Attention, all troops peeved with your platoon sergeant, bored with your field rations, or who just want a little private time: It’s okay to desert your post in a combat zone. It’s fine for you to trigger the deaths and grave woundings of better men than you. A military judge just set a precedent: Deserters in wartime walk free.
You’ll probably get a book deal, too, and be portrayed as a hero in a big-budget film.
The US Army colonel and judge who decided Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s fate has some explaining to do. How is it that a confessed deserter, whose actions brought our Afghan campaign to a halt and led to the acknowledged wounding and alleged deaths of his comrades, can walk out of a military courtroom a free man? With not one day of prison time? How is that possible?
How can our armed forces maintain good order and discipline when the only penalty for desertion in wartime is a dishonorable discharge with a reduction in rank? The lowlifes who abandon their buddies in wartime don’t care what form of discharge they receive.
Apologists for Bergdahl insist that, as a captive of the Taliban for five years, he suffered enough. But what about those who died searching for him (as his comrades insist occurred)? What about the known wounded condemned to life sentences of pain and incapacity?
Please, Col. Nance, explain your decision to Bergdahl’s victims. Explain it to every soldier who served honorably.
As for abuse endured during his captivity, Bergdahl could have avoided it by remaining at his post. He wasn’t captured doing his duty. He quit and walked away.
The only military sin graver than desertion in a combat zone would be to turn one’s weapons against one’s fellow soldiers. What Bergdahl did was a cardinal sin in any military. But, despite constant refrains of “Thank you for your service,” military values are despised, mocked and attacked in our society.
As for any alleged mental problems influencing Bergdahl, a psychologist can make the case that any human being is disturbed. But Bergdahl was rational enough to plan his desertion, to mail home his personal computer and effects. He knew what he was doing.
Did the judge know what he was doing?
Political correctness has infected our military even more profoundly than many of us long feared. Successive administrations have used our armed forces as a laboratory for social transformation. Real damage has been done. This destructive sentencing is one result.
For a military judge, a colonel, to wreak havoc upon good order and discipline, to, in essence, sanction desertion if there are “mitigating circumstances,” sends traditional military virtues of loyalty, obedience and self-sacrifice into eclipse.
This case isn’t just about punishing one jerk. It’s about the combat effectiveness of our military in time of war. While the man is judged, the institution is sentenced.
That judge condemned the institution when he decided that Bergdahl should go free.
We expect explanations.
Meanwhile, Bergdahl can celebrate. The activist left can celebrate. Former President Barack Obama can claim redemption and Susan Rice can grunt with satisfaction that, despite his dishonorable discharge, Bergdahl kinda-sorta “served with honor and distinction,” didn’t he?
And the widows Bergdahl’s actions left behind can go to hell. Wives serving their own life sentences of caring for heroes incapacitated by wounds because of Bergdahl’s treachery can be damned. His comrades who served honorably can kiss off. Let’s all line up and spit on those who serve proudly.
This is a wonderful day for America’s enemies, foreign and domestic....Read more