Of course, for those of us who do understand accountability — and demand it of ourselves — it makes his gentle sentencing almost impossible to bear. How could Bergdahl not be held accountable for his actions? His dishonorable discharge will certain…
Alice Atalanta, Ph.D.
In so far as justice is concerned, do we seek to punish or restitute?
Soldiers that got hurt looking for Bergdahl cannot be restituted via putting of Bergdahl in jail.
That Bergdahl deserted his base reveals mental health inappropriate to soldiering, implying he was not mentally fit to be a soldier. A dishonorable discharge recognizes this deficiency. We have then restitution — the most important aim of justice.
In the fact that those who got hurt trying to rescue Bergdahl can receive an honorable discharge and recognitions from the military, while Bergdahl does not, we have restitution for those soldiers as well.
I know it sounds like it is too weak, but justice that refuses to account for context — justice that does not incorporate mediating circumstances in its rendition — is justice too harsh for a just society.