The US Army Sergent on trial for desertion has been spared a jail time. During his election campaign, Donald Trump had said that Bowe Bergdahl was a dirty rotten traitor and should be shot or thrown from a plane for leaving his post. He recalled the good old days when he would have been executed. But Bergdahl will not be spending a day in jail, but instead has been dishonorably discharged, and must forfeit his monthly pay of $1,000 for 10 months.

Court-martial for desertion

The 31-year-old US army sergeant was under court martial for leaving his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

He was subsequently captured by the Taliban where he spent the next five years in captivity. US troops who searched for the missing soldier were wounded in the process. Bergdahl had entered a guilty plea to misbehaving before an enemy and desertion. He faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Trump’s criticisms

In response to the sentencing of army sergeant Bergdahl, US president Donald Trump took to Twitter to express his displeasure. He called the decision not to give any prison time to the convicted soldier, a total disgrace to the country and to the military. Bergdahl’s legal team had expressed concerns over a fair trial and sentence as a result of Trump’s earlier criticisms about the accused.

The presiding judge had ruled that Trump’s pre-election criticism and his comments when the soldier plead guilty would not influence the trial. He also said that Trump’s comments would be considered as a mitigating factor in sentencing.

A horrible mistake

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl said he made a horrible mistake when he left his Afghan post on that fateful day in 2009 that resulted in his capture by the Taliban and endangering his fellow soldiers.

He apologized to the soldiers and their families for his actions. Prosecutors were seeking a 14-year prison term but his lawyers argued that he had suffered enough. The defense claimed that Bergdahl was kept in a cage and beaten by his captors and suffered from a psychological disorder and post-traumatic disorder.

Stoking a lynch mob

One of the lawyers for Bergdahl expressed gratitude on behalf of his client for those who were sympathetic to his plight. Attorney Eugene Fidell appeared to refer to Donald Trump by talking about those who waited for facts and did not rely on misinformation that was politically inspired. In direct response to Donald Trump's criticism of his client, he spoke of what he called the president's unprincipled attempt to stoke a lynch mob atmosphere which had the effect of casting a cloud over the trial.