January 28, 2015
By Lorra B.
Claims that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl would be facing desertion charges have been vehemently denied by both the Pentagon and Army officials.
Bergdahl was exchanged last year for five Guantanamo prisoners after having been released by Taliban militants after being held captive for five years. The U.S. Army Sergeant was captured after disappearing from his base in Afghanistan in 2009.
It was Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer who claimed Bergdahl would be facing desertion charges. On ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ Monday night, the former military intelligence officer claimed he had it on good authority from two military sources stating, “The Army has come to its conclusion, and Bowe Bergdahl…will be charged with desertion.”
The Army, however, insists there is no truth in these claims and is continuing to review the case.
Pentagon Press Secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, stated during a press release on Tuesday that “Sgt. Bergdahl has not been charged with any crime.”
“No decision has been made with respect to the case of Sgt. Bergdahl. None. There is no timeline to make that decision, and Gen. Milley is being put under no pressure to make a decision.”
It was NBC News that reported that “senior defense officials said Bergdahl would be charged with desertion, and that charges could be referred within a week,” according to Stars and Stripes. NBC went on to report that the charges against Bergdahl will not contend he had no intention to never return when he left his base that day.
If charged, Bergdahl could be facing a court-martial and prison time but consideration may be given, according to both Fox News and NBC, for the time he “spent in captivity and be permitted to leave the Army with a ‘less than honorable’ discharge.”
Though there seems to be some discrepancy about whether there is or is not a ‘charge sheet,’ Shaffer seems adamant there is one and that it outlines the ‘military code’ allegedly violated by Bergdahl.
Shaffer stated that there is “a ‘huge battle’ going on inside the Obama administration, as some try to ‘suppress’ this development,” reports Fox News. “This is shaping up to be a titanic struggle behind the scenes.”
“The White House, because of the political narrative, President Obama cozying up to the parents and because of he, President Obama, releasing the five Taliban…The narrative is what the White House does not want to have come out,” claims Shaffer.
Bergdahl’s disappearance has been investigated for six months now and the Army has declined to make any findings in the investigation public.
While Bergdahl waits for the results of the investigation, he is assigned to a desk job in Huston, Texas, at the U.S. Army North, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Huston, according to Army Times.
“The case presents a challenge for the Army’s leadership, which has to decide whether to punish a soldier who spent five years as a prisoner of war or essentially overlook the allegations of misconduct that surrounded his disappearance.”
As it stands, the Army still denies the claims Bergdahl will be facing desertion charges anytime soon, if at all.
Update: Shaffer was back on The O’Reilly Factor last night and stood his ground against allegations that he had spoken out of turn. He stands behind the claims that he made 100%.
Watch Shaffer as he is once again faced with questions concerning Bergdahl.