No Prison Sentence For Army Deserter Bowe Bergdahl

CNN reports:

US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has received a dishonorable discharge but will avoid prison time for desertion and misbehavior before the enemy after abandoning his outpost in 2009, a military judge ruled Friday.

He originally faced the possibility of life in prison, but the prosecution asked the judge, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance, for a 14-year sentence. Bergdahl’s attorneys asked Col. Nance for a punishment of dishonorable discharge. Bergdahl previously chose to be tried by a military judge instead of a jury.

Soldiers who searched for Bergdahl after he deserted were called to testify by the prosecution and shared stories of the grueling conditions they endured while looking for him. Retired Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer James Hatch testified last Wednesday that he and his dog came under fire while looking for Bergdahl. He was shot in the leg, and his K-9 partner, Remco, was shot in the face and killed.

Last year Trump called for Bergdahl’s execution, mimicking a firing squad when speaking to a rally crowd in Indiana. The judge in Bergdahl’s case said he would take Trump’s comments into consideration when deciding on Bergdahl’s fate.

  • Do Something Nice

    Remember, this ruling happened on Trump’s watch.

    • Daveed_WOW

      LOL. Can’t wait for his unpleasant and disgusting tweet.

    • ErikDC

      You expect the deplorables to be concerned with facts? By tomorrow they’ll be saying it all happened under Obama.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Does twitter work while over the Pacific ?

    • Bluto

      I imagine air farce 1 has satellite-based communication so yes.
      INCOMING SHITSTORM!

      • bkmn

        If the staff are wise they haven’t told Trump that he can use twitter while flying.

        • swimboy

          If the staff were wise they’d have told Trump that he can’t use Twitter, period.

          • melllt

            If the staff were wise, they wouldn’t be working for Trump.

          • shellback

            If the staff were wise, they’d open the door and push him out.

          • Reality.Bites

            Wise and very strong

    • Dagoril

      Hopefully it will crash the plane.

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    I had hoped for this but never thought it would happen.

  • Karl Dubhe

    That’s the best he could have hoped for.

  • Ninja0980

    He never should have been in the service to begin with.

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      True enough

    • Karl Dubhe

      Everyone says that about that. I said it when I left. 🙂

      Damned stupid idea, I was nearly killed 4 times in a peacetime military…

    • Chris Gardner

      We have to remember that he was suffering from severe PTSD. He may have not been acting in a clear mind.

    • Treant

      Or should have received much better than the probably zero mental health care he did receive.

  • bkmn

    I guess the judge did take Trump’s feelings into account and gave them all the consideration they merited.

    • Dagoril

      Printed them out, and wiped his ass with them when he was in the shitter? 😉

    • Pluto Animus

      But do you think that the judge would have sentenced Bergdahl to prison if Trump had stayed quiet?

      I think it’s likely.

      • MonochromeMouse

        trump’s dumbass statements made it pretty much legally impossible for Bergdahl to be given more than a slap on the wrist, otherwise the president’s comments would have constituted a mistrial and he would have walked anyway. That being said, it’s way past time to stop punishing “desertion” with prison, just treat them like any other employee who quits in the middle of a job, take away their benefits and make them ineligible to be hired back.

        • Pluto Animus

          It kills me when somebody writes a perfectly short, clear, tart comment. Some wag posted this on The Hill:

          “Bergdahl needs to write a thank you note to Trump.”

          • David L. Caster

            Great suggestion. He should indeed do that.

        • Pizza009

          Except when a normal employee quits they don’t put other people’s lives and national security at risk.

          • MonochromeMouse

            That is irrelevant. Anyone in the military should have the right to end their service whenever they choose to, forfeiting any payment or benefit they would have received had they completed their tour of duty. An employee is not a slave to their employer even if that employer is the government, the army has no right to punish someone who decides they want to quit.

          • Pizza009

            If you hopped on a commercial flight and the captain walked out of the cockpit, announced, “I quit” and jumped out the cockpit, I imagine you would want her a tad punished for endangering lives. Everyone who joins the military knows their commitment and agrees to it beforehand. Allowing anyone to quit whenever they wanted would endanger lives, national security, and military readiness

          • MonochromeMouse

            That argument is bullshit. A pilot leaving mid-flight would be immediately dangerous, a soldier deciding they don’t want to continue to be part of the military wouldn’t endanger anyone, their individual presence isn’t necessary for the whole of the military to function. And if enough soldiers quit that it endangers national security then the nation needs to rethink it’s foreign policy, but it wouldn’t endanger America’s security because in all of our history we’ve never been invaded, we have always been the invaders. We have never been in a war for our own defense.

