Justin Oshana’s Sept. 1 Tuesday Opinion essay, “How Trump poisoned the prosecution of Bowe Bergdahl,” was exceptionally insightful, accurate and fair. I can attest to the accuracy of Mr. Oshana’s depiction of the complexity of the case.

Whatever one’s opinion about the actions of Bowe Bergdahl on the battlefield, we should, as Mr. Oshana reminds us, stay mindful of the risks of allowing partisan fervor and preconceived notions to politicize our judicial system, particularly that of the U.S. military. I witnessed attempts by certain members of Congress to do just that when we brought Mr. Bergdahl home, and I’ve seen it happen all too often from this commander in chief over the past three years.

When public confidence in our institutions and our leaders is flagging, we would do well to remember that pursuing a justice system fair and equal for all — free of political influence — and a decision-making process based on sound judgment and an honest effort to confront difficult truths are goals not easily achieved but always worth the effort.

Chuck Hagel, McLean

The writer was secretary of defense from 2013 to 2015.