Bergdahl's Active Duty Is Administrative Protocol, Says Ex-Army Vet

Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 04:32 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held captive by the Taliban's Haqqani network in Afghanistan for five years, has been placed on active duty at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, and former Army helicopter pilot Amber Barno says it's "administrative protocol."

"They have to put him back on active duty," Barno told Ed Berliner on "MidPoint" on Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

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"They are not sending him back to the front lines," she explained. "They are sticking him at a desk job."

"I think that the army stretched it a little bit by saying that he was just a normal soldier now, but I also know what they are doing," the Army veteran said. "They are attempting to put him back into the Army culture, the Army lifestyle. It's very structured."

Barno said that it's partly "to continue the reintegration process, but it also is the step needed in order to continue with the investigation as far as desertion goes and possibly charge him."

Criminal defense attorney Michelle Suskauer told Newsmax that if Bergdahl "gets discharged" the Army loses "jurisdiction over him, if they eventually want to have a court martial." 

Immediately following Bergdahl release on May 31, he was sent to a military hospital in Germany, and later brought to Fort Sam Houston to begin the integration process.

"I think that six weeks integration process that he had . . . was a little bit short," Barno said.

"After five years in captivity with the Taliban/Haqqani network, it seems a little bit short."

However, the Iraq War veteran said that she thinks that the active duty assignment is an extension of the reintegration process.

"I think they just made his reintegration and mental and physical health the priority because they don't want a skewed investigation," she explained.

"When they first got him he wasn't even speaking English," Barno said. "So they want to make sure he is at least competent enough to give them information that's accurate to be used for the investigation and potential trial if there is one."

"So I think they needed to get him back, get him healthy, get him [through the] administrative and sort of the legal protocol before they can move forward," she added.

Barno says that she thinks "the Army knows what they are doing here."

"There is very valuable information to gain from Bergdahl and his five year experience in Afghanistan," she explained. "There is lots of information to gain from questioning and talking to Bergdahl and understanding what happened from the get go all the way to his trade.

"I do trust the army with this process."

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