Ahead of a key hearing this week in his case of alleged desertion, former Taliban prisoner Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl‘s defense team told a military tribunal that he has been “in physical danger” for a year from fellow soldiers who are angry over claims he betrayed his country.
Bergdahl’s civilian defense lawyer Eugene Fidell said former military and intelligence officers appearing in conservative news media had vilified Bergdahl and stoked hatred over social media such as Facebook over Bergdahl’s perceived misconduct while in captivity. Fidell provided examples from the “Bergdahl is a Traitor” page.
“In short, it has been ‘open season’ on SGT Bergdahl,” wrote Fidell, a military law veteran and past-president of the National Institute of Military Justice, who is leading the soldier’s defense. “His immediate commander believes he is in physical danger, and therefore has required since last year that he be accompanied by NCOs [non-commissioned officers] whenever he leaves Fort Sam Houston.”