June 5, 2014

USA: The U.S. Defense Secretary Hagel Says 'I Do Not Know' If U.S. Soldiers Died Trying to Find Bergdahl. WOW! Isn't This IMPORTANT TO KNOW Beforehand?!

CNS news
written by Susan Jones
Thursday June 5, 2014

The U.S. defense secretary says he doesn't know if Americans died trying to rescue Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who walked away from his base in Afghanistan five years ago.

"I do not know of specific circumstances or details of U.S. soldiers dying as a result of efforts to find and rescue Sergeant Bergdahl," Hagel said at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday. "I am not aware of those specific details or any -- any facts regarding that -- that issue."

Several of Bowe Bergdahl's platoon mates have called him a deserter who deserves to be court-martialed. In their various appearances on a number of TV news shows this week, they have said at least six U.S. troops died on missions that included looking for Bergdahl.

"I can't prove that he caused deaths," Bergdahl's platoon mate Cody Full told Fox News on Monday. "What I can prove is those soldiers would not have been there at that location that they died or were severely injured. There is a high probability that they would not be there looking for him if he didn't desert because then, we wouldn't have a mission to find him."

But Hagel on Wednesday said he still doesn't know the details. He said the Army "will conduct a comprehensive review of all the circumstances regarding Sergeant Bergdahl's disappearance. And I think I would leave it there. Let's get the facts, but let's first focus on getting Sergeant Bergdahl well, getting his health back, getting him reunified with his family."

Asked if the criticism of Bergdahl is warranted, Hagel said, "Until we get the facts, until we have...a review of all the circumstances, it's not in the interest of anyone, and certainly I think a bit unfair to Sergeant Bergdahl's family and to him to presume anything. We don't do that in the United States. We rely on facts."

The "facts," as relayed on the Sunday talk shows by National Security Adviser Susan Rice, are that Bergdahl served honorably:

"Sergeant Bergdahl wasn't simply a hostage; he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield," National Security Adviser Susan Rice asserted Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

"He served the United States with honor and distinction. And we'll have the opportunity eventually to learn what has transpired in the past years, but what's most important now is his health and well-being, that he have the opportunity to recover in peace and security and be reunited with his family, which is why this is such a joyous day," Rice told George Stephanopoulos.

On Wednesday, Hagel told reporters not to forget that Bergdahl is a member of the United States Armed Forces. "The United States of America has and always will have a responsibility for getting its soldiers back. Other questions and facts regarding Sergeant Bergdahl will be dealt with at a later time."

Reports from Germany on Wednesday said Bergdahl is still in a U.S. military hospital there, but there have been no updates on his condition, nor will reporters be told when Bergdahl is transferred to the United States, NBC News reported.


The Daily Caller
written by Brendan Bordelon
Tuesday June 3, 2014

Deputy national security advisor Tony Blinken struggled to cover for his boss Susan Rice on Tuesday, backtracking from her contention that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl “served with honor and distinction” in the face of tough questions from NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell.

Mitchell confronted Blinken over Rice’s Sunday claim that Bergdahl “served with honor and distinction” — an assertion almost immediately disproven by scores of Bergdahl’s comrades and official Pentagon reports, which show the soldier abandoned his post and may have been seeking to join the Taliban.

“Why did Susan Rice say he served with honor and distinction?” she asked. “It was clear to the military as soon as he left what had happened, according to his former fellow soldiers?”

“Andrea, as Chairman Dempsey said this morning, we need to give Sgt. Bergdahl an opportunity to tell his story,” Blinken dodged, refusing to address Rice’s claim. “Right now we’re focused on bringing him back to the United States. He hasn’t even spoken to his family yet. There’s a whole transition process that goes on.”

“Keep in mind,” the deputy national security advisor continued, ”he just spent five years in captivity in the most horrendous conditions possible. We want to bring him home, we want to reunite him with his family, we want to get him well. And then he’ll have an opportunity to tell us what happened.”

But Mitchell didn’t let up, questioning how the United States can be assured that the five top-level Taliban prisoners released from Gitmo will remain in Qatar and not participate in command and control operations remotely.

Blinken stressed the commitments received from the government of Qatar, adding that “under the previous administration, hundreds of prisoners were released from Guantanamo without any restrictions on their travel or activities.”

“But Tony, with all due respect, these were listed as ‘forever prisoners,’” Mitchell pushed back. “These are guys that were not ever cleared for release because of their high rank.”

“So they’ve been in Guantanamo — they were in Guantanamo — for 13 years,” Blinken replied. “And precisely because we have the assurances that we need from the government of Qatar . . . we felt, and the Secretary of Defense determined, that it was in the national security interest of the United States to get Sgt. Bergdahl back, and that the risk had been sufficiently mitigated.”


The Washington Times
written by Cheryl K. Chumley
Thursday June 5, 2014

Families of the six U.S. soldiers who reportedly died while trying to save Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl are angry, demanding answers and asking: Was it worth it?

Sgt. Bergdahl’s swap and return has brewed up “very raw emotions,” said the mother of 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrews, who died while searching for the soldier, the Army Times reported. “It gets really hurtful when I think, this guy was worth my son’s life? My son who was patriotic? Who was a true soldier? Who defended his country with his life? That guy was worth that? I don’t think so.”

Robert Andrews, his father, said similarly, to Reuters: “Basically, my son died unnecessarily, hunting for a guy that we shouldn’t even have been hunting for.”

Another family member of a soldier who died during the search — Kenneth Luccioni, the stepfather of the deceased Pfc. Matthew Martinek — said the swap of Sgt. Bergdahl for five Taliban militants was a slap in the face to those who served honorably.

“This opens up the wounds again,” he said, Newsmax reported. “There were a lot of people who risked their lives for this young man, and we want the truth.”

And one more comment, from the father of Sgt. Kurt Curtiss, who also died during the search-and-rescue operation: “It’s just disgraceful that Obama would trade five high-level Taliban officers for this guy who basically defected,” said Bob Curtiss, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

“Leave him there,” Mr. Curtiss added. “That was his choice, his decision."

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