You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Opinion: Don't judge Bowe Bergdahl, that's the Pentagon's job

Jun. 9, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Bowe Bergdahl
An image made from video released April 7, 2010, by the the Taliban shows U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl. (Site Intelligence Group / AP)
  • Filed Under

If the evidence strongly indicates that then-Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl abandoned his post in Afghanistan in 2009, then he should be prosecuted on the appropriate charges.

If it really is that simple — that a young soldier of sound mind turned his back on his buddies in combat — he should suffer the consequences: dishonorable discharge, jail time or whatever is deemed fitting punishment.

But that remains a big “if.” For now, it’s all sound bite and political fury filling the vacuum of hard facts. News outlets and members of Congress — joined by the digital Greek chorus of social media — have only inflamed the confusion surrounding this case.

Not least, they have conflated concerns about Bergdahl’s war-zone actions with criticism about how the deal to bring him home was struck. And indeed, questions about whether releasing five Taliban leaders as part of the deal was foolish are legitimate.

So too are questions about whether the Obama administration violated legal obligations to notify lawmakers of the proposed trade. If so, then actions to hold administration officials accountable also are legitimate, even if driven more by partisan politics than fidelity to legal procedure.

What cannot be a matter of debate, however, is the Army’s — and America’s — promise to leave no warrior behind.

There are some who suggest that Bergdahl should have been left behind, heedless of the reality that the facts of the case are far from settled and he hasn’t yet had a chance to defend himself.

That’s not America. We must always bring our sons and daughters home — just as we must always ensure justice is served.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook