Bowe Bergdahl Charged With Desertion [Updated]

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FILE - This undated image provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. U.S. officials say the only American soldier held prisoner in Afghanistan has been freed and is in U.S. custody. The officials say Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's (boh BURG'-dahl) release was part of a negotiation that includes the release of five Afghan detainees held in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  (AP Photo/U.S. Army)
Photo: Uncredited

U.S. solider Bowe Bergdahl has been charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, according to the Washington Post. The military announced the charges against Sargeant Bergdahl in a press conference at Fort Bragg on Wednesday afternoon.The charges "carry a maximum penalty of life in a military prison, and he could also have to forfeit pay and be stripped for his rank," according to CNN.

Bergdahl disappeared from his base at Paktika in Afghanistan before being captured by the Taliban and held for five years. In 2014, he was released in exchange for five Guantánamo prisoners with Taliban ties. The White House agreed to the exchange without informing Congress, which angered many Republicans. 

Shortly after his release, many began speculating about whether he had wandered off voluntarily and accidentally been captured, or had purposely deserted. The army has apparently decided it was the latter.