Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. Army soldier who served in Afghanistan and allegedly deserted his unit there, is facing desertion charges according to his attorney, Breitbart News reported today. Bergdahl allegedly converted to Islam and came to oppose the U.S. involvement in that country, while he was being held as a hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
“Eugene Fidell, Bergdahl’s lawyer, told the Washington Post that his client was handed the desertion charge sheet on Tuesday. The Army has announced that they will update the public on Bergdahl’s case at 3:30 p.m. eastern time,” Breitbart News reported.
“Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl, who disappeared from his Army outpost in Afghanistan in 2009, was captured by the Taliban and held by the Haqqani insurgent network until last May, has been charged with desertion and with misbehavior before the enemy, Col. Daniel King of the United States Army said on Wednesday,” the New York Times reported today on the official announcement of the desertion charges against Bowe Bergdahl, announced today at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
Bowe Bergdahl was missing from the base on Paktika province, where he was assigned, and he was believed to have become disillusioned with his U.S. military role in Afghanistan. He had been captured and held in Pakistan by the Haqqani network, a group affiliated with the Taliban, until he was released in exchange for the five Taliban commanders.
Breitbart News reported that Bowe Bergdahl returned to the U.S. as part of a deal between the Obama Administration and the Taliban, in which five top Taliban commanders incarcerated at the prison at Guantanamo Bay were exchanged for Bergdahl. The five Taliban commander released were sent to Qatar.
“Others have accused Bergdahl of being far worse than a deserter, as evidenced has surfaced that he may have been sympathetic towards America’s enemies. In 2010, the Taliban claimed Bergdahl had converted to Islam and taught the jihadi group bomb-making techniques. While in captivity, the Taliban claimed that he changed his name to Abdullah. Sgt. Bergdahl also reportedly mastered Arabic, the language of the Koran, which is rarely understood in Afghanistan. Furthermore, Bergdahl’s father frequently espoused the Taliban’s propaganda from its English-language media outlet,” Breitbart News reported about the alleged deserter and Muslim convert, Bowe Bergdahl.
“Conditions for Bergdahl have greatly relaxed since the time of the escape,” an August, 2012, document obtained by Fox News said. “Bergdahl has converted to Islam and now describes himself as a mujahid. Bergdahl enjoys a modicum of freedom, and engages in target practice with the local mujahedeen, firing AK47s. Bergdahl is even allowed to carry a loaded gun on occasion,” it continued, adding that he “plays soccer with his guards” and “appears to be well and happy.”
While some have doubts about whether Bowe Bergdahl converted to Islam while captured by the Taliban affiliated group, or did so under duress, those doubts don’t change the fact that he is facing desertion charges.
“Bowe Bergdahl will be charged with desertion for leaving his Army post in Afghanistan in 2009. Bergdahl was awarded the rank of sergeant during the five years he was held captive by the Taliban. President Obama, without the approval of Congress, traded five Taliban prisoners being held at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, for Bowe Bergdahl last May. This trade sparked both political controversy and backlash from the men who served with and searched for the missing soldier,” the Inquisitr reported.
[Photo of Bowe Bergdahl from Breitbart News]