Sgt Bowe Bergdahl: Freedom, day one, two, three in the news

2014 6JUNE 1 Boise news conference kboi2

Bob and Jani Bergdahl give a full news conference in Boise, Idaho. They address Bowe and give thanks to those who have supported Bowe and the Bergdahl family throughout Bowe’s period of captivity.

Watch the video at kboi2.com

Also read Bergdahl family speaks out about POW’s return at MSNBC.com

 Bowe Bergdahl RELEASED Hailey reacts (video)

“Sgt. Bergdahl’s hometown reacts with tears of joy”

Watch video comments and hear from residents of Hailey, Idaho

See Channel 3000 video for more comments.

Bowe Bergdahl in Germany

 

From the Associated Press:

“The U.S. soldier freed in Afghanistan after being held for nearly five years by insurgents has arrived at an American military hospital in Germany. It’s not immediately clear how long he will stay there before continuing to the United States.”

Read more

 

Bob and Jani Bergdahl at White House press conference

See NBC News VIDEO of Bowe & Jani Bergdahl speaking in the White House Rose Garden about Bowe’s release.

From NBC News:

President Barack Obama and the parents of newly freed prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl thanked the military and the country in an emotional Rose Garden press conference Saturday.

“We just can’t communicate the words this morning when we heard from the president,” father Bob Bergdahl said.

Read more and see video at NBC News of Bob and Jani Bergdahl speaking at the White House.

 

 

Bowe Bergdahl held prisoner by the Haqqani network

It was another day in nearly five years of captivity for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, and he didn’t know what the 18 Taliban fighters had in store for him Saturday.

There, in the rugged mountains of eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border, the heavily armed fighters turned Bergdahl over to U.S. military commandos.

The soldier’s plight had come to an end.

Within minutes he was airborne. The helicopter’s rotors whooped so loudly that Bergdahl couldn’t communicate clearly with the men on board.

So he grabbed a paper plate and wrote three characters: “SF?”

The men understood: Special Forces?

Read MORE at CNN

 

2014 5MAY 31 Bob Jani Pres Obama after press conference

From CNN:

President Barack Obama, flanked by the parents of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl at the White House on Saturday, praised the diplomatic officials and troops who helped secure the release of the American soldier held captive for nearly five years by militants during the Afghanistan war.

Read MORE at CNN

 

 

 

 

Balloon bunch RWB

 

From the Idaho Statesman:

A truck circled the streets in downtown Hailey on Saturday morning carrying a sign with the news that residents had waited five long years to hear: Bowe Bergdahl had been set free.

The celebration began immediately.

Read MORE at the Idaho Statesman

 

 

 

MORE STORIES: 

CS Monitor Bowe Bergdahl release: How hard will his transition to everyday life be?

CS Monitor American paranoia and Bowe Bergdahl

USA Today:  Bowe Bergdahl’s parents: Our son faces a long recovery

CNN:  Tears of joy: Idaho hometown of Bowe Bergdahl prepares homecoming

KBOI2Governor: ‘We join all of Idaho and America in expressing our joy’ 

CNN:  Bowe Bergdahl, U.S. soldier held in Afghanistan, freed in swap

CNN:  Hagel: U.S. acted fast to save Bowe Bergdahl’s life

FOX News:  Small Idaho town makes plans to welcome home US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

USA Today:  Obama: Bergdahl ‘was never forgotten’

NBC News:  Taliban Spin: We Treated Captive as ‘Guest’ 

CNN:  Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl: Flight to freedom

Wall Street Journal:  Video and Transcript: Remarks by President Obama and Bowe Bergdahl’s Parents

 

 

Sgt Bowe Bergdahl’s family makes statement to media regarding possible discussions with Taliban

The family of Idaho Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has released a statement after reports of the Taliban trying to establish peace negotiations.

“We are optimistic about the possibility of diplomatic discussions between Taliban officials and government officials from other nations, including the United States,” the family states. “Our only son, Bowe Bergdahl, has been held captive for two and a half years. We hope he will be released as soon as possible.”

Read More at KBOI2.com: Bergdahl family releases statement on Taliban peace discussion

Read More at The Washington Post:Captured soldier’s family ‘optimistic’ about possible deal to open Taliban office in Qatar

A Gut-wrenching Report: Sgt Bergdahl’s attempt to escape from his captors

 
The Daily Beast

Please read the full article at the Daily Beast.

