The Article 32 preliminary hearing into the charges against Army Sergeant Robert “Bowe” Bergdahl – who walked off of his Afghan combat outpost in 2009, was captured by the Taliban, and was held in terrible (and apparently tortuous) conditions until he was recovered in a prisoner exchange in 2014 – began last week at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. Here’s a roundup:

This Washington Post report by Dan Lamonthe provides an outline of the prosecution’s case against Sergeant Bergdahl. Mr. Lamonthe writes:

The officer who led the investigation of Bowe Bergdahl’s disappearance and capture in Afghanistan six years ago testified Friday that the Army sergeant said he walked away from his post as part of a plan to spark a search and get the attention of a general so he could express his concerns about his unit’s leadership.

Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl told a packed courtroom at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio that Bergdahl felt the problems were so severe that they put his platoon in danger, but that Bergdahl’s perceptions were “completely off the mark.”

Associated Press reporter Juan A. Lozano has additional details here.

This CNN report provides an outline of the defense case:

When asked what in Bergdahl’s background might have caused his behavior in the military, Dahl said that the combination of growing up in rural Idaho on the “edge of the grid … being home-schooled” and the fact that he “internalized a lot of what he read” resulted in him having “idealistic and unrealistic expectations of people.”

Though Bergdahl was not duty-bound to comply with the investigation, he did and submitted to a day and a half interview. Bergdahl did exercise his right to silence at the start of the interview, Dahl said.

Dahl said he didn’t “believe there is a jail sentence at the end of this process.”

In this report the Christian Science Monitor quotes an anonymous official as speculating that this case will end with a request for discharge in lieu of trial by court-martial (known in the Army as a Chapter 10 – where it appears in Army Regulation 635–200 which governs the administrative separation of enlisted personnel). Notably, pursuant to paragraph 10-8.a of that regulation:

A discharge under other than honorable conditions normally is appropriate for a Soldier who is discharged in lieu of trial by court-martial. However, the separation authority may direct a general discharge if such is merited by the Soldier’s overall record during the current enlistment.

It’s also notable that in the absence of a request for discharge in lieu of trial, or a punitive discharge adjudged by a court-martial, Sergeant Bergdahl would likely be entitled to an honorable discharge. Chapter 3-7.a(1) of AR 635-200 states:

Only the honorable characterization may be awarded a Soldier upon completion of his/her period of enlistment or period for which called or ordered to AD or ADT or where required under specific reasons for separation, unless an entry-level status separation (uncharacterized) is warranted.

(emphasis added). Sergeant Bergdahl’s enlistment expired during his captivity, meaning that and end-of-obligation discharge now would include an honorable characterization of service. The big caveat to this is a finding that the captivity was due to his own misconduct; such a finding would exclude that time from the running of his service obligation, thereby extending his enlistment.

33 Responses to “Bergdahl Article 32 roundup”

  1. stewie says:

    I’m going to assume the CH 10 is DOA given the nature of the charges filed and the fact that an OTH waiver would have accomplished the same thing.

  2. Concerned defender says:

    I’ll readily admit the only information I know is from open source.  However, it appears quite clear from all of the open source information that he meets the elements of the alleged crimes, which are quite serious.  The military routinely prosecutes and convicts members for much less.   It’s staggering to me that a General Officer would investigate this and conclude as he did.  It strikes me as clear UCI from the POTUS, who we all know wants a certain result.  This seems as though it has taken a shockingly long time to investigate and get to an Article 32.  The whole thing stinks, from the deaths of those who went looking for him, to the trade for 5 Taliban Generals, the massive costs to find and retrieve him to our nation…  And this falls entirely on Bergdahl’s shoulders since he is the direct and proximate cause for everything that transpired as a result.  In interviews, many GIs said they lost brothers looking for him, and all other operations ceased for months, while the military poured millions of dollars and months of time focused on his recovery.  Imagine being the parent of one of those dead Soldiers who was looking for him for months and months.  
    He’s entitled to due process and I don’t begrudge that at all. But if he is charged (which he should be) and convicted, an LWOP sentence would not bother me.  
    This fact pattern and case severely bother me as a Soldier, that one would do something so foolish and selfish and criminal as to abandon his post and cooperate with the enemy in the ways that he did, and at such great cost to us as a nation.  

