Bowe Bergdahl and our “so-it-goes” system of military justice
Jay Baron NicorvoThe Baffler
'The powers-that-be seem to believe that if every soldier knew the Pentagon’s unofficial policy on desertion, more soldiers would skedaddle. Indeed Eddie Slovik’s legend is a powerful cautionary tale, but its moral is deceptive: during World War II, of the approximately 50,000 U.S. soldiers who deserted, 20,000 were tried and sentenced. Forty-nine received death sentences. All but one of those sentences was commuted. In fact, the only U.S. soldier executed for desertion since the Civil War was the infamous Private Eddie Slovik.'