On Friday, a U.S. Army judge handed down his decision on Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was facing a possible life sentence or the death penalty for desertion and “misbehavior before the enemy” for leaving his Afghanistan post in 2009 after expressing disgust with the U.S. military and America. U.S. Army Colonel Jeffery Nance decided that the only significant punishment Bergdahl would now receive was a dishonorable discharge.
According to CNN, Nance also knocked Bergdahl’s rank down to private and told him he had to pay a $1,000 fine. Bergdahl is planning to fight the discharge.
His attorneys argued that Bergdahl’s five years in captivity was punishment enough for his wrongdoings, and a psychiatrist testified that the soldier suffered from mental illness. Bergdahl claimed he had also been inflicted with wounds and sickness and had his feet burned by his captors.
But retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Allen B. West, who has served as a congressman for Florida and is an outspoken conservative commentator, thinks the judge’s decision to let Bergdahl go free is absolutely disgraceful. West weighed in on the ruling on his website.
West called Nance’s ruling “one of the most abhorrent judicial decisions in U.S. military history, adding that Bergdahl’s imprisonment and alleged mental condition should have nothing to do punishment. Bergdahl’s sentence, instead, should be based on his crime.
“What message does this send to our brave men and women who face the enemy?” West asked. “There are men who lost their lives because of Bowe Bergdahl. As well, Colonel Jeffery Nance should be removed from serving on the Army bench.”
West continued, “What a disrespectful slap in the face to the families who lost their loved ones searching for this traitor, this coward. And to think, we released five senior Taliban commanders for this…and now this coward walks free? And spare me the pity party that his life is ruined with a dishonorable discharge; there are men who are dead.”
After wondering where the outrage is from senior Army officials for this “disgusting, appalling, and disconcerting” ruling, West added, “It truly reflects the damage Barack Obama did to our military is deep. And if we do not see any changes, then we will come to a realization that the current administration is complicit.”
West also questioned Bergdahl’s claims of torture and imprisonment, saying, “Let me remind y’all, Islamic jihadists don’t hold American troops for five years — and Bergdahl looked pretty healthy when he was released, and I never read of any signs of physical abuse.”
“I am truly incensed beyond comprehension,” West concluded. “The last thing we d--- need is judicial activism perverting and destroying our military justice system.”
President Trump, too, was not happy with the decision, writing on Twitter, “The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military.”
As a candidate, Trump once called Bergdahl a “dirty, rotten traitor,” who should be tossed out of an airplane sans parachute or be shot to death by a firing squad, according to Time. The president is obviously no fan of the soldier getting off easy.
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