A retired Navy officer and military analyst believes the military needs to decide one way or another whether it intends to file charges of desertion against a soldier who left his post in Afghanistan.
Army and Pentagon officials said last week no decision has been made on what criminal charges – if any – will be filed against Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier who left his post in Afghanistan and was held by the Taliban for five years before being released in a prisoner exchange last year. The case has become politicized because some members of Congress, as well as former members of Bergdahl's unit, criticized the Obama administration for trading someone they considered a deserter for five top Taliban commanders held at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Commander Kirk Lippold (USN-Ret.), who commanded the USS Cole when it was attacked by terrorists in 2000, describes the message he thinks should be delivered to the senior military leadership within the army.
"I would be [telling them they] need to make a decision on whether to charge or not to charge this young man, because the reality also is Bergdahl deserves timely justice as well," he tells OneNewsNow. "So either charge him or make the announcement we're not going to charge him."
In Lippold's opinion, Bergdahl clearly should never have been swapped for the terrorists.
"The bottom line is the president of the United States violated U.S. law by releasing those five terrorists, several of whom clearly were tied to deaths of Americans in Afghanistan," he argues. "They should never have been released.
"So it's a matter of the president broke the law – and there has been absolutely no penalty for it because no one wants to take him on on this issue," Lippold concludes.
The "Taliban 5," as the released prisoners came to be known, were released to custody in Qatar on June 1, 2014, and were required to remain there for a year as a condition of their release. CNN reported last week that one of them has attempted to return to "militant activity" by making contact with suspected Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan.
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