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The President & the Executive Branch Discuss Guantanamo adviser: DOJ allowed Pentagon to bypass Congress in Taliban-Bergdahl swap at the Political Forums; Interesting. Not sure if this is true or if Holder is just the latest in a long line of victims ...

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Old 02-05-2015, 03:31 PM
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Default Guantanamo adviser: DOJ allowed Pentagon to bypass Congress in Taliban-Bergdahl swap

Interesting.

Not sure if this is true or if Holder is just the latest in a long line of victims that were shoved in front of a speeding bus.

Guantanamo adviser: DOJ allowed Pentagon to bypass Congress in Taliban-Bergdahl swap | Fox News

Eric Holder's Justice Department green-lighted the decision not to notify Congress -- as required by law -- before the Pentagon traded five Taliban fighters for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl last year, the Obama administration's point person on Guantanamo Bay policy testified Thursday.

Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee, defense official Brian McKeon was questioned on what is still a sore spot for many members of Congress: that the administration went forward with the Taliban-Bergdahl swap without giving Congress the typically required 30-day notification.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., asked McKeon why Congress was not informed, "as per the statutes."

McKeon said he understands the Department of Justice and the department's general counsel "interpreted the president's powers because of the security risks and safety of Sergeant Bergdahl necessitated proceeding without the 30-day notice."

The rationale squares with what administration officials claimed last year -- that congressional notification could have risked jeopardizing the fast-moving negotiations to secure Bergdahl's freedom.

But lawmakers have challenged that call ever since.

Meanwhile, McKeon made clear at Thursday's hearing that the push to close Guantanamo Bay's prison camp is moving forward, despite lawmakers' lingering security concerns -- most recently, over a member of the "Taliban 5" apparently trying to make contact with the Taliban, while under supervision in Qatar.

McKeon stressed that the administration considers it a national security priority to close the camp, in part because it is used by extremists to incite violence.

He pointed to the recent execution of Jordanian and Japanese hostages by Islamic State terrorists. He said it is "no coincidence" that the videos showed the victims -- one of whom was burned alive, the other of whom was beheaded -- in orange jumpsuits, like those once worn by detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Such jumpsuits were also worn at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Republicans, though, argue that terrorists would find reasons to attack the West regardless, and certainly did so before Guantanamo was in operation.

Fox News' Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.
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Old 02-05-2015, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: Guantanamo adviser: DOJ allowed Pentagon to bypass Congress in Taliban-Bergdahl s

I do understand why the Prez wants to close Gitmo and put such detainees in US prisons. What I don't understand is why that would NOT be the exact same tool of recruitment about which the left always complains.

Do we not have to put captured enemy combatants somewheres? OR, is it less of a recruitment tool to kill them, say using drones, on the spot along with their families?
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:12 PM
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Red face Re: Guantanamo adviser: DOJ allowed Pentagon to bypass Congress in Taliban-Bergdahl s

Uncle Ferd says he tryin' to look spiffy in his dress whites...

Bergdahl Trial Delayed as His Lawyers Appeal Over Trump Comments
24 Mar 2017 | WASHINGTON -- The court-martial against accused Army deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was delayed this week.
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The court-martial against accused Army deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was delayed this week as his attorneys asked a third court to dismiss the case over disparaging comments President Donald Trump often repeated on the campaign trail about the former Taliban captive. Bergdahl's lawyers filed an appeal Thursday to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces asserting their client's case must be dismissed because Trump's comments, including calling the soldier a "dirty, rotten, no good traitor," could undermine the public's confidence in his ability to receive a fair trial.

The appeal to the highest military court came after the military judge overseeing the case, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance, declined to dismiss the case in February over Trump's statements and an appellate court, the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals, last week upheld Nance's ruling. "President Trump's repeated public vilification of Sgt. Bergdahl must be explicitly acknowledged as apparent [unlawful command influence] and decisive remedial action taken," Bergdahl's attorneys wrote in the court document. "The court should reverse the judgment of the Army court and grant a writ of mandamus dismissing the charges." Under military law, individuals with command responsibilities cannot influence or ever appear to influence judicial proceedings.


Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl arrives with his military lawyer, Lt. Col. Franklin Rosenblatt, for a hearing at the courtroom on Fort Bragg, N.C.

Bergdahl, 30, is expected to face a court-martial in August on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy that stem from his 2009 disappearance from his eastern Afghanistan combat post. This week, Nance pushed back the April 18 trial date, a move that he had previously hinted would occur. The judge instructed both sides to plan for the court-martial to begin Aug. 7, according to Bergdahl's attorneys. In Nance's February decision denying dismissal, the judge wrote Trump's comments were "disturbing and disappointing" and potentially "problematic." However, he ultimately sided with assertions raised by prosecutors that they were primarily campaign trail rhetoric aimed at attacking President Barack Obama's controversial May 2014 decision to trade five senior-level Taliban members detained at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for Bergdahl's release.

Nance suggested careful screening of potential jurors to determine whether they were impacted by the now-president's comments would alleviate the defense attorneys' concerns. "The statements of a private citizen, even if running for president, cannot be unlawful command or influence," Nance wrote. "No reasonable member of the public, apprised of all the facts and circumstances and seeing campaign rhetoric for what it is, would believe that because Candidate Trump said those troubling things and is now President Trump, the accused has been or will be denied a fair trial." In their Thursday appeal, Bergdahl's lawyers wrote that failure of the appellate court to dismiss the case could signal to civilian leaders of the military, including Trump, that they are not responsible for comments they make about ongoing criminal cases.

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Old 10-06-2017, 03:31 PM
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Red face Re: Guantanamo adviser: DOJ allowed Pentagon to bypass Congress in Taliban-Bergdahl s

Bergdahl expected to plead guilty to avoid trial...

Bowe Bergdahl expected to plead guilty and avoid trial
WASHINGTON Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held captive by the Taliban for half a decade after abandoning his Afghanistan post, is expected to plead guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, two people with knowledge of the case said.
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Bergdahl's decision to plead guilty rather than face trial marks another twist in an eight-year drama that caused the nation to wrestle with difficult questions of loyalty, of negotiating with hostage takers, and of America's commitment not to leave its troops behind. President Donald Trump has called Bergdahl a "no-good traitor" who "should have been executed." The decision by the 31-year-old Idaho native leaves open whether he will return to captivity for years this time in a US prison or receive a lesser sentence that reflects the time the Taliban held him under brutal conditions. He says he had been caged, kept in darkness, beaten, and chained to a bed. Bergdahl could face up to five years on the desertion charge and a life sentence for misbehavior.


This undated file image provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The attorney for Bergdahl, who was released in exchange for five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay, says the soldier's case has been referred for trial by a general court-martial.

Freed three years ago, Bergdahl had been scheduled for trial in late October. He had opted to let a judge rather than a military jury decide his fate, but a guilty plea later this month will spare the need for a trial. Sentencing will start on October 23, according to the people with knowledge of the case. They weren't authorized to discuss the case and demanded anonymity. During sentencing, US troops who were seriously wounded searching for Bergdahl in Afghanistan are expected to testify, the people said. It was unclear whether prosecutors and Bergdahl's defense team had reached an agreement ahead of sentencing about how severe a penalty prosecutors will recommend.

An attorney for Bergdahl, Eugene Fidell, declined to comment on Friday. Maj. Justin Oshana, who is prosecuting the case, referred questions to the US Army, which declined to discuss whether Bergdahl had agreed to plead guilty. "We continue to maintain careful respect for the military-judicial process, the rights of the accused, and ensuring the case's fairness and impartiality during this ongoing legal case," said Paul Boyce, an Army spokesman. Bergdahl was a 23-year-old private first class in June 2009 when, after five months in Afghanistan, he disappeared from his remote infantry post near the Pakistan border, triggering a massive search operation.


President Barack Obama with Bergdahl's parents, Jami Bergdahl and Bob Bergdahl, as he delivers a statement on May 31, 2014, about the release of their son.

