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.