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Unread 2017-10-06, 12:09 PM   #326
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Bowe Bergdahl expected to plead guilty to deserting his post



Bergdahl expected to plead guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.




Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is expected to plead guilty later this month to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy rather than face trial for leaving his Afghanistan post in 2009, The Associated Press reported.




Two sources said the Idaho native would submit the plea later this month and sentencing would start Oct. 23. The AP did not name the sources.

U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was held captive by the Taliban for about five years. (Reuters)


Bergdahl's lawyer declined to comment when contacted by Fox News. He faces up to five years in prison on the desertion charge and a life sentence for misbehavior.


Bergdahl, 31, who was serving with an Alaska-based infantry regiment, deserted his Afghanistan post in 2009, when he was 23 years old, and was held captive by the Taliban for about five years. The Taliban posted a video online showing Bergdahl saying he was "scared" he would not be able to go home.

The Taliban released videos of Bowe Bergdahl being held hostage. (Reuters)


Bergdahl said he had been caged, kept in the darkness, beaten and chained to a bed when he was kept captive.
The Army sergeant claimed he was lagging behind a patrol when he was captured. He also said he left his post to alert people about problems he perceived within his unit. Investigators said Bergdahl suffered from schizotypal personality disorder at the time he left his post.


In December 2009, the Taliban released another video showing Bergdahl apparently healthy and delivering a lengthy statement criticizing the U.S. military operation.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released after the Obama administration exchanged five Guantanamo Bay detainees for the soldier. (Reuters)


He was released in May 2014 for five Taliban detainees locked in Guantanamo Bay by the Obama administration. The exchanged was viewed as controversial at the time due to the debate about negotiating with hostage takers. The exchange also fueled a debate about whether Bergdahl was a hero or a deserter.
President Barack Obama stood with Bergdahl’s parents in the White House Rose Garden and defended the swap.
The U.S. does not "leave our men or women in uniform behind," Obama said then, regardless of how Bergdahl came to be captured.

There has been much debate surrounding the exchange of prisoners for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release. (Reuters)


"Whatever those circumstances may turn out to be, we still get an American soldier back if he's held in captivity," Obama said. "Period. Full stop."
Many viewers noticed Bergdahl’s father, Bob, and his long beard as he stood next to Obama. The Washington Post reported Bob Bergdahl read books and articles about the “foreign world that held his son.” He also learned how to speak Pashto, the official language of Afghanistan. He told Time he started growing the beard after learning that his son had been captured.

Many viewers noticed Bergdahl’s father, Bob, and his long beard as he stood next to the president. (Reuters)



In March 2015, he was formally charged. In December, Bergdahl requested a pardon from then-President Obama before he left office, Fox News reported. The pardon was not granted.
Some of Bergdahl's fellow soldiers want him held responsible for any harm suffered by those who went looking for him. The judge ruled a Navy SEAL and an Army National Guard sergeant wouldn't have found themselves in separate firefights if they hadn't been searching.
The U.S. troops who were seriously wounded during their search for Bergdahl in Afghanistan were expected to testify, the sources stated.

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump called Bergdahl a “dirty, rotten traitor” during a town hall in August 2015. Trump also tweeted in 2015 that Bergdahl should "face the death penalty."
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Unread 2017-10-16, 09:16 AM   #327
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Alleged deserter Bowe Bergdahl doubts he could get a fair trial after Trump comments



PlayTed Richardson/AP/FILE
WATCH Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl expected to enter guilty plea at a hearing that begins this morning
Former Taliban prisoner Bowe Bergdahl is expected to plead guilty to charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy in a military hearing that begins at Fort Bragg today as he doubts that he could get a fair trial following campaign statements by Donald Trump.



