[Ed. – Peters is probably right.]
When it comes to Bergdahl, though, the administration does have a strategy. No one in the White House gives a damn about Bergdahl now. He’s a liability. But the rule is that Obama is never wrong. Apologies are out of the question; instead, the White House is determined to tough it out, as it has through myriad scandals. And the tactics to protect the president are clear.
First, the White House will pressure the military to deem Bergdahl unfit to stand trial. That stage is already being set. After doctors treating him declared Bergdahl physically fit to return home (guess he wasn’t dying, after all), they’ve kept him secluded in Germany, making it known that he is in their view mentally unprepared to return to the States. The administration is going to go with the defense that Bergdahl is unbalanced, was unbalanced, and will be unbalanced.
If military doctors refuse to play along, “impartial civilian experts” will be called in. If that doesn’t work and the “too crazy to court martial” defense flops, the next step will be to strong-arm the Pentagon to reduce any charge to the comparatively minor Absent Without Leave, or AWOL (although overwhelming evidence exists that Bergdahl deserted). Then Bergdahl’s lawyers could plead him out, retain some benefits (perhaps all of them) for him, and the administration can claim, “See! He wasn’t a deserter after all.”
If some unexpectedly ethical general refuses to play along and the case goes to a court-martial, the administration’s fallback will be to insist on a “thorough” reinvestigation that pushes any court-martial past Obama’s 2017 departure from office (one suspects that Team Obama would love to dump this in Mrs. Clinton’s lap).