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.