Despite surviving five years in a Taliban cage, Trump had called Sgt. Bergdahl a "traitor" who should be executed in several campaign speeches as a presidential candidate.
In an on-camera interview shot last year by a British filmmaker, obtained exclusively by ABC News and airing today on Good Morning America, World News Tonight with David Muir and Nightline, Bergdahl says the words of the man who is now his commander-in-chief would have made a fair trial impossible.
“We may as well go back to kangaroo courts and lynch mobs that got what they wanted,” Bergdahl said. “The people who want to hang me, you’re never going to convince those people.”
The 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment trooper walked off his combat outpost in Afghanistan in June 2009 and was immediately captured by the Taliban. During his five years in captivity with the Haqqani network -- the same Taliban faction that held American Caitlan Coleman and her family hostage for five years until being freed last Wednesday -- Bergdahl endured what one U.S. official called the worst case of prisoner abuse since the Vietnam War.
He was released in 2014 in exchange for five Taliban prisoners who had been detained at Guantanamo Bay, a deal that was harshly criticized on the campaign trail by then-candidate Trump, who called Bergdahl "garbage” and even suggested that he should have been summarily executed.
“You know in the old days — Bing. Bong,” Trump said as he mimicked firing a rifle. “When we were strong.”

Obtained by ABC News
Bergdahl was released in 2014 in a prisoner exchange for five Taliban soldiers being held at Guantanamo Bay.
Speaking to British war filmmaker Sean Langan, who was himself held captive by the same Taliban group in 2008, Bergdahl says he wants to fight back against what he calls a false narrative fueled by conservative outlets like Fox News that sought to portray him as a traitor and jihadi sympathizer who had been convinced to fight against the United States alongside his captors.
Such rumors were false, military officials have said.
“You know, it’s just insulting frankly,” Bergdahl told Langan. “It’s very insulting, the idea that they would think I did that.”
In 2014, then-Fox News correspondents Megyn Kelly and James Rosen reported on “secret documents” obtained by the network which purported to show that Bergdahl had “shown affection” for his captors, converted to Islam and become a “Mujahid,” or jihadi, himself.
According to Bergdahl, however, he thought the conditions in captivity might kill him before his captors could.
“It was getting so bad that I was literally looking at myself, you know, looking at joints, looking my ribs and just going, ‘I’m gonna die here from sickness, or I can die escaping,’” Bergdahl said. “You know, it didn’t really matter.”

Sean Langan
In his first on-camera interview, Bowe Bergdahl spoke with British filmmaker Sean Langan, who was also taken captive by the same Taliban group.more +
He attempted to escape twice, according to military officials, and he was severely punished after being re-captured. Terrence Russell, a military official who debriefs former U.S. captives for the U.S. Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, says Bergdahl was tortured in a way reminiscent of the brutality visited upon prisoners of war in Vietnam decades ago.
“When they recaptured him and brought him back, the next day they spread-eagled and secured him to a metal bed frame,” Russell says to Langan in another video. “They took a plastic pipe … and they started beating his feet and his legs repeatedly with this plastic pipe. … The idea was to just beat him and injure his legs and his feet so that he could not walk away again.”
Bergdahl also says he was confined for more than four years to a cage that was only seven feet long and six feet wide.
“From first year,” Bergdahl said when asked how much time he spent in that cage. “So second, third, fourth and then into the fifth year.”
It remains a mystery, however, why Bergdahl walked off his post in the first place.

Sean Langan
In his first on-camera interview, Bowe Bergdahl spoke with British filmmaker Sean Langan, who was also taken captive by the same Taliban group.more +
Another senior official who spoke to Langan for his documentary was retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who as the former head of intelligence for special operations in Afghanistan and then as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency was deeply involved in the early search for Bergdahl.
He also briefly served as President Trump’s national security adviser after working on his campaign, and he told Langan that he “absolutely” believes Bergdahl left the base with the intention to meet the Taliban.
But Bergdahl disputes that, claiming in a taped conversation with filmmaker Mark Boal that was broadcast in the second season of the Serial podcast that he walked off post in an attempt to report to senior officers that his platoon commander was “unfit” for his position.
Bergdahl has not been charged with any crime related to aiding the enemy.
Whatever his reasons were, at least two soldiers were seriously wounded during the search to find him, as ABC News first reported in 2014. Following his guilty plea, the question remaining before the military is what form of punishment Bergdahl deserves.

