Bowe Bergdahl walked away from his Army unit and spent five years with the Taliban. He pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. He will be dishonorably discharged. And for all that, the Army is considering giving him $300,000 in back-pay and benefits dating back to the time he abandoned his brothers.
He could have (and should have) been sentenced to a military prison for LIFE. Instead, he was given a dishonorable discharge (subject to appeal). He will also have $1,000 per month deducted from his paycheck for the next ten months. He was demoted from the rank of Sergeant to buck private.
The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 3, 2017
Here’s the issue that could reward a convicted deserter: Captured soldiers are usually entitled to receive special compensation worth about $150,000. Additionally, they are eligible for Hostile Fire Pay, or HFP, as well as their basic pay during the time they were captive.
However, Bergdahl’s Army status while he was held with the Taliban is in question. A determination on that status will affect how much money, if any, the Army gives him. By pleading guilty to the crimes, he may not be considered a prisoner of war, jeopardizing his legal claim to those monies.
Bergdahl’s military career “began” in 2006, when he joined the Coast Guard. Twenty-six days into basic training he received an “uncharacterized discharge” for psychological reasons. In 2008, he joined the Army.
In May 2009, his unit was deployed to the Paktika province in Afghanistan. The next month, on June 27, he emailed his parents that he was “ashamed to be an American,” “America is disgusting”, and “the US army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at. It is the army of liars, backstabbers, fools, and bullies.” His father replied in part, “Stand with like minded men when possible.” Three days later he abandoned the Army and walked into the hands of the Taliban.
Initially it was not known that he was a deserter, and as many as six soldiers are reported to have been seriously wounded or killed as a result of the Army’s search for Bergdahl. After five years, former-President Obama traded FIVE senior Taliban terrorists from Guantanamo Bay for the deserter. He hid the deal from Congress until after the fact.
The Obama Administration heaped praise on Bergdahl, even as the disgusting facts were made known to the American people. Obama and Bergdahl’s family celebrated in the Rose Garden, and his National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, said the deserter served “the United States with honor and distinction.”
The issue of Bergdahl’s back-pay is unnecessarily complicated. “My understanding is there has to be an administrative determination of his duty status at each point, from the time he was captured until now,” a source told ArmyTimes. “In order to figure out what he’s owed, you’re basically going to have to start from that point of captivity.”
The source also said Bergdahl could be disqualified from back-pay and may even owe money to the military. His guilty plea may make him ineligible to receive payment for the time he spent with the enemy.
There is also an issue of whether Bergdahl has been overpaid since returning from Afghanistan. Yes, U.S. taxpayers are still paying this traitor to work a cushy desk job for the Army. There are no reports he’s abandoned that post. Yet.
“Based upon the results of trial, the Army is reviewing Sgt. Bergdahl’s pay and allowances,” Lt. Col. Randy Taylor said. “His final pay and allowances will be determined in accordance with DoD policy and Army regulation.”
Even though Bergdahl pleaded guilty to “desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty” and “misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit or place,” he plans to appeal the dishonorable discharge sentence from the judge.
It defies common sense that this traitor gets to waste more tax dollars appealing a case to which he pleaded guilty.
But the sordid case of this traitor defies common sense at every turn. Some loons even think this deserter deserves a medal for his actions!
“We have long felt he was entitled to the POW medal,” his attorney, Eugene Fidell, shockingly said AFTER his client pleaded guilty to the charges in military court. Fidell, a Harvard Law grad, likes Bergdahl and is representing him free of charge.
Here’s a thought: Perhaps the Army should give the $300,000 to the families of the soldiers injured and killed during the search for this traitor.