Today, reports were published indicating that United States Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will be charged with desertion.
Last year, Sgt. Bergdahl was returned to the United States after five years’ captivity at the hands of Taliban forces in Afghanistan in a prisoner swap for five top Taliban operatives. Formal charges may come down in as little as one week.
Bergdahl went missing from his post in 2009, following expressing discontent at American presence in Afghanistan, and was captured by Taliban forces shortly after his disappearance.
Reuters reported that “Last month, the Army said it sent the findings from its investigation to a U.S. general to decide whether to discipline the soldier” and noted that “The deal that led to his release was blasted by some Republicans, and some of Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers have labeled him a deserter.
If officials conclude that Bergdahl broke the U.S. military’s rules, they could force him to forfeit hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay accumulated during his captivity and give up future benefits.”
In May, the White House made the following statement:
“Today the American people are pleased that we will be able to welcome home Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, held captive for nearly five years. On behalf of the American people, I was honored to call his parents to express our joy that they can expect his safe return, mindful of their courage and sacrifice throughout this ordeal. Today we also remember the many troops held captive and whom remain missing or unaccounted for in America’s past wars. Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield. And as we find relief in Bowe’s recovery, our thoughts and prayers are with those other Americans whose release we continue to pursue.
For his assistance in helping to secure our soldier’s return, I extend my deepest appreciation to the Amir of Qatar. The Amir’s personal commitment to this effort is a testament to the partnership between our two countries. The United States is also grateful for the support of the Government of Afghanistan throughout our efforts to secure Sergeant Bergdahl’s release.
This week the United States renewed its commitment to the Afghan people and made clear that we will continue to support them as they chart their own future. The United States also remains committed to supporting an Afghan-led reconciliation process as the surest way to achieve a stable, secure, sovereign, and unified Afghanistan. While we are mindful of the challenges, it is our hope Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery could potentially open the door for broader discussions among Afghans about the future of their country by building confidence that it is possible for all sides to find common ground.”
As this story unfolds, we’ll update you with everything you need to know at Legal Reader.