16 Stories

'Missing' Airman Found Living Double Life—40 Years Later

Jeffrey Michels, 64, picked up in Florida, will be charged with desertion for ditching Air Force

(Newser) - Jeffrey Michels disappeared from an Air Force base in northern North Dakota on a summer day in 1977—and was found last week in Florida living a double life, Fox News reports. Michels, 64, was arrested Oct. 12 on desertion charges filed against him after he went missing from Minot... More »

Bergdahl Pleads Guilty: Will Judge Go Easy?

Army sergeant admits to desertion for walking off base in Afghanistan

(Newser) - Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty Monday to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy for walking off his military base in Afghanistan back in 2009. The big question now is how long of a sentence he'll receive. The AP doesn't think his legal team struck a deal to... More »

Bergdahl's Fate Will Solely Be in Judge's Hands

Chooses to have trial heard by judge alone

(Newser) - Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has decided to be tried by a judge—not a military jury—on charges that he endangered comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan. Bergdahl's lawyers told the court in a brief filing last week that their client chose trial by judge alone, rather... More »

Bergdahl Heads for General Court-Martial, Could Get Life

Ruling general ignored recommendation Bergdahl go before 'special' military court

(Newser) - A lawyer for Bowe Bergdahl , the US soldier accused of deserting his Army post in Afghanistan in 2009 before being captured and held by the Taliban for almost five years, says his client will stand trial before a general court-martial, Reuters reports. Despite the advice of a preliminary-hearing officer that... More »

What Bergdahl Was Thinking Before He Disappeared

Hearing testimony paints him as 'naive,' 'unrealistically idealistic,' 'remorseful'

(Newser) - Stories of Bowe Bergdahl's brutal captivity by the Taliban are already well-documented, but it's what was reportedly going through his head before his 2009 disappearance from his Afghanistan base that emerged at a hearing last week at Joint Base San Antonio in Texas. Specifically, that he didn't... More »

Bowe Bergdahl Charged With Desertion

Army sergeant held by the Taliban faces life in prison

(Newser) - The US got Bowe Bergdahl released from five years of captivity in Afghanistan, but now it might imprison him for life back home. The Army today charged the 28-year-old sergeant with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, reports the Daily Beast . The first carries a five-year punishment, the latter a... More »

Marine Who Vanished in Iraq Convicted of Desertion

Sentencing expected later this week for Wassef Hassoun

(Newser) - A US Marine who vanished a decade ago in Iraq has been found guilty of desertion charges related to his disappearances there and in Lebanon. The judge, Marine Maj. Nicholas Martz, gave his verdict today in the bench trial of Cpl. Wassef Hassoun . Martz found that Hassoun was guilty of... More »

Marine Who Vanished in Iraq in 2004 Goes on Trial

Wassef Ali Hassoun claimed he was taken hostage

(Newser) - The trial is set to begin today at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina for a Marine who vanished in Iraq a decade ago and then wound up in Lebanon. Defense attorneys maintain Cpl. Wassef Hassoun was kidnapped in 2004 by insurgents and later became tangled up in Lebanese courts. But... More »

Here's Why Bergdahl Actually Wasn't a Deserter

He was never classified as such, having been captured so quickly

(Newser) - When is a solider a deserter? Critics have accused Bowe Bergdahl of being one ; there's even a petition to the White House calling for his punishment and a popular “Bowe Bergdahl is NOT a Hero!” Facebook page. But the Idaho Statesman pointed out on Saturday that Bergdahl... More »

Coast Guardsman Charged After Odd Disappearance

Rescue swimmer Russell Matthews had been presumed dead

(Newser) - Veteran rescue swimmer Russell Matthews has been charged with deserting the Coast Guard, in the aftermath of a strange disappearance in which he was temporarily presumed dead. The 36-year-old was already in the process of being discharged from the Guard for illegally using marijuana when he disappeared in October, the... More »

Ireland Pardons WWII Deserters Who Fought Hitler

About 4,500 left neutral Irish army to fight with Allies

(Newser) - Ireland remained neutral during World War II, but about 4,500 of its soldiers didn't: They left the Irish army and joined the Allied forces fighting Hitler. For that, the government branded them deserters, published their names, and forbade them from holding public sector jobs when the war ended.... More »

Afghan Desertion Rates Soar as US Withdraws

Officials blame poor Afghan leadership, but increase a concern

(Newser) - Desertions from the Afghan army are soaring this year, amounting to one in seven of the country's 170,000 soldiers in the first six months of 2011, and casting doubts on the government's ability to maintain its own security, reports the Washington Post . The trend—more than twice... More »

GI's Capture Fuels Desertion Controversy

Lawmakers rip Fox analyst; blogger says Bergdahl left unarmed

(Newser) - With some speculating that the US soldier kidnapped by the Taliban deserted his Afghanistan post, conservative media are hot on the trail. Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl “walked off (his base) with a water bottle and (a military ration pack) on some kind of he-man expedition,” a military blogger tells... More »

No Regrets for US Iraq Deserter as Asylum Ruling Looms

German case tests EU 'unlawful war' directive

(Newser) - German authorities will take up the case next week of Spec. André L. Shepherd, who deserted the US Army and sought asylum rather than face a second tour of duty in Iraq. “I’m having the time of my life,” Shepherd tells the Wall Street Journal from a... More »

1,000 Iraqis Deserted Basra Battle

Officers and men fled or balked as government battled militias

(Newser) - Desertions from Iraqi forces during last week's Basra battles have raised fresh doubts about the effectiveness of the country's US-trained security forces, the New York Times reports. Over 1,000 soldiers and policemen—including dozens of officers—either deserted or refused to fight. The US has linked American troop withdrawals... More »

28% of Hillary Fans Would Pick Mac Over Obama

And, poll finds, 19% of Barack-backers would rather go Republican

(Newser) - In a troubling sign for Democratic odds of overcoming the primary bloodbath, a poll finds 28% of Hillary Clinton supporters say they would vote for John McCain over Barack Obama, and 19% of Barack boosters would go GOP over Clinton. It’s great news for the crossover-friendly Republican, the Chicago ... More »

16 Stories