Bergdahl, now 28, left or was taken from his base in Afghanistan in June 2009 after sending his parents an email saying “life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. … I am ashamed to even be American,” Rolling Stone reported in 2012.
Bergdahl's father Robert published (and now has deleted) a tweet last week about Guantanamo’s detainees. Except this tweet was directed at a Taliban spokesman. And it came just four days before it was announced that his son was finally being released.
“I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners,” the tweet said, according to various screen grabs. The tweet was subsequently deleted. “God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, ameen.”
Colonel David Hunt told Bill O’Reilly tonight that Bowe Bergdahl was a deserter.
“Bowe Bergdahl was a deserter. Bergdahl on June 20, 2009 crawled underneath a wire at his fire base with water, food, a change of clothes, a knife and a cell phone. He called his unit the day after he deserted to tell his unit he deserted… Bill, we lost 14 soldiers, killed, searching for a deserter. He left his unit in combat. It’s non-arguable… We don’t know yet if he joined the Taliban or not. But, there’s no question he deserted.
Bergdahl Never Listed By Pentagon As Prisoner Of War
WASHINGTON (CBS) — In his five years of captivity, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was never listed by the Pentagon as a prisoner of war.
Nor has the U.S. applied that term to any of its Taliban prisoners — including the five senior Taliban figures who were released last weekend from detention at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for Bergdahl’s freedom.
A look at how that process works:
- After disappearing in eastern Afghanistan in June 2009, Bergdahl was listed by the Pentagon on July 1, 2009, as “duty status whereabouts unknown.” Two days later his status was changed to “missing/captured,” and it did not change again prior to his release.
- The Pentagon defines “missing/captured” as a member of the armed forces who has been “seized as the result of action of an unfriendly military or paramilitary force in a foreign country.” Some would say that amounts to being a POW. For purposes of reporting and recording the status of service members, the Pentagon some years ago stopped using the term “prisoner of war,” although it awards a POW Medal for eligible service members and it has a Defense POW/Missing Persons Office.
- The POW issue for American troops in Afghanistan stands in contrast to past U.S. conflicts such as World War II or the Korean War because Afghanistan is not technically at war with the U.S. or any other state. The “enemy” forces in Afghanistan are mainly the Taliban, which are considered a “non-state armed group.”
- In a conventional war, prisoners held by either side are subject to rules of treatment under the third Geneva Convention of 1949. It defined POWs’ rights and established detailed rules for their protection and eventual release.