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Posts tagged: Bowe Bergdahl

Bergdahl’s writings show frustration, struggle

In Facebook posts written before he vanished from his military base in Afghanistan, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl spoke of his frustration with the world and his desire to change the status quo, the AP reports. In his personal writings, he seemed to focus his frustrations on himself and his struggle to maintain his mental stability. Together, the writings paint a portrait of a young man who was dealing with two conflicts — one fought with bullets and bombs outside his compound, the other fought within himself. Full story here.


Labrador says ‘Leave Bergdahl family alone’

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador is calling for people to “leave the Bergdahl family alone” as the nation debates the prisoner swap that freed Idaho Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after five years of Taliban captivity.

Labrador, who’s been relatively quiet on the issue since Bergdahl’s release a week ago, was asked about the issue during a session with reporters in Washington, D.C. this morning sponsored by the Heritage Foundation.

“Sgt. Bergdahl and his family, they’re from my state, and I know the family pretty well, and I have been very careful in my statements to the media about this because I don’t think we should criticize the sergeant right now,” the second-term Idaho Republican said. “We don’t know all the details of why he left, whether he left voluntarily, and I think we should be very careful as members of Congress to not escalate the rhetoric that leads to Americans trying to decide what happened in this case.”


Statesman: If you rush to judgement on Berdahl, you’re wrong

We have been receiving phone calls, emails and Letters to the Editor nearly every day since the story broke from people who have decided Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is a deserter, a traitor or an enemy of the United States. Some who raced beyond speculation to convict and sentence him say the Hailey native is all of the above. A few have gone so far as to suggest such crimes deserve a firing squad.

The authors of these opinions base their argument on an unsupportable extrapolation of one fact: that Bergdahl walked away from his unit five years ago on June 30, 2009.

Much of the vitriol and rush to judgment can be traced to the method used by President Obama and cabinet chiefs to extract Bergdahl - a prisoner swap involving five Taliban warriors. Additional emotion reverberated after soldiers purporting to have served with Bergdahl linked the deaths of some of their colleagues to efforts to find Bergdahl and then free him from his captors.

To be sure, there were some compelling accounts related about attempts to find Bergdahl five years ago. But how can some choose to believe this and not weigh it against what Defense Department Secretary Chuck Hagel had to say last week. Full editorial here. Idaho Statesman

Agree or disagree with this editorial?

Read more here:

Today’s Top Post: Bergdahl says he was tortured by captors

PARIS – U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has told people treating him at an American military medical facility in Germany that he was tortured, beaten and held in a cage by his Taliban captors in Afghanistan after he tried to escape, a senior U.S. official said Sunday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss what Bergdahl has revealed about the conditions of his captivity. The New York Times first reported on the matter.

The official said it was difficult to verify the accounts Bergdahl has given since his release a week ago.

Bergdahl, now 28, was captured in June 2009 after he disappeared from his infantry unit. He was held for nearly five years by Taliban militants. More here.


Army may charge Bergdahl with desertion

The Army may consider pursuing an investigation of possible charges of desertion or other violations by Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was freed Saturday after nearly five years in Taliban custody, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Tuesday.

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey noted that U.S. military leaders “have been accused of looking away from misconduct.” Dempsey said that was “premature” in the case of Bergdahl, who has been accused of desertion by former members of his unit in Afghanistan for abandoning his post during a combat deployment.

The remarks, in a telephone interview with the Associated Press, were Dempsey’s first public comment on Bergdahl since he was freed Saturday in exchange for the transfer to Qatar of five Taliban commanders held at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. More here.

If Bergdahl is indeed tried and convicted of desertion do you believe the deal made to bring him home was still the right call?

Bowe Bergdahl freed

WASHINGTON (AP) — The only American soldier held prisoner in Afghanistan has been freed and is back in U.S. custody after nearly five years of captivity, U.S. officials said Saturday.

The officials said the Taliban agreed to turn over Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for the release of five Afghan detainees from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The transfers happened after a week of intense negotiations mediated by the government of Qatar, which will take custody of the Afghans.

In a statement, President Barack Obama said Bergdahl’s recovery “is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield.”

