Retired U.S. Navy Captain Chuck Nash is blasting the military judge who ordered no jail time for admitted U.S. Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl as a “disgrace” and says the actions of both men strike a serious blow to good order and discipline in the U.S. military.
He also says this episode is just the latest wound absorbed by the military due to the advancement of political correctness and social engineering.
Bergdahl is the U.S. Army soldier who recently pleaded guilty to charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy for walking away from his unit in Afghanistan in 2009. He was subsequently captured by the Taliban. Six U.S. service members were killed looking for Bergdahl and others were severely wounded.
In 2014, the Obama administration agreed to free five high-value detainees from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Bergdahl, whom then-National Security Adviser Susan Rice said “served honorably.”
On Friday, the judge in Bergdahl’s court martial, Col. Jeffrey Nance, decided there would be no jail time for the crimes of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Instead, Bergdahl’s rank will be lowered from corporal to private, he must pay $10,000 in fines, and he is to be dishonorably discharged from the Army. Bergdahl plans to appeal the dishonorable discharge.
Bergdahl’s attorney repeatedly tried to have the case dismissed based upon statements from presidential candidate Donald Trump since 2014 suggesting Bergdahl is a traitor and that past traitors were shot as punishment. Judge Nance said that was not grounds for dismissing the case but said it would be a mitigating factor in sentencing.
Regardless of the rationale, Nance’s decision is hitting a very raw nerve in the military community.
“It’s insane,” said retired U.S. Navy Captain Chuck Nash, who is also a military analyst for the Fox News Channel. “This judge is a disgrace. He should have recused himself. By doing this, he just brings more discredit upon himself.”
Nash says the military will suffer as a result of Nance and Bergdahl.
“The rules are the rules and everybody in the military is held to the standards,” said Nash.
“The whole thing about the military and good order and discipline and all of that is just taken a serious hit today by this guy’s actions,” said Nash. “And I mean both of these guys: Bergdahl for doing what he did and this judge for doing what he did. Just disgusting.”
Nash further asserts that the military is built on the understanding that orders will be followed and rules enforced. He says the overwhelming majority of American service personnel fulfill their oaths despite countless tours and immense disruptions for their families and Nance’s decision shows a lack of respect for that.
“You have someone who admits he did two really heinous things – desertion and cowardice in front of the enemy – and this judge says Donald Trump, when he was a candidate, said something that actually affected [his] ability to sentence?” said Nash, who would not be surprised if Bergdahl wins his appeal on the dishonorable discharge sentence.
“He’ll probably find some Obama appointee who will back him on it,” said Nash.
The Bergdahl sentencing comes just months after President Obama commuted the sentence of Bradley Manning, who was convicted on 19 charges – including six counts of espionage, for illegally leaking nearly 500,000 military reports to Wikileaks. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in military prison but immediately announced he was identifying as a woman named Chelsea.
As a result, Manning became a popular figure in the LGBT community. President Obama commuted Manning’s sentence earlier this year, less than four years after the convictions.
Nash says Bergdahl is just the latest example of a cultural agenda infecting the military.
“If this were the only thing to have happened, that would be one thing,” said Nash. “But it’s not. It has been a constant erosion and politicization of the military. And it’s got to stop, because the military is that shield for this nation.”
He says the erosion has been underway for decades.
“It has been since the early ’90s. What you’re seeing is social engineering that is corrupting the military ethos. It’s corrupting good order and discipline. It is the political left in this country that has always been trying to weaken America and now they’ve gotten to the last vestige of true meritocracy,” said Nash.
Nash contends that the politically correct bedrock of dividing people based on gender, race, and other criteria is a direct contradiction with the message drilled into the armed forces.
“It doesn’t matter what service. They all have one thing in common, and that is the training programs. Those are to soften personal identity and build team identity, where it’s “us,” it’s “we,” it’s “team.” Once that is inculcated, then that person fits into that military organization,” said Nash.
“Now all of a sudden it’s, ‘Let’s go back and break that cohesion up. Let’s identify the differences.’ It’s not differences that really help in a team. It’s one team, one fight. That’s what helps,” said Nash.