  3. stewie says:

    LWOP? Really? That’s ridiculous. We don’t give LWOP to murders and child rapists, but you want to give it to a guy who clearly has some mental issues (albeit competent to stand trial) who did a dumb thing was caught and was caught and tortured for five years.
    Come on.

  4. Joseph Wilkinson says:

    15-20 years would seem about right to me.  Once he’s out, this crime will make him a celebrity (in the antiwar crowd, the Islamic community, or both, depending on how he plays it), and the rewards of celebrity will make it tempting to others…”I can do a year or two and then be a hero?”  The sentence ought to take his youth away.

  5. stewie says:

    So, clearly, folks are completely discounting the mental health element present here.

  6. Dew_Process says:

    Part of the perception problem here is as ConDef notes – from what’s available “open source” – and the Army is controlling that to manipulate the masses. There is a Protective Order in place prohibiting the release of 2 unclassified documents – MG Dahl’s AR 15-6 Report (he has no objection to its release) and the 371 page transcript of Bergdahl’s interview by MG Dahl for his investigation, which likewise is unclassified. Everyone claims that they lack the authority to allow their release publicly, even though they were openly discussed at the public Article 32 hearing.
    SGT Bergdahl’s counsel filed a Writ of Mandamus action at ACCA earlier today seeking judicial relief for their release. One of their arguments is this: 

    . . . SGT Bergdahl has been the subject of a record-shattering year-long campaign of vilification in parts of the media.”

    Notably, SGT Bergdahl’s counsel also requested advice from the Army’s Professional Conduct Counsel, as to whether or not releasing redacted copies of those reports would violate any applicable Army professional conduct rules – the PCC declined to give an “advisory opinion,” — all according to attachment to the Writ Petition.
    Why, at a minimum, SGT Bergdahl cannot release a copy of his own unclassified testimony / statement to the media (or even to his parents) defies logic – it certainly is not an example of military justice “transparency!”  SMH.

  7. DCGoneGalt says:

    stewie:  I don’t think people are overlooking the mental health aspect.  But he was competent and knew what he was doing.  It was incredibly stupid and dangerous, but so are the “crazy” things that many accused do that get them sent to Leavenworth for decades.  Based on his captivity treatment, I don’t see him getting lengthy confinement from a judge.  However, I could honestly see members crushing him no matter what evidence is presented in sentencing.  I understand the treatment he received from the Taliban but that is what is expected when you wander off in Afghanistan.  It garners him no sympathy from me but if guilty it could earn him a DD and no confinement because his 5 years in Taliban custody are, IMO, equal to infinity pretrial confinement credit at Leavenworth.

  8. stewie says:

    Competent and knew what he was doing goes to standing trial and guilt…it does not end the discussion on appropriate sentence, or his intent, or his thought process being different from others.
    It’s an extremely high standard for competency, there’s a whole spectrum between perfectly sane and insane that can shade the level of fair punishment he should receive significantly.
    And yes, I agree his torture for five years should give him “infinity pretrial confinement credit.”
    Folks are acting like he wasn’t mentally unhealthy but simply “an idiot.” Except from what I’ve read so far, it appears things are a little more complicated than him just being another “idiot” who did something “crazy” enough to send him to Leavenworth.

  9. Weirick says:

    Concerned Defender – It appears that you are suggesting that POTUS influenced the opinion of MGEN Dahl. Even if true, which is extraordinarily unlikely, how exactly does this amount to UCI? Remember, one of the elements of UCI is the accused, or appellant, must present evidence that his court-martial appeared unfair as a result of the alleged UCI.
    This is a much about this case that is interesting and worthy of discussion by military practitioners: his prior administrative discharge from the Coast Guard, a two-star providing extraordinary E&M testimony, as well as the administrative issues highlighted by Zack.  It seems those are the issues we should be discussing in this forum.  Dew_Process raises some very important issues about transparency.  [Insert my argument about the military adopting PACER.]
    Also, some historical perspective may assist in evaluating a potential sentence.  PFC Robert Garwood, USMC, was a POW in Vietnam from 1965 until 1973. Garwood was found guilty of collaborating with the enemy and assaulting a fellow U.S. service member while a POW.  Members awarded Garwood a reduced to E-1, forfeitures, and a DD. No additional confinement.
    While it may be easy to opine about Bergdahl’s potential sentence on CAAFLog, history shows that after hearing a full E&M case from a POW a sever sentence may not be as easy to hand down.

