November 4, 2017

THE LEAST WE COULD DO WAS RESCUE HIM:

Justice was served in the Bergdahl case (Peter Bergen, 11/04/17, CNN)

Col. Nance had to weigh a number of mitigating factors as he determined Bergdahl's sentence. (Note: I have met with members of Bergdahl's family.)

The first factor, of course, is the five years Bergdahl spent as a prisoner of the Taliban.

Bergdahl mounted a number of escape attempts after which he spent years confined in a cage suitable for an animal.

He was also tortured, beaten with thick rubber hoses and copper wire.

The second, is Bergdahl's diagnosis of schizotypal personality disorder.

According to the Mayo Clinic, "People with schizotypal personality disorder are often described as odd or eccentric... the person with schizotypal personality disorder responds inappropriately to social cues and holds peculiar beliefs."
Given this diagnosis, it's not clear why Bergdahl was allowed into the military in the first place. Some evidence for Bergdahl's strange mindset is provided by his observation to the podcast "Serial" after he was released by the Taliban that when he had left his base in Afghanistan he believed he was embarking on some kind of "Jason Bourne" mission. Moving around alone in Taliban areas in Afghanistan, Bergdahl proved an easy target for Taliban foot soldiers, not some kind of action hero.

A third factor that the judge likely weighed in his decision was that Bergdahl provided useful information about the Taliban to US intelligence agencies when he was debriefed.

Finally, the judge said he would also weigh prejudicial statements made by President Trump about the case as a mitigating factor.

Posted by at November 4, 2017 6:10 PM

  

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