Sergeant Bergdah freed

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by tankercaptain, May 31, 2014.

  1. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    Taliban Prisoner Swap Frees U.S. Soldier Held Nearly 5 Years

    A frame grab from an undated video released by the Taliban containing footage of a man believed to be Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, left.
    INTELCENTER, VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS
    By ERIC SCHMITT
    May 31, 2014
    WASHINGTON — The lone American prisoner of war from the Afghan conflict, captured by insurgents nearly five years ago, has been released to American forces in exchange for five Taliban prisoners held at the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility, Obama administration officials said Saturday.

    The soldier, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, was handed over to American Special Operations forces inside Afghanistan about 10:30 a.m. Saturday by a group of 19 Taliban, officials said.

    American officials said that Sergeant Bergdahl was in good condition and able to walk.

    The five Taliban prisoners at Guantánamo were being transferred into the custody of officials from Qatar, who will accompany them back to that Persian Gulf state, where they will be subject to security restrictions, including a one-year travel ban.

    Talks on the exchange resumed in earnest about a week ago with Qatari officials who were acting as intermediaries for the Taliban.

    President Obama personally telephoned the soldier’s parents on Saturday, shortly after Sergeant Bergdahl was transferred to the American military; the Bergdahl family was in Washington after a visit here for Memorial Day, officials said.

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

    Sergeant Bergdahl is believed to have been held by the militant Haqqani network in the tribal area of Pakistan’s northwest frontier, on the Afghan border. He was captured in Paktika Province in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009.

    The circumstances of how he was separated from his unit and captured have remained a mystery.

    The latest evidence indicating that Sergeant Bergdahl, who was promoted twice while held prisoner, was still alive came in January, when a video was obtained by the American military showing him alert but also apparently in declining health.

    One Defense Department official said that once Sergeant Bergdahl was safely aboard the American military helicopter flown to the rendezvous, he wrote on a paper plate with a pen — because it was so loud — “S.F.?” seeking to find out if the soldiers were American Special Forces.

    One soldier yelled back, “Yes, we’ve been looking for you for a long time,” at which point Sergeant Bergdahl broke down crying, the Pentagon official said.

    Helene Cooper contributed reporting from Singapore.
     
  2. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    Thanks for the story. You made my day.
     
  3. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Can't wait to hear more from this story. Glad to see that an American soldier is safe.

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  4. JMS

    JMS Member

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    I just saw the report and it is indeed wonderful. I imagine his parents are over-the-top.
    It is also amazing to me that after nearly 14 yrs at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, that he was (as far as I can recall) the only prisoner.
     
  5. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Great News!
     
  6. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    I feel like breaking down crying too. Such great news!
     
  7. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    Wonderful!!

    Great News....

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  8. sean007

    sean007 Member

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  9. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Leave no one behind. He, as an American, has the right to a trial and we are accountable for his deliberation. Not the Taliban. Glad he is back.
     
  10. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Good Quote from both articles.
    “This guy may have made a tremendously bad decision, but I'm willing to bet that what he's endured since then has been far worse than anything the US or military judicial system would have imposed,” said Mark Delano. “Have some heart.”
     
  11. sean007

    sean007 Member

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    Good quote from both articles

    A quote form the same article with a different perspective.


    “He is a dirtbag that now should spend the next 20yrs+ in Leavenworth ... his fellow soldiers were affected by his actions, he is a sympathizer and deserves to be tried for desertion," said Kirouac, whose Facebook profile identifies him as a company commander at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
     
  12. pointguard

    pointguard Member

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    Seems to be some issue with whom we let go to get him back, and under what may be looked as dubious authority by the POTUS. Wouldn't be the first time for unilateral action, but doubt the other side will do more than blow hot air which is what this Administration seems to most often count on. Glad he's back, now get to bottom of it and take appropriate action if any is warranted.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    As a parent I am thrilled for their family, but I do worry/wonder if this will have an unforeseen impact on our soldiers.

    I.E. Now they are at a higher risk of being kidnapped knowing our govt will trade more Taliban prisoners for the return of out soldiers.
     
  14. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Do you think we will "get to bottom of it and take appropriate action" will be taken? I doubt it. Not to get political, but since the President did something that shows nice on the media, "the other side" raising National Security concerns about who we released, possible breach of a Constitutional authority, and possibly increasing incentives for terrorist to capture U.S. soldiers will be portrayed as "hot air."

    Can you see the Army court martialing SGT Bergdah even if he did something wrong?

    Any Congressional hearing will be seen as a political attack on the President, not a fact finding hearing.
     
  15. Strength and Honor

    Strength and Honor Member

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    The whole thing seems..... Odd to me. I'm not going to say anything specific, but read his story on your own and decide yourself if he should be court martialed.
     
  16. pointguard

    pointguard Member

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    Post a link to his story, I'll read it.
     
  17. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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  18. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Obama administration get's rocked with "leaving them behind" Benghazi crisis followed by a pretty daming Veterans Affairs crisis? Even administration-friendly media outlets comment on the President's lack of leadership and the "icey" reception he received at West Point's graduation.... and now this?

    Interesting timing, and for an administration bent on the "publicity" of actions (know first hand), I'm not sure how PURE I see this being. Maybe I'm just cynical?
     
  19. colinmcd

    colinmcd Member

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    Not sure how many of you have twitter but if you do, scroll down to the beginning of @CodyFNfootball 's tweets from yesterday. He was apparently a roommate of Bowe and served with him in Afghanistan. He posted the whole story through tweets so there's a lot to scroll through, but it's extremely eye opening.
     
  20. sean007

    sean007 Member

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    MemberLG asks; Can you see the Army court martialing SGT Bergdah even if he did something wrong?

    If this is true - sure hope so.

    It was June 30, 2009, and I was in the city of Sharana, the capitol of Paktika province in Afghanistan. As I stepped out of a decrepit office building into a perfect sunny day, a member of my team started talking into his radio. “Say that again,” he said. “There’s an American soldier missing?”

    There was. His name was Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl, the only prisoner of war in the Afghan theater of operations. His release from Taliban custody marks the end of a nearly five-year-old story for the soldiers of his unit, the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment. I served in the same battalion in Afghanistan and participated in the attempts to retrieve him throughout the summer of 2009. After we redeployed, every member of my brigade combat team received an order that we were not allowed to discuss what happened to Bergdahl for fear of endangering him. He is safe, and now it is time to speak the truth.

    And that the truth is: Bergdahl was a deserter, and soldiers from his own unit died trying to track him down.


    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articl...-guy-who-walked-off-in-the-dead-of-night.html
     

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