Bowe Bergdahl requests pardon from President Obama

It will be very interesting to see how or if President Obama responds to Bowe Bergdahl's request.

From Fox News:

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl–held captive for five years after being captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan–has requested a pardon from President Obama, Fox News has learned from two senior US officials.

According to a well-placed source, Bergdahl thanked the president for rescuing him in May 2014 in a controversial exchange for five Taliban prisoners from Gitmo, in addition to asking for a pardon in the letter.

The Secretary of the Army was copied on the letter to the president, but the pardon was not formally requested through the military chain of command.

A Justice Department official confirms that it received a pardon petition from Bergdahl. Pentagon and White House officials would not immediately respond for comment.

Bergdahl’s pardon letter was sent to the president via the Department of Justice, officials said. There was no immediate comment from DOJ.

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During an interview on NPR’s “Serial” podcast, Bergdahl claimed he deserted his unit in Afghanistan to "highlight poor leadership” and save it.

“Doing what I did is me saying that I am like, I don’t know, Jason Bourne. I had this fantastic idea that I was going to prove to the world that I was the real thing.

“You know, that I could be what it is that all those guys out there that go to the movies and watch those movies, they all want to be that, but I wanted to prove that I was that.

“And what I was seeing, from my first unit all the way up into Afghanistan, all I was seeing was, basically, leadership failure, to the point that the lives of the guys standing next to me were, literally, from what I could see, in danger of something seriously going wrong and somebody being killed,” Bergdahl said.

Bergdahl said his plan was to “create a DUSTWUN – a radio signal that stands for ‘Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown’ – to highlight poor leadership within his unit.” After realizing his was “in over his head,” Bergdahl claims he started collecting “intelligence and look for the Taliban before turning himself in as a way of limiting the amount of trouble he faced.”

Six soldiers died on missions trying to locate or rescue Bergdahl: Private First Class Morris Walker, Staff Sergeant Clayton Bowen, Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss, Second Lieutenant Darryn Andrews, Private First Class Matthew Martinek, and Staff Sergeant Michael Murphrey.

The U.S. Army has announced Bergdahl will face a military court on charges of desertion and endangering fellow soldiers.

In a statement, The Forces Command described the charges against Bergdahl:

"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 charges against Sgt. Bergdahl have today been referred for trial by a general court-martial. The convening authority did not follow the advice of the preliminary hearing officer who heard the witnesses.

"Lt. Colonel Rosenblatt, Captain Foster and I had hoped the case would not go in this direction. We will continue to defend Sgt. Bergdahl as the case proceeds," Bergdahl's defense attorney, Eugene Fidell said.

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