          • Pizza009

            I don’t think ulyou have any clue what you are talking about, and have clearly based your entire view of the military based on what you see on TV

          • MonochromeMouse

            No, my entire worldview on the military is based on the fact that I do not respect the institution and consider it immoral. Any soldier who grows a conciseness and realize that they are committing or are expected to commit murder and decides to leave should have every right to do so. It would not harm our country because our country has never once been under threat, every single war we’ve been in other than the revolutionary and civil war has been to spread American influence overseas and nothing more, our freedoms have never once been in jeopardy.

        • It took much efforts over many years to get Bergdahl release from his captivity. Soldiers who desert, especially in a war zone, should have a Court Martial. I don’t think Bergdahl should had spent time in prison, he spent 5 or so years in Taliban captivity, much of it in a cage, and he was tortured. This was a matter that should be adjudicated, and the case closed with a dismissal and no prison time.

    • TrueWords
  • gaycuckhubby

    I would have been good with a couple years of prison. But i’m glad he didn’t get the maximum

    • John30013

      I agree.I thought the judge might give him at least a token prison sentence, allowing his “time served” with the Taliban to mitigate it. But I guess the judge felt he had already suffered enough for his crime.

      Sending him to Leavenworth won’t undo the injury to the other military members who searched for him, and it’s unlikely to deter other deserters in the future.

  • Henry Auvil

    Trump is probably asking his staff if he can un-pardon Bergdahl.

    • JCF

      Abso-friggin-lutely.

  • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

    Despite the verdict, he’s marked for assasination by ‘Murican militia types everywhere. I’m sure he already knows this.

  • misterjack

    Orangeturd ain’t gonna like this. YAY!

  • rednekokie

    That is encouraging news. This man, while guilty of a serious misdeed, has suffered far more than any prison sentence could inflict. I’m probably in the minority, but I wish him a good life from now on, with hopes he will contribute to society.

  • AlternativeQuacks

    When I was younger, having a dishonorable discharge on your record would make you essentially unemployable. I don’t know if that’s still the case today.

    • Nelson Kerr

      It is a federal felony conviction, even today

      • RaygunsGoZap

        Is it really? I did not know that. I figured it was some sort of administrative law in the military.

    • John30013

      This guy is so notorious at this point that regardless of his discharge status he’s going to have a very hard time finding a decent job.

    • Ninja0980

      It’s basically the same as being a convicted felon.
      There are very, very few places that will hire him with that on his record.

      • RaygunsGoZap

        Depends. I work in recruiting for a big company and for virtually all positions there is no external background check – we check candidate’s names against a database of ‘bad actors’* and that purges after 7 years.

        * People who have been trespassed from our businesses, people with fraudulent transactions with retailers, people caught stealing whether or not charges were filed…..

      • leastyebejudged

        Really ? So he can’t vote or anything ?

        Sounds like bullshit to me.

    • Chris Gardner

      I imagine he could still be self-employed, change name, and in a big city, no one would recognize him.

    • ultragreen

      In academia and many non-profit organizations, no one cares whether or not a person was dishonorably discharged from the military.

    • leastyebejudged

      It does if you’re applying somewhere where they favor military people over civilians for jobs. Everywhere else nobody gives a shit, and may even regard it as a plus.

  • melllt

    I’m liking this decision. If we want to start putting people in prison for putting American troops in harms way because of their stupid decisions, George Bush should have been the first, followed by Cheney.

  • Nelson Kerr

    As a vet the sentence rubs me the wrong way, but not as much as Trumps tweets on the subjected do,

    • GayOldLady

      I have some family in the Armed Forces who won’t like it either, but at least Bergdahl served and was a POW, which is more than we can say for Trump, right?

    • leastyebejudged

      Thanks for giving me an excuse to not support the troops in ANY way.

  • GayOldLady

    This guy left his post in an act that was considered desertion, but he was captured by the Taliban and tortured for 5 years. Now he’ll have to live his life as a deserter, with a dishonorable discharge and all the physical and mental scars that go with that. I think he’s paid enough for his crime of desertion. The saddest part is the serviceman who was permanently disabled and the other servicemen injured looking for him. He made decisions that changed many lives forever, including his own.

    • Frostbite

      Sadly. He can appeal the dishonorable discharge and possibly get it reversed. Those solders can’t get their injuries so easily restored.

