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In brief: Labrador: GOP not bridging the divide

Washington – House GOP leaders have “failed to bridge the divide” with Republicans outside Washington, conservative Rep. Raul Labrador said Monday in pleading with his colleagues to back his long-shot candidacy for House majority leader.

Labrador wrote in a letter to GOP lawmakers that it would be a mistake to vote for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the current No. 3 in the House leadership.

“Promoting, by acclamation, a member of the very Washington leadership that has failed to bridge the divide with Republicans outside Washington struck me as exactly the wrong response,” said the Idaho Republican. “And so, I have decided to stand for Majority Leader – running not against anyone, but for everyone.”

The election to replace recently defeated Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., will be Thursday.

Army investigating Bergdahl’s capture

Washington – The Army on Monday started its investigation into the mysterious June 2009 disappearance of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan and his capture by the Taliban shortly thereafter.

The Army placed Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, who held senior command posts in Afghanistan and served earlier in Iraq, in charge of the probe. Dahl is the deputy commanding general of I Corps at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma.

After five years in captivity, Bergdahl was released June 1 in exchange for five Taliban militants who’d been held at the U.S. military detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

As the head of the investigation, Dahl will explore claims by some of Bergdahl’s former platoon mates that he went AWOL on June 30, 2009, shortly before his capture, leaving his combat outpost in Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border.

Dahl will have access to the 2009 investigation and report the Army completed on Bergdahl’s disappearance, but his probe will apparently be a new initiative.


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