Army Investigation Regarding Whether Sgt. Bergdahl Worked With Taliban Concludes

| by Jared Keever

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl did not help the enemy in the five years he was held captive by the Taliban, an Army official said Wednesday.

“We have no reason to believe that he engaged in any misconduct,” the unnamed official said, according to the Daily Mail

The Taliban handed Bergdahl over to U.S. officials May 31. The release was the result of a controversial deal in which the Obama administration agreed to release five Taliban leaders from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. 

Bergdahl is now receiving outpatient care at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, where he is undergoing what the Army calls reintegration. 

Although Bergdahl has been provisionally cleared of helping the enemy while in custody, the Army is also investigating the circumstances in which he was captured. Many members of his platoon have come forward saying that he voluntarily walked away from his post in eastern Afghanistan.

"The scope of the investigation is fairly broad,” one Army official told the Army News Service. "It's really to look at all of the facts and circumstances surrounding his disappearance up to the point of capture. Depending on what the findings are with respect to what motivated him and his actions, there are several conclusions that could flow from that.”

Maj. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl is leading that investigation, but Bergdahl will not have to answer questions about his disappearance until his reintegration is complete.

That puts the former Taliban prisoner in a precarious legal situation. One senior Army official told The Associated Press that while Bergdahl has not been informed of his rights, he has been told that anything he says during debriefing sessions could be used against him in the future. 

Should he say something incriminating, the official said the interview would be stopped and Bergdahl would be advised of his rights and given access to a lawyer. 

Once reintegration is complete, Dahl will interview Bergdahl to determine whether he should be charged with desertion or going AWOL.

"Both AWOL and desertion are violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice," the official said. "And the commander will make the determination as to what the appropriate disposition of any allegation is, and a commander has a variety of tools available to him or her.”

Those tools, according to the official, could “range from counseling to a letter of reprimand, to an Article 15 nonjudicial punishment, to a court-martial.”

Sources: Daily Mail, CBS News (AP Story), Army News Service