      • GayOldLady

        I agree with that, neither can his injuries be reversed. Even if you think he deserved to be tortured for 5 years for his mistake, he’s undeniably destroyed himself in the process.

      • Jon

        And the dog’s still dead 🙁

        • RaygunsGoZap

          I hate Huckabees!

      • Johnny Wyeknot

        Remember though, they knew what they signed up for.

        • Joe in PA

          Grrrrr. I know that was just a snarky comment, but dang…get me riled up again! Arrgh. Remember Rumsfield’s dismissive: “you go to war with the Army you got son:. Grrr.

          • Johnny Wyeknot

            Yes, it was meant to be snarky. :-/

          • leastyebejudged

            It’s not snark, you are the one with the issues here at a mere statement of FACT.

            If you don’t want to risk being maimed and injured for idiotic orders from people higher up that will never be held accountable for anything, then by all means, choose to be a tool.

          • Joe in PA

            cranky-pants says what?

            Don’t forget to take your blood pressure pills, k?

      • leastyebejudged

        Sadly, you’ll still shill for the higher up brass that made shitty decisions that made this all happen, give them a free pass, and place ALL the blame on the useful idiot.

        • Frostbite

          Who said anything about shilling, well other than your misinformed judgmental ass. Looks like you’re the one judging now.

    • another_steve

      If in fact he was suffering from emotional/mental illness (as the defense claims), the army should have detected that – either when he enlisted or during his active service – and disqualified him from service.

      People who do bad things as a result of emotional/mental illness deserve softer punishment from society, imo.

      • Rolf

        Exactly. The number of cases of PTSD and other mental illnesses in troops that have been in active duty is enormous. And this doesn’t magically begin when you return home. What probably led him to desert his post was unbearable anxiety and emotional distress.
        What I actually find shocking is the assumption that most human beings will remain sane and rational when they are regularly under attack, see fellow soldiers horribly killed or maimed, and have to kill and maim other humans designated as ‘the enemy’. Most soldiers that have been in active combat, unless they have serious personality disorders, return home damaged to a greater or lesser degree.
        And this happens because they are good human beings, and good human beings cannot experience or cause horror and death without consequence.

        • another_steve

          Yours is such an excellent comment, Rolf. And so well articulated.

          How could the human heart, the human spirit, not be maimed by exposure to the horrors of war.

          How.

      • netxtown

        Prior to the Army, he was released from the Coast Guard for reasons involving mental illness. Then the Army signed him up – and deployed him – knowing.

        I don’t agree with the dishonorable discharge for that single point. I hope he does appeal – and win – at least a general discharge.

        • leastyebejudged

          Like EVERYTHING to do with the fucking military, EVERY case like this is merely yet another example of higher-ups being protected for their bad decisions on the job by simply pinning everything on the lower-ranking idiots, of which Bowe is clearly a dull knife in the drawer.

          This is a LONG standing pattern. Government operates in a similarly efficient manner, so if you like this about the military, you’re going to LOVE it when the government has the unfettered power and authority to do it !

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      Thank you. I agree totally. In my humble opinion though, deserting and walking out into the middle of a desert in enemy territory is not the action of a coward.

    • BearEyes

      Don’t forget Remco

    • JCF

      “He made decisions”

      Mentally-incapacitated decisions. To me, that matters.

  • Lazycrockett

    Wow I’m surprised. I figured they would throw him in for as long as they possibly could.

  • David

    Remember, it’s because of Dotard that he got NO prison.

    Don’t forget to remind all of your wingnut relatives and coworkers of this fact – on a regular basis.

    • David L. Caster

      Will do.

  • Lazycrockett
    • Michael White

      My man Pete. Go South Bend! And we have a good candidate to beat Jacky thewhoreski, teabagger darling, Palin supported of Indiana 2nd Congressional District.

  • Chris Gardner

    It’s no small mention that a judge with a military commission took his commander-in-chief’s comments and then stick up a big middle finger with a “go fuck yourself, sir!” by not giving the guy any prison time.

  • Ish

    Good. Everyone should desert the US armed forces.

    • leastyebejudged

      The bootlickers here, the weasels, the cowards, the liars, they’re all hot for the military because queers love uniforms, love the conformity, love the idiotic fantasy of rape, domination, and submission.

      It’s disgusting toadying, but who would expect anything less than queers to suck that big government cock ?

      Cue all the rage for me finally using the idiotic term “queer” to describe us !

