Military

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Last week, a military judge decided against giving Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl a prison sentence. Even though he pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, Bergdahl was granted leniency by Army Colonel Jeffery Nance.

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Bowe Bergdahl was the only American POW in the Afghanistan War, held captive by the Taliban for five years. After he was released, the Army Sergeant – who is from Idaho – was charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.


At the height of the Cold War, a seemingly unassuming Soviet electronics engineer reached out to several Americans he encountered in Moscow and offered his services. While he was initially ignored, the engineer, Adolf Tolkachev was eventually accepted by the CIA’s Moscow station as a volunteer spy for the United States. Over a number of years, and under the nose of the ever-watchful KGB, Tolkachev passed on highly classified information about Soviet military technology to U.S. intelligence operatives.

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The federal government dropped its efforts to seize hours of unaired interviews an Oscar-winning screenwriter recorded with Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Mark Boal had sued the government to block a military prosecutor who threatened to subpoena 25 hours of interviews for possible use at Bergdahl's court-martial for abandoning his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

Bowe Bergdahl
Ted Richardson / AP Images

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s lawyers want President Obama to pardon their client. The attorneys filed the request earlier this month, in a last-ditch effort to get Bergdahl off the hook before a new administration takes over.

 

Military law expert Richard Rosen of the Center for Military Law and Policy says the request for a presidential pardon is the equivalent of a Hail Mary pass.  

“So I’ve not heard of a case like this, but this is a highly unusual case,” says Rosen. 

The recent death of Fidel Castro has once again placed Cuba in the spotlight as the world remembers the fiery dictator who sparred with 11 US Presidents, and questions are what lies next for his country.

One of the most infamous incidents between the US and Cuba involved the ill-fated invasion of Cuba's Bay of Pigs in 1961.  Jim Rasenberger writes about this tense time in his book "The Brilliant Disaster: JFK, Castro and America's Doomed Invasion of Cuba's Bay of Pigs.  It's now out in paperback.

As part of Veterans Day, the Warhawk Air Museum in Nampa is holding a symposium Saturday on women in the military.

2016 is the Year of the Woman for Idaho’s military, both currently serving and veterans. Last week's Veterans Day parade in Boise was dedicated to woman.

Amethyst Keaten is a Senior Master Sergeant in the Idaho Air National Guard. She says women don’t make up a large percentage of her branch, the Air Force, but they have a big impact.

Lanny McAden / University of Idaho

After police in Ferguson, Mo., used armored vehicles during protests two years ago, researchers at the University of Idaho began looking into the distribution of military equipment to police departments.

Their recently released study looks at what’s called the 1033 program between 2006-2013. The program transfers excess military equipment to local police agencies for free, including Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, better known as MRAPs.

Ted Richardson / AP Images

A military judge has rejected efforts to dismiss the desertion case against Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl over comments made by U.S. Sen. John McCain.

Berdahl's lawyers argued that McCain improperly influenced the case by telling a reporter in 2015 that his Senate committee would hold a hearing if Bergdahl weren't punished.

Bergdahl walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and wound up in captivity of the Taliban and its allies for five years.

He is charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Trial is scheduled for February 2017 at Fort Bragg.

Brigitte Woosley / AP

An Army judge says prosecutors must give attorneys for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl more information about why his enlistment contract was extended while he was a captive of the Taliban and its allies.

Army Lt. Col. Frank Rosenblatt, a defense attorney, said it's not clear why the government has chosen to keep Bergdahl on active duty until 2022. He said Bergdahl was eligible for a discharge in 2011 and should have been allowed to re-enlist or leave the military upon his return from captivity.

Dept. of Defense

A military judge is delaying the start of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's military trial until February.

Col. Jeffrey Nance said during a pre-trial hearing Tuesday at Fort Bragg in North Carolina that delaying the court-martial from August should allow enough time to sort through access to classified documents by Bergdahl's defense team.

Nance also ordered military prosecutors to set up online access to court documents for news organizations covering the case of the soldier charged with desertion for leaving his combat outpost in Afghanistan and falling into Taliban hands.

John Locher / AP

You’ve likely heard the sound bites and watched the videos before

More than once, Donald Trump has suggested or implied that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl should be executed for leaving his base in Afghanistan. Now, Bergdahl’s attorneys want to interview Trump, which could lead to him being deposed in the Army sergeant’s court martial. 

 

Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

The Warhawk Air Museum in Nampa has been recording the stories of Idaho veterans for more than a decade. It’s part of the Library of Congress and its Veterans History Project.

Each veteran tells their story on video as a way to preserve the history of their service in their own words. Now the museum has gone a step further, with a new book that captures those stories in pictures and print.

Dept. of Defense

The latest episode of Serial, the This American Life podcast covering Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in its second season, explored the reasons the Idaho soldier said he walked off base in 2009.

Bergdahl told filmmaker Mark Boal that he wrote upwards of 380 pages for a report for Maj. Kenneth Dahl, who investigated the case, about his motivations for leaving his base in Afghanistan. 

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In the fifth episode of 'Serial," the popular podcast focusing its second season on Idaho native Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, producer Sarah Koenig explores the many ways, official and unofficial, people stateside sought Bergdahl's freedom.

Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban in 2009 when he walked off his base in Afghanistan. He was held for about five years until President Barack Obama negotiated a deal to have him released.

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