for sure !!!
    meanstreak and CaddmannQ like this.
  8. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    5,400
    You're right. He should not go free.
    He knows that too.

    I give you even chances that he commits suicide within 18 months.

    He willhave to wear a mask to go to the grocery store. How long can a guy live like that?
    SHOOTER13 likes this.
  9. meanstreak

    meanstreak 20g

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    746
    His attorney thinks Trump is the problem, so typical. Trump says what millions of us think and feel.

    These pieces of crap are always sorry, after they get caught. He wasn't in such a sorry mood when Obama and the liberal press tried to make him out to be a hero.
    SHOOTER13 and ripjack13 like this.
  10. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    5,400
    Well when the guy commits suicide they will blame it on Mr. Trump.

    I figure by the time the next 3 years are up they will be able to blame Donald Trump for the atom bomb, the AIDS epidemic, the US Civil War, and low sex drive among Arctic walruses who aren't getting enough clams in their diet.
    SHOOTER13, meanstreak and ripjack13 like this.
  11. MikeD

    MikeD I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    10,909
    Lifes not going to be easy given his DD and unfavorable notariety. As was mentioned, it would not surprise if something happens to him either by his own hand or someone elses.
    SHOOTER13 likes this.

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