On Wednesday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, NBC correspondent Richard Engel compared the two parties involved in the swap for the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and five Taliban that were being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Engel noted that the Taliban had been forthcoming than the U.S. government with details about the deal, including a video showing the physical swap.
“We’ve actually been getting more information today from the Taliban than we have from spokespersons here at the hospital in Landstuhl,” Engel said. “All they will say is in written statements that he’s stable, that his health is stable, that he’s receiving treatment. No indication how long he’ll be here in Landstuhl, only that when he’s medically ready, he’ll be transferred back to the United States. The Taliban, however, have been very forthcoming with information. They released that video. They also released quite a few details about the video, saying that they were in direct communication or in communication with the Americans, that they had to work out the logistics of this transfer.
“That they agreed that when the helicopter landed, only three people would approach from either side, so three Americans from the helicopter, the two Taliban militants and Bergdahl, that they — the