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Jun 13, 2014

Freed war prisoner Bergdahl arrives at Army medical center in Texas -Pentagon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who spent five years as a Taliban prisoner of war before being released on May 31, has arrived at an Army medical center in Texas where he will receive further treatment, the Pentagon said on Friday.

Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said Bergdahl left Ramstein Air Base in Germany aboard a military plane on Thursday afternoon and arrived early on Friday in San Antonio, where he will receive additional care at the Brooke Army Medical Center.

Jun 12, 2014

Freed war prisoner Bergdahl leaves Germany for U.S.: Pentagon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who spent five years as a Taliban prisoner of war before being released on May 31, left a U.S. military hospital in Germany on Thursday headed to San Antonio, where he will receive further treatment, the Pentagon said.

Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said Bergdahl left Ramstein Air Base in Germany aboard a military plane on Thursday afternoon and was due to arrive early on Friday in San Antonio, where he will receive additional care at the Brooke Army Medical Center.

Jun 11, 2014

U.S. defence chief defends Taliban prisoner swap before Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday defended the U.S. decision to trade five Taliban leaders at Guantanamo for war prisoner Bowe Bergdahl, insisting it was the right move but admitting failure to tell lawmakers hurt trust with Congress.

Hagel told the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee the Obama administration felt a growing sense of urgency in recent weeks about freeing Bergdahl because of concerns that his health was deteriorating and warnings from Qatari intermediaries that “time was not on our side.”

Jun 11, 2014

U.S. defense chief defends swap of Taliban for war prisoner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday defended the U.S. decision to trade five Taliban leaders at Guantanamo for war prisoner Bowe Bergdahl, insisting it was the right move but admitting failure to tell lawmakers hurt trust with Congress.

Hagel told the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee the administration felt a growing sense of urgency about freeing Bergdahl in recent weeks due to concerns that his health was deteriorating and warnings from Qatari intermediaries that “time was not on our side.”

Jun 11, 2014

Hearing fails to calm anger over deal to free Bergdahl

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A closed-door congressional hearing on the release of Bowe Bergdahl failed to calm Republican anger on Tuesday over the administration’s secretive deal to trade five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo for the U.S. prisoner of war.

But a group of former soldiers defended the exchange and accused lawmakers of stoking the furor over the prisoner swap for political gain.

Jun 7, 2014

Americans split on prisoner swap of Taliban for U.S. soldier

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Americans are deeply divided over whether the Obama administration did the right thing by swapping five Taliban leaders to win the freedom of Afghanistan prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl, according to Reuters/Ipsos survey released on Friday.

Americans strongly agree the United States should make every effort to free prisoners of war like Bergdahl, an Army Sergeant who was captured in eastern Afghanistan in 2009. But they also think the prisoner swap deal set a dangerous precedent.

Jun 6, 2014

Americans split on prisoner swap of Taliban for U.S. soldier: poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Americans are deeply divided over whether the Obama administration did the right thing by swapping five Taliban leaders to win the freedom of Afghanistan prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl, according to Reuters/Ipsos survey released on Friday.

Americans strongly agree the United States should make every effort to free prisoners of war like Bergdahl, an Army Sergeant who was captured in eastern Afghanistan in 2009. But they also think the prisoner swap deal set a dangerous precedent.

Jun 5, 2014

Freed soldier’s hometown cancels rally amid anger over swap

KABUL (Reuters) – The political uproar over the prisoner swap that won the release of U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl from Taliban captivity intensified on Wednesday when his hometown canceled plans for a rally celebrating his return amid allegations that he deserted.

The Taliban released video of their handover of Bergdahl to U.S. special operations forces in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border on Saturday, showing the U.S. soldier seemingly dazed and anxious about the unfolding events.

Jun 3, 2014

Obama defends deal that freed soldier amid growing demands for hearings

WASHINGTON/WARSAW (Reuters) – President Barack Obama defended himself on Tuesday against Republican criticism of the prisoner swap deal that freed a U.S. soldier from Taliban captivity, as his fellow soldiers accused him of deserting his unit and turning his back on his country.

Speaking in Poland, Obama said rescuing Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl upheld a “sacred rule” that the United States does not “leave our men or women in uniform behind.”

Jun 2, 2014

Republicans demand hearings in Congress over soldier’s release

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican lawmakers angered by a White House deal to swap five Taliban prisoners for a captured U.S. soldier in Afghanistan on Monday demanded hearings over why the Obama administration reached the agreement without consulting Congress.

Adding to criticism of the decision to negotiate the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl were accusations by some soldiers who served with him that they consider Bergdahl a deserter who cost the lives of several comrades.

    • About David

      "David has been a journalist for 30 years, based in Washington, London, New Delhi, Jerusalem and Philadelphia. He covered the first Gulf war, the Palestinian intifada and the conflict in Kashmir. Since 1998 he has been an editor and reporter in Washington, covering politics, the White House and other stories."
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