Yesterday, we reported that we hadn’t heard a clear story from the Pentagon about how Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl was captured in Afghanistan. We started looking after a Fox News analyst claimed the soldier deserted (and therefore should be executed by the Taliban).
But last night, an NBC News correspondent reported that Pentagon officials are certain Bergdahl is not a deserter.
“Senior military and Pentagon officials, not only in Washington but there on the ground in Afghanistan, say there’s no question he’s not a deserter,” said Jim Miklaszewski, NBC’s Pentagon correspondent.
Video after the jump.
Miklaszewski also said the officials are “quite outraged” about the comments made by the Fox analyst, Lt. Col. Ralph Peters because they could be used to harm Bergdahl.
“These Peters comments could actually be used by his captors to get even deeper inside Bergdahl’s mind, and further erode any confidence that he may have that he will ever come out alive,” he said. “It’s why you don’t hear military officials or even government officials talking much about this case.”
Miklaszewski also had more details about the events leading to the soldier’s capture.
He did leave his post by himself. He came off a patrol June 30, dropped off his weapon and his body armor, grabbed up a bottle of water, a compass and a knife and took off out on his own. And it was sometime after that, apparently, that some local militants grabbed him and turned him over to the Taliban. Now, should he have left the post alone? Of course not. But it doesn’t make him a deserter.
In related news, CNN reports that U.S. forces have opened a fact-finding mission into Bergdahl’s disappearance.