After much machinations and delay, and what we always knew to be the case, Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty — as if there was any doubt.
As reported by Fox News, “Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty Monday at Fort Bragg to charges he endangered comrades by walking away from his post in Afghanistan in 2009 — the court case wrapping up three years after a stunning Rose Garden spectacle in which former President Barack Obama, flanked by Bergdahl’s parents, triumphantly announced the soldier’s release from captivity.
“I understand that leaving was against the law,” said Bergdahl, whose decision to walk off his remote post in Afghanistan in 2009 prompted intense search and recovery missions, during which some of his comrades were seriously wounded and other soldiers died.
“At the time, I had no intention of causing search and recovery operations,” Bergdahl said, but he added he now understands that his decision prompted efforts to find him.
Bergdahl told the judge he left his post because he had issues with his command and was trying to travel to another base to notify them — a claim that has been disputed in the past by a former platoon mate. He added he got lost after 20 minutes and was captured hours later.
The misbehavior charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, while the desertion charge is punishable by up to five years behind bars. At one point during his captivity, Bergdahl converted to Islam, fraternized openly with his captors and declared himself a “mujahid,” or warrior for Islam, Fox News reported in 2014, citing secret documents prepared on the basis of a purported eyewitness account.
The reports indicate that Bergdahl’s relations with his Haqqani terrorist network captors morphed over time, from periods of hostility, where he was treated very much like a hostage, to periods where, as one source told Fox News, “he became much more of an accepted fellow” than is popularly understood. He even reportedly was allowed to carry a gun at times.”
Bowe Bergdahl must receive the maximum punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). One can only pray this won’t end up with another Bradley Manning case and a commutation of a sentence. What Bergdahl did is unconscionable and there is no amount of “playing the victim card” that will ease the pain of those who lost loved ones because of his traitorous and dishonorable actions. There is something called the Inspector General (IG) which serves to investigate any claims about a chain of command. Then again, that claim by Bergdahl has been refuted.
Incredibly, we have five senior Taliban commanders who went free, and the question we should all have is…where are they? The case of Bowe Bergdahl has been known due to a previous investigation, so the question has to be, why did the Obama administration undertake this prisoner exchange when it did? They had to know we were taking back a deserter for five high level Taliban officials. And who will ever forget the infamous words of one Susan Rice — yep, her again — who stated that Bergdahl had served with “honor and distinction?”
Yesterday I spoke at the Morning Point Assisted Living Center in Chattanooga, TN. There I stood before true men of honor, who had served this nation with distinction. They were combat veterans from World War II and Korea. These are the men whose stories we must never forget, just like a local fella named Desmond Doss who resided in the Chattanooga area — you know, the main character from the incredible movie, “Hacksaw Ridge.” When you consider the acts of courage, valor, heroism above and beyond the call of duty by Corporal Doss, there should be no sympathy afforded someone like a Bowe Bergdahl. Doss represents that which is best about the men and women who serve our nation in uniform. Just like another great Tennessean, Alvin York, who also answered a call of duty and rose above the circumstances of combat to exemplify that which is exceptional about the American Soldier, Sailor, Coast Guardsman, Airman, and Marine.
And yes, I must mention, when Bowe Bergdahl enters Ft. Leavenworth to begin his life sentence, there is someone who should be released. That young soldier is Army 1LT Clint Lorance, who did not desert his post but ordered the engagement of the enemy. I still do not understand why President Trump has not pardoned this young man. Clint Lorance has remained in Ft. Leavenworth while Bradley Manning was released. Clint Lorance sits in a Ft. Leavenworth prison holding a murderous traitor, Nidal Hasan. It would be a dishonor for Clint Lorance to sit in the same Ft. Leavenworth prison with Bowe Bergdahl.
It has been three long years to get this Bergdahl case resolved. It took far less for the Army to condemn Clint Lorance to over 20 years of imprisonment. Heck, we are now commissioning openly avowed communists as lieutenants. Let’s get our military values back into alignment.
Men lost their lives over Bowe Bergdahl’s desertion; their families will never see their faces again. Bergdahl should never feel the warm sunlight of freedom…never ever.
[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]