USA Today reports that Beau Bergdahl suffered torture and beatings while in Taliban custody. A Major General asserts that because of this abuse he shouldn’t be subject to further punishment. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCYQFjADahUKEwjw0P6G8YXIAhWMq4AKHamcB_s&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.usatoday.com%2Fstory%2Fnews%2Fnation%2F2015%2F09%2F18%2Fdefense-witnesses-testify-bergdahl-hearing-taliban-desertion-court-martial%2F72391264%2F&usg=AFQjCNHsxYKoy48wS3sSE8AQSjVHXnjQuA&sig2=pAUHkqb4bm5lX-AhqOeTxQ&bvm=bv.103073922,d.eXY There is ample precedent to support this stance, since the Obama administration has routinely failed to follow any law they found inconvenient, why stop now?
In any criminal prosecution the government has to prove that the accused violated a specific statute. Within the statute are the elements of the crime, prohibited conduct, requisite intent, any required result and negation of any defense to prosecution. When Bergdahl left his compound the offense he is charged with was complete. To intimate that the Army bears responsibility for what happened to Bergdahl while in Taliban hands is not reasonable. The defense is certainly allowed to point to later events and argue for mitigation but the torture and treatment of Bergdahl by the Taliban are not a defense to prosecution.
While the army may have a moral responsibility towards a service member for what happens to him while a prisoner, that is a separate issue shouldn’t be a consideration when considering his guilt or innocence. I am unwilling to lump the POW’s from Corregidor who made the Bataan Death March or the airman of the Eight Air Force in with Beau Bergdahl.
This poor Beau defense is akin to saying Jeffrey Dahmer was persecuted because he was looking for an alternative to a ham and cheese sandwich. It won’t work for Dahmer it shouldn’t work for Bergdahl.