An Army veteran, who served with Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, told members of Congress Wednesday that he believed Bergdahl was a deserter and should be tried in a military court on at least eight separate charges.
Army Specialist Cody Full told members of two House Armed Services subcommittees that he believed Bergdahl “intentionally deserted” his unit before he was captured by the Taliban in 2009, according to the Daily Mail.
Bergdahl was recently released in a controversial trade in which the Obama administration agreed to release five Taliban leaders from the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in exchange for the soldier. Bergdahl had been in Taliban custody for five years.
Full told the panel that he believed Bergdahl should be charged with desertion — a charge that could carry the death penalty — along with disrespecting his superior officers, disobeying orders, insubordination and willfully disobeying superior officers. He added that Bergdahl should also face charges for the way he conducted himself while he was a prisoner.
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Full also took issue with President Obama’s decision to make the trade for Bergdahl, saying the president did not understand the rule he claimed to be following.
“It was always ‘Leave no honorable man behind,’” Full said, “not ‘leave no man behind.’”
"Knowing that someone you needed to trust deserted you in war and did so on his own free will is the ultimate betrayal," he told the panel, according to CNN.
Subcommittee members also heard from Andy Andrews, whose son, 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrews, died in Afghanistan during the massive search for Bergdahl after his disappearance.
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"Exactly why did my son die?" Andrews said. "Tell me one more time because I don't know what we've accomplished."
Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, asked Andrews whether he would be willing to trade five Taliban leaders to gain back his son.
"If my son had been a deserter, then no," Andrews said. "Absolutely not.
"But my son was a man of honor," he continued, "and I would do almost anything.”
Last week the Army appointed a two-star general to head an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl’s disappearance.