On that question, even Flynn doubted that justice would be best served by putting a former prisoner back in prison.
“So the guy deserted his men, his soldiers, his squad – no doubt,” Flynn said. “[But] I don’t think he should serve another day in any sort of confinement or jail, or anything like that because frankly even though he put himself into this situation to a degree, we the United States government and the United States military put him in Afghanistan.”
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Unread 2017-10-16, 12:40 PM   #328
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Unread 2017-10-16, 02:03 PM   #329
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What's typical punishment for something like this?

Could it be more excessive due to soldiers dying trying to find him?
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Unread 2017-10-23, 11:43 AM   #330
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U.S. Army deserter Bergdahl's sentencing hearing delayed until Wednesday 4 / 22

© Andrew Craft/The Fayetteville Observer via AP, File The sentencing hearing for U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who could go to prison for life for deserting his duties in Afghanistan in June 2009 and endangering the lives of fellow troops, was postponed on Monday for two days due to an emergency for a lawyer in the case.
The proceedings at North Carolina's Fort Bragg will resume on Wednesday, Army Judge Colonel Jeffery Nance said in court.
The hearing is expected to include testimony from soldiers injured in the dangerous search for Bergdahl, who walked off his combat outpost in Paktika province to report what he said were "critical problems" in his chain of command.


The 31-year-old Idaho native was quickly captured by the Taliban and spent the next five years suffering torture, abuse and neglect in captivity. A Taliban prisoner swap that won his release in 2014, organized by the administration of then-Democratic President Barack Obama, was criticized by people in the military and by Republicans.
During last year's presidential campaign, Republican Donald Trump called Bergdahl "a no-good traitor who should have been executed."
Bergdahl pleaded guilty on Oct. 16 to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, with the latter offense carrying a possible life sentence. He entered a "naked plea," meaning he does not have an agreement about the sentencing terms with prosecutors. (Additional reporting by Chris Kenning and Jim Forsyth; Writing by Chris Kenning and Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Peter Cooney and Frances Kerry)
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Unread 2017-10-23, 01:12 PM   #331
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"Lynch mobs": As sentencing looms, Bowe Bergdahl speaks out





Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl spent five years as a prisoner of the Taliban. A military judge at Fort Bragg in North Carolina will decide how long he will spend as a prisoner in the U.S.
Sentencing was set to begin Monday, but the judge said he is concerned that President Donald Trump's comments about the case could impact the public's perception of the military justice system. The sentencing case is scheduled to resume on Wednesday.
The Idaho native was captured in 2009 after he abandoned his post in Afghanistan. Bergdahl pleaded guilty last week to desertion and misbehaving before the enemy. He faces up to life in prison for charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

Two soldiers who were wounded while searching for Bergdahl are expected to take the stand during this sentencing phase, reports correspondent DeMarco Morgan.
What to expect at Bowe Bergdahl's sentencing hearing at Fort Bragg In a rare 2015 interview, Bergdahl said he abandoned his fellow soldiers to draw attention to problems within his own unit. "Suddenly, it really starts to sink in that I really did something bad. Or, not bad, but I really did something serious."
© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl faces life in prison after pleading guilty to desertion and misbehaving before the enemy in Afghanistan. After his subsequent capture by the Taliban, Bergdahl spent five years enduring torture as a prisoner of war before then-President Obama brought him home in 2014 in exchange for the release of five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.
Bergdahl describes that release in an interview as a "brief moment of liberty" which later became a flashpoint on the campaign trail for then-candidate Donald Trump, who called Bergdahl a "dirty rotten traitor."
The military judge in charge of Bergdahl's case has already disposed of a defense motion that President Trump's comments denied Bergdahl the right to a fair trial. Last week, the president stood by those remarks.
Soldiers searching for Bergdahl after his desertion were wounded by enemy fire. One soldier was left paralyzed and unable to speak.
Bergdahl says the Taliban who captured him treated him better than the U.S. Army. In a Sunday Times of London interview published yesterday, Bergdahl said, "At least the Taliban were honest enough to say, 'I'm the guy who's gonna cut your throat.' Here, it could be the guy I pass in the corridor who's going to sign the paper that sends me away."

