This week, President Obama released five Taliban leaders in exchange for the release of an American prisoner of war, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl was being held by the Taliban in Afghanistan for the past five years. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the President’s move as it is suspected that Bergdahl may be been a deserter.
It is alleged that on a night in 2009, Bergdahl snuck away from his unit to join enemy Taliban forces. Following his disappearance the Taliban confirmed that he was in their custody. Many troops attempted rescue efforts and a number of soldiers died. There has been a thorough U.S. Army investigation into the allegations of deserting but the results have not been released because Bergdahl was still being held captive by the Taliban.
It has been reported that fellow military members are not happy about Bergdahl’s release. They feel he is a Taliban sympathizer who intentionally defected and that he should be punished not celebrated.
It seems that this is not going to be the last we hear of this matter. Now that Bergdahl has been released, the U.S. Army will take over dealing with any wrongdoing he may have engaged in during his time in the armed forces. Some are speculating that there may be a court martial in Bergdahl’s future. With regard to a judicial proceeding, the Army has longstanding and unique procedures to deal with situations such as these. The Army traditionally holds their soldiers to a high standard when it comes to these types of situations and they will decide what the best course of action is here. If Bergdahl is found guilty of deserting there are a number of possibilities. Bergdahl could face a maximum sentence of five years incarceration. Another possibility is that the judge will mitigate the sentence when the time comes.
In the event that Bergdahl is court martialed it is essential that he retain experienced and skilled representation. If you are seeking representation in a court martial matter please contact Elkus, Sisson & Rosenstein PC at (303)567.7981 for a free consultation.