United States v. Bergdahl

United States v. Bergdahl

On 30 June 2009, SGT Bergdahl" vanishe[d]"from his base in Paktika Province, Afghanistan. The AP has a good basic chronology of the events. The events lead up to what are now UCMJ proceedings for alleged misconduct. Below I am attempting to follow and link to the litigation through the UCMJ process.


 Trial on the merits has been set for 8-19 August 2016, at Fort Bragg, NC.


On 12 October 2015, media began reporting Senator McCain's" interest" in the current status of the case. SGT Bergdahl's attorney responds:

"Sen. McCain's comments are deeply disturbing and constitute unlawful congressional influence in a sensitive pending military justice matter," Fidell said." This is particularly troubling because he is chairman of the committee that confirms all military promotions, as well as all nominations to the highest uniformed and civilian positions in the Army.

On 9 October 2015, the defense submitted a response to the UCMJ art. 32, preliminary hearing report. A decision on that report is pending from first Colonel Burke (the UCMJ art. 32 Appointing Authority) and then General Abrams (the General Court-Martial Convening Authority). Here is a balanced review of what's going on at this stage from Stars & Stripes.

Steve Vladeck, Public Access to Military Trials: The Increasingly Strange Case of Sergeant Bergdahl, @JustSecurity.

Here is some basic discussion of the case in the New York Times.

Statement of Behalf of Bergdahl

In September we are told, the reporters behind the wildly popular podcast Serial may spend an upcoming season delving into the circumstances behind Bergdahl’s disappearance.

**Current status**

On 9 October 2015, the defense submitted a response to the UCMJ art. 32, preliminary hearing report.

5 October 2015, Lieutenant Colonel Mark Visger (who presided over Bergdahl’s Article 32 hearing) filed his own report and recommendation in Bergdahl’s case. And although Colonel Visger’s filing was also unclassified, it, too, has been withheld from the public (without an invocation of MRE 506). Here is a sanitized portion of the UCMJ art. 32 hearing. Here is a CNN piece on Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl testifying at the hearing. Here is the Washington Post on the hearing.

a. Bergdahl-Trial Issues
b. Bergdahl Appellate Litigation
c. Pre-Trial Publicity