Bergdahl: An Appropriate Sentence?

In June 2009, U.S. Army Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl deserted his post in Afghanistan and was captured by Taliban forces. He was held for five years where he was tortured, beaten, and held in a cage in darkness after he tried to escape.

In May of 2014, Bergdahl was released in exchange for five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. The exchange was approved by then President Barack Obama.

After an investigation, the US military charged Bergdahl with one count each of desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty, and misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit, or place.

Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

Last week Bergdahl received a dishonorable discharge from the US Army with no prison time. His rank will be reduced from sergeant to private, he will be required to pay a $1,000 fine from his salary for the next 10 months. The sentence will be reviewed by higher authorities.

I think the sentence is appropriate.

Many people were outraged at the sentence and that is fine. Some of the reasons they were outraged were false reasons – like that soldiers were killed looking for Bergdahl. It’s true that soldiers looked for Bergdahl and some were badly injured, but the only death was a military working dog.

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The Commander-in-Chief and Bergdahl

It was disclosed yesterday that U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl would be pleading guilty to desertion and to endangering the American troops sent to search for him.

The New York Times reports that the guilty plea could mean a five-year sentence for the desertion charge, and the charge of endangering troops carries a potential life sentence. He is due to be sentenced October 23.(WaPo)

I’ve written several posts about Bowe Bergdahl here at The Western Word. I wanted to see a full investigation into the matter before jumping to conclusions.

Leading up to the last Presidential election, Donald Trump should have toned down his hatred toward Bergdahl (not to mention others who were captured) and wait for answers. Of course, Trump did not.

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Monday’s Odds & Ends

Hello Monday! It’s time for another odds and ends edition from the past weekend! When there are several stories out there that I want to comment about, I combine them into a one column and call it “Potpourri” or “Odds & Ends” or something catchy to get your attention.

Today’s topics include:

  • Montana Fundraising
  • The “liberal” Western Word
  • Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl
  • The Benghazi Staffer
  • Newt Gingrich & Speaker
  • Social Security & Gas
  • Saturday Night Live

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Caught My Eye…

It’s Friday – need I say more? Buckle up!

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted here every Friday morning! This is when I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. Sometimes I throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – or maybe both.

Today I provide valuable independent commentary about Dark Money & Religious Freedom in the Montana Legislature, Bowe Bergdahl, Ted Cruz, Harry Reid, a special obituary, plus I share a couple emails from my political inbox!

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Caught My Eye…

Welcome to Friday the 13th and another (almost) award-winning edition of “Caught My Eye!”

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted right here every Friday morning! This is when I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – or both.

Today I write about the Montana Senate poll, Saturday’s House/Senate debate in Butte, Cascade County & Lisa Bracco, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the VA scandal, Big Sky Sampler, plus we have a winner who is Making Montana Proud!

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Caught My Eye…

If it’s Friday then it’s “Caught My Eye!” Congrats on making it to Friday! School is just about finished in Montana – so be careful out there.

NOTICE: It’s the first Friday in June and that means it is National Doughnut Day!

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted right here every Friday morning! This is when I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – or both.

Today I write about the D-Day anniversary, 18 veterans died, fixing the VA, the Vote Vets Ad, swift-boating, Bowe Bergdahl, Montana Political Practices, Tester, Walsh, Daines, Zinke, plus we have a repeat winner who is Making Montana Proud!

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Welcome Home Bowe

I have been following the Bowe Bergdahl issue for several years. I “Liked” a Facebook page dedicated to his return and followed a Twitter account called @WaitingForBowe to keep up with the latest information.

For those who don’t know about Bergdahl, he is a U.S. Army soldier who was captured by the enemy in Afghanistan back in June 2009. He was released on May 31, 2014.

I am happy and grateful for his release – one can only imagine what he went through and what his family went through these last five years. We should all be happy that he made it home. Military personnel should always be brought home – we should leave no one behind.

The circumstances surrounding his capture and his release deserve to be investigated.

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