Report: Sgt. Bergdahl Wandered Off Base on Multiple Occasions
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl deserted bases where he was stationed on two separate occasions, at a California training facility and an outpost in eastern Afghanistan, prior to his third venture off of a forward operating base in 2009, according to a classified military report detailing the Army’s investigation of Bergdahl.
According to the New York Times, the 35-page report was finished two months after Bergdahl’s likely desertion of his military post in 2009.
The report cites individual, first-hand accounts from Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers in his stateside unit. At the Army National Training Center in California, there were instances in which Sgt. Bergdahl reportedly snuck off the Army base to try see how far away he could venture to enjoy the sunrise or sunset.
In Afghanistan, Bergdahl’s comrades claimed in the report that he walked outside of his eastern region combat outposts’ designated boundaries.
“The Department of Defense does not discuss information contained with classified investigations. The department is making every consideration regarding the disposition of its continued classification,” said a Pentagon spokesperson responding to a New York Times inquiry.
The classified report was written in July and August of 2009 after several lengthy interviews with Bergdahl’s unit leaders, including his squad leader, platoon leader, and other senior commanders.
Many of Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers in theater have publicly claimed that he was a deserter. Some have even suspected that the Sergeant was a traitor with sympathies to the Taliban.
Because of Bergdahl’s disappearance from his base in 2009, continuing evidence suggests six US soldiers died and dozens were injured on missions related to finding the soldier.
On Sunday, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who has the classified and unclassified desertion reports on Bergdahl easily available for her viewing, said the soldier served with “honor and distinction.”
On May 31, the Obama administration announced it had finalized a deal with the Taliban to exhange Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for the "Taliban Five," who are five of the terrorist group’s most senior commanders.