Bergdahl ruling stuns observers

November 5, 2017 |

In a stunning ruling Friday, a military judge decided that admitted Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl will face no prison time. Prosecutors had pushed for a harsh sentence, considering he pleaded guilty; his fellow soldiers were seriously wounded and even killed during missions trying to rescue him from the Taliban after he deliberately walked away from his guard post in Afghanistan, allegedly aware of the risks he was creating for his comrades; and Obama traded five terrorists out of Gitmo to get him back. But the lead investigator, after interviewing Bergdahl, claimed that a prison sentence would be “inappropriate.” I’m sure millions of Americans agree, but they couldn’t legally give him anything worse.

Despite a week of heartrending testimony by the victims of Bergdahl’s treachery and cowardice, his punishment will be a dishonorable discharge, which has to give a whole new definition to the phrase, “It’s the very least we can do.” Those who criticize everything President Trump says or does are kneejerk-blasting him for tweeting that the sentence is “a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military.” But outside of actual Taliban members, who could possibly argue with that?

Bergdahl previously apologized to service members wounded while searching for him, saying, “My words alone can't take away their pain.” No, and the ones who died looking for him didn’t even get to hear his hollow words. While they lie in hospital beds and graveyards, Bergdahl is now free to carry on with his life. But let’s hope that like the character played by Chuck Connors on the old TV series, “Branded,” he finds that his reputation as a coward and deserter follows him wherever he goes (the difference being that the TV character was innocent.) To make it so clear that even a liberal college administrator can understand it, that means that no matter how many years pass, it will NEVER be acceptable to offer Bowe Bergdahl a fellowship at Harvard.

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Comments 1-2 of 2

  • Joanne Sgrignoli

    11/05/2017 05:55 PM

    A true travesty of justice. Sense of this judge's decision fails:
    each fellow soldier he deserted, every soldier that searched for him, every soldier killed while searching for him,
    every soldier injured while searching for him,
    the families of all of these soldiers,
    all military branches of service,
    all active duty & veteran soldiers,
    the People of the USA,
    future soldiers & their families, as they consider this failed miscarriage of justice.

    I have come to the conclusion that:
    • there should be a pool of judges, elected for 6 year terms, but no more than 2 terms can be served consecutively; after a 6-year break they can run for election & serve 2 more consecutive terms, not to exceed 3 total 6-year terms.

    • Cases should be heard by a panel of 2-3 judges, perhaps randomly chosen via computer selection.

    • Having served in a jury in 1990 & witnessing firsthand a miscarriage of justice for a young girl molested by her grandfather because the foreman didn't speak up & tell the judge that we were tired (11 pm) and wanted to deliberate more in the morning, instead handing over the incomplete form on which I had scratched out what I had started to write, and not saying a word. The judge, who planned to leave for a Notre Dame football game the next day, declared a mistrial because we were a hung jury. Having been a vocal jurist, completely dedicated to what being a jurist required, I was appalled at fellow members of the jury that weren't very intelligent & went with whatever sounded best to them, to 2 men that said if no one saw the grandfather sexually molest his 7-yr-old granddaughter, it didn't happen. I gave them an analogous scenario of their wives being raped but no witnesses. It was at this point that we all said we were tired and wanted to return the next day to deliberate more.
    There has to be a better way. Professional jurors? Some people wanted to get back to their jobs, kids, businesses. I'm just tired of so many miscarriages of justice in a country I used to feel such pride in. Fortunately, I know that God is really in control. If you read all this I thank you & may God bless you.

  • Mackie Braden

    11/05/2017 04:56 PM

    I too was stunned to find that a military court had given him no time. I thought desertion got at least 20 years. It’s sad that this Progressivism has affected he military as well.