Officials said the Taliban turned the 28-year-old Bergdahl over Saturday evening, local time, in Afghanistan. Several dozen U.S. special forces were involved in the exchange, which took place in eastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border. Read more.

What wonderful news!

SR: Bergdahl Swap Worth Mulling

The Taliban is once again playing a cynical game with the fate of Idaho U.S. Army soldier Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (pictured). As a carrot for broad negotiations to end the Afghanistan war, at least for U.S. forces, the terrorist group has proposed an exchange of Bergdahl for five of its most dangerous leaders from the Guantanamo Bay prison. The Taliban floated the same idea a year ago and, according to some accounts, the U.S. and the group have talked off and on about a deal going back at least two years. But he remains in the hands of his captors, who are apparently taking relatively good care of their prize; Bergdahl is their only known captive. Bergdahl’s family and community have been heartened by the latest proposal/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here. (AP/US Army photo)

Question: Has a member of your family been a prisoner of war?

Taliban Offers Swap For Idaho Soldier

The Afghan Taliban are ready to free a U.S. soldier held captive since 2009 in exchange for five of their senior operatives imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay as a conciliatory gesture, a senior spokesman for the group said Thursday. The offer follows this week's official opening of a Taliban political office in Doha, the capital of the Gulf state of Qatar. The only known American soldier held captive from the Afghan war is U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho. He disappeared from his base in southeastern Afghanistan on June 30, 2009, and is believed held in Pakistan/Kathy Gannon, AP. More here. (IntelCenter photo taken in 2010 of Idaho soldier Bergdahl)

Question: Should the U.S. accept this prisoner swap?

Read more here:

ICB: Taliban Still Has Idaho Soldier

This Christmas will be the 3rd Bowe Bergdahl has missed with his family since being held captive in Afghanistan by the Taliban. Recently reports came out that Bowe was recaptured after a short three-day escape in August or early September and appeared to be in good health. A well-read national publication called the Daily Beast, an affiliate of Newsweek Magazine, says the soldier tried to escape. Quoting a Taliban source, the Daily Beast reported that Bergdahl told his captors that he wanted to find civilianvillagers who would help him and notify the U.S. I can’t help but wonder Why if the Daily Beast reporter can get close enough to his captors to get this information, why can’t the U.S. military? We want Bowe home.  What is being done?/Idaho Conservative Blogger. More here. H/T: iSightOnline. (AP/IntelCenter photo of captured Bowe Bergdahl on Dec. 8, 2010)

Question: Has the American government done enough to get Idaho soldier Bowe Bergdahl home from Afghanistan?

INW: Taliban Video Shows Bergdahl

This image provided by IntelCenter today shows a framegrab from a new video released by the Taliban containing footage of a man believed to be Spc. Bowe Bergdahl, the only known American serviceman being held in captivity in Afghanistan, a group that tracks militant messages on the Internet said Wednesday. Story here. (AP Photo/IntelCenter)

Statesman: A Bad Idea From Minnick

Item: Our View: Trading with the Taliban: a bad idea from Minnick/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman

More Info: It wasn’t Rep. Walt Minnick’s smartest moment. On a Boise radio show last week, the Idaho Democrat suggested that the U.S. government work out a deal to secure the release of Hailey soldier Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl. And it left Minnick in an unenviable position: having to clarify what he said in the first place. No wonder. By suggesting a trade with the Taliban, Minnick put himself on the wrong side of public sentiment and on the wrong side of common sense. The idea of making deals with terrorists is distasteful, because it’s misguided.

Question: Do you think Walt Minnick would like a do-over on this one?

Taliban Video Shows Idaho Soldier

This frame from the video released Friday purportedly shows Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, 23.

KABUL, Afghanistan – The Taliban released a video Friday of an American soldier captured in Afghanistan, showing him apparently healthy but spouting criticism about the U.S. military operation.

In Idaho, Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl’s family pleaded on Christmas Day for his release and urged him to “stay strong.”

Bergdahl disappeared June 30 while based in eastern Afghanistan and is the only known American serviceman in captivity. Full Story.

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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