On Friday deserter Bowe Bergdahl, who left his unit to seek out the Taliban, was let off without a punishment equivalent to his crime. He was given a dishonorable discharge and a very small fine as he continues to collect his salary while he appeals the dishonorable discharge.
The judge knocked his rank down to E1 from sergeant after being made sergeant for deserting! He received the rank of sergeant though it was known he had deserted.
The reason the judge let Bergdahl off the hook in what was very serious misbehavior is even more shocking in that the judge politicized the sentence. Bergdahl was directly responsible for the serious, life-changing wounds three soldiers received when they were sent to find him. Six to eight other men died on joint missions which included efforts to find Bergdahl.
Although the judge said he would not dismiss the Bowe Bergdahl case based on the comments made by President Trump during the campaign, he stated he would use them as mitigating evidence in the sentence.
[H]e had stated that he would take into account President Trump’s negative comments about Bergdahl when considering sentencing. Col. Jeffrey Nance stated, “I will consider the president’s comments as mitigation evidence as I arrive at an appropriate sentence.”
But originally, he said he had NOT been influenced by the remarks.
According to The New York Times: The judge rejected a request that he dismiss the case or cap the length of the sentence on the grounds that the president’s comments had precluded a fair hearing. The judge said he had not been influenced by the remarks and that the public’s confidence in the military justice system had not been undermined.
The judge double-talked himself to stick it to Trump. He thought it okay to send the message that if a soldier abandons his/her fellow soldiers to join the enemy, that soldier will only get a slap on the wrist.