  10. Gordon Smith says:

    Speaking as a layman, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to compare Bergdahl’s case to other misbehavior cases involving neglect of duty endangering the command? I think there have only been a couple of those since 1950-one in Korea, and a case in Vietnam. The King misbehavior case in Iraq, as I recall, although not involving neglect of duty, may have some slight relevance here-it was tried by special court-martial!

  11. Concerned defender says:

    Incompetent?  Okay… send him to a 706 to determine the two prongs – 1) appreciate the nature of his actions at the time, and 2) appreciate the nature of the accusations/trial.  My open source insights seem to strongly suggest he knew enough to be determined competent then and now.  Perhaps UCI to pressure Generals and officers to not push for trial was a poor word choice – it’s more about just lawlessness.
    As for LWOP – if convicted then yes.  Several Soldiers DIED, and others were INJURED, and MILLIONS of dollars wasted, and ultimately FIVE TALIBAN GENERALS were released in a shocking trade (Those individuals killed Americans); these were apparently the direct, proximate and foreseeable result of his actions and incredibly serious.  So, yes, his hands are covered in this blood and waste and I’d vote for LWOP if I were on the panel.  My loyalties lie with non-traitors and non-deserters; those heroes who died looking for him.  Names easily forgotten, but much more important lives cut short so needlessly.  Put otherwise, if my criminal negligence results in the direct and proximate foreseeable deaths of many people, and the wasting of millions of dollars, and the other issues, we’d expect I’d go to prison for centuries.  

  12. Concerned defender says:

    Thinking of a few analogies, let’s assume for argument he is competent.  What would be a fair sentence if he were sleeping on guard duty and the enemy stuck in, killed a handful of Soldiers, and destroyed $10 million in equipment, and freed 5 Taliban Generals from captivity.  Clearly in my view this would be an LWOP level offense under the UCMJ.  One could come up with more examples along the same vein, and anything less than LWOP would not serve justice. 

  13. Lieber says:

    This is getting ridiculous.  And stop getting your news from Facebook and Fox News.  Seriously.  There is no such thing as a Taliban General.  (And the fact that you’re even using that term tells me that you’re getting your info from certain echo chambers on the internet.)  There is no evidence that any Soldier died directly involved with the Bergdahl DUSTWUN.  The claims in conservative media have all related to Soldiers who died weeks or months later on missions not directly involving personnel recovery (but may or may not have had looking for him as a secondary objective).  In other words, soldier’s gossip.  None of that’s coming in on a sentencing case.  Way too attenuated under R.C.M. 1001.  I could keep that out with 10 fingers and 9 toes tied behind my back.  Good look to the TCs on proving up the elements of 99 or 85.  This is an 86 case pure and simple.  It’s practically malpractice if Fidell doesn’t go JA though.  LWOP my ass.  Seriously.

  14. Lieber says:

    Oh, and Joseph Wilkinson, you’re kind of a bigot.

  15. Saul says:

    Joseph Wilkinson says:
    September 21, 2015 at 5:19 PM

    15-20 years would seem about right to me. Once he’s out, this crime will make him a celebrity (in the antiwar crowd, the Islamic community, or both, depending on how he plays it), and the rewards of celebrity will make it tempting to others…”I can do a year or two and then be a hero?” The sentence ought to take his youth away.

    Have we gone so far as to suggest people will be tempted to run away in Afghanistan, get captured, be lucky enough to survive, apparently be tortured, return to America, in order to become a celebrity?  Deterrence is always a factor in sentencing but this is one situation where it doesn’t seem the most important factor.
    It will be interesting to see whether a CH10 is offered.  I’d think not, especially with OTH.
    With regards to the 706 board, it would be surprising if one hasn’t been ordered.  

  16. Charlie Gittins says:

    I find it troubling that the Army will not release the Dahl report and transcript, given that they were admitted into ervidence in a public hearing and they are entirely unclassified.  As I told Gene, I would tell my client that his copies of unclassified evidence admitted in an Article 32 are his to do what he chooses to do with it.  If the client believes it in his own best interest to release his transcript or the ROI, I would not lift a finger to stop him.  The protective order is transparently about control of the message by the Army.  While the lawyers may be bound by it for professional responsibility reasons, the client is under no such limitation, in my view, because I believe it violates the client’s First Amendment rights.   