  • DesertSun59

    There’s a clear possibility that he will ultimately off himself.

    • AmeriCanadian

      Or some trumpanzee does it instead, following shitgibbon’s earlier demands.

  • Treant

    Another fine win for Dumpy J. Moron! Way to go, Dumpy! You really showed ’em!

    Oh, and Dumpy? You own this.

  • Bambino

    The fucking moron set the standard with his bone spur excuse. Now any soldiers can go AWOL.

  • Dagoril

    No president should ever be weighing in with his or her thoughts on the desired outcomes of trials. I would call it outrageous to do so, but everything this tiny-handed vulgarian does is outrageous.

    (With the possible exception of something like Nuremberg)

    • Treant

      Well, yeah, that’s the Executive branch attempting to influence the Judicial. Which is not allowed.

      But he’s a Republican, so nobody’s going to bother to do anything about it.

      • David L. Caster

        Seems like the judge in this case did do something about it.

    • Adam King

      The presumption of innocence is part of due process. If a government official undermines that presumption it can be reason for a mistrial.

  • AlternativeQuacks

    OT – Of course, Gohmert would be one of them.

    https://twitter.com/Evan_McMullin/status/926480462788419584

    • Treant

      So…what are the odds that Mueller is likely to catch at least two of the three in his investigation? We’ll find out that Gohmert has a nice dacha on the Black Sea, “gifted” to him from Putin himself. 🙂

      • AlternativeQuacks

        Biggs doesn’t seem to have anything interesting; he seems to be just a cookie-cutter Republican. Gaetz has a colorful history involving a DUI in Florida. And, of course, Gohmert’s reputation precedes him.

    • RaygunsGoZap

      OMG! The replies to Gaetz’s tweet is just a tidal wave of rejection, insults and taunting. I’ve been reading them since you posted and haven’t found a single supportive one. LOL!

      Gaetz’s office number: 202-225-4136

  • Silver Badger

    Lest we forget, Mr. Bergdahl has already served five years of cruel and unusual punishment for his crime. I know the good Christians want him to be executed painfully, but most of us are better than (then?) that.

    • Adam King

      Than was right. Then is for next-in-sequence. (I’m sure you know that.)

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    Frankly, I doubt Trump’s inflammatory language had anything to do with this sentence. I would hope military courts are above that.

    • leastyebejudged

      The judge ruled with it in mind though, it’s a big “FUCK YOU”.

  • alc2018
  • Gustav2

    Everyone needs to stop disobeying the Dear Leader! /s

  • Mark_in_MN

    I wish the military would just discharge people and not worry about “honorable,” “dishonorable,” and other designations.

    • Adam King

      The benefits ex-military personnel receive depend on their discharge classification. If you don’t use that, you’d have to find some other way of doing the same thing.

      • Mark_in_MN

        Or you don’t worry about discharge classification for benefits. That would be a better choice.

        • Reasonoverhate

          No it wouldn’t. If you act like a shitbird, you shouldn’t get the benefits!

          • Mark_in_MN

            If you’ve served, you should get them. He served in a combat zone. He didn’t commit a violent offsense. He walked away for a time and was captured. A simple discharge without additional consequences is more than an adequate response.

          • Reasonoverhate

            Nope, sorry. You commit a crime and get kicked out, no benefits for you. You want benefits? Don’t commit a crime. Now Bergdahl….I’m starting to wonder about the whole thing. I just read that he was discharged from the Coast Guard for mental health issues and then the Army took him and deployed him. Something doesn’t smell right….

          • Mark_in_MN

            Minor offenses shouldn’t matter for benefits. And what he did shouldn’t be a crime.

          • BobSF_94117

            What doesn’t smell right is America’s deep desperation to fill the ranks and its burdening servicemen and women with ridiculous demands because George Bush make the biggest military blunder in American history. And a dishonest blunder, at that.

          • leastyebejudged

            “Benefits” is what here, code for medical care ?

            I’m a little sick and tired of the lowest of the low, the scum of the earth that joins the military being put up on pedestals as if they’re some sort of heros, when in reality they’re just hired killers we send around the world to blow up brown people.

            Your kind would leave people here in the streets to die, and call if fair.

            Euthanize yourself.

          • Reasonoverhate

            I bet you’re a riot at parties, you ignorant fuck. Have a delightful weekend!

          • leastyebejudged

            Thanks ! You too !

            And thanks for nothing so far as your service goes, thanks for fighting for corporate profits and tyranny and obfuscation and the destruction of the American dream !

