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Military considers court-martial for Bergdahl

The U.S. military announced Monday that evidence regarding Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier who allegedly abandoned his post in Afghanistan June 23, 2009, and ended up in the hands of a terrorist group, is being forwarded to an officer who will decide whether to convene a court-martial.

The Obama administration trumpeted last summer the return of Bergdahl to American forces in exchange for five Taliban commanders held at Guantanamo.

According to the Department of Defense, after a “thorough investigation and a comprehensive legal review,” a decision regarding Bergdahl will be made by Gen. Mark Milley, commanding general of Forces Command

“Gen. Milley will determine appropriate action – which ranges from no further action to convening a court martial.”

The DoD said the Army cannot discuss or disclose the findings of the investigation while disciplinary decisions are pending before commanders.

It was in July when officials reported Bergdahl was returned to regular duty at a desk job that made him available to investigators from the Army who looked into the circumstances of his departure from his assigned base.

At the time, the Army said, Bergdahl was assigned to U.S. Army North at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston in Texas, the same base where he has been recuperating from the effects of his lengthy captivity.

WND reported Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, told WND that despite Obama’s denials, the president probably paid a ransom to terrorists for Bergdahl.

Stockman said he based his conclusion on an exchange of letters with the administration, including a reply from the White House that was so carefully worded it appeared to confirm his suspicions.

It would be a violation of U.S. policy to pay a ransom to a terrorist group, but Stockman noted the Haqqani Network is not known to have ever released a hostage without obtaining a ransom.

Stockman’s letter to Obama June 5, asked: “Did you or anyone authorized by or associated with your administration, authorize any form of compensation, direct or third party, in exchange for Bergdahl?”

Obama did not respond directly to Stockman, but on June 13, the White House issued a response in the form of a statement from National Security staff spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.

However, Stockman noted the letter’s wording was suspiciously careful, saying the U.S. “did not provide money in return for Sgt. Bergdahl.”

“That is not the question I asked,” said Stockman. “This response is oddly worded and seems intentionally evasive.”

The congressman reiterated he had asked if the White House authorized “any form of compensation, direct or third party.” He explained that limiting the response to money from the U.S. was only a partial answer.

“The idea the U.S. government would implicate itself by directly issuing a payment to a terrorist group is highly unlikely, which is why I directly included third parties,” said the Texan.

Stockman said that, given the way Obama had parsed his words, it’s almost certain there was a ransom.