Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, November 03, 2017

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who in 2009 walked off a U.S. military outpost in eastern Afghanistan and spent the next five years in enemy captivity, was sentenced Friday to a dishonorable discharge from the Army but will avoid prison time. Bergdahl, 31, pleaded guilty in October to charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy and had faced a maximum life sentence. He exhibited no emotion as the judge, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance, read his sentence, only clenching his jaw as he'd done throughout the proceedings. It's unclear how Nance arrived at his decision. The judge made no remarks after making the announcement and promptly left the courtroom. Bergdahl will lose all benefits, including medical care, afforded to military veterans and pay a fine of $1,000 a month for the next 10 months. His rank will be reduced to from sergeant to private.

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Trump said on the campaign trail Bergdahl was a "dirty, rotten traitor" who should be executed.

Bergdahl's attorneys maintained that psychological conditions, which according to expert testimony impair his reasoning skills and existed before his military service, led to Bergdahl's fateful actions and that he should be granted leniency.

Additionally, five years of brutal captivity was sufficient punishment, his attorneys said. They did not dispute their client committed serious offenses.

Capt. Nina Banks, a member of the defense counsel, told Nance a dishonorable discharge from the Army was a suitable punishment instead.

"Justice is not rescuing Sgt. Bergdahl from his Taliban captors, in the cage where he was for years, only to place him in a cell," she said Thursday.

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Fair exchange.

He's certainly not the "dirty, rotten traitor" that Trump is.

#1 | Posted by Corky at 2017-11-03 12:27 PM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 6

The prosecutors asked for 14 years in prison, btw.

#2 | Posted by Corky at 2017-11-03 12:32 PM | Reply

#2

That is their job Corky.

This is IMO the right result, he gets time served, pays a fine, reduced in rank and Dishonorably Discharged. Actions have consequences, he will continue to pay for his crimes as he moves forward in life.

#3 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-11-03 12:52 PM | Reply

Fair exchange?

He should have gotten 20 years with time served with the Taliban. This is just going to encourage more liberals to just walk away from service when it hurts their fragile egos. Service to the nation is not something to be taken lightly or decisions made on a whim.

#4 | Posted by boaz at 2017-11-03 12:52 PM | Reply

And in addition to #4,

I think he also may need mental help. I think he was sick and maybe that is why he did what he did.

#5 | Posted by boaz at 2017-11-03 12:53 PM | Reply

"I think he also may need mental help."

Hahaha. This is too rich, coming from Boaz.
Yeah man, he's got "White Shooter Syndrome."

#6 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-11-03 12:55 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

He should have gotten 20 years with time served with the Taliban. This is just going to encourage more liberals to just walk away from service when it hurts their fragile egos. Service to the nation is not something to be taken lightly or decisions made on a whim.

#4 | Posted by boaz at 2017-11-03 12:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

Tell that to Dubya

#7 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2017-11-03 01:12 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

I would have given him 6 months in the klink and no financial penalty.

How's he going to pay that fine?

I fear we haven't heard the last of that puke.

#8 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2017-11-03 01:21 PM | Reply

I'm glad he's going home. The kid has been through enough already.

#9 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2017-11-03 02:22 PM | Reply

He put himself through whatever he faced. He also put plenty of people through horrible things too.
In fact, if any of the people we swapped for him were half as bad as advertised, there will be even more victims of Bowe.

I still don't get the point of the fines. Who even gets that money?

#10 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2017-11-03 02:28 PM | Reply

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I'd be willing to bet Trump's comments (after he was elected) played a role in the judge's decision.

If Trump really wanted to see him incarcerated the best thing he could have done was remain mum.

The defense argued that Trump's remarks tainted the hearing.

#11 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-11-03 04:10 PM | Reply

didn't the judge cite trump's tweets as to why they couldn't give a more severe punishment?

tainting the trial

same is going to happen now to the nyc terrorist.

#12 | Posted by klifferd at 2017-11-03 04:26 PM | Reply

K,
He said trump muddied the waters but that he could remain objective and ignore his comments.

Zero jail time tells me that wasn't true. I expected minimal jail time. More for show than punishment. I'm pretty surprised at the sentence.

I don't know if the judge has the power to take away bowe's ability to monetarily capitalize on his desertion, but if he did, he should have.

Anyone know if one of the injured soldiers could sue civilly?

#13 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2017-11-03 04:32 PM | Reply

I'd be willing to bet Trump's comments (after he was elected) played a role in the judge's decision.

If Trump really wanted to see him incarcerated the best thing he could have done was remain mum.

The defense argued that Trump's remarks tainted the hearing.

#11 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-11-03 04:10 PM | Reply | Flag:

WOW You and I agree on something. I best check my pills to make sure I wasn't given a Mickey Fynn.

#14 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2017-11-03 04:32 PM | Reply

I also was surprised at only zero months. I figured he'd get about two years.

I agree Trump kind of forced this outcome.

#16 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-11-03 04:35 PM | Reply

I think he also may need mental help. I think he was sick and maybe that is why he did what he did.

#5 | Posted by boaz

So let me see if I have this right.

You think he was sick and needs help and that is why he did it but that he should serve 20 years with the Taliban?

He will obviously need a lot of therapy after what he has been through.

And you also need professional help buddy. Your hate is gonna eat you up inside.

#17 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-11-03 05:52 PM | Reply

"We are no longer a society of accountability. I literally feel like a part of our society just died."

I see that jarhead was too stupid to realize we ceased being an accountable society when we sent him and Berghal off to pointless and illegal wars.

#18 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2017-11-03 06:04 PM | Reply

"Trump Calls Sentence a ‘Disgrace'

President Trump, who has labeled Sergeant Bergdahl a "dirty rotten traitor," called Friday's sentence "a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military."

Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military.

Ironically, Mr. Trump's comments may have contributed to the decision not to sentence him to prison. After Mr. Trump seemed last month to endorse his harsh criticism from the campaign trail, Colonel Nance ruled that he would consider the comments as mitigating evidence at sentencing.

With the sentence still facing review by General Abrams and military appellate judges, Mr. Trump's post-verdict comments on Twitter seemed to bolster efforts by the defense to have the sentence thrown out on appeal, some military law experts said, on the grounds that the president had unlawfully influenced the case.

"Trump just exponentially increased Bergdahl's chances of getting this whole case tossed on appeal," said Rachel VanLandingham, a professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles and a retired Air Force lawyer.

The tweet could be interpreted as an effort to pressure officers who still have some control over the sergeant's fate not to reconsider his sentence, military law experts said.

Sergeant Bergdahl's chief defense lawyer, Eugene R. Fidell, called the sentence "a tremendous relief" and said his client was still absorbing it."

www.nytimes.com

#19 | Posted by Corky at 2017-11-04 01:58 AM | Reply

"The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military."

Is there a fight President Donald J. Trump won't pick?

Someone should tweet something about JAGoffs so he can re-tweet it.

#20 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-11-04 02:07 AM | Reply

www.nytimes.com
#15 | POSTED BY CORKY

NRO ran a piece that echoed this. From a legal standpoint, NYT and NRO were both right and were both in agreement on this.

#21 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-11-04 02:07 AM | Reply

The $10,000 fine is actually pretty harsh for a guy who almost certainly will not be able to find a job anywhere, even a minimum wage job. If I were his defense attorneys, I would have negotiated a trade: a modest prison sentence (6 months at a minimum security facility for example) in exchange for no fine.

#22 | Posted by MarcNBarrett at 2017-11-04 08:23 AM | Reply

Isn't Bergdahl's punishment & trial an indictment of the Army's willingness to lower recruitment standards & issue waivers to meet recruiters performance goals?
Should we have major force commitmants without the draft?
Bergdahl washed out of Coast Guard basic after only 26 days, allegedely for psyhcological issues.
In a war that brought stop-loss & the involvement of Reserve & National Guard members to meet manpower requirements is punishing a soldier who should never should have been placed into combat really appropriate or a coverup of the futility of an undeclared war without a strategy?
As Colin Powell pointed out the lesson of Iraq & Afghanistan is unless the US is prepared to take over & actively become the government don't get involved.

#23 | Posted by kingcuke at 2017-11-04 09:43 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2


@#4 ...This is just going to encourage more liberals to just walk away from service when it hurts their fragile egos....

Especially all those liberals with bone spurs....

#24 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-11-04 01:50 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Definitely a miscarriage of justice.

#25 | Posted by MSgt at 2017-11-04 02:00 PM | Reply

"Isn't Bergdahl's punishment & trial an indictment of the Army's willingness to lower recruitment standards & issue waivers to meet recruiters performance goals?"

Ordinary Americans understand this.
Military people, not so much.

#26 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-11-04 02:00 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I think this is a good outcome. He's paid for what he's done and the myth that what he did was OK has been torn down. This whole saga also made two presidents look stupid. Obama kind of held him out as a returning hero and the media got behind that with a disinformation campaign re: whether anyone was actually harmed looking for him (the answer turns out to be "yes"). Obviously that narrative was purely political and fundamentally dishonest. Then stupid Trump steps on his own nuts by loudly insisting the guy be made an example of without realizing that his own interference would guarantee that not happen. Trump's patriotism is a cheap and transparently insincere load of horse crap and I'm glad it made him look the fool in this case.

#27 | Posted by Sully at 2017-11-04 02:15 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Definitely a miscarriage of justice.

#25 | POSTED BY MSGT

It would seem you have the Dotard in Chief to thank for that.

#28 | Posted by jpw at 2017-11-04 02:48 PM | Reply

Should have shot.

#29 | Posted by bogey1355 at 2017-11-04 09:23 PM | Reply

My view is that none of us endured what Bergdahl endured, none of us were at his trial and I trust that the presiding judge was able to dole out justice in a fair and impartial manner and that the rest of us should admit we don't really have enough information to have valid opinions. Why did the Taliban torture him? What information did he give up because of it? What were his reasons for walking away from his post in enemy controlled area? None of us here know the answers to those questions. I accept the verdict of the court and apparently so does Bergdahl. That is how it should be.

#30 | Posted by danni at 2017-11-05 07:07 AM | Reply

Sgt. La David T. Johnson's body was found two miles from where his fellow soldiers had encountered enemy fire, we consider him a hero and, lately, he's been credited with trying to come back and "save" his fellow soldiers. I have no doubt that is true but don't try to pretend that simplistic ideas about Bergdahl's intentions should cause him to spend his life in prison. His biggest "crime" was that he survived. I've never been in combat, neither have most of us here and I don't pretend to know what are the forces that cause us to behave in any way in such a situation. I do realize one thing though, governments send young men into harm's way and then try to punish them if they don't perform 100% to the liking of that government. Humans are not built that way, Bergdahl's crime wasn't desertion, IMHO, it was that he wasn't 100% programmed to fight some stupid conflict in Afghanistan. "1, 2, 3, 4, what are we fighting for?" I'll bet you 95% of the troops fighting in Afghanistan couldn't answer that question, I know I can't. You send good men out to fight stupid wars then don't complain when they question their committment to those wars.

#31 | Posted by danni at 2017-11-05 07:20 AM | Reply

#31 | Posted by danni Soldiers don't fight for strangers or abstract causes or some mistake in policy, they fight for the guys to their left and right. It is probity too basic for you to comprehend.

#32 | Posted by docnjo at 2017-11-05 10:10 PM | Reply

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