Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
October 16th, 2017
Islamist Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl plead guilty at Fort Bragg to charges he endangered comrades by walking away from his post in Afghanistan in 2009 — the court case wrapping three years after former President Barack Obama, flanked by Bergdahl’s parents,
announced the deserter’s release from captivity.
“I understand that leaving was against the law,” said Bergdahl, whose choice to desert his post in Afghanistan in 2009 that brought several intense search and recovery missions, during which some of his fellow soldiers were seriously wounded.
“At the time, I had no intention of causing search and recovery operations,” Bergdahl said, but he added that now he does understand that his decision prompted efforts to find him.
Bergdahl tclaimed he left his post because he had disagreements with his command and was trying to travel to another base to notify them. He added that he got lost after 20 minutes and was captured hours later.
The charges Bergdahl faces could land him with a life sentence.
Bergdahl, 31, was released in May 2014 after a highly-criticized deal in which five Taliban Muslim terrorists were set free. At the time, Obama administration officials spun the propaganda tightly, saying Bergdahl had “served with honor and distinction.”
The U.S. Army said Bergdahl asked to enter his plea before the military judge. President Obama was widely criticized for the 2014 Taliban prisoner swap that brought Bergdahl home, while President Donald Trump harshly criticized Bergdahl on the campaign trail.
Bergdahl’s punishment won’t be known until after the judge, reports Fox News. Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance, holds the sentencing hearing that’s expected to start on Oct. 23. Bergdahl, who’s from Hailey, Idaho, previously chose to have his case heard by a judge alone, rather than a jury.
Serious wounds to service members who searched for Bergdahl are expected to play a role in his sentencing. While guilty pleas would allow him to avoid a trial, he’d still face a sentencing hearing in late October. Bergdahl’s five years of captivity by the Taliban and its allies also will likely play a role in what punishment he receives.
At one point during his captivity, Bergdahl converted to Islam, fraternized openly with his captors and declared himself a “mujahid,” or warrior for Islam.
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.
Bergdahl also collected contact information and talked about becoming a mercenary in what his squad mates described as behavior that laid the groundwork for his disappearance.
Bergdahl has been assigned to desk duty at a Texas Army base while his case unfolds.
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