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How will the military handle investigations into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl?

by AirTalk

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U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl watches in July 2009 as one of his captors displays Bergdahl's identity tag during the first of several videos the Taliban released of the soldier. /Reuters/Landov

Questions have been raised about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s capture days after his release from Taliban custody on May 31. The circumstances of Bergdahl’s capture haven’t been released by the Pentagon, but confirmation from a defense official that he was off his post without authorization are fueling anger from soldiers who are critical of the trade that lead to his release. Some soldiers allege that Bergdahl was deserting, and argue that he should stand trial.

The search for Bergdahl following his capture resulted in the deaths of other U.S. troops. Inquiries about misconduct and desertion prompted a Defense Department investigation, which could result in a range of punishment, from administrative disciplinary action to a court-martial.

How should the inquiry into Bergdahl’s capture proceed? How should the Defense Department handle potential misconduct?


Geoffrey Corn, Professor of Law and Presidential Research Professor at South Texas College of Law

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