Former U.S. Army Sgt. Evan Buetow, who was Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s team leader in Afghanistan, claimed during an interview today that Bergdahl actively sought out the Taliban when he left his post.
Buetow told CNN that U.S. military personnel intercepted radio chatter that indicated an American was looking for Taliban members who spoke English.
“When we heard that, it told us, okay, he’s actively seeking out the Taliban,” Buetow stated. “And, yes, over the next couple of months, all the attacks were far more directed.
“I heard it straight from the interpreter’s lips as he heard it over the radio,” Buetow added.
However, WikiLeaks released a transcript of the event that Buetow told CNN about, except it does not mention that Bergdahl actually sought out a member of the Taliban, but rather someone who spoke English:
UPDATE: 1012z GUARDRAIL REPORTS PICKED UP LLVI TRAFFIC AT GRID VB 6597 3366 THAT STATES (UIM INDICATES THAT AN AMERICAN SOLDIER IS TALKING AND IS LOOKING FOR SOMEONE WHO SPEAKS ENGLISH. INDICATES AMERICAN SOLDIER HAS CAMERA)
Buetow also told CNN that he did not want to get "political" about Bergdahl, but according to Buzzfeed.com, Fox News contributor, former Bush administration and Romney campaign official Richard Grenell and his PR firm Capitol Media have been setting up interviews for soldiers to bash Bergdahl and question his patriotism.
Sean Smith, a reporter with The Guardian, told Democracy Now (video below) today that Bergdahl's fellow soldiers were more critical than he was of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.
Smith met Bergdahl in Afghanistan in 2009 when he was embedded with his unit.
"I think there was a couple of the other soldiers, early one morning on camera, questioned the mission, the whole mentioned, I guess, in Afghanistan, and what they were doing," said Smith. "I think the phrase was, 'These people have been dicked around by the Russians for 17 years and now we are doing it. And I think these people just want to be left alone.' I think that is roughly what was said. I did not hear that from Bowe at all.
"So I think at that time, you know, naturally enough, quite a number of people serving in the military in Afghanistan were voicing questions about what they were doing there, you know, or what they were told they were doing there and what they actually thought they were doing there."