"You might as well go back to kangaroo courts and lynch mobs," Bergdahl told the Times.
He may still be able to appeal sentencing based on President Trump's past statements.
"The people who are to the point of saying, 'Yeah, just shoot him,' you can never convince those people to change their minds," Bergdahl said.
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Unread 2017-10-24, 06:21 AM   #332
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Testimony from the soldiers injured trying to find this POS...

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2...s-forever.html
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Unread 2017-10-25, 06:06 PM   #333
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mild83 View Post
What's typical punishment for something like this?

Could it be more excessive due to soldiers dying trying to find him?
The Desertion charge carries a maximum sentence of 5 years since we are not officially at war.

The Misbehavior before the enemy charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison if found guilty.

Best case scenario is he pleads guilty, stripped of rank and awards and lives out his life in Leavenworth.
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Unread 2017-10-25, 06:46 PM   #334
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I heard on talk radio today he's pleading guilty to avoid getting Barry on the stand as witness.
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Unread 2017-10-30, 12:23 PM   #335
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Judge: Bergdahl to get fair sentence, despite Trump remarks


Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, right, arrives for a pretrial hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C., with his defense counsel Lt. Col. Franklin D. Rosenblatt, left, on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. Bergdahl, who was held by the Taliban for five years after he walked off a base in Afghanistan, faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. (AP Photo/Ted Richardson)







FORT BRAGG, N.C. — President Donald Trump’s scathing criticism of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will not prevent the soldier from receiving a fair sentence for endangering comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009, a judge ruled Monday.


The judge, Army Col. Jeffery Nance, said the court has not been directly affected by Trump’s remarks. Then-Republican nominee Trump repeatedly called Bergdahl a traitor on the campaign trial and suggested that he be shot or thrown from a plane without a parachute. Trump revived those comments when Bergdahl pleaded guilty on Oct. 16 by saying at a news conference that he thinks people are aware of what he said before.


After walking away from his post, Bergdahl was held by Taliban allies for five years. He pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. He faces a maximum of life in prison.


The judge said he would consider Trump’s comments as a mitigating factor in the sentencing. Other mitigating and aggravating factors that he could consider include Bergdahl’s mental health and serious wounds to service members who searched for him.





Also Monday, emotional testimony was expected from the wife of a seriously wounded soldier.


Prosecutors said they intend to call Shannon Allen to the stand to discuss a traumatic brain injury suffered by her husband when he was shot during a search mission for Bergdahl.


Prosecutors are using wounds to several service members who searched for Bergdahl as evidence to convince the judge that he deserves a stiff punishment. The sentencing hearing started last week.


National Guard Master Sgt. Mark Allen was on a mission with other U.S and Afghan troops to gather information in two villages in July 2009 when they were ambushed by insurgents using small arms, machine guns and rocket propelled grenades.


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Allen was attempting to make a radio call when he was shot near the temple. He suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him unable to speak, in need of a wheelchair and dependent on assistance for such everyday tasks as getting out of bed.


Shannon Allen has declined interview requests, but the toll on her was evident the day Bergdahl pleaded guilty, as she sat weeping in the courtroom. She is one of the final prosecution witnesses before the defense presents its case.


While Bergdahl acknowledged at his plea hearing that his actions triggered the search missions that resulted in the wounds, his lawyers argue there’s a limit to his responsibility for a lengthy chain of events that includes enemy attacks and decisions by the U.S. military commanders who led the searches.


Bergdahl made no deal with prosecutors to limit his punishment, so the judge has wide leeway to determine his sentence.


