Military prosecutors have reached into a section of military law seldom used since World War II in the to charge Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier held prisoner for years by the Taliban after leaving his post in Afghanistan, with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, a rare offense that carries a stiff penalty, the AP reports.
"I've never seen it charged," Walter Huffman, a retired major general who served as the Army's top lawyer, said of the misbehavior charge. "It's not something you find in common everyday practice in the military."
Bergdahl could face a life sentence if convicted of the charge, which accuses him of endangering fellow soldiers when he "left without authority; and wrongfully caused search and recovery operations." Huffman and others say the misbehavior charge allows authorities to allege that Bergdahl not only left his unit with one less soldier, but that his deliberate action put soldiers who searched for him in harm's way. The Pentagon has said there is no evidence anyone died searching for Bergdahl, who is from Hailey, Idaho. The AP has a full report here.