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A military judge on Nov. 3 ruled that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will receive a dishonorable discharge and a reduction in rank to private but will not face prison time for deserting his post in Afghanistan in June 2009, the Associated Press reports.
Bergdahl, who was held captive for five years by the Taliban — during which time he says he was tortured and beaten — after abandoning his unit’s outpost near the town of Yahya Kheyl in Afghanistan’s Paktika province, plead guilty on Oct. 17 to the charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.
Bergdahl was released from Taliban captivity in May 2014 after a controversial prisoner exchange involving five Guantanamo Bay detainees. Bergdahl opted to be tried by a military judge instead of a jury, CNN reports.
Initially faced with the possibility of life in prison, the prosecution asked the presiding judge, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance, for a 14-year sentence and a dishonorable discharge, CNN reports.
Bergdahl will lose all veterans benefits and will be required to pay a fine of $1,000 a month for 10 months, according to The Washington Post.
Bergdahl’s defense attested that the soldier “probably should not have been in the Army," Capt. Nina Banks, a military attorney for Bergdahl said in her closing argument.
The prosecution argued that Bergdahl was aware of the risks when he deserted and that his decision to walk off post placed Army personnel sent to search for him in danger.
Soldiers tasked with searching for Bergdahl were called upon to testify during the proceedings, and one of the witnesses, retired Navy SEAL James Hatch testified that he and his military working dog came under fire while searching for Bergdahl, CNN reports. Hatch was shot in the leg, and his working dog was shot and killed.
"I thought I was dead," he said.
A Marine wanted for killing his mother's boyfriend reportedly escaped police by hiding inside an RV they'd spent hours searching before towing it to a parking lot, where he escaped under the cover of darkness.
It wasn't until more than two weeks later authorities finally caught up to Michael Brown at his mom's home, which was the scene of the crime.
Brown stuffed himself into a tight spot in his camper during an hours-long search of the vehicle on Nov. 10, according to NBC affiliate WSLS in Virginia. A day earlier, cops said Brown fatally shot his mother's boyfriend, Rodney Brown. The AWOL Marine remained on the lam until Nov. 27, where he was finally apprehended without incident.
No motive is yet known for last week's Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting tragedy, which appears to have been a random act of violence in which the sailor who fatally shot two civilian workers and himself did not know them and did not plan his actions ahead of time, shipyard commander Capt. Greg Burton said in an "All Hands" message sent out Friday.
Machinist's Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of San Antonio, an armed watch-stander on the attack submarine USS Columbia, shot three civilian workers Dec. 4 and then turned a gun on himself while the sub rested in dry dock 2 for a major overhaul, the Navy said.
"The investigation continues, but there is currently no known motive and no information to indicate the sailor knew any of the victims," Burton said.
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.
The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.
Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.
In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.
"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.