The attorney for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl tells Newsradio 1200 WOAI's Michael Board that he has met with his client in San Antonio, and Eugene Fidell says lawyers have a responsibility to represent 'unpopular clients.'
"There are certainly people who have vilified Sgt. Bergdahl, unjustifiably in my opinion," Fidell told Newsradio 1200 WOAI.
Bergdahl, who returned to active duty at Ft. Sam Houston on Monday, has been accused by his fellow soldiers of being Absent Without Leave and potentially even of Desertion in the Face of the Enemy in Wartime, a capital offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. A Major General is investigating the circumstance that allowed Bergdahl to become a captive of the Taliban in Afghanistan, who held him for five years before trading him for five high ranking Taliban leaders in May. He has been at Ft. Sam Houston, undergoing reintegration treatment, since June 13.
Fidell said he would not talk about Bergdahl's mental condition, but he said if there were any doubts about it, the Army would not have placed him back on active duty. He also declined to discuss the strategy he may use should Bergdahl come before a court martial.
"There are people who have come forward in a very heartwarming way that there are lawyers who are willing to take cases like this," Fidell said.
If a court martial does take place, it would probably happen at Ft. Sam Houston. Fidell expects Bergdahl to remain here, performing 'administrative duties' at Army North, for the foreseeable future.
"The Army is the best judge of the Army's best interests," Fidell said about questions about Bergdahl's mental and physical health, and the fact that some solders at Ft. Sam Houston have expressed unwillingness for work alongside a man who is suspected of desertion.