The unwritten aspect to this story (NPR delivery below) is that the Army Forces Command is overriding the White House who didn’t want Bergdahl charged due to political issues, ie. embarrassment.
Numerous previous outlines have evidenced pressure from inside the political apparatus to dismiss charges against the deserter who was praised in the Rose Garden by President Obama – Today the Army said, nope, the guy is going to face the charges.
(Via NPR) […] Overriding the recommended punishment by an Army officer, head of Army Forces Command Gen. Robert B. Abrams ordered that Bergdahl, now the subject of the Serial podcast, face a court-martial for desertion.
In a statement, The Forces Command described the charges, which they brought against Bergdahl in March:
“The two specific charges referred under the U.S. Armed Forces’ Uniform Code of Military Justice are: (1) Article 85: ‘Desertion with Intent to Shirk Important or Hazardous Duty;’ and (2) Article 99: ‘Misbehavior before the Enemy by Endangering the Safety of a Command, Unit or Place.'”
The Army held a hearing in September to decide if Bergdahl should face a court-martial. The Army lawyer who presided over that hearing, Lt. Col. Mark Visger, sent his recommendation to Abrams, who had the final say.
The New York Times reports that Visger recommended “the sergeant face neither jail time nor a punitive discharge and that he go before an intermediate tribunal known as a ‘special court-martial’ where the most severe penalty possible would be a year of confinement.”
The statement from Forces Command says that the date of the arraignment hearing will be announced later. (read more)
(left) Robert Bergdahl – dad (right) PFC Bowe Bergdahl – deserter