Bo Bergdahl walked off his post in 2009 to complain about conditions at his unit. He believed that he could safely walk to another nearby post. When you look at the terrain in Afghanistan, Bergdahl was being overly optimistic. Perhaps he thought the Taliban would welcome him with open arms. Only Sergeant Bergdahl knows his true motives but any soldier who walks away from his post is a deserter. If he thought he could get comfort from the enemy then he was a traitor as well. Several soldiers who tried to locate Bergdahl and rescue him were killed and several more were seriously wounded. Although Bergdahl spent five years in captivity we must take his word for the conditions of his confinement. I have no sympathy for Bergdahl’s treatment at the hands of the Taliban knowing that it was the result of abandoning his post. Knowing that Obama traded five high-ranking terrorists for his release sickens me. Obama repeatedly jeopardized our national security by downplaying the terrorist threat. The most disgusting aspect of the “prisoner swap” was that Bergdahl was allowed to return to active duty retaining his same rank and receiving back pay. President Trump once again vocalized the feelings of most Americans that Bergdahl should be executed. If he had been allowed to return to the battlefield, Bo would likely have been fragged (shot by one of his fellow soldiers).
In military court, Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior in the face of the enemy. Testimony included many of the soldiers injured during the 19 day search for Bergdahl when he first disappeared. Although Bergdahl could have been sentenced to life in prison, the judge failed to sentence him to any jail time. He will receive a dishonorable discharge but even that can be appealed. Active duty members and veterans must be furious with this judicial injustice knowing how he placed many of his fellow soldiers at risk. The judge’s ruling was partially based on the defense’s argument that Bergdahl suffered from mental illness and PTSD. I believe both conditions are over-diagnosed and a convenient defense when it works to benefit defendants. Bo Bergdahl was a coward and received better treatment than he deserved. He is guilty of abandoning his unit and their mission. That is treason in my book and not worthy of the freedom to walk the streets.