Col. Ralph Peters: Obama, Rice 'Think Desertion Is Kind of Like Skipping Class'

Tyler McNally
By Tyler McNally | June 4, 2014 | 12:01 PM EDT

"When you really listen to Susan Rice and Obama, they think desertion is kind of like skipping class... It is the second gravest sin in the military catechism; right behind turning your weapon on your brother soldiers," Col. Ralph Peters (Ret.-Army) said on The Kelly File Tuesday night.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's mysterious disappearance has prompted investigations from the Pentagon and now the Army over questions whether Bergdahl deserted his platoon while in Afghanistan.

Bergdahl has been recuperating at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, after he was recovered by U.S. Special Forces from the Haqqani network over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Col. Peters emphasizes that he is "sick of hearing people, even on Fox, instant experts who have never served in their military say, 'Well, we always went after our troops and bring them home, even if they were deserters.'  Megyn, throughout much of our history, we did go after deserters and when we got them, we shot them or hanged them."

The last military execution for desertion occurred during World War II when Eddie Slovik was shot to death by firing squad.  Slovik was the only U.S. military member executed during World War II for desertion and the first since the Civil War.

"Desertion is very, very grave and Team Obama just doesn't get it," Col. Peters concluded.

Military code states that:


(a) Any member of the armed forces who-

(1) without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently;

(2) quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service; or

(3) without being regularly separated from one of the armed forces enlists or accepts an appointment in the same or another on of the armed forces without fully disclosing the fact that he has not been regularly separated, or enters any foreign armed service except when authorized by the United States; is guilty of desertion.

(b) Any commissioned officer of the armed forces who, after tender of his resignation and before notice of its acceptance, quits his post or proper duties without leave and with intent to remain away therefrom permanently is guilty of desertion.

(c) Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.