Weighing In On Bergdahl’s Return to Duty

Earlier this week, I appeared in two San Antonio TV interviews about Bowe Bergdahl, as the recently-returned-from-Afghanistan Army Sergeant has returned to active duty at Fort Sam Houston.

In an interview with KSAT, San Antonio’s ABC affiliate, I pointed out the particulars of the Bergdahl case — particularly, his desertion from the ranks — that makes this different from typical POW cases. I noted, “We don’t leave soldiers behind, but Bergdahl left us behind, and people died trying to find him.”  I also added that, based on what we know, that he should face desertion charges, and it appears that there are efforts being made to downplay this — in part, by allowing him to return to active duty — that are undoubtedly motivated by politics.

I also spoke to WOAI Radio, specifically answering their questions about should Bergdahl be facing a court-martial, rather than be sitting behind a desk at Fort Sam. The summary of the article, which is here, includes my reminder that desertion of one’s post is punishable by death, and given that five soldiers lost their lives trying to bring him back, there were very real and measurable consequences resulting from his decision.

What’s more, as I pointed out in the interview, there’s a disconnect between what the Obama Administration is telling us and what I believe a court-martial would reveal. As I noted, “We have the narrative from the Obama Administration that he ‘served his country with honor and distinction, which is false. Leaving your post in a war zone is not honorable.”

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