Bergdahl heading home

2014-06-12 21:13
Bowe Bergdahl. (File AFP)

Bowe Bergdahl. (File AFP)

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Washington - US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, held five years as a Taliban prisoner of war before being released on 31 May, will return to the United States on Friday after receiving care at a military hospital in Germany, a senior defense official said on Thursday.

Bergdahl, released in a prisoner swap for five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo, was expected to be sent to a military hospital in San Antonio for further treatment.

His release sparked a political uproar because the administration did not notify Congress beforehand.

AFP reported on Friday that Bergdahl has yet to speak to the news media about his ordeal and Pentagon officials have said his health has been steadily improving in the days since his release.

His disappearance from a base in eastern Afghanistan in 2009 has prompted speculation that he deserted his post before he was captured.

Letters and other correspondence emerged on Wednesday and Thursday that suggested he was in a troubled state of mind during his deployment and that he lacked confidence in his commanders.

"Leadership was lacking, if not non-existent," he wrote in a letter sent to family during his time in captivity, obtained by the Daily Beast.

The letter, one of two sent to his family via the International Committee of the Red Cross, was marked by numerous spelling errors.

"The conditions were bad and looked to be getting worse for the men that where actuly the ones risking thier lives from attack," he wrote in a 23 March 2013 letter.

He also seems to be trying to appeal for understanding over his disappearance, though he does not explicitly state that he deserted.

"If this letter makes it to the USA, tell those involved in the investigation that there are more sides to the cittuwation," he wrote.

"Please tell D.C. to wait for all evadince to come in."

Copies of the two letters were passed to the website by sources in contact with the Taliban, the Daily Beast said.


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