Is this just one more case of an activist judge too blinded by his hate for Trump to deliver the justice he took an oath to uphold?
It was announced yesterday that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who walked away from his post in Afghanistan and triggered a search that left some of his comrades severely wounded, was spared a prison sentence by a military judge Friday in what President Donald Trump blasted as a “complete and total disgrace.”
The judge gave no explanation of how he arrived at his decision, but he reviewed evidence that included the five years Bergdahl was held captive by the Taliban and the wounds suffered by troops who searched for him, including one who now uses a wheelchair and cannot speak. –Chicago Tribune
When candidate Donald Trump told a crowd that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl should have been executed for leaving his post in Afghanistan, the crowd cheered…
“We’re tired of Sgt. Bergdahl, who’s a traitor, a no-good traitor, who should have been executed,” Trump said to cheers at a rowdy rally inside a packed Las Vegas theater at the casino-hotel Treasure Island.
“Thirty years ago,” Trump added, “he would have been shot.”
Before everyone starts calling Trump “heartless” or an “idiot,” perhaps they should first familiarize themselves with our laws about Americans who commit treason:
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 807; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(2)(J), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.)
Immediately after the news broke about the slap on the wrist given to Bowe Bergdahl in his desertion case, President Trump tweeted about his disgust with the judge’s decision:
How much weight did the military judge presiding over the case of Bowe Bergdahl’s desertion give to President’s Trump’s (justified) criticisms of Bergdahl when he made his decision to allow Bergdahl to walk?
President Trump’s harsh criticism of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who walked off his Army post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured by the Taliban, will weigh in favor of a lighter sentence for the sergeant, a military judge said on Monday.
“I will consider the president’s comments as mitigation evidence as I arrive at an appropriate sentence,” the judge, Col. Jeffery R. Nance of the Army, said during a hearing at Fort Bragg. The judge is expected to sentence Sergeant Bergdahl in the next few weeks.
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.
Sergeant Bergdahl faces up to life imprisonment. He pleaded guilty on Oct. 16 to desertion and endangering the troops who were sent to search for him.
He testified on Monday that he deeply regretted that people “suffered because of my bad choices.”
Perhaps the military judge should have considered the testimony of the people whose lives have been most affected by the actions of traitor Bowe Bergdahl and focused less on the opinions of then-candidate Trump.
Colonel Nance will also consider aggravating factors presented by the prosecution, including injuries suffered by several service members during the search for Sergeant Bergdahl, as well as the negative impact they say the search had on the military’s overall war effort in Afghanistan.
Anger over the injuries has driven much of the testimony in the case so far, as service members vividly described a rescue operation that exposed them to enemy fire. Shannon Allen, the wife of Sgt. First Class Mark Allen, who was shot in the head took the stand on Monday.
Sergeant Allen, a national guardsman from Georgia, had part of his brain removed during surgery, and is now unable to speak, walk, or take care of himself. His wife has said little publicly, but in a Facebook post after Sergeant Bergdahl was freed, she blamed him for causing her husband’s incapacitation.
“Instead of being his wife, I have become his caregiver,” Ms. Allen testified on Monday.
Last week, Staff Sgt. Jason Walters testified that his six-man team had only just arrived in Afghanistan when they were sent to search for Sergeant Bergdahl. They had little time to prepare for the rugged terrain of Paktika Province, and little intelligence to go on.
On the second morning of the search, “an insane amount of fire came out of nowhere,” Sergeant Walters said. Militants had them surrounded. In minutes, half the team had been wounded. Sergeant Walters turned to see “a cloud of blood” spraying from the head of Sergeant Allen.
“I started treating his wounds, talking to him, telling him to hang on,” Sergeant Walters said.
The battle subsided only after F-15 fighter jets and Apache helicopters arrived overhead.
Only later would the troops learn that the battalion responsible for the area believed that 150 Taliban fighters were near the village where the soldiers were resting when they came under fire.
“My words can’t take away what people have been through,” Sergeant Bergdahl told the court on Monday. “Offering condolences is not enough. People went through things they shouldn’t have had to go through. I grieve for those who have suffered and their families.”
For entire story: NYT’s