  17. RY says:

    Concerned Defender,
    I think you may have forgotten to blame him for the rise of ISIS as well or maybe he’s even responsible for the unrest in Iraq or the latest news about Afghan police molesting boys.  Seriously, there is no evidence thus far about him assisting the enemy who, BTW, thought so kindly of him as to torture him for 5 years. 
    I agree with DCGG that he’s earned infinite confinement credit and all of the purported calamities he is being blamed for are too attenuated.  Now he’s trapped in a political battle where the WH wants to avoid responsibility for a ridiculous prisoner trade and key members of Congress want to earn political points by smearing him with it.  Hanging Bergdahl, thus, benefits both sides…WH gets to blame Bergdahl and deflect responsibility and Congress gets to point to it as validation it was a terrible deal by POTUS. 
    BTW, good for MG Dahl having an independent opinion.  These days, that prevents further promotion, considering he’d need Senate confirmation and key members of SASC do not share MG Dahl’s views about Bergdahl.  I applaud his independence in the face of political pressures. 

  18. DCGoneGalt says:

    Saul:  Anything is possible but if this is all part of his plan to become a celebrity, he’s overthinking it into some sort of avant garde performance art.  Actually, no, this isn’t possible.

  19. Saul says:

    I’ll admit, if he were on Big Brother or Survivor, I’d watch. 
    Maybe even the Bachelor.

  20. Concerned defender says:

    Setting aside the personal attacks, rise of ISIS nonsense, etc. let’s not forget that deserters and traitors were shot or hung as some of the earliest punishments for this high level military crime.  Let’s not blame “Fox News” for this story, okay.  I’ve watched the interviews and read reports from a number of military officers and enlisted who said their missions and orders all became about finding Bergdahl, and all other missions secondary.  Having served in combat zones I would tend to believe this – when one of yours goes missing you focus all efforts on finding him/her.  It’s what we do, and part of our creed.  I tend to believe that dozens of Soldiers are not fabricating or conspiring to make up this story, and they were in fact focusing major efforts to locate him.  I used the terms “Taliban Generals” as accepted shorthand since they don’t have titles as unlawful combatants… we all know they are very high level valuable HVTs that command and control large terrorist cells responsible for murder, terrorism, and other high crimes.  As for the missions, I’ll trust the actual service members on the ground, by the dozens, actual carrying out the orders to search for and rescue Berghdahl, versus a GO seeking another star who apparently ignored all the statements of those running and conducting the search and rescue. 
    Here’s a sampling from the Command overseeing the search for Berghdahl – makes one wonder how the General could possibly conclude a diametrically different findings and recommendation…  Hmmmm…
    “A battalion commander says the soldiers came under increased risk from roadside bombs while searching for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after he disappeared from his post…Col. Clinton Baker testified Thursday that the increase was due to soldiers being sent to places that they ordinarily wouldn’t have gone.”
    “The commander of the Army company that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl belonged to says soldiers were tired, hungry and confused during the search for Bergdahl but continued on “because of the brotherhood.  Maj. Silvino Silvino, commander of the Blackfoot Company, testified Thursday at Bergdahl’s Article 32 hearing that some soldiers grew angry because they came to believe Bergdahl had deserted.”
    “Capt. John Billings testified at Bergdahl’s Article 32 hearing Thursday that he felt “utter disbelief” that one of his soldiers had gone missing.  Billings told military prosecutor Maj. Margaret Kurz that the search for Bergdahl was grueling at times and lasted from June 30, 2009 — the day he went missing — until the end of that August.”
    These go on and on and on…  there were scores and scores of Soldiers briefed on the mission to find Bergdahl.  
     Or we can choose to believe that Beghdahl is a pawn, it’s George Bush’s fault, it’s Fox News fault, or heck I’m probably to blame too for actually reading the facts.  The POTUS has put significant political capital in the Terrorist trade for Bergdahl, and Susan Rice actually called him a hero and he served honorably.  The POTUS is heavily invested in the outcome of this.  But let’s look at one example of the “integrity” of the office, which clearly lied about the Benghazi attacks and aftermath, pushing the agenda that AQ was defeated.  For weeks the administration including the POTUS, Sec of State, and Susan Rice blamed it on a video, actually imprisoned the videographer (on probation violations) for his video – which had no relationship ot the pre-planned Benghazi attacks.  So that’s the framework of the integrity of this office.  But yes, of course Fox News is to blame.  Good grief.  
    The law is quite clear on the crimes.  Berghdahl’s intent is irrelevant. The laws of desertion and misbehavior don’t have a mens rea element.  In other words, it’s irrelevant why he left his post and joined the enemy.  The facts are overwhelming that he left his weapon and went searching for the enemy to associate with them.  How it later turned out – his alleged torture – is also irrelevant.  He was misguided in the way they would treat him, perhaps.  We know he participated in giving them intelligence and to be used as a propaghanda tool, ultimately costing us Soldiers, money, and trading terrorists for him.  
    Consider that desertion, misbehavior, being a traitor are all punishable by death, and in the past one would be shot or hung for doing such…  I’d say that his aggravated situation warrants LWOP.  