Videos soon emerged showing Bergdahl in captivity by the Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan in the years before the September 11, 2001, attacks and harbored Al Qaida leaders including Osama bin Laden as they plotted against America. For years, the US kept tabs on Bergdahl with drones, spies, and satellites as behind-the-scenes negotiations played out in fits and starts. In May 2014, he was handed over to US special forces in a swap for five Taliban detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison, fueling an emotional US debate about whether Bergdahl was a hero or a deserter.

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Old 11-04-2017, 12:56 PM
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Angry Re: Guantanamo adviser: DOJ allowed Pentagon to bypass Congress in Taliban-Bergdahl s

Granny says, "Give him a medal fer desertin'???...

Bergdahl's Attorney Wants Him to Receive POW Medal
3 Nov 2017 | The lead defense attorney for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl said he wants him to receive the Prisoner of War medal.
Quote:
His civilian lawyer, Eugene Fidell, on Friday said his client should be recognized for the five years he spent in Taliban captivity after deserting his post in Afghanistan, according to an article by USA Today. "We have long felt he was entitled to the POW medal," Fidell said, the newspaper reported. It wasn't immediately clear whether Bergdahl's defense team plans to push for the award as part of the process to appeal his dishonorable discharge.


An email request for comment to Fidell wasn't immediately returned. Earlier Friday, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance, the military judge at Bergdahl's court-martial at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, sentenced the 31-year-old defendant to a dishonorable discharge, a reduction in rank to E-1 and a monthly reduction in pay of $1,000 for the next 10 months.

Despite the fact Bergdahl received a dishonorable discharge sentence, his defense team indicated they will still seek the "Prisoner of War" medal for Bergdahl. The award was authorized by Congress and signed into law in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan. The award generally goes to those "taken prisoner and held captive while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States."

https://www.military.com/daily-news/...pow-medal.html
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Trump Calls No Jail Time for Bergdahl 'Complete and Total Disgrace'
3 Nov 2017 | President Donald Trump denounced the decision sparing Bowe Bergdahl jail time as a "complete and total disgrace."
Quote:
President Donald Trump denounced Friday the decision to spare Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl jail time as a "complete and total disgrace." "The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military," Trump said in a Tweet from Air Force One en route to Hawaii at the start of an Asian trip that will take him to China, Japan and South Korea. Earlier Friday, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance, the military judge at Bergdahl's court-martial at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, sentenced the 31-year-old defendant to a dishonorable discharge, a reduction in rank to E-1 and a monthly reduction in pay of $1,000 for the next 10 months.

Nance made no other comments in imposing the sentence but earlier this week said in court that he was taking into consideration Trump's previous comments on the case in deciding on punishment. "I will consider the president's comments as mitigation evidence as I arrive at an appropriate sentence," he said. As a candidate last year, Trump called Bergdahl a "dirty rotten traitor" and said he should be executed for leaving his post in Afghanistan. Last month, Trump did not back off his previous remarks. "I think people have heard my comments in the past," he said. The sentence will be reviewed by Army Gen. Robert B. Abrams, the convening authority in the case and commander of U.S. Forces Command. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Abrams can reduce the sentence or approve it but cannot increase it.

If the final sentence still includes a dishonorable discharge, it will then automatically be reviewed by the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals. One of the soldiers who was wounded while searching for Bergdahl bitterly criticized the sentence that spared him jail time. Asked by phone about his reaction to Bergdahl's sentence, former Army Sgt. Jonathan Morita, of California, told ABC News, "I've had better days. "The dishonorable discharge means he can't receive any of these services like I can" from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Morita said. "He'll pay the fine like people get fined for illegal fishing. OK, whoop-de-doo." Morita said Bergdahl deserved to spend time in jail. "That's the one that's completely unacceptable," he said. "It should have maybe not been the life sentence, but it should have been something."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he was "incredibly disappointed" by the sentence. Graham, who served as an Air Force lawyer for more than 30 years, said, "This sentence in my view falls short of the gravity of the offense." During the sentencing proceedings, Army Capt. Nina Banks, one of Bergdahl's military defense lawyers, argued for leniency, citing his five years in captivity with insurgents believed to be part of the Haqqani network affiliated with the Taliban. Sergeant Bergdahl has been punished enough," Banks told the military judge, and Eugene Fidell, Bergdahl's chief civilian lawyer, echoed her argument at a news conference after the sentence was announced. "As everyone knows, he was a captive of the Taliban for nearly five years, and three more years have elapsed while the legal process unfolded,' Fidell said. "He has lost nearly a decade of his life."

