facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Poll: Majority of Americans believe Bergdahl should be charged if he deserted

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been the subject of heated controversy after the Obama administration swapped him for five Taliban detainees.
By Aileen Graef   |   June 11, 2014 at 5:16 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, June 11 (UPI) -- A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that 73 percent of Americans believe that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl should face military charges if it's confirmed that he deserted his unit in Afghanistan.

The results also show that a majority of Americans (63 percent) oppose the deal to swap Bergdahl for the five Taliban detainees, up from 51 percent since it was suggested that he was a deserter. Only 28 percent still approve of the deal.

It's not just Republicans who are withdrawing support. Before desertion was factored into the equation, 62 percent of Democrats supported the deal. After it was mentioned, only 48 percent supported the swap. The decreasing poll numbers could prove to be problematic for the Obama administration.

Bergdahl, who is still recovering at a military hospital in Germany, has yet to tell anyone about the circumstances of his capture. But that has not stopped people from raking him across the coals for his alleged behavior.

National Security Advisor Susan Rice cautioned that Bergdahl should not be "tried in the court of public opinion" before he gets to tell his side of the story. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said questioning his service is "irresponsible."

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that if it is proven that he deserted, Bergdahl could face charges.

Capital punishment is a potential penalty for desertion during wartime. The last U.S. soldier executed under this rule was Private Eddie Slovik, whose execution was authorized by Gen. Dwight Eisenhower.

Follow @AileenGraef and @UPI on Twitter.
Contact the Author
© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Police suspect poisoning in death of Utah family Police suspect poisoning in death of Utah family
2
Piece of Amelia Earhart plane identified from Nikumaroro Piece of Amelia Earhart plane identified from Nikumaroro
3
Kaci Hickox won't obey Maine Ebola quarantine, state may go to court Kaci Hickox won't obey Maine Ebola quarantine, state may go to court
4
Angry Hungarians hit the streets to protest Internet tax Angry Hungarians hit the streets to protest Internet tax
5
Free Syrian Army fighters join Kurdish militias in defense of Kobane Free Syrian Army fighters join Kurdish militias in defense of Kobane
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback