So many crazy stories, so little time. We’ll take a closer look at some noteworthy items in our news roundup. Send me anything we may have missed on twitter at @BKactual.  Good stories about public nudity/drug use/insane people receive special consideration.

Deserter Bowe Bergdahl Facing Article 32:

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who slipped away from his patrol base in Afghanistan in 2009 and was held in captivity for five years, has been charged with desertion and misbehaving before the enemy, Army officials said Wednesday, setting the stage for emotionally charged court proceedings in coming months.

It is important to note here that this is kind of the equivalent of a civilian grand jury inquiry: This is a preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to warrant a full court martial. Once the article 32 is complete, the report goes to General Mark Milley, United States Army Forces Commander (FORSCOM.)  At this point, Milley can decide to take no further action, or recommend a general court martial.

Berhdahl is facing 2 counts here:

  • One count of desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty.
  • One count of misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit or place.

The second count is actually far more serious. While they both carry the punishments of Dishonorable Discharge and reduction in rank to E-1, misbehavior before the enemy carries with it a possible life sentence. Of course, without fail, there always has to be one Sally Schoolmarm making sure we all understand about the stupid “Innocent until proven guilty” schtick that we don’t really need to hear all the time.  This time it was dopey John Boehner’s turn to put down his scotch, stand up and wag his finger at everyone.

Let me help you out, John. He’s guilty. It’s only how guilty. So, it’s pretty noteworthy how Berghdahl’s lawyer, Eugene Fiddell,  is going to play it. Fiddell released letters that his team submitted to General Miley’s people describing the brutality of his confinement:

“After the first year, they put me inside a cage,” the letter states. “In there my hands were always handcuffed in front of me, being taken off only on the few times I would wash and change clothes, which came more often than in the first year, when I would go three or four months without washing or changing clothes.”