Sgt. Bergdahl swap for Taliban leaders irks some - WNCN: News, Weather

Sgt. Bergdahl swap for Taliban leaders irks some

Posted: Updated:
WASHINGTON -

The release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from captivity in Afghanistan has reignited questions from some about the circumstances of the soldier's disappearance five years ago, according to NBC News.

Bergdahl was the only American soldier being held in the country until he was exchanged in a swap deal on Saturday for five high-ranking Taliban figures from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

His freedom was celebrated by his family and the Obama administration. But others — including some members of his own platoon — have reiterated their long-held concerns over the events surrounding his June 2009 disappearance.

The 28-year-old sergeant vanished from a military base in Eastern Afghanistan with little more than a compass and a bottle of water. Considerable resources were diverted to try to find the missing man, and several of his fellow soldiers were killed trying to find him.

"I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on," former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl's platoon when he went missing, told CNN. "Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him."

An online petition and several Facebook groups were set up following Bergdahl's release, calling for him to be brought to justice for what they alleged was a dereliction of duty.

"He is not a hero and is directly responsible for several military members death," read the petition, which by 4 a.m. ET had more than 1,500 digital signatures.

"Bring punishment to Bowe Bergdahl and let the public know that the military holds all members to the same standard."

One of the Facebook groups claimed to have been set up by Bergdahl's former "battle buddies" who had "first hand knowledge of what took place" on the day of the soldier's disappearance.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel declined to comment on reports that the sergeant had walked away from his unit. Such matters "will be dealt with later," Hagel said.

The defense secretary pointedly described Bergdahl as a "prisoner of war."

While some questioned the circumstances Bergdahl's disappearance, others, including prominent Republicans, were unhappy with the manner of his release, claiming that the swap deal amounted to negotiating with terrorists and effectively put a price tag on the heads of all U.S. servicemen.

The reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar who described the men released from Guantanamo Bay as "important commanders of jihad" and declared the swap a "great victory."

  • U.S.More>>

  • Attorney: Detroit needs debt plan to survive

    Attorney: Detroit needs debt plan to survive

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:44 PM EDT2014-09-02 22:44:14 GMT
    Lawyers for Detroit will attempt to convince a judge with the start of the city's bankruptcy trial that its plans to wipe out billions of dollars in debt should be approved.
    The plan to restructure billions of dollars in debt is the vehicle the Motor City needs to free up funds to provide services to residents and allow the city to survive, one of Detroit's attorneys told the federal judge...
  • 7-year-old boy injured while target shooting in California

    7-year-old boy injured while target shooting in California

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:26 AM EDT2014-09-02 11:26:02 GMT
    A 7-year-old boy remained in a Sacramento, California, hospital Monday, two days after he was injured while target shooting, authorities said Monday.
    A 7-year-old boy remained in a Sacramento, California, hospital Monday, two days after he was injured while target shooting, authorities said Monday.
  • Jennifer Lawrence requests nude pics investigation

    Jennifer Lawrence requests nude pics investigation

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:27 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:27:57 GMT
    67th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 17, 2014. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)67th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 17, 2014. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)
    A publicist for Jennifer Lawrence says the actress has contacted authorities after nude photos of her were apparently stolen and posted online.
    A publicist for Jennifer Lawrence says the actress has contacted authorities after nude photos of her were apparently stolen and posted online.
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.