Find out how the Haqqani leaders’ fear of Predator drones might work in Sergeant Bergdahl’s favor.

U.S. Prisoner Bowe Bergdahl’s Failed Attempt to Escape From Taliban

In exclusive interviews, Afghan insurgents reveal how Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, imprisoned by the Taliban in Pakistan since 2009, made a bold bid for freedom—but was quickly recaptured.

by  | December 7, 2011 4:45 AM EST

He is believed to be the only American soldier held in captivity by the Taliban—and about three months ago he made a daring break for freedom.

One night in late August or early September, 25-year-old Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, jumped from a first-floor window of the mud-brick house in Pakistan in which he had been imprisoned and headed into the nearby underbrush and forested mountains, according to three reliable militant sources who got the story from fighters who were present during the prisoner’s attempted escape. They spoke exclusively to the Daily Beast.

In an interview this month near the Afghan city of Khost, an area under heavy Haqqani influence, Hafiz Hanif, a young Afghan militant who was featured in Newsweek cover story on Al Qaedalast year and whose information has proved reliable in the past, told The Daily Beast what he had seen and heard of Bergdahl’s life—and his escape.

Hanif first spotted Bergdahl last June. It was on a high mountain trail in North Waziristan, on the isolated frontier between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The young jihadist, then a 17-year-old fighter with the remnants of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s wild and militant-infested Shawal Valley area, didn’t take any notice at first of the man, who was walking along the stony path with a group of armed fighters from the notorious Haqqani Network. The man had a beard, and was dressed like the others in ordinary tribal clothing, a loose-fitting shalwar kameez. The only thing to set him apart was that he had no weapon. “That’s the American military prisoner,” a companion told Hafiz Hanif, pointing to the unarmed man.

Hanif saw Bergdahl again several months later, again in the Shawal Valley area. This time the American was in the back seat of a pickup truck, sandwiched between two armed fighters.

Hanif and two other Afghan Taliban fighters who have seen Bergdahl up close tell the Daily Beast that the U.S. soldier is in good health and has been cooperating with his captors. Over time he seemed so friendly and cooperative—even trying to learn Pashto, the language of his captors—that his jailers removed the restraints they had bound him with, especially at night, to prevent him from escaping. Early in the summer they began letting him move around rather freely outside. On occasion, Hanif says, the American was even allowed to carry an old, loaded rifle and join the guerrillas as they hunted birds and rabbits for food and sport in the mountains.

The militants miscalculated. Bergdahl took advantage of the lax conditions and ran.

Mullah Sangin and his brother Mullah Balal, who had been put in charge of the prisoner, organized a search as soon as the escape was discovered. Nevertheless, the sources say, Bergdahl successfully avoided capture for three days and two nights. The searchers finally found him, weak, exhausted, and nearly naked—he had spent three days without food or water—hiding in a shallow trench he had dug with his own hands and covered with leaves.

“Obviously a mother wants to hear that her son is well,” said Col. Timothy Marsano. He said she was proud to hear “that he fought off his captors.”

Even then, he put up a ferocious fight. The two gunmen who found him first were unable to subdue him. “He fought like a boxer,” Hanif was told. It took five more militants to overpower him. Now back in custody, he is kept shackled at night, and his jailers are taking no chances. They constantly move him from place to place, hoping to elude any U.S. efforts to find him, Hanif says. Another Afghan source says the American’s captors shuttle him back and forth across the border.

According to one Taliban source close to senior Haqqani commanders, Bergdahl told them after his recapture that he had hoped to find villagers who might shelter him and help get word of his whereabouts to U.S. officials. The mountain tribes’ code of honor, Pashtunwali, requires them to protect and care for any stranger who seeks their assistance. But it was no use: civilians had abandoned the area long ago, squeezed out by the militants’ ever-growing presence and the unrelenting danger of Predator drone strikes. Bergdahl could find no one to help him.

Bob Prucha, deputy director for public affairs at U.S. Central Command, said in response to the Daily Beast’s information on Bergdahl: “It’s material I’ve never heard before … It’s been a long time since we’ve had any indication that he’s alive. We’re still looking for him. We’ve never ceased looking and working every intelligence angle we can come up with. We get a lead, we track it down.”

Tara McKelvey contributed reporting to this story.