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Army Officials: Bergdahl Investigation Complete

The Army announced Friday that it has completed its investigation into the disappearance of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The investigation of the reason for his disappearance from the base will likely reveal whether or not he abandoned his post, an accusation leveled by many in his troop after the announcement of the administration’s controversial decision to swap the sergeant for five top Taliban leaders.

The Associated Press reports:

The Army has finished its investigation into how and why Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl disappeared from his base in Afghanistan and senior Pentagon leaders have been briefed, including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, officials said Friday.

Details about the probe’s conclusion have been closely held. But they are likely to lay out whether Bergdahl deserted his post or was “absent without leave” or AWOL. And it could include recommendations on whether Bergdahl should be charged with any criminal violations or forced to leave the Army. Any final disposition will eventually also determine whether Bergdahl gets as much as $300,000 in back pay and other benefits, including continued health care.

Officials said Army Secretary John McHugh could send the case to a military commander who would decide whether it should go before a court martial and what, if any, charges would be filed against Bergdahl.

If the probe clears Bergdahl, look for the administration to dump the news in the week between Christmas and New Year’s. President Obama’s on a 16-day vacation in Hawaii, so there’s little chance the media — also on a 16-day vacation in Hawaii — will hound him about the decision, or even bother to ask.

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