Attorneys defending Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl say the public deserves the whole story about the former Taliban captive's criminal case. The lead defense attorney believes military proceedings should be more transparent.
Bergdahl is charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy for leaving his post in Afghanistan. Now, his attorneys have created an online bulletin board to post court documents that his attorneys hope will answer the public's questions.
Lead attorney, Gene Fidell , who is a military law specialist at Yale Law School, says the blog-style website called, the "Bergdahl Docket" is a repository only. Its intent is to offer the transparency that is not otherwise given the priority that Fidell believes it should in military proceedings.
“In the federal district courts and the regular U.S. courts of appeals, there is provision for online access so that any person with a computer can basically get access to court filings. That doesn’t apply to the military justice system.”
The defense will upload scanned copies of the actual court documents, including pre-trial motions, defense arguments, transcriptions of court martial hearings and court rulings.
Fidell says many people have expressed anger over the exchange of Taliban prisoners for Bergdahl's freedom, and the more the public knows about the case, the better.
“Judging by the volume of comments on the Internet, many of which are really vile and offensive, it’s clear that there are a lot of people following this. Many of them are very hostile to Sgt. Bergdahl and that is going to be an issue in the case.”
The website offers documents without comment, and there are no comments accepted in return.
Fidell hopes to hear from Donald Trump in the next few days on the defense team's request to interview him regarding disparaging comments about Bergdahl made by Trump along the campaign trail. Fidell says the interview will help attorneys determine whether Trump should be deposed or asked to testify in the case.