A Pentagon spokesman said that they are reviewing the authenticity of a video released to the media by the Taliban showing Bowe Bergdahl being turned over to U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
“We are aware of the video allegedly released by the Taliban showing the transfer into U.S. hands of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. We have no reason to doubt the video’s authenticity, but we are reviewing it,” Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon’s press secretary said Wednesday in a statement.
“Regardless, we know the transfer was peaceful and successful, and our focus remains on getting Sgt. Bergdahl the care he needs,” he added.
The video appears to show armed militants handing a gaunt, hairless Bergdahl to Special Forces who then carry him away in a helicopter.
When asked Wednesday if the President had seen the video, White House advisor Ben Rhodes said, “Not that I’m aware of.”
Rhodes added that the White House is not surprised about the content of the video.
“We didn’t tape a video to release ourselves, but this was a very transparent exchange carefully negotiated so it went off without surprises in terms of how it was executed,” he said. “Again, we’re not surprised by the content of the video. It was not our decision to put it out. Again, I think in terms of its authenticity, the Defense Department can speak to that, but it’s certainly consistent with how that exchange had taken place.”
Of Bergdahl’s condition since his release the White House advisor added that he is still recovering in Germany.
“[The military’s] first priority after a recovery effort like this is for the health and well being of Sgt. Bergdahl and so they will assure he gets the care he needs before he can be united with his family,” Rhodes said.
Bergdahl was released Saturday in a controversial prisoner swap for five Guantanamo Bay detainees.