PFC Bowe Bergdahl, at age 23, went missing from his base in Afghanistan on July 1, 2009. UPDATE CORRECTION: CNN is reporting that Bergdahl is now a Sergeant. Wikipedia says he was “promoted in absentia.” He entered the Army in 2008. Shortly after, the Taliban released a video showing Bergdahl and his i.d. tags. It is believed Bergdahl left the base willingly, for some yet unknown reason. He reportedly did not leave with a weapon. Bergdahl is in U.S. custody today, being treated in Germany. Our Special Forces retrieved him, in what is referred to as a “peaceful handoff.”
UPDATE 1:32 pm, CDT: Fox is confirming that it was the Haqqani faction of the Taliban holding PFC Bergdahl. Horrible, horrible people!
The circumstances of Bergdahl’s capture have not been clear.
On July 2, two U.S. officials told the AP the soldier had “just walked off” his base with three Afghans after his shift. He had no body armor or weapon and they said they had no explanation for why he left. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.
On July 6, the Taliban claimed on their Web site that five days earlier “a drunken American soldier had come out of his garrison” and was captured by mujahadeen.
In the video, Pfc. Bergdahl said he was lagging behind a patrol when he was captured. Source: Michelle Malkin, July 20, 2009
ABC is reporting that, now-28-years-old PFC Bergdahl’s release came after five Guantanamo Bay prisoners were released in exchange.
His freedom was secured in exchange for the release of five prisoners from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, according to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who said on Saturday that Bergdahl is now under the care of the U.S. military.
At about 10:30 a.m. ET, U.S. special forces recovered Bergdahl from his captors, in a peaceful handoff in eastern Afghanistan, a senior Defense official told ABC News, recounting the operation. About 18 Taliban were preseng [sic]. Source: ABC News
The Government of Qatar, “especially” the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, played a role in getting Bergdahl out of Afghanistan (so says Secretary of State John Kerry, who didn’t mention the prisoner exchange, but did mention his own service).
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