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Wounded soldier reacts to Bergdahl non-sentence: ‘Unacceptable’

“He’ll pay the fine like people get fined for illegal fishing. OK, whoop-de-do”

(National SentinelMilitary Injustice: A soldier who was wounded searching for then-U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after he went missing from his post in Afghanistan in 2009 described a military judge’s decision to let him off the hook “unacceptable.”

On Friday a judge at Fort Bragg, N.C., decided not to impose a sentence on Bergdahl after he pleaded guilty to desertion in October. His lawyers argued that he had already suffered enough after five years as a Taliban prisoner.

But Jonathan Morita of California, who still doesn’t have full use of his dominant hand after bones were shattered when he was hit by an RPG which didn’t explode, was clearly disappointed with the ruling when reached by The Associated Press.

When about his reaction to Bergdahl’s sentence, he said: “I’ve had had better days.”

“The dishonorable discharge means he can’t receive any of these services like I can. He’ll pay the fine like people get fined for illegal fishing. OK, whoop-de-do,” he said.

As to Bergdahl not having to serve any prison time, Morita responded, “That’s the one that’s completely unacceptable. It should have maybe not been the life sentence, but it should have been something.”

In arguing for prison time for Bergdahl, prosecutors noted that scores of troops searched for Bergdahl after he walked off his post near the Afghan town of Mest, adding that two missions resulted in serious wounds to two soldiers and a Navy SEAL.

In addition to being dishonorably discharged, the judge also reduced Bergdahl in rank to private and imposed a $1,000-per-month fine for 10 months.

President Donald J. Trump was also clearly disappointed in the ruling, calling it “a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military” on Twitter.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who served as an Air Force lawyer for three decades, said he was “incredibly disappointed” with the ruling as well.

While saying he has a lot of respect for the military justice system, “this sentence in my view falls short of the gravity of the offense.” He also noted that “an independent judiciary is the heart and soul of the rule of law but no one is beyond criticism.”

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