Bowe Bergdahl, who deserted, fell into the hands of the Taliban, and got multiple American soldiers killed because of their search for him, will get no jail time.
Devon Kelley, the Texas shooter, beat up his wife, cracked his son’s skull, and got let out of military jail after a year.
But the sailor who took pictures on a submarine is in jail for a year.
Military justice does not seem very just.
On the Kelley front, multiple people I have talked to said it made sense that he got a discharge for bad conduct, instead of a dishonorable discharge. The latter is typically reserved for desertion, murder, and other very serious matters that then allow for lengthy appeals following a general court martial. The military, I am told, prefers to handle matters through a different special court martial, which prohibits the dishonorable discharge label in how it is conducted. But by doing so, the process is quicker, the end result is often roughly equivalent, and appeal rights are more limited.
Notwithstanding that, Kelley in jail for just a year seems nuts and Bergdahl getting no jail time seems equally nuts. Then there’s the poor guy who took some selfies on a submarine. The post-Obama Defense Department is ripe from some clear reforms.