My research leads me to believe that he abandoned his post, there was an attempt by the military to cover it up, and the current administration hasn’t even addressed the circumstances surrounding the “capture”. Furthermore, it appears that he may have literally tried to defect as opposed to just had an incident resulting from stress built up over time, and it may have not worked out in the way he hoped. I’ve had this opinion for about 8 months now, previously I had a low opinion of him in the first place.
Some of you may say: if he was mentally ill and/or suffering from stress, why would you be angry at him?
Legitimate question, simple answer:
When you decide to just leave your post, it isn’t like walking out of your apartment and not calling your family again; we go and search for you, and in a hostile environment such as Iraq or Afghanistan, people get killed in the process. In 2006 we had to halt our patrol and go look for a Marine that wandered off of his patrol base nearby Fallujah. He was found, but Marines were injured taking fire from insurgents who desperately needed the PR that beheading a Marine would give them.
Whatever his reason, he violated the 5th General Order and needs to be processed within the regulations of the UCMJ and Manual for Courts-martial.