The 31-year-old soldier from Hailey, Idaho, has said he was caged by his captors, kept in darkness and beaten. He said he tried to escape more than a dozen times before President Barack Obama brought him home in 2014 in a swap for five Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
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Unread 2017-10-30, 03:36 PM   #336
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Bowe Bergdahl Cries and Apologizes While Taking Stand in Sentencing Hearing



FORT BRAGG, N.C. — In an unexpected move, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl took the stand in his sentencing hearing Monday, breaking down several times and apologizing to those who were wounded while searching for him after he abandoned his post in Afghanistan.
"I was trying to do something good and it turned bad," Bergdahl said, reading from a statement at the beginning of his testimony. "My words alone can't relieve the pain. ... I think about what I did every day for the last eight years."
Aside from when Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, it was the first time the courtroom had heard from him. His appearance came as a surprise to courthouse reporters, who were told another witness would be testifying Monday afternoon.
Bergdahl abandoned his post in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009, and then was captured by the Taliban. On Monday, he detailed several unsuccessful escape attempts. He started crying multiple times, at one point shaking his head, too overcome with emotion to answer a question about his captivity from the defense.
Play



Bowe Bergdahl: The Man Branded 'Dirty, Rotten Traitor' by Trump 1:31
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Bergdahl's testimony came on a busy day in court, which began with the military judge who will be deciding his sentencing denying a motion by defense attorneys to dismiss the case based on comments made by President Donald Trump.
The court also heard heart-wrenching testimony from the wife of a soldier seriously injured in the search for Bergdahl.
"He’s lost me as a wife, essentially, because instead of being his wife, I’m his caregiver," said Shannon Allen, whose husband, Master Sgt. Mark Allen, was shot in the head. "I mean, we can’t hold hands anymore, unless I pry open his hand and place mine in it."
A contrite Bergdahl addressed those who were injured looking for him, ended his opening statement with: "Thank you for your sacrifice."
Bergdahl was not cross-examined by the prosecution, only questioned by the defense.
In denying the defense request to dismiss the case, the judge, Col. Jeffery Nance, said Monday that Trump's criticism had not prevented Bergdahl from having a fair sentencing hearing, and that he was "completely unaffected by any comments" about Bergdahl.
However, he added that he will consider Trump's comments as a mitigating factor when he hands down Bergdahl's sentence.
Bergdahl faces life in prison. He was released in 2014 in a prisoner swap arranged by President Barack Obama. The deal was criticized by Trump and other Republicans.
While running for president, Trump disparaged Bergdahl, 31, as a "dirty rotten traitor" and called for him to be executed by firing squad or tossed out of a plane without a parachute.
Nance temporarily halted the sentencing hearing after seeing a video of Trump on Oct. 16 referring to his campaign trail comments in which he said he couldn't talk about Bergdahl, but added, "But I think people have heard my comments in the past."

The prosecution hopes to prove that Bergdahl's desertion endangered those who went looking for him, including Mark Allen, the soldier who was shot in the head.
Allen uses a wheelchair and a feeding tube and cannot speak. Shannon Allen told the court that Mark was "always happy-go-lucky" before he was wounded and was an active dad to their son, Cody, and daughter, Journey. She said that he coached baseball and that they planned on having more children.
Play



Watch Trump Utter Comment That Delayed Bergdahl Sentencing 0:41
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Now, Shannon said, "his involvement is much more passive."
"He’s present, but he’s not able to have any real physical interaction," she said.
While Allen can make eye contact, laugh, smile and cry, he's unable to express his needs in any way, she continued, adding that she has to guess if he's experiencing a health problem and they often end up in the emergency room.
He can't be left alone, she told the court: "It's like leaving an infant."
Dr. Rafael S. Mascarinas III, a physician at a VA rehab center in Tampa Bay, Florida, where Allen stayed from August 2009 to December 2011, testified that Allen has had multiple surgeries to remove parts of his brain and has had strokes in different parts of his brain.
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Unread 2017-10-31, 02:17 PM   #337
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U.S. Army deserter Bergdahl was efficient, conflicted-witness








U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was an efficient soldier who at times seemed conflicted about his unit's mission in Afghanistan before walking off his post in June 2009 in an act of desertion, his former squad leader testified on Tuesday.
Bergdahl, 31, could be sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty on Oct. 16 to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. His defense lawyers are trying to avoid a prison sentence for the Idaho native, who spent years as a prisoner of Taliban insurgents.
"He executed quickly, efficiently - no back talk, no questions. He kept his weapon clean before and after anyone else would," said former Sergeant Greg Leatherman, who was Bergdahl's squad leader the year he deserted. "He wanted to go out and get bad guys."

