This is coolbert:
With regard to the soldier Bowe Bergdahl and the allegations the man is a DESERTER, merely from a LEGAL standpoint that charge of desertion probably difficult if not impossible to prove.
Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice [UCMJ] being AWOL [absent without leave] defined as being away from your unit in an unauthorized manner for twenty-four hours straight.
Desertion defined by UCMJ as being gone for thirty days or more with no intention of returning.
That question must be asked - - when Bergdahl wandered away from his unit, HOW LONG before he became a captive of the Taliban.
If less than thirty days it can be argued that Bowe during that time of captivity was under duress and NOT able to return to his unit and therefore DESERTION not a charge that can be legally applied.
From a conversation with a man who is familiar with military law, JAG duties and is an attorney in civilian life we have:
"Desertion. More than 30 days, with no intent to return. We used to warn soldiers that if they went AWOL beyond 30 days, to make sure they hand an 'open' bus ticket back to the base in their pocket in the event they were picked up by law enforcement and found to be deserters, to be returned to the military. That alone, even if they were gone a year or more, would show sufficient proof that the soldier 'intended' to return 'some time'."
"Bergdahl's capture might muddy up the picture, as his lawyers could claim he intended to return, but the Taliban would not let him go."
In all likelihood Bowe will be given a general discharge for the good of all.