There are a number of disturbing allegations surrounding the exchange of five terrorist suspects for one American soldier being held by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The following five aspects of the developing story provide an overview of the growing concerns surrounding Bowe Bergdahl’s return to America after five years in captivity.
1. Bergdahl’s allegiance is in question:
Prior to being reported missing five years ago, the soldier sent an email to his father indicating that he was ashamed to be a soldier and an American.
“I am sorry for everything here,” he wrote. “These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid, that they have no idea how to live.”
A number of his father’s Twitter posts suggest he also sympathizes with Afghan Islamists.
2. Fellow soldiers in his unit describe him as a deserter:
Not only do several of his fellow soldiers describe him as a deserter, suggesting he voluntarily left his platoon in 2009; six individuals reportedly died in an attempt to find him.
“Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war,” former Sgt. Matt Vierkant said of his fellow platoon member; ”and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”
3. Fellow soldiers were apparently instructed to keep quiet:
While CNN reported allegations by soldiers like Vierkant, many other voices might have been silenced by a requirement that they sign non-disclosure agreements preventing them from sharing any of their knowledge of Bergdahl’s disappearance and subsequent recovery mission. Some of his outraged former colleagues, however, are defying that order to share what they feel is a story that must be told.
4. The prisoner exchange was likely illegal:
Republican legislators have raised serious questions regarding the Obama administration’s willingness to trade five dangerous prisoners for Bergdahl. Among the charges are the fact that Congress did not receive a required 30-day notice of the release, the potential violation of national policy prohibiting negotiations with terrorists, and the apparent lack of restrictions placed on the released prisoners.
5. The released terrorists were high risks to America’s national security:
Each of the five released prisoners was included in a Pentagon list of high risk terrorists likely to initiate an attack on the U.S. upon their release. From a suspected heroin trafficker believed to have coordinated terrorist missions with Iran following 9/11 to a man who likely answered directly to Osama bin Laden, these prisoners were, as Sen. John McCain stated, “the hardest of the hard core” and were “possibly responsible for the deaths of thousands.”
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