Bowe Bergdahl's chutzpah

Bowe Bergdahl's legal team has updated the punch line to an ancient joke, which defines the Yiddish word "chutzpah" (very roughly, "brazenness").  The old joke illustrated the concept with the example of a child who murders his parents begging for mercy from the court as an orphan.  The new Bergdahlian version has it: deserting your post, getting captured and rescued at enormous human cost, and then asking for a medal as a prisoner of war.

Many people, especially those concerned about military discipline, were outraged that the sentence handed down to Bergdahl by Judge Col. Jeffrey Nance involved no further imprisonment.  But buried in the account by Alex Horton in the Washington Post is this gem of chutzpah:

Bergdahl's legal team intends to pursue the military's Prisoner of War Medal for him.

I do not regard myself as qualified to comment on military discipline, since I have never served in uniform.  But the spectacle of a deserter – particularly one whose parents were honored by a sitting president in the Rose Garden and who was said by a presidential national security adviser to have "served with honor and distinction" – getting a medal for the consequences of his crime is no joke to me.

I have to speculate that Col. Nance was reacting to President Trump's expression of his views, intending to rebuke his commander-in-chief for sticking his nose in the business of military justice.

If that is the case, it would be a travesty, for the person on trial was Bergdahl, not Trump.

Hat tip: Mike Nadler

Bowe Bergdahl's legal team has updated the punch line to an ancient joke, which defines the Yiddish word "chutzpah" (very roughly, "brazenness").  The old joke illustrated the concept with the example of a child who murders his parents begging for mercy from the court as an orphan.  The new Bergdahlian version has it: deserting your post, getting captured and rescued at enormous human cost, and then asking for a medal as a prisoner of war.

Many people, especially those concerned about military discipline, were outraged that the sentence handed down to Bergdahl by Judge Col. Jeffrey Nance involved no further imprisonment.  But buried in the account by Alex Horton in the Washington Post is this gem of chutzpah:

Bergdahl's legal team intends to pursue the military's Prisoner of War Medal for him.

I do not regard myself as qualified to comment on military discipline, since I have never served in uniform.  But the spectacle of a deserter – particularly one whose parents were honored by a sitting president in the Rose Garden and who was said by a presidential national security adviser to have "served with honor and distinction" – getting a medal for the consequences of his crime is no joke to me.

I have to speculate that Col. Nance was reacting to President Trump's expression of his views, intending to rebuke his commander-in-chief for sticking his nose in the business of military justice.

If that is the case, it would be a travesty, for the person on trial was Bergdahl, not Trump.

Hat tip: Mike Nadler

RECENT VIDEOS