Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl's sentence 'is a complete and total disgrace'

Bergdahl was given dishonorable discharge and had his rank reduced from sergeant to private.    
    Credit Gerry Broome  AP

Bergdahl was given dishonorable discharge and had his rank reduced from sergeant to private. Credit Gerry Broome AP

Bergdahl and lawyers in the case had no immediate comment.

"The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military", the commander-in-chief tweeted from aboard Air Force One while on his way to a 13-day trip to Asia.

Former Marine Judge Advocate James Weirick says although the defense was unable to get the case dismissed, it turns out that President Trump's comments about Bergdahl ended up influencing the sentencing - but not in the way Trump wanted. "As everyone knows he was a captive of the Taliban for almost five years, and three more years have elapsed while the legal process unfolded".

Trump has been fiercely critical of the agreement that secured Bergdahl's release.

Bergdahl had eventually been diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder, which was a key argument of the defense, which cited the condition's symptoms of grandiose and impaired thinking as a reason for his desertion.

If General Abrams agrees with the sentence, it will then be reviewed by a higher military court, the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals. "That's why I ended up having permanent nerve damage".

Retired Gen. Michael Flynn - briefly Trump's national security adviser and now under a federal probe - recently told ABC News that Bergdahl had indeed broken the rules by leaving his post.

He faced up to life in prison in the case, and prosecutors had asked for 14 years in prison, but on Friday a military judge sentenced him to a dishonorable discharge, a reduction in rank from sergeant to private, and a fine of $1,000 from his salary for the next 10 months.

Bergdahl (r.) waits before being released at the Afghan border, in this still image from video released June 4, 2014.


Furthermore, the military investigator that had spoken to Bergdahl during his return to the USA said that the soldier did not deserve further punishment due to the abuse he suffered under Taliban captivity.

Nance seemed to agree Trump's statements could play a role.

It continued, however, and several service members wounded during search missions for Bergdahl testified.

During the sentencing hearing, Bergdahl took responsibility for his actions and said he mourned "for those who have suffered and their families". "I am admitting I made a terrible mistake".

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