Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held by the Taliban for five years before being released in a controversial prisoner swap last year, will be charged with desertion according to retired Army Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer of the London Center for Policy Research.
Shaffer told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly that sources have told him that Bergdahl’s attorney has been given what is called a “charge sheet” and that the decision has been made to pursue the charge of desertion.
Sgt. Bergdahl will be charged with desertion” Shaffer told O’Reilly. “I have been told and confirmed by two other sources that his attorney was given what we call a charge sheet. A charge sheet is results of the investigation listing out the articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that have been violated. The key violation is desertion. And this is has been done. The decision has been made. Let me be very clear. As a corporate entity, the Army has decided that they want to pursue Bergdahl for this violation.
Sgt. Bergdahl walked away from his post in 2009 and was captured by the Taliban, although many have speculated that he willingly sought them out. After being held captive for five years, he was released in a highly controversial prisoner swap in exchange for five Taliban commanders being held at Guantanamo Bay. The move angered many of his fellow soldiers who were involved in the efforts to locate and rescue him while he was held captive, and as many as six soldiers died in those efforts. Some have suggested he should be treated as a deserter and a traitor.
When he was released some in the Defense Department speculated that Bergdahl likely would not face any punishment. “Five years is enough” one anonymous senior Defense Department official told CNN last summer.
Shaffer went on to tell O’Reilly that the Obama administration has been trying to keep the results of the investigation, which ended three months ago, quiet to avoid potential embarrassment. “Bill, this is shaping up to be a titanic struggle behind the scenes,” he said. “Believe me, the Army here wants to do the right thing; factually there’s no way they cannot do the right thing regarding Bergdahl, and the White House, because of the political narrative, President Obama cozying up to the parents and because he, President Obama, releasing the five Taliban, by the way the five Taliban were never briefed to senior leadership at the Pentagon before it happened, the narrative is what the White House does not want to have come out.”