  21. stewie says:

    Or we can believe that Bergdahl was a troubled young man with enough emotional/mental health issues to suggest that he wasn’t your garden variety deserter nor did he intend certain things to happen. That may not address his guilt or innocence but it most certainly comes into play for sentencing. So yes, his intent, when it comes to appropriate punishment, matters a great deal. And yes, nearly every crime has a men rea element, so you are just wrong there. And no there is no evidence I’ve seen that he left “to associate with the enemy.”  Please provide that evidence.  Please provide evidence that his torture was “alleged” and not genuine.  I’ve seen no one make that whackadoodle claim.
    If this weren’t about Obama and politics, few people would care about this case.

  22. DCGoneGalt says:

    CD:  I disagree with you.  I also disagree with Wilkinson but am not sure how he is a bigot.  Saying that anti-war people or Islamic radicals would approve of Bergdahl if he says that he left base because he disagreed with American policy and felt that Muslim people were being attacked unfairly is something that would be well received.  It is about as likely to happen as a sparkly unicorn flying in to testify in his defense but it doesn’t make him a bigot.  Saying that this situation will make Bergdahl a celebrity and will tempt others to follow his lead is kind of nutty, especially considering that your average person generally doesn’t wander off in Afghanistan to be tortured for five years to try and get on Dancing With the Stars or build a Twitter following.
    I would be shocked if Bergdahl gets confinement, not with the facts that came out in the investigation regarding his confinement.  I agree with you that those facts don’t make him a sympathetic figure.  He left on his own and, if guilty, he certainly isn’t entitled to the respect and admiration of a POW but I simply don’t see the point of confinement.  Does it serve good order and discipline?  “Don’t wander off in Afghanistan to bolster your IG complaint at the closest village” or you will get a few years confinement!  Good order and discipline are served by the knowledge that if you wander off in Afghanistan for any reason that you can be taken hostage and tortured by savages for five years.  This pretty much gets the point across loud and clear and draws a clear distinction between whatever EO/IG/grievance you have with the military isn’t worth taking it to your local Afghani EO/IG. IMO, he should have received confinement if he was aiding the enemy or if there is evidence shown that people died searching for him.  That has been alleged but based on what has come out, I don’t see it in the Art 32 coverage.  That could be the Army politicians are managing the scope of the investigation/trial to ensure those stones aren’t unturned but we don’t have the answers.  It wouldn’t be the first time the scope of an investigation was blindfolded to manage what conclusions it came to.
    As for the politics, nothing will be done about it.  Take that to the bank.  So save yourself a lot of heartburn and go pour a glass of whiskey, start a fire, and read a book.  Relax.  In essence, “what difference, at this point, does it make?”.

  23. Alfonso Decimo says:

    DewP mentions a protective order and I am guessing it was issued under R.C.M. 806. I haven’t even read the open source details, but I am guessing its a gag order, limited to preventing pretrial publicity that would interfere with an orderly prosecution. Attorneys would need to be mindful of the ethics rules, but as others have implied, the legality and ethics of publicly disclosing the SBI (or not) would be very fact-dependent. As long as the defense team has it, I can’t see how releasing it to the public would benefit the defense. The government’s decision to withhold it at this point may be entirely reasonable.

