News

Army appoints general to probe Bergdahl disappearance

Army appoints general to probe Bergdahl disappearance

BOWE BERGDAHL:While the release of Bergdahl, who had been the only U.S. prisoner of war, was widely hailed initially, it has also attracted widespread criticism, in part from lawmakers who say the five senior Taliban figures freed from the Guantanamo Bay prison in exchange for Bergdahl could return to the fight. Photo: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military has appointed a two-star general to investigate the circumstances under which Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier recently freed after five years in Taliban captivity, disappeared in eastern Afghanistan in 2009, a U.S. official said on Sunday.

A defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the general had been appointed to conduct the army investigation of Sergeant Bergdahl’s June 2009 disappearance and capture, but said the probe had not yet begun.

The official declined to name the general.

Bergdahl, who was released on May 31 in a prisoner exchange with the Taliban, arrived at a military hospital in Texas on Friday.

While the release of Bergdahl, who had been the only U.S. prisoner of war, was widely hailed initially, it has also attracted widespread criticism, in part from lawmakers who say the five senior Taliban figures freed from the Guantanamo Bay prison in exchange for Bergdahl could return to the fight.

Lawmakers have also complained that the Obama administration failed to give Congress required 30-day notice before releasing the Taliban to Qatar.

Some of Bergdahl’s former peers in Afghanistan have alleged the soldier, now 28, walked away from his post voluntarily. But the Pentagon has said the circumstances of his disappearance and capture were unclear.

An earlier U.S. military investigation found he had slipped away from his unit before but always returned.

While U.S. officials have hailed his safe return after a long and grueling captivity – he was reported to have been kept in a cage by his militant captors – General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said the Army would not “look away from misconduct if it occurred.”

The investigating general’s appointment was first reported by CNN. It is unclear how long the investigation will take.

Bergdahl, who late last week was described as being in stable condition, is being treated by specialists at a military hospital that has been helping returned prisoners of war for decades.

(Reporting by Missy Ryan; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

See what’s new on Netflix this month

17-overlay6

Are you over fireworks and cookouts? Stay inside and binge on these movies and shows that are now showing on Netflix.

in Entertainment, Sports

Mayweather, Pacquiao, Perry among the ‘best paid’ celebrities

maypac

Musicians and athletes dominate the world's highest-paid celebs, according to the latest rankings.

in Entertainment, National

Celebrate safely with these fireworks tips

Since Independence Day falls during the work week, members of St. Richard Catholic Church celebrated the holiday on Sunday, June 30, 2013, with a picnic-style outing complete with fireworks that could be seen throughout the northeast Jackson, Miss. neighborhood. The long streamers were recorded in a 13-second time exposure. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Don't be one of the thousands of Americans injured by fireworks on July Fourth. Stay safe and have a happy holiday!

in National, Viral Videos

WATCH: The origin of fireworks

17-overlay

The history behind the July Fourth firecrackers that mark our Independence Day celebrations.

in Viral Videos

Miami judge recognizes suspect as middle school classmate

20-overlay

A man charged with burglary is moved to tears when he realizes he went to middle school with the judge assigned to his case.