Robert Bowdrie “Bowe” Bergdahl, the 23-year old U.S. Army soldier who was captured in 2009 by the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network in Afghanistan and Pakistan and held for five years, wants something from President Obama.
True to form, Bowe Bergdahl bypassed protocol when he recently made a request of President Obama for pre-trial pardon. Bergdahl copied the Secretary of the Army in a letter to the president but eschewed the formality of presenting a petition through the military chain of command.
The errant soldier, who a Pentagon investigation concludes simply walked away from his unit one night in June of 2009 never to return, is currently free while awaiting court-martial in May 2017 (two previous trial dates have been postponed). If convicted on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, Bergdahl could receive a sentence of life imprisonment.
It is reported that during the military’s intense and prolonged five-year search for Bergdahl’s whereabouts and status six American soldiers died and others were injured.
This week, the Department of Justice confirmed it received a letter from Bergdahl but has not yet responded to requests for comment. Sources indicate in his letter Bergdahl expresses gratitude to President Obama for his rescue in 2014, in a controversial exchange which traded Bergdahl for five Taliban terrorists held at Gitmo.
Shortly after he was returned to U.S. custody, President Obama’s national security advisor Susan Rice said Bergdahl served his country with “honor and distinction.”
President-elect Donald Trump has called Bergdahl a “dirty, rotten traitor.”
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