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August 8, 2014
Army's Bergdahl interrogation 'cordial,' relaxed
You might think that the army's investigation of Sergeant Bowe Berdahl, accused by his brothers-in-arms of being a "deserter," and whose actions led to the death of other soldiers, would be pretty intense.
Not so, according to the NPR affiliate in San Antonio, where Bergdahl is stationed.
After two months to consult with his attorney, Bergdahl was questioned this week by an army general investigating Bergdahl's disappearance in Afghanistan in 2009 and subsequent captivity by the Taliban. The general gave Bergdahl the third degree, right?
"It was a very cordial, relaxed environment," Bergdahl's attorney Eugene Fidell told NPR affiliate, KSTX-FM, following Thursday's follow-up session. "It wasn't an interrogation. In fact, most of it was narrative and sort of odds and ends, loose ends. Very unstressful."
Unstressful is not the word to use for the consequences Bergdahl's brothers in arms confronted after the then-private disappeared from his outpost. "The truth is: Bergdahl was a deserter, and soldiers from his own unit died trying to track him down," Nathan Bethea, who says he served in Bergdahl's unit, wrote in the Daily Beast.
Nor is unstressful the word to describe how many Americans feel about the release of five top al Qaeda leaders (Btw, does anyone know their current whereabouts?) in a swap for Bergdahl.
But, with its foreign policy in tatters on every front, the Obama administration wants Bergdahl's return to be portrayed as a victory. So, the investigation of Bergdahl is likely to remain a stress-free environment.
-William Tate is a former award-winning journalist