Let the Army decide Bergahl’s fate

The case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, recently released through the actions of President Obama after five years as a captive of the Taliban, is something of a mystery because we don’t know exactly how and why he became a captive. There is some information indicating that he walked away from his unit, leaving behind his gear of war, after writing an email to his parents complaining about, for want of a better term, the lack of compassion on the part of the United States toward Afghanis.

If he did walk away, that is desertion and, undoubtedly, he will face a court martial. That is up to the Army and we trust it to take the appropriate steps.

What seems inappropriate to us is the way the national Republican Party is using this issue as another tool to bash the Obama administration in advance of the mid-term elections. Certainly the GOP has a right, perhaps even a duty, to question the exchange of five Taliban prisoners for Bergdahl and to lament Obama’s failure to follow the law and keep Congress apprised of a potential prisoner exchange.

Our concern is with a New York Times report that states the GOP orchestrated at least one criticism of Bergdahl by a former comrade in arms. According to the Times of June 2, Joshua Cornelison, a former medic in Bergdahl’s platoon, gave an interview “arranged by Republican strategists.”

Why? To hold his hand? Unlikely. For fear no one would come forward and tell a story other than “hero soldier safe from Taliban at last”? No, these “strategists” arranged this interview to make Obama look bad by ensuring that Bergdahl looked bad.

And perhaps Bergdahl deserves to look bad, but isn’t that for the Army to decide?