At a Senate intelligence briefing given by the White House’s Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken, members watched a “proof of life” video made by Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s Taliban captors late last year. According to Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) Kirk, Bergdahl appeared weak but spoke English and referenced the passing of South African President Nelson Mandela. Mandela died on December 5, 2013.
“He didn’t look good. He said[on the video], ‘I’m private Bergdahl,'”recalled Kirk. “It was taken right after Nelson Mandela’s [death].” He later added, “[He spoke] English. He talked about proof of life about facts–like Nelson Mandela’s passing away.”
According to CNN, a Defense Department official confirmed that Bergdahl was struggling with the English language.
Kirk also told reporters that the briefing mainly focused on the future security of the United States.
“One of the key questions was are any of these guys who were released involved in the terror attacks against America? And they said ‘no’.” Kirk went further, “The question we all had was will any of these guys transform the battlefield against the Americans who remain in Afghanistan? They didn’t know.”