Bergdahl gets off too lightly

Count me as one American who believes Bowe Bergdahl deserves to serve time in prison.

I had given the one-time U.S. Army Ranger the benefit of the doubt when he was returned to U.S. custody after being held captive by the Taliban for five years. He came home after the Obama administration negotiated for his release from the hideous conditions under which the Taliban kept him.

Then came questions about the nature of his “capture.” Did he go willingly into enemy hands?

Bergdahl admitted to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Yep, he did it all of his volition.

Today, the judge hearing the case spared Bergdahl prison time. He ordered him to receive a dishonorable discharge that, of course, will stay with him for the rest of his life.

It’s not punishment enough for what he has admitted to doing.

Bergdahl faced a potential life term in prison for the misbehavior charge. I don’t know that he actually deserved to spend his entire life behind bars. However, the former Army sergeant did put his men in danger when they went looking for him. What’s more, he deserted his unit that had been placed in harm’s way to fight the monstrous enemy force that supposed “captured” him.

I do not dismiss the terrible conditions under which Bergdahl was kept by the Taliban. However, it does not lessen the betrayal he committed against the men with whom he was serving.

I believe the judge today made a mistake in leveling such a light sentence against Bowe Bergdahl. May this deserter thing long and hard for the rest of his life about what he did.

2 thoughts on “Bergdahl gets off too lightly”

  1. Just Some FYI if you didn’t know

    “This conclusion is warranted in Bergdahl’s case, since he had first enlisted in the Coast Guard, but was discharged after only 26 days for psychological reasons. That discharge posed no impediment to his enlistment in the U. S. Army. He was a loner who preferred poring over maps of Afghanistan and studying Pashto to drinking with his comrades. He was a deeply moral young man, homeschooled in a strict Christian tradition, and the conduct of the war appalled him. He claims that before his deployment to Afghanistan, a sergeant major lectured his platoon, “I know you all joined because you want to rape, pillage, and kill. That’s why I joined. However, you need to think about counterinsurgency.” It is possible that even if this actually happened, the sergeant major was speaking ironically. But the problem with edgy humor is that not everyone always gets the joke.

    Bowe did not get the joke, if such it was, and the conduct of the war troubled him more and more. In his last email to his family, he said:

    We don’t even care when we hear each other talk about running their children down in the dirt streets with our armored trucks… We make fun of them in front of their faces, and laugh at them for not understanding we are insulting them… I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting.

    His father shot back,


    Dear Bowe, In matters of life and death, and especially at war, it is never safe to ignore ones’ conscience. Ethics demands obedience to our conscience. It is best to also have a systematic oral defense of what our conscience demands. Stand with like minded men when possible. dad.”

    read more here

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