Wednesday, 12 August, 2020


Bowe Bergdahl receives dishonorable discharge, avoids jail time

Bowe Bergdahl receives dishonorable discharge, avoids jail time Bowe Bergdahl receives dishonorable discharge, avoids jail time
Bennie Garza | 06 November, 2017, 11:13

Prosecutors had requested a 14-year prison term following a week of emotional testimony from the survivors who were wounded during missions to find Bergdahl after he walked off his base and unwittingly into the clutches of the Taliban.

Trump had weighed in on the case, calling Bergdahl a "dirty, rotten traitor" and saying he should be executed or returned to the Taliban.

The judge said Bergdahl must forfeit pay equal to $1,000 (£765) per month for 10 months. The exchange of Guantanamo prisoners and the fact that other US soldiers were injured risking their lives to retrieve Bergdahl made him a polarizing figure.

Bergdahl pleaded guilty to endangering his comrades by walking away from his post in Afghanistan. The judge had wide leeway in deciding the sentence because Bergdahl made no deal with prosecutors to limit his punishment.

Prosecutors had sought stiff punishment because of wounds to service members who searched for Bergdahl after he disappeared in 2009.

The White House said it had no comment on the sentence and referred back to a statement from several weeks ago that said Trump expects everyone in the military justice system "to exercise their independent professional judgment, consistent with applicable laws and regulations".

According to The Washington Post, Nance told Bergdahl during the defense's closing remarks Thursday that a dishonorable discharge from the Army would be "socially stigmatizing".

Bergdahl's lawyers noted in the trial that he had previously undiagnosed mental illnesses before he enrolled in the Army, including schizotypal personality disorder and "severe" post-traumatic stress disorder.

Good men died searching for Bergdahl.

Bergdahl's case was a holdover from Obama's administration, and a president who near the end of his term commuted the 35-year sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former Army private who served almost seven years for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks.

Bergdahl's attorneys argued that the 31-year-old had suffered enough. Justin Oshana said during the hearing Thursday.

Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban and spent five years under brutal captivity by the insurgent group. He has been stationed at a military installation in San Antonio. The only fair thing, they argued, was for Bergdahl not to get jail time. The move by former United States President, Barack Obama, was highly scrutinized by the military community, media outlets, and political opponents.

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