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Report: Bergdahl to Be Charged With Desertion

Charges could come within a week, sources tell NBC News
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2015 10:19 AM CST

(Newser) – Fellow soldiers have called Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl a deserter; in June, the Army said it would investigate their allegations. Now, senior defense officials tell NBC News he will indeed be charged, possibly within a week's time. They say the charges won't paint Bergdahl as having left his Afghanistan outpost in June 2009 with the intention of leaving for good. Here's how NBC puts it: The charges will stem from Bergdahl having left to allegedly "avoid hazardous duty or important service, which are grounds for charges of desertion under the (Uniform Code of Military Justice)." One official says that because his actions occurred in a combat zone and possibly endangered his comrades' lives, charging him as AWOL was not appropriate.

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Fox News echoes the report, and says that while Army officials denied that they had made a decision, a former military intelligence officer tells the network a "charge sheet" has been passed to Bergdahl's lawyer. (Mother Jones previously explained why Bergdahl was never formally named a deserter.)

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