The Washington Times reports that the Pentagon pretty much knew the whereabouts of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in recent years. So why didn't they rescue him?
Quoting a former intelligence official, the Times said: "Military commanders were loath to risk their people to save this guy. They were loath to pick him up and, because of that hesitancy, we wind up trading five Taliban guys for him. The mentality was, 'We're not going to lose more of our own guys on this.'"
The Times also quoted an anonymous "high-level congressional aide": "Joint Special Operations Command always had the rescue mission on the table and it was entirely under their ownership, but the big question centered on whether Bergdahl was somebody you risk lives for when you still have time and space to maneuver diplomatically. ... The prisoner swap was being built up as the only option that was available. But there's been knowledge of the general vicinity of where Bergdahl was, down to how many guys were guarding him."
The congressional aide, wrote the Times, also said that military officials in Afghanistan had been pushing for a stronger deal, but they were "superseded" by the State Department and the White House. The intelligence official said "the administration wanted to close the door on this no matter what the price was."
While Bergdahl was in captivity, the military barred soldiers from discussing him, possibly because of the questionable circumstances under which Bergdahl was captured, and also to avoid making him an even bigger ransom tool of political value.
Now that he's been released, members of Bergdahl's unit who have spoken out call him a "deserter."
One posted this comment in the Army Times: "Bergdahl had been acting a little strange, telling people he wanted to 'walk the earth' and kept a little journal talking about how he was meant for better things. No one thought anything about it. He was a little 'out there.' Next morning he's gone. ... He left his weapon, his kit, and other sensitive items. He only took some water, a compass and a knife.
"We find some Afghan kids shortly after who saw an American walking north asking about where the Taliban are. ... We come to realize that (Bergdahl) deserted his post, snuck out of camp and sought out Taliban ... to join them."