U.S. Former War Prisoner Bergdahl Faces Desertion Charges

U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Berghdal is pictured in handout photo provided by U.S. Army

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, a former Taliban prisoner in Afghanistan who was released last summer as part of a controversial prisoner exchange, has been charged with desertion and misbehavior, his attorney said on Wednesday.

Detainee Traded for Bergdahl May Have Contacted Taliban

(Reuters) – U.S. spy agencies are examining intelligence reports that one of five Taliban leaders released from Guantanamo prison and sent to Qatar as part of a deal to free U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl last year may have re-established contact with a militant group, U.S. officials said on Friday.

Obama Could Have Stopped the Bergdahl Prosecution (UPDATED)

UPDATE, 2:30 P.M.: Last night a guest on The O’Reilly Factor reported that the Army had decided to charge Bowe Bergdahl with desertion. This morning, NBC confirmed this report on the air, citing “senior defense officials.” Since then, the Army has pushed back against these reports. A spokesman for the command responsible for prosecuting Bergdahl told the Military Times that “no decision’s been made.” 

Last night a guest on the O’Reilly Factor, retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer, broke the story that the Army had decided to charge Bowe Bergdahl with desertion. He also said that there was a “titanic struggle” shaping up behind the scenes, because the White House opposed the decision. This didn’t make a great deal of sense, inasmuch as the fact that the decision to charge Bergdahl had been made indicated that any such “titanic struggle” was not “shaping up” but was over. Indeed, NBC confirmed this morning that Bergdahl has been charged.

So it appears that whatever struggle there was has been lost by the White House. Shaffer fingered the execrable Ben Rhodes as the “point man” for squelching the Bergdahl prosecution, an assertion that should surprise no one. (Discussion question: Has anyone done more harm to American national security in the past seven years than Ben Rhodes?)