The commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command, Mark Milley, is currently deliberating whether to bring a military court-martial against U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who is suspected of deserting his post in Afghanistan. Details about the ongoing investigation have been closely held.
Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban in 2009 and after 5 years was traded back to U.S. forces in return for the highly controversial release of 5 high-ranking Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.
Milley’s options range from taking no action against Bergdahl to initiating a court-martial proceeding.
Bergdahl’s father, Robert, made headlines on June 1st 2014 after the release of his son when he appeared in the Rose Garden with his wife and U.S. President Barack Obama and began reciting the most frequent phrase in the Koran — “Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim” which translates to“In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Compassionate.” (Source of translation.) He then turned heads on twitter when he revealed he was working toward freeing all remaining prisoners from Gitmo:
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) May 31, 2014
The consensus among many of his fellow platoon members at the time of his release was that Bergdahl deserted his post. A soldier on Twitter, who claims he was in the same company as Bergdahl and watched the entire scene unfold, is claiming the official story reported by the press at the time is untrue. He posted his version of the events which led to Bowe’s capture:
Bravo Team was 100%, Alpha Team wasn’t (my team). PVT. Bergdhal was unaccounted for. Searches were conducted on the OP(1/4 acre in size)
— _ (@CodyFNfootball) May 31, 2014
He described Bergdahl as possibly mentally ill, spending most of his free time studying languages in Rosetta Stone(McVeigh comes to mind for some reason):
Always thought something was just a little off. Like mental off, I felt like he thought he life was a movie in his head — _ (@CodyFNfootball) June 1, 2014
Towards the end of his story, he says he fears reprisal from the Obama administration, and asks for legal help:
All politics aside I think we can reasonably agree if you get on the wrong side of the current admin, they can and will strike you down.
— _ (@CodyFNfootball) June 1, 2014
Bergdahl‘s freedom came at a very high price for American security. Obama sidestepped a Congressional review and immediately released FIVE militant jihadists from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. White House officials acknowledged the sudden trade violated a federal law requiring a 30-day notice to Congress before prisoners are transferred but attempted to justify the move saying “The administration determined that given these unique and exigent circumstances, such a transfer should go forward notwithstanding the notice requirement.”
The definitive source for the Bowe Bergdahl story, Michael Hastings, had unparalleled access for the story and it was his conclusion that a disillusioned Bergdahl had actually abandoned his post and “walked away.” Hastings was being investigated by the FBI for a popular article about Bergdahl he posted on the Rolling Stone website on June 7, 2012. His opening paragraph sums up his opinion of what happened to Bergdahl:
Three years ago, a 23-year-old soldier walked off his base in Afghanistan and into the hands of the Taliban. Now he’s a crucial pawn in negotiations to end the war. Will the Pentagon leave a man behind?