Army deserted Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will face a general court martial for desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, resulting in his capture by Taliban forces.
U.S. Army Forces Command announced Monday both charges have been referred to a general court-martial. An arraignment date has not been set yet for trial in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, FoxNews is reporting.
Bergdahl’s defense attorney, Eugene Fidell, told reporters the convening authority did not follow the advice of a hearing officer who recommended Bergdahl’s case be moved to a misdemeanor-level court. He said he was disappointed the case has headed in this direction.
Bergdahl was held for five years by Taliban forces after he abandoned his post in June 2009.
Lt. Col. Mark Visger, the Army investigator who led the preliminary hearing into the charges Bergdahl faces, recommended against Bergdahl facing any jail time in October.
And Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, who led the investigation into Bergdahl’s actions in Afghanistan, testified in September that jail time would be “inappropriate” and said he did not find “any evidence to corroborate the reporting that Bergdahl was … sympathetic to the Taliban.”
The Obama Administration (illegally) traded five Taliban leaders in exchange for Bergdahl, creating controversy among the political and military establishment.
Only last week, the Armed Services Committee released a report concluding the administration broke the law by not giving Congress the required 30-day notice before arranging the prisoner swap.
As you’ll recall, last year, National Security Advisor Susan Rice said Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction” and Obama made a big show with Bergdahl’s family in the Rose Garden announcing his release from capture.
Bergdahl faces a life sentence if he is convicted.
About Robert Gehl
Robert Gehl is a college professor in Phoenix, Arizona. He has over 15 years journalism experience, including two Associated Press awards. He lives in Glendale with his wife and two young children.