  24. Concerned defender says:

    If this weren’t about Obama and politics, few people would care about this case

    Except the familyies of the 6 Soldiers who died either looking for him or because they were extended to look for him, or because they were riling up the locals looking for him…  If you read the reasons they were killed, it’s all correlated to his disappearance and the search or collateral missions.  Unlike a lot of the baloney crimes charged, desertion in a combat zone (regardless of reasons) and misbehavior have a direct nexus to military good order and discipline and function.  As misguided and criminally stupid as he appears to be, again, it’s irrelevant.  Many criminals are really, really stupid or naive.  That’s not a defense.  If that’s the mitigation, it’s not much or very credible for that matter, and far outweighed by the aggravation.  
    And if we had a POTUS who actually knew about the military, and respected it, and had some sense of military duties, 5 terrorists would never have been traded for him.  Bergdahl is the poster love child of the anti-war liberals and the champion of Mr. Obama – who let an actual combat veteran and hero sit in a Mexican jail over a misunderstanding for months and didn’t lift his phone or pen to get him released when it would have taken no more than a phone call.  Yep, the Marine took a wrong turn into Mexico with some guns in his trunk, and that cost him 214 days in a Mexican prison (where there is real torture and risk of death).
    Pretty sad when the POTUS could have gotten his immediate release with a friendly bordering nation with a phone call.  But that’s not the right politics.  He was possessing a *gasp* gun.  Ewwwww…. punishment is clearly required for that.
    It will be an outrage to justice if he is not prosecuted to the fullest extend and get a severe sentence.  I will be both disheartened and angered over this if this coward somehow is not prosecuted, secures an Honorable discharge, and gets 5 years backpay worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.  
    But it’ll be par for the course for the worst POTUS in modern times.  

  25. Lieber says:

    CD is clearly not a lawyer.  Also, all three witnesses he referred to testified that no one died on those missions.
    JW didn’t say “Muslim radicals” or “radical Muslims”

  26. stewie says:

    CD please point me to evidence that 6 Soldiers died while looking for him. Surely, if true, the TC involved in this case should be disbarred for not presenting that basic fact at the 32. One would think that would be evidence you’d have seen in court if true.

  27. k fischer says:

    The TC should be disbarred for not presenting evidence at the 32 of 6 Soldiers dying while looking for Bergdahl?  Really?  You just won the “Queen of Hyperbole” award.

  28. stewie says:

    If they charged an offense as they have, and they had direct evidence directly tied to that offense, and they were silent on it and never presented it, at best that’s rank incompetence. Ok, fired then.
    Of course, that didn’t happen, because CD’s facts are baloney, and my response was thus sarcastic, but clearly, like an elephant on adderall with a grudge, you never forget.

  29. Concerned defender says:

    I’m not a lawyer?  Okay.  Sure.  Whatever.  More hyperbole.  Maybe Lieber should actually consult the UCMJ and text of the laws allegedly violated, and apply a bit of mental horsepower… 
    The only reason this isn’t being prosecuted more swiftly and aggressively is politics, plain and simple;  2 years to conduct an investigation and the IO concludes no prosecution is necessary?  Please.  I’ve seen people go to prison for almost nothing, yet this guy Berghal should’t be prosecuted.  What a load of hooey.  
    I’ve clearly stated that my information was from open source.  While often not accurate, it does seem that there is a significant amount of incriminating evidence to sustain the preponderance to send this to the trier of fact in desertion and misbehavior.  I’m glad they are finally holding the 32 to get the accurate information and not basing it on public open source info.  But so far the 32 testimonies are consistent with the open source information… so there’s that… 
    If you read open source information the platoon was extended due to his disappearance, and other units were dedicating men and resources to finding him.  Six Soldiers died in the area doing missions they would not otherwise be doing and/or in locations they were not otherwise supposed to occupy, etc.  If not directly killed it by the search, that amounts to sheer luck since while actively searching for him for extended periods resulted in IEDs and small arms attacks.
    The prosecution questioned the commander of Bergdahl’s company, Major Silvino Silvino, who said he had to pull troops from nearby outposts to launch a 45-day search when Bergdahl left camp.
    He described regular encounters with improvised explosives and men having to spoon at night to stay warm sleeping in the dirt. Some were in failing health and had no family contact for more than a month
    His company commander, Maj. Silvino Silvino, said some of the thousands of soldiers who took part in the search were angry about it because they felt Bergdahl had deserted.”I would tell them we are doing what we are doing because he is our brother,” Silvino testified.Finally, Bergdahl’s battalion commander, Col. Clinton Baker, said that although no soldiers died as part of the search, there was a spike in improvised explosive device attacks because soldiers were going to places they ordinarily wouldn’t have gone. He also said he had to put counter-insurgency efforts on hold due to the search and that it hurt partnerships with the Afghan government and Afghan forces.
    One has to purposefully not want to see the evidence of this to conclude that there was no nexus or causal link the deaths of these 6 Soldiers.  
    The prosecutor need not raise the deaths at the 32 probably because it’s not germane to the charges or elements to the offenses, and could be cause for later complications, overly prejudicial to the 32 I/O, takes a lot of legal work for little results, etc.   Having actually conducted 32s on both sides, I fully understand why the Trial Counsel wouldn’t bother with trying to muddy the waters and make the connection of the deaths, since it’s really just aggravation anyway, which would support the LWOP.
    He disappeared on 30 June, causing an immediate and extensive search that lasted a couple months and extending his Platoon which was scheduled to depart, to stay and search.  Six Soldiers from his unit in his AO were killed between 18 Aug and 4 Sept, within 2.5 months of his disappearance.  I fully realize that open source and Wikipedia are unreliable.  However, one cannot discount this in the absence of any other valid reasons, for which none of any credibility are offered.  A stupid criminal is still a stupid criminal. Here’s a Wikipedia except, which cites interviews and news Articles supporting each statement from open source media like CNN, Daily Beast, NY Times, etc.
    Search efforts
    According to soldiers from Bergdahl’s platoon, fellow soldiers described an increase in attacks against the United States in Paktika Province in the days and weeks following Bergdahl’s disappearance;[59] Significant resources were deployed in an effort to find Bergdahl.[28] Two Pashto-language leaflets were distributed by the U.S. military in seeking Bergdahl.[5] One showed a smiling GI shaking hands with Afghan children, with a caption that called him a guest in Afghanistan. The other showed a door being broken down and threatened that those holding Bergdahl would be hunted down.[5]
    According to soldiers involved in the operations to find Bergdahl, at least six soldiers were killed in the search;[59] this includes six soldiers in the same battalion as Bergdahl.[28] A spokesman for the Pentagon said that it is impossible to confirm whether anybody’s death was directly linked to the search for Bergdahl,[19][60] but said the Pentagon will look further into the circumstances of the deaths being associated with the search.[60]
    Due to resources being diverted to find Bergdahl, the closing of Combat Outpost Keating was delayed, which may have led to eight American soldiers being killed on October 3, 2009, after 300 Taliban insurgents overran the base.[19][59] A former senior military officer disputed that the diversion of resources led to the attack, noting that COP Keating was in “a dangerous region in Afghanistan in the middle of the ‘fighting season’” and that “it is ‘difficult to establish a direct cause and effect.’”[19] According to The New York Times, “A review of the database of casualties in the Afghan war suggests that Sergeant Bergdahl’s critics appear to be blaming him for every American soldier killed in Paktika Province in the four-month period that followed his disappearance.”[19]
    A Time article on the subject:
    Staff Sergeant Clayton Bowen, 29, of San Antonio, Texas, and Private 1st Class Morris Walker, 23, of Chapel Hill, N.C., were killed by a roadside bomb in Paktika province on Aug. 18, 2009, while trying to find Bergdahl. Like Bergdahl, they were part of the 4th BCT from Fort Richardson, Alaska.
    Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss, 27, of Murray, Utah, died Aug. 26 in Paktika Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he was shot while his unit was supporting Afghan security forces during an enemy attack. Like Bergdahl, Bowen and Walker, he was part of the 4th BCT
    2nd Lieutenant Darryn Andrews, 34, of Dallas, Texas,died Sept. 4 in Paktika Province when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device and a rocket-propelled grenade. Like Bergdahl, Bowen, Walker and Curtiss, Andrews was part of the 4th BCT.
    Staff Sergeant Michael Murphrey, 25, of Snyder, Texas,died Sept. 6 in Paktika province after being wounded by an IED. Like Bergdahl, Bowen, Walker, Curtiss and Andrews, Murphrey was part of the 4th BCT.
    On Sept. 4, 2009, Private 1st Class Matthew Martinek, 20, of DeKalb, Ill., was seriously wounded in Paktika province when Taliban forces attacked his vehicle with an improvided explosive device, a rocket-propelled grenade and small-arms fire and later died of his injuries. Like Bergdahl, Bowen, Walker, Curtiss, Andrews and Murphrey, Martinek was part of the 4th BCT.

  30. k fischer says:

    Wait!  Am I supposed to be an elephant on Adderall in this scenario?  Well, I guess that’s better than being a bigot.

  31. stewie says:

    No just like an elephant on Adderall. I am firmly convinced you are actually human.

  32. DCGoneGalt says:

    stewie v k fisch in Hyper-Bole I

  33. Zachary D Spilman says:

    Comments on this post are now closed.