Saturday, 28 March 2015

Bergdahl's Defense Strategy

Late yesterday, the news folks got ahold of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl's chief defense strategy.  Apparently, he will say in court....that he was intending to get up and go out the front gate.....walking to the nearest Army post report his commander and unit for discipline issues and wrongdoing.  He apparently didn't trust his commander or unit, and felt that by going to the next unit down the road.....they'd take his report and actually act upon it.

Somewhere in his thinking....he felt he had sufficient survivor skills to handle this "walk" from his days of youth in Idaho.

The general problem with this defense?

Imagine this scenario with yourself.  You are married and live fifteen miles west of Memphis.  The nearest cop station is fifteen east of Memphis.  A thirty mile distance.  Your wife has clobbered you with a bat, dumped all your beer, and even stabbed your shoulder.  She took away your car keys and your gun.  Your chief priority?  Oddly, rather than just walk away or call your buddy to get you, or just apologize for your 'mistake' decide to walk to the cop station thirty miles away....through the heart of Memphis, gang territory, and hoodlum activity. The closer you get to Memphis....the more stupid this idea gets.  You do all of this....without a gun in your possession.  The odds of making it?  Fifty-fifty.  Someone will rob you.....assault you.....or kill you before you get to your destination.

Bergdahl wants you to believe that this was a brilliant idea on his part and the only way to solve the situation in the unit.  How will a jury of military peers (combat-hardened gentlemen and ladies) take this strategy?  It won't work.  If he had taken his weapon with him, this suggestion of some 'walk' might come across to two or three members of the jury as possible. But he didn't take his rifle with him.  He had no intention of protecting himself once he left the confines of the compound.

By suggesting this.....there's probably another three days of court activity involved because now the whole unit will be examined for minor details and red-flags over their morale and discipline.  Rather than making the case against Bergdahl....they now have to investigate the unit itself.  The problem will be that almost every single person in the unit will come to the stand and defend the unit, the Sergeant Major, and the Commander.  It'll be impossible for Berdahl to find anyone to back-up some part of his gimmick strategy.

The better strategy?  Just say you had PTSD and weren't able to comprehend your situation.  Maybe half the jury members will buy into this episode.

I won't blame Bergdahl for this strategy....his lawyer is the one pushing on this idea....but if you were up for life in prison, this 'walk' strategy is the weakest idea possible.