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Old 11-21-2017, 05:43 AM
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Angry Re: Guantanamo adviser: DOJ allowed Pentagon to bypass Congress in Taliban-Bergdahl s

Granny says, "Dat's right - charge him wnat it cost to look fer him when he wandered off...

Lawmakers to Army: Don't Award Bergdahl Back Pay
20 Nov 2017 | One hundred lawmakers are urging the U.S. Army not to award Bowe Bergdahl any back pay -- potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars -- for his time in Taliban captivity.
Quote:
Led by Rep. Rick Crawford, a Republican from Arkansas and a former soldier, the lawmakers in a Nov. 15 letter to Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said that, while they are "happy" Bergdahl was returned, they remain concerned about the circumstances surrounding his disappearance. "At the very least, we know Private Bergdahl's actions, by his desertion admissions in court, jeopardized the lives of his comrades," they wrote. "Despite being given a dishonorable discharge and demotion from sergeant to private, he remains eligible for significant back pay." Bergdahl, 31, who earlier this month dodged a prison sentence for voluntarily walking off his post in 2009 in Afghanistan, could be eligible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay for his nearly five years in Taliban captivity even though he was also sentenced to forfeit his pay of $1,000 per month for 10 months.


Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl leaves a motions hearing during a lunch break on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in Fort Bragg, N.C.

President Donald Trump called the ruling, which included a dishonorable discharge and a reduction in rank to private, "a complete and total disgrace." In a press release, Crawford said captive soldiers normally receive special compensation worth around $150,000, in addition to hostile-fire pay and the basic pay they accumulated during captivity. Bergdahl could be eligible for about $13,500 in hostile-fire pay and about $84,000 in basic pay at the rank of private, according to military pay tables. "I don't believe the pay is deserved," said Crawford, a former sergeant who served as an explosive ordnance disposal technician. "While we should always do everything in our power to bring home prisoners of war, given the circumstances of Bergdahl's capture and his admission of desertion, I don't think it is appropriate to award that pay."

While the letter references "those killed in action who were trying to locate him," Command Sgt. Maj. Ken Wolf, the top enlisted leader in Bergdahl's brigade -- Bergdahl served in Blackfoot Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division -- has said no troops died while searching for him.

But Bergdahl's trial included testimony from survivors who were wounded during missions to find him. Bergdahl, who was held in a cramped cage and beaten by his captors, also testified that he was sorry for the wounds suffered by searchers. It's not clear when the Army may decide on the issue of Bergdahl's back pay. An email request for comment to a spokesperson wasn't immediately returned. The congressman hasn't yet heard back from McCarthy, who will soon be leaving his post as the Army's top civilian. The Senate last week confirmed Mark Esper, defense giant Raytheon Co.'s top lobbyist, for Army secretary.

Lawmakers to Army: Don't Award Bergdahl Back Pay | Military.com
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Old 11-21-2017, 06:04 AM
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Default Re: Guantanamo adviser: DOJ allowed Pentagon to bypass Congress in Taliban-Bergdahl s

The courts-martial should have awarded forfeiture of all pay and allowances.
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Old 11-21-2017, 08:11 AM
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Default Re: Guantanamo adviser: DOJ allowed Pentagon to bypass Congress in Taliban-Bergdahl s

From the OP:
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Not sure if this is true or if Holder is just the latest in a long line of victims that were shoved in front of a speeding bus.
Holder is no victim. After Fast and Furious was exposed, he should have been imprisoned. The victim was Brian Terry, the Border Patrol Agent who was murdered by the same weapons Holder's crew gave to Mexican drug cartels.
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