          • SDG

            I believe that ex-servicepeople who were discharged for being LGBT, both before and after DODT, were NOT able to get the benefits. So, no, not always fair, now is it.

  • AmeriCanadian

    Was it ever revealed why he deserted his post? Sorry…didn’t take the time to deep search this but I’ve never seen it mentioned in these short pieces.

    • shivadog

      He must be mentally ill. I mean what are you going to do in the middle of Afghanistan? Anyone sane would have known that walking off like that would not end well.

      • JCF

        This. The COAST GUARD wouldn’t let him enlist: they knew he was funny-in-the-head!

    • BearEyes

      “allegedly”, he was going to another base to make some sort of report about conditions in his unit.

    • William

      There have been several stories. It all comes out to Bowe not being the sharpest spoon in the drawer.

      Being bottom boy to the Taliban for five years is punishment enough.

    • SDG

      So many people believe that by just watching the media, that they have all of the facts. And then, pass judgement (old news). Some of these folks need to take this into account.

  • JWC

    Know nothing of military strucure will not comment

  • stevenj

    “Last year trump called for Bergdahl’s execution…”

    1989, NY Daily News, Central Park 5:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/17/central-park-five-donald-trump-jogger-rape-case-new-york

  • This is a fair judgement. Bergdahl is lucky to come out of his captivity with the Taliban alive. However, what he did was reckless. He technically served very hard time as a captive/hostage..

  • I love dim sum

    Damn, Bowe could get it.

  • Tom P

    Wasn’t there just a news report that Bergdahl provided invaluable info about his captors to authorities? Perhaps that also encouraged the judge to rule wit mercy.

  • Joe in PA

    The entire situation just sucks, for all concerned. The following comment is irrespective of the guilt/sentence, and maybe I’ve been watching too much crime “drama” on TV, but doesn’t having the folks that went looking for him tell their awful stories (especially the dead dog) seem prejudicial?

  • Kevin Andrews

    Finally some sign of Military Intelligence. Hasn’t this man been tortured enough? Fighting a war of lies for Gold, Oil & Drugs to steal for the oil companies & guard opium poppies for the oligarchy.

  • ultragreen

    I thought the judge said “he would NOT take Trump’s comments into consideration” when deciding Bergdahl’s fate.

  • Dunkerblinker

    I have mixed feelings on this one. He is a deserter and that is pretty low in my book, but he was captured and tortured. So, it sorta feels like he paid his price, but the people who searched for him did not deserve what happened to them… Nobody wins here.

  • ted-

    OH no, the poor doggy. That really pains me to read that. UGH…

  • JCF

    Good. He’s suffered enough (and probably was suffering from mental illness before he walked away from his post).

    Drumpf: Law of Return, sweet cheeks. What you wish on another person comes back atcha…

  • Frank G Anderson

    The trial should have been decided on the basis of evidence and testimony, facts. That most of it was dismissed in letting this cretin off the hook is so obviously that missing it implies lack of awareness.

    • SDG

      Were you at the trial? Do you have all of the facts?

      • Frank G Anderson

        To answer in the affirmative, like you, I would need to be both the judge and jury, as well as prosecutor and defense counsel, and Bergdahl himself all at the same time.You seem to just be sticking up for this guy for some reason, which is your right. But the Obama trade-off of five high caliber Taliban for this traitor who has incurred the ire of all servicemen and women, is now being replayed with a slap on the wrist. And guess what? I founded and edited and ran a newspaper for several years and facts go take priority. Perhaps you can relate why your expression/doubt is more just? Were you at the trial? Nope.

        • SDG

          And you totally prove my point!

      • Frank G Anderson

        To answer in the affirmative, like you, I would need to be both the judge and jury, as well as prosecutor and defense counsel, and Bergdahl himself all at the same time.You seem to just be sticking up for this guy for some reason, which is your right. But the Obama trade-off of five high caliber Taliban for this traitor who has incurred the ire of all servicemen and women, is now being replayed with a slap on the wrist. And guess what? I founded and edited and ran a newspaper for several years and facts go take priority. Perhaps you can relate why your expression/doubt is more just? Were you at the trial? Nope.

  • Frank G Anderson

    Finally, because of Bergdahl’s actions, several brave Americans died and were injured looking for him. He deserves worse than Trump could ever misspeak about. Hell is waiting.

    • JCF

      See re “Law of Return” (and go back to “MILO.Com” troll)