Apart from the interest of the Obama administration in preserving appearances, it’s hard to understand how Bowe Bergdahl might not be charged with desertion. President Obama staged a Rose Garden celebration to announce the swap of Bergdahl for hardened terrorist prisoners last year. Susan Rice stepped forward to praise Bergdahl’s service despite the circumstances of his capture and the disgust of his fellow soldiers, but the powerful comments of those fellow soldiers cast dark shadows on the affair.
What now? Lt. Col. (ret.) Ralph Peters reviews the relevant facts in the video below; Peters has a few choice words on the possibility that Bergdahl might walk.
What we have here is very, very clear, it’s damnably clear that the White House which doesn’t understand why this is a big deal. I mean, he just deserted, right?Wouldn’t anybody do that? And they just want to protect the president. And they are pressuring the Army, pressuring the Army to whitewash this. And they don’t understand that for the military, those who went before, retirees like me, those on active duty, this is a powerful matter, as you heard from the young soldier, of precedent and principle.
If you let Bergdahl walk — it’s not about this pathetic little creep, Bergdahl, it’s about the principle — if you let him walk with full pay and benefits and a promotion despite overwhelming evidence that he deserted his post in wartime, you make it virtually impossible to prosecute future deserters. Now, in the Army, I’m sure — the Army’s not perfect. You’ve got some people craven enough and ambitious enough to save to the White House, and I’m sure they are arguing the White House’s point, but so far you’ve got some generals that are showing backbone and saying, no, for the good of the Army, for the good of the military, he has to go through the Article 32 and into court-martial. And the White House is fighting it tooth and nail because they don’t give a damn about our military, they just care about this pathetic Puss in Boots president’s reputation.
Transcript via RCP.