Bowe Bergdahl Gets No Additional Jail Time

Bowe Bergdahl Gets No Additional Jail Time

Rhea Rohr, Editor-In-Chief

On November 3, 2017, Bowe Bergdahl was granted a dishonorable discharge from the military, avoiding prison time.

Bergdahl was a soldier formerly stationed in Afghanistan. The controversy began when he abandoned his post for unknown reasons and was captured by Taliban soldiers on June 30, 2009. Regardless of the reasons behind it, his fellow soldiers referred to him as a deserter and a traitor. They still sent out many search parties to find Bergdahl, but at least six people were killed in the process.

The Taliban held him captive for five years, until President Obama traded five Taliban officials for his release. Many Americans were horrified by this decision, claiming that these prisoners were too dangerous and could end up harming other American soldiers. However, Obama remained unmoved. During the election season, presidential candidate Donald Trump referred to Bergdahl as “a no-good traitor who should have been executed.”

Bowe Bergdahl potentially faced life in prison. Bergdahl requested to be tried by a military judge, and pleaded guilty for the crimes, mainly desertion, requesting dishonorable discharge. On Friday, November 3, the judge granted him this sentence, reducing him from Sergeant to Private and requiring him to pay a $1000 fee from his salary for the next ten months. During the trial, Bergdahl’s attorneys claimed that he suffered from numerous mental illnesses, including schizotypal personality disorder and PTSD. He confirmed these illnesses, and agreed that he should never have been in the military in the first place. Though Bergdahl avoided prison time, he is still attempting to appeal the dishonorable discharge.

The results of the trial caused outrage among the American people. Donald Trump tweeted, “The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military.”