Deserter Bowe Bergdahl's Sentencing Hearing Begins, May Get Life In Prison

"We may as well go back to kangaroo courts and lynch mobs. They got what they wanted," he said of his predicament.

Last week, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty to misbehavior before the enemy and desertion. Now, the disgraced military officer awaits his sentencing. He potentially faces up to life in prison

Bergdahl was at the center of an international controversy when he was freed from captivity by the Taliban after five years, during which he suffered extreme torture, in exchange for five Guantanmo Bay detainees. Only hours before his capture had he deserted his post in Afghanistan. The negotiations which led to Bergdahl's release were orchestrated under the Obama administration and have since been the subject of both criticism and celebration.

In his trial, Bergdahl says that he had been attemtping to report "a critical problem in my chain of command," (although what that problem was remained unspecified) leading up to his desertion, according to CNN.

"I left my observation post on my own," Bergdahl said, confessing his crime. "I understand leaving was against the law."

"He was a coward nine years ago when he deserted, and I think he showed he's still a coward," said Retired Army Spc. Cody Full. "He refuses to take responsibility for his actions ... He literally put thousands and thousands of people's lives at risk just so he could go and want to complain for whatever transgressions he thought happened or didn't happen."

President Donald Trump was unsympathetic to Bergdahl's situation: "In the good old days, he would have been executed," he has said.

Begdahl himself has since ackowledged his grim situation, knowing the outcome for him does not look good: "We may as well go back to kangaroo courts and lynch mobs. They got what they wanted," he said. "People who are to the point of saying, 'Yeah, just shoot him' -- you can never convince those people to change their minds."

Before delivering the sentence, a judge will consider a last-minute defense that suggests that the comments made by Trump have tainted the ruling.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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