‘Traitor’ Bowe Bergdahl must face justice for his crimes
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The news that the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia had vacated the 2017 court-martial convictions against Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl stunned many veterans who served in Afghanistan and participated in the search for Bergdahl.  
This vacated case not only reopened old wounds from a forgotten war, but also highlighted Bergdahl’s grossly lenient sentence to those of us who were deployed at the time.  
At the height of the war against the Taliban and other terrorist groups in 2009, Bergdahl deserted his firebase in eastern Afghanistan. After President Obama ordered a surge of troops into Afghanistan to stop the downward slide in the war, we immediately halted our operations when Bergdahl vanished.

Bergdahl’s search was ordered as a shift away from U.S. objectives to defeat the Taliban. The Green Beret task force and every unit in the eastern half of the country searched for Bergdahl without success.   

It is estimated that eight Americans were killed and dozens were seriously wounded while attempting to locate the deserter in militant-occupied areas.

Obama announced in 2014 that he had secured the release of Bergdahl — by exchanging five senior Taliban from Guantanamo Bay. Obama’s Rose Garden ceremony, touting such a lopsided and dangerous deal for a man we knew betrayed his country and fellow soldiers, furious me. Then-national security adviser Susan Rice claimed Bergdahl had served with “honor and distinction.”  

Notably, four of the five Taliban prisoners exchanged went on to become senior officials in the Taliban’s totalitarian dictatorship in Afghanistan. I was the first veteran to go on national television and proclaim that Bergdahl was not a hero but rather a traitor.  

To the Obama administration’s embarrassment, Bergdahl pled guilty to desertion and misbehavior in the face of the enemy, was given a demotion and a fine, but was given no jail time.