Tags: bowe bergdahl | desertion | charge | denied

Bowe Bergdahl Desertion Charge Denied by Pentagon, but Sources Are Standing by Their Claims

By    |   Wednesday, 28 January 2015 09:59 AM

Media reports that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will be charged with desertion were batted down by Pentagon officials on Tuesday afternoon, but the sources were standing by their claims.

The original report that Bergdahl would be charged came Monday, with NBC and Fox News citing tips from military insiders.

"Bergdahl will likely face a lesser charge of desertion described in the Uniform Code of Military Justice as leaving a post to avoid duty or shirk an important assignment, based on his actions when he left a remote outpost in June 2009," NBC explained.

"Those charges carry a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison upon conviction, but sources tell NBC News the Army is considering crediting Bergdahl for the 5 years he spent in captivity and be given the opportunity to avoid prosecution by leaving the Army with a 'less than honorable discharge.'"

Retired Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer made similar claims on Monday night's episode of "The O'Reilly Factor."

The following day, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby denied the reports during a press briefing.

"No decision has been made with respect to the case of Sgt. Bergdahl," Kirby said. "None. There is no timeline to make that decision, and [Army General Mark] Milley is being put under no pressure to make a decision."

Kirby reiterated his claim on Twitter.

Later that evening, Shaffer returned to "The O'Reilly Factor," and stood by his original claim.

He said that "a decision was made," and claimed that Bergdahl’s attorney received a statement of the formal charges.

According to the Army Times, "Bergdahl, 28, disappeared from Combat Outpost Mest-Lalak in Paktika province, Afghanistan, on June 30, 2009. He spent five years as a captive under the Taliban before he was freed in a May 31 [2014] prisoner swap that also freed five Taliban leaders from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He is now assigned to a desk job at U.S. Army North at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, while he awaits the outcome of the Army's review."

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Media claims that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will be charged with desertion were batted down by Pentagon officials on Tuesday afternoon, but sources stood by their claims.
bowe bergdahl, desertion, charge, denied
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 09:59 AM
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