Thu April 24, 2014
Military Says Efforts To Bring Idaho POW Home Not Disorganized
There is mixed news this week on the fate of American prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl. The Associated Press is reporting efforts to bring home the Northwest soldier are in disarray.
The military says that just isn’t true.
Bowe Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban in southeast Afghanistan nearly five years ago.
The Associated Press reports the rescue effort is now spread across multiple military, diplomatic and intelligence agencies who aren’t communicating with each other. The report claims that coordination is so poor that when a “proof of life” video of Sgt. Bergdahl was obtained in December, it wasn't clear who should tell Bergdahl's family in Hailey, Idaho.
U.S. Central Command swiftly disputed that story. Military officials say there is close coordination between agencies and the government is using all tools available to secure Bergdahl's release.
For supporters of the 28-year-old Army sergeant, the conflicting reports did at least indicate a sense of urgency.
“And it gives me a lot of hope that we are working to get Bowe home as soon as possible,” says Stefanie O'Neill, a friend of the Bergdahl family in Hailey.
The disputed report by the AP also says the Taliban is anxious to make a deal that would release Bergdahl. It's likely that deal would involve exchanging Bergdahl for Guantanamo Bay detainees.
Bergdahl’s supporters are holding an event in his hometown on June 28 to mark the anniversary of his capture. Organizers will plant a tree in a Hailey park marking Bergdahl’s fifth year in captivity, unless he’s home by then.