Under cross-examination, Leatherman added that Bergdahl complained a lot about the military hierarchy and that the unit was not aggressive enough against the Taliban.
"He wasn't sold on the mission we were fighting," Leatherman testified at the Fort Bragg military base in North Carolina.


Bergdahl was released in a 2014 Taliban prisoner swap brokered by Democratic President Barack Obama's administration. He has no plea agreement with prosecutors, leaving his sentence up to Army Colonel Jeffery Nance.
Bergdahl gave nearly two hours of unsworn statements on Monday, discussing his mental health and the torture and neglect he endured after being captured by the Taliban, factors the defense hope will earn him leniency.
During last year's presidential campaign, Republican candidate Donald Trump called Bergdahl "a no-good traitor who should have been executed." Nance has ruled that the comments by Trump, now president and commander in chief, had not affected the fairness of the court proceeding, but said he will consider them a mitigating factor.
Another witness, intelligence analyst Amber Dach, testified that Bergdahl gave valuable information from his time in captivity.

"It reshaped the way we did intelligence in that area," Dach said.

Nance also will weigh aggravating evidence presented during the past week by prosecutors.
Multiple service members called as witnesses by prosecutors spoke of the hazardous conditions they faced in the futile search for Bergdahl, who says he deserted to report "critical problems" in his chain of command.
Several soldiers fell ill or were badly injured during hastily organized missions to find him. Master Sergeant Mark Allen, the most critically hurt, was shot in the head, leaving him unable to speak or walk. (Reporting by Greg Lacour; Writing by Colleen Jenkins and Scott Malone; Editing by Peter Cooney and Jonathan Oatis)
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Unread 2017-11-01, 12:11 PM   #338
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Bergdahl defense nears end of its sentencing arguments




© REUTERS/Jonathan Drake U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl (R) is escorted into the courthouse for the sixth day of sentencing proceedings in his court martial at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, November 1, 2017.


FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's attorneys are nearing the end of their defense for the soldier who pleaded guilty to endangering his comrades by walking away from his remote post in Afghanistan in 2009.
So far, Bergdahl has testified, apologizing to the troops that were wounded in the search for him. And two military agents who debriefed Bergdahl testified Tuesday about how much valuable intelligence he provided when he was returned in a prisoner swap.
Prosecutors presented evidence that the wounds to the troops who searched for him merit stiff punishment. Bergdahl faces up to life in prison. The military judge hearing the case has wide discretion on his punishment because Bergdahl didn't strike a plea agreement with prosecutors when he admitted to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

The defense plans to call three more witnesses Wednesday. Closing arguments are expected later this week.
The two debriefing specialists said Bergdahl helped the military better understand insurgents and how they imprison hostages.
Amber Dach, who spent 16 years in military intelligence, was the primary analyst assigned to Bergdahl's case for the five years after he disappeared. She described how eager he was to help intelligence officials at a hospital in Germany days after he was returned to U.S. authorities.
"He was very motivated to just download all of the details that he recalled," she testified. "It was a gold mine. It really reshaped the way we did intel collection in the area."
An official from the military agency that helps reintegrate former captives and develops survival training for service members testified that information Bergdahl provided him was invaluable.
Terrence Russell developed a 1,200-page transcript from debriefing Bergdahl that was turned into a database. The information produced reports on tactics used by insurgents and hostage-takers in the region that are still used by the military.
Russell said he'd like to learn even more from Bergdahl but the soldier's legal case has impeded that.
"Can you give him to me tomorrow? I need him. I need him now," he said to a defense attorney. "The fact that I can't get that information is wrong. I need that."
He said he'd like to add Bergdahl to a roster of about 30 service members taken captive in recent conflicts dating to the Gulf War who can provide videos or lectures for military survival training.
He also reaffirmed his previous statements that Bergdahl's captivity was worse than any American prisoner of war has experienced since the Vietnam era.
On Monday, Bergdahl began the defense's sentencing presentation to apologize to those wounded searching for him. He also described the brutal conditions he faced, including beatings with copper wire and unending bouts of gastrointestinal problems brought on by squalid conditions. He said he was kept in a cage for four out of the five years in captivity after several escape attempts. He said his muscles became so weak he could barely stand or walk.
Russell, who's debriefed more than 100 former hostages and prisoners of war, said Bergdahl's time in the cage was damaging psychologically because he was kept in isolation nearly the entire time.
"They simply shut the door. Long-term isolation. Psychological abuse," he said. "It was extreme neglect. They just let him nearly rot inside that cage for four years."
The 31-year-old soldier from Hailey, Idaho, was brought home by President Barack Obama in 2014 in a swap for five Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Obama said at the time the U.S. does not leave its service members on the battlefield. Republicans roundly criticized Obama, and Donald Trump went further while campaigning for president, repeatedly calling Bergdahl a "dirty, rotten traitor" who deserved to be executed by firing squad or thrown out of a plane without a parachute.
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Unread 2017-11-01, 12:41 PM   #339
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Isn’t four years in a cage enough of a punishment?


To me it would be an easy yes if there hadn’t been significant injuries to those looking for him.
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Unread 2017-11-01, 12:45 PM   #340
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I am sure Leavenworth can clear out a cell
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Unread 2017-11-02, 04:11 PM   #341
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Bowe Bergdahl judge begins deliberating sergeant’s sentence




FORT BRAGG, N.C. – A military judge on Thursday began deliberating the punishment for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after defense attorneys asked for no prison time while prosecutors sought more than a decade behind bars.
Army Col. Jeffery Nance said he planned to spend the afternoon considering evidence and would open court again Friday morning to continue deliberating then. It wasn’t clear when he would deliver the sentence.
Bergdahl faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy for walking off his remote post in Afghanistan in 2009. In closing arguments, prosecutors asked for a sentence of 14 years in prison, citing serious wounds to service members who looked for Bergdahl.
“Sgt. Bergdahl does not have a monopoly on suffering as a result of his choices,” said Maj. Justin Oshana, a prosecutor. Contrasting Bergdahl to the wounded searchers, he added, “The difference is all the suffering stems from his choice.”
But defense attorneys argued Bergdahl already suffered enough confinement during five years of brutal captivity by Taliban allies. They asked the judge to give their client a dishonorable discharge and no prison time. Their argument for leniency also cited harsh campaign-trail criticism by Donald Trump and Bergdahl’s mental disorders.
“Justice is not rescuing Sgt. Bergdahl from his Taliban captors … only to place him in a cell,” said Capt. Nina Banks, one of his defense attorneys.
Bergdahl pleaded guilty Oct. 16. The judge has wide discretion on sentencing because Bergdahl didn’t strike a deal with prosecutors to limit his punishment. A bad conduct or dishonorable discharge would deprive Bergdahl of most or all his veterans’ benefits.
The 31-year-old soldier from Hailey, Idaho, was brought home by President Barack Obama in 2014 in a swap for five Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Obama said at the time the U.S. does not leave its service members on the battlefield. Republicans roundly criticized Obama, and Donald Trump went further while campaigning for president, repeatedly calling Bergdahl a traitor who deserved serious punishment.
During the multiday sentencing hearing, Bergdahl himself testified that he was sorry for the wounds suffered by searchers. He also described brutal beatings by his captors, illness brought on by squalid conditions and maddening periods of isolation. A psychiatrist testified that his decision to leave his post was influenced by a schizophrenia-like condition called schizotypal personality disorder that made it hard to understand consequences of his actions, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder brought on partly by a difficult childhood.
On Thursday, prosecutors cited Bergdahl’s own words to argue against the idea that his thinking was clouded, displaying on a courtroom monitor quotes from an initial investigation after he returned to the U.S. Bergdahl, who has said he walked off to cause alarm draw attention to problems with his unit, described to an investigating officer how he envisioned the missing soldier alert unfolding.
Bergdahl had said that the call goes “all the way up to Army command, it goes to Air Force, it goes to Marines. … It goes to every high point and everybody finds out about it.”
Banks countered that even though Bergdahl’s decision was influenced by mental illness, he now takes responsibility and “stands before this court with a remorseful heart.”
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Unread 2017-11-03, 10:44 AM   #342
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Dishonorable discharge, and a rank reduction.

Considering all of the facts, that seems fair.
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Unread 2017-11-03, 10:53 AM   #343
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Well there's the "standard" going forward then
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Unread 2017-11-03, 11:44 AM   #344
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Fuck that and fuck this guy.
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Unread 2017-11-03, 03:29 PM   #345
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Sad day for justice. While I agree rank should be stripped. A dishonorable discharge. I believe no pension and no benefits and it should be like he never joined or existed in service. However he should atleast do 2 years minimum. It's crazy that they consider his time being held by the taliban as time served. Complete and utterly disgusting.
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Unread 2017-11-03, 06:05 PM   #346
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Guarantee he was trained by the goatfuckers and he liked it.
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Unread 2017-11-04, 12:46 PM   #347
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Now his lawyer wants him to receive a POW medal
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Unread 2017-11-06, 10:24 AM   #348
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oh the irony that an uncontrolled twitter account helped to mitigate his sentence...

and that same account's actions means that the NYC guy likely can't get the death penalty.
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Unread 2017-11-09, 10:26 AM   #349
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Army to determine if Bergdahl will receive up to $300,000 in back pay, benefits

The Army will determine if former Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl gets back pay, or has to pay up, following his sentencing.



Bowe Bergdahl
The U.S. Army needs to determine whether or not former Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who pleaded guilty in October to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy after deserting his Afghanistan outpost, will receive back pay and other benefits, following his sentencing last week.
A military judge at Fort Bragg ruled that Bergdahl will receive a dishonorable discharge from the U.S. Military. Bergdahl was also demoted from sergeant to private, but he does not have to serve prison time – which could have been a life sentence, given the charges against him.
Now, the Army must decide if Bergdahl is entitled to up to $300,000 in back pay and benefits accumulated during five years, according to an Army Times report.
Bergdahl, now 31, deserted his Army outpost in Afghanistan in 2009, was later captured by the Taliban and held captive for five years. Six service members died while searching for him. In 2014, the Obama Administration was able to get him back to the United States through a prisoner swap. Bergdahl was released in exchange for five Guantanamo Bay detainees.
Bergdahl’s case is not cut and dry, given that he ultimately deserted his Army outpost, but the Defense Department had marked him as “Missing-Captured” after a Taliban propaganda video came out featuring him alive. The Defense Department had previously marked Bergdahl as “Duty Status-Whereabouts Unknown.”
Soldiers who are captured normally are given about $150,000 in special compensation, plus hostile-fire pay on top of their basic pay at the appropriate rank during time they are in captivity.
However, because of his guilty plea, the Army must decide whether to treat Bergdahl as a prisoner of war or not; as a prisoner of war, Bergdahl would be eligible for back pay and benefits accumulated during time in captivity.
Bergdahl enlisted in the Army in 2008, graduated Infantry School at Fort Benning and deployed in 2009.
According to an Army pay chart for active duty soldiers, an E5 with less than two years experience – Bergdahl’s rank while in captivity – would make a little more than $27,000 a year. At five years, that’s approximately $135,000.
Army Pay Grade (Screen Shot)
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Unread 2017-11-09, 07:57 PM   #350
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JDLM gon shit himself if that guy gets that much money 😮
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