Questions and Accusations as Bowe Bergdahl Arrives Home
Longtime captive and US soldier Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is being returned to the US Friday, after over five years of being held prisoner by the Taliban.
Since being released by the Taliban on May 31, Bergdahl has been recuperating under supervision in the US military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany.
But now, according to Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby, he has been transferred to the US - and arrived early on Friday in San Antonio, where he will be cared for at the Brooke Army Medical Center.
"While there, he will continue the next phase of his reintegration process. There is no timeline for this process. Our focus remains on his health and well-being," Kirby said.
The nature of Bergdahl's injuries remain unknown. According to NBC News, the soldier was in "good enough physical condition" to return to the US before Friday, but was "not ready psychologically or emotionally." In addition, according to the Daily Mail, the soldier has still refused to speak to any members of his family.
The Bergdahl deal, announced earlier this month, saw five top Taliban terrorists released for the soldier, who has been held captive since 2009.
Several elements of the deal have made the trade the subject of intense political and media scrutiny over the past several weeks: the failure to report the deal to Congress, which stands on shaky legal ground; the Taliban's hailing of the deal as a "tremendous victory" for terrorism in Afghanistan; and rumors that the soldier was not captured from his base, but deserted voluntarily - and even came to grow close to his captors, learning their language and teaching them badminton.
Meanwhile, details of the circumstances surrounding Bowe's rumored desertion of his base have surfaced, indicating that the soldier was disillusioned by what he labeled as sub-par leadership and poor conditions.
"Leadership was lacking, if not non-existent. The conditions were bad and looked to be getting worse for the men that where actuly (sic) the ones risking thier (sic) lives from attack," he writes in a letter, obtained by the Daily Beast, dated March 23, 2013. The letters were sent to family members from his Taliban prison.
Bergdahl also indicated that the US was losing the war in Afghanistan due to lack of sufficient knowledge of the various terror groups there.
"If this letter makes it to the U.S.A., tell those involved in the investigation that there are more sides to the cittuwation (sic)," he adds. "Please tell D.C. to wait for all evadince (sic) to come in."
"Orders showed a high disconcer for safty of troopers in the field, and lacking clear minded, logical and commonsense thinking and understanding from the topsides," he writes. "The cercomstance showed signs of going from bad into a nightmare for the men in the field. Unexeptable conditions for the men working and risking life every moment outside the wire, [sic all errors - ed.]."
The Daily Beast maintained that they obtained the letters from sources in contact with the Taliban, and they have been confirmed to be the same letters delivered by the International Red Cross to Bergdahl's family.