Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl has been named by the Department of Defense as the kidnapped U.S. soldier in Afghanistan. A video released by the Taliban showed the 23-year-old soldier's i.d. tags. See updates below. Newest update 8-9-09:
We hope and pray for our son's safe return to his comrades and then to our family, and we appreciate all the support and expressions of sympathy shown to us by our family members, our friends and others across the nation," Bob Bergdahl said in a statement issued through the Department of Defense. "Thank you, and please continue to keep Bowe in your thoughts and prayers.On the video, Bowe Bergdahl says that he is from Hailey, Idaho, 160 miles east of Boise, ID. Pentagon reports say that his hometown is Ketchum, ID, about 12 miles north of Hailey.
The Facebook page for a coffee shop in Hailey, Zaney's River Street Coffee House, suggests many in the small town have known for some time that Bergdahl was in danger.Bergdahl spoke of his girlfriend, his grandparents and a "very, very good family that I love back home." He said he is "scared," it is unnerving to be a prisoner." He also says he is afraid "I will not be able to go home."
Join all of us at Zaney's holding light for Bowe Bergdahl," says a post dated July 8.
You can read a Reuters transcript of the video here with the "off camera" prompts from his captors. Lt. Cmdr. Christine Sidenstricker, a U.S. military spokeswoman in Afghanistan points out that the Taliban is exploiting Bergdahl, in violation of international law. Of course, the Taliban is not bound by any law, and least of all international law.
Back here in America, Democrats seem to be in a hissy fit that an unimplemented Pentagon program planned to kill al-Qaeda leaders in Iraq, who also are certainly not subject to international law. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are terrorist organizations and not Nations. It begs the question: Are we trying to kill Taliban leaders in Afghanistan? Or are we not?
For the story of how the U.S. Military is attempting to find Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, read Afghan Villagers Warned: Return Missing U.S. Soldier.
Michelle Malkin is asking all the questions most of us have been mulling around in our heads. She also has the video of Lt. Col. Ralph Peters interviewed by Julie Banderas this weekend. Peters doesn't avoid discussing the "desertion" issue swirling around Pfc. Bergdahl. Also interesting are comments in Idaho from Bergdahl's friends who say he really does not have a serious girlfriend back home.
Update 8-9-09: A Taliban commander said today that Mullah Omar's "council" is awaiting a response from the U.S. Military before "deciding" Pfc. Bowe R. Berghdahl's "fate." This is the first news of Bergdahl since a July 18 video surfaced with Bergdahl speaking. The Taliban indicates they have made their "demands" to the U.S., which appears to be stopping airstrikes in two areas of eastern Afghanistan.