Court-Martial for Bergdahl
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Photo: AP[/caption]It's a court-martial for Bergdahl! FORSCOM commander Gen. Robert Abrams ordered that Bourne, I mean Bergdahl face a general court-martial for desertion.Gen. Abrams went against the recommendation of Lt. Col Mark Visger, the lawyer who presided over a September hearing to determine Bergdahl's fate. Lt. Col. Visger had redommended that,
"the sergeant face neither jail time nor a punitive discharge and that he go before an intermediate tribunal known as a 'special court-martial' where the most severe penalty possible would be a year of confinement."
The charges that Bergdahl will be facing at the more serious general court-martial are desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. He faces life in prison if convicted.The next step is an arraignment hearing for Bergdahl but a date for that hearing has not yet been set by FORSCOM.We are surprised to learn of this news today and most of us were certain that political pressure would come to play in the decision on what to do with Bergdahl. Based on the original recommendation of the investigating officer on the case, it seemed like the Army was doing everything they could to let him go with just a slap on the wrist.Gen. Abrams ignoring the recommendation and ordering the general court-martial instead is a sign that there are people in the Army who are serious about Bergdahl's misconduct and who want to see him held accountable for his actions.This is of course just the first step so there is no celebrating yet, but this is a pretty big hurdle that has been overcome for those who want to see Bergdahl answer for the men who died looking for him and for the countless others who were wounded trying to find someone who chose willingly to abandon his post.He can never fully answer for his crimes but at least at this point, I think we can safely say that this is not going to be swept under the rug and he won't be getting away with just a slap on the wrist.As more information becomes available, we will be sure to keep you all updated.