A formal investigation by the US Army found no evidence of misconduct by Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl during his five years of captivity under the Taliban. Bergdahl had become the center of a media firestorm when he was released in exchange for five Taliban inmates who were imprisoned at Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Some conservatives lawmakers claimed President Obama had “negotiated with terrorists” and focused on Bergdahl’s pessimistic writings while on active duty as well as allegations from other soldiers in his unit that Bergdahl had deserted.
As the outcry grew the charges within and without of conservative media became more serious including that Bergdahl was a Taliban sympathizer and was an enemy of the United States rather than a critic. Those accusations were found to be without merit by the US Army.
Some soldiers who served with Sgt. Bergdahl speculated that he had helped his captors while being held, but Army officials said Wednesday that there is no indication that he did so. “We have no reason to believe that he engaged in any misconduct” during the five years he was held captive, said one Army official.
Sgt. Bergdahl has told the military team helping him recover that life in captivity was often difficult and that he was confined to a cage for part of that time, officials said.
Though cleared of misconduct during captivity, the investigation into whether Bergdahl deserted his unit before he was captured is ongoing.
The investigation is expected to take longer than usual due to Bergdahl’s recovery process and inability to be interviewed by investigators at this time. Having spent five years in Taliban custody has reportedly made it hard for Bergdahl to speak English. Not to mention whatever trauma he experienced.
Photo by US Army under public domain.