Bergdahl says he will plead guilty to desertion, misbehavior before enemy

Cheryl Sanders
October 16, 2017

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held by the Taliban after leaving his base in Afghanistan in 2009, has pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, according to multiple news outlets. The desertion charge carries a potential five-year sentence, while the misbehavior charge is punishable by life in prison.

Bergdahl pleaded guilty before a military judge in North Carolina, report the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Associated Press and CNN.

The prisoner trade for Bergdahl inflamed debate - particularly as Trump and others have variously said that five or six soldiers died in the effort to locate and rescue the soldier. He was later captured by the Taliban and held under brutal conditions such as being kept in a cage in the dark, and being beaten and chained to a bed.

Nance then told him that he accepted his pleas. Bergdahl was freed in 2014 in exchange for five Taliban detainees. Terrence Russell, a military official who debriefs former U.S. captives for the U.S. Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, says Bergdahl was tortured in a way reminiscent of the brutality visited upon prisoners of war in Vietnam decades ago.

Trump described Bergdahl as a "dirty rotten traitor" during his presidential campaign, suggesting he should be executed.

According to Bergdahl's lawyers, Trump referred to Bergdahl as a traitor at least 45 times during the campaign, and they argued those comments would unfairly influence the case, filing an unsuccessful motion to dismiss in January.

While the case unfolds, Bergdahl will remain on desk duty at the Texas U.S. Army base.

Berghdahl's sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin October 23.

But Bergdahl disputes that, claiming in a taped conversation with filmmaker Mark Boal that was broadcast in the second season of the Serial podcast that he walked off post in an attempt to report to senior officers that his platoon commander was "unfit" for his position.

Other reports by iNewsToday