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Bowe Bergdahl to Face Rare Military Charge

Bowe Bergdahl to Face Rare Military Charge

“Misbehavior before the enemy”

Since his return to the U.S. in 2014, there’s been much speculation over which charges (if any) Bowe Bergdahl, alleged military deserter and former Taliban captive, would have to face. Tough criticism came from some of his fellow servicemen who believe Bergdahl is a deserter.

A new report from the Associated Press via the Houston Chronicle says that Bergdahl will face one charge that’s extremely rare:

Military selects rarely used charge for Bergdahl case

Military prosecutors have reached into a section of military law seldom used since World War II in the politically fraught case against Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier held prisoner for years by the Taliban after leaving his post in Afghanistan.

Observers wondered for months if Bergdahl would be charged with desertion after the deal brokered by the U.S. to bring him home. He was — but he was also charged with misbehavior before the enemy, a much rarer offense that carries a stiffer potential penalty in this case.

“I’ve never seen it charged,” Walter Huffman, a retired major general who served as the Army’s top lawyer, said of the misbehavior charge. “It’s not something you find in common everyday practice in the military.”

Bergdahl could face a life sentence if convicted of the charge, which accuses him of endangering fellow soldiers when he “left without authority; and wrongfully caused search and recovery operations.”

Here’s a video report from Wochit news:

Breitbart News has more:

Bergdahl Charged With ‘Misbehavior Before The Enemy’ in Addition to Desertion

The “misbehavior before the enemy” charge “alleges that Bergdahl endangered the safety of troops at Observation Post Mest in Paktika Province by walking away and causing the military to launch ‘search and recovery operations,’” adds the article.

Under the desertion charge, Bergdahl is accused of being a deserter until about May 31, 2014, the day he was traded for the Taliban terrorists.

Cody Full, 28, Bergdahl’s former platoon mate, and Evan Buetow, 28, who was the sergeant and team leader of Bergdahl’s unit, welcomed the new charge levied against the accused deserter.

“You give an oath,” Full told USA Today. “You sign your name to serve your country no matter what you’re supposed to fill that oath.”

“The whole reason we came forward last year when they released Bowe, we knew he needed to answer for what he did,” added Buetow. “We knew he was not a hero… He had to answer for why he deserted, and that’s what happened.”

Featured image via YouTube.


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The charge is rare, because the facts are rare. How many of our soldiers have deserted to the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, or the Daesh?

This kind of behavior was more common when we faced civilized enemies.


If they charged him with desertion, GOP candidates next year could say things like: “We traded five terrorist leaders for one deserter.”

That’s pithy and hits hard.

“We traded five terrorist leaders for one American soldier who misbehaved once…” not so pithy. Not so hard-hitting.

    Cat Herder in reply to clintack. | September 8, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Up in the second paragraph of the Associated Press article, it does say he was charged with desertion, too, so GOP candidates can still use that for effective campaign material.

“Misbehaving” It sounds like something a child would do. It sounds like he ate paste or pulled someone’s hair. Not like he was responsible for getting 6 American soldiers killed.

For libs – it’s all about how something sounds. Not how things really are.

I don’t much care about how he gets there. I’d like to see him hung. By the neck. Until he’s dead.

Sammy Finkelman | September 8, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Maybe that’s the right charge.

“misbehavior before the enemy” will Hillary or Obama be the next one charged next with the same crime?


Any person subject to this chapter who before or in the presence of the enemy

(1) runs away;
(2) shamefully abandons, surrenders, or delivers up any command, unit, place, or military property which it is his duty to defend;
(3) through disobedience, neglect, or intentional misconduct endangers the safety of any such command, unit, place, or military property;
(4) casts away his arms or ammunition;
(5) is guilty of cowardly conduct;
(6) quits his place of duty to plunder or pillage;
(7) causes false alarms in any command, unit, or place under control of the armed forces;
(8) willfully fails to do his utmost to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy any enemy troops, combatants, vessels, aircraft, or any other thing, which it is his duty so to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy; or
(9) does not afford all practicable relief and assistance to any troops, combatants, vessels, or aircraft of the armed forces belonging to the United States or their allies when engaged in battle;

shall be punished by death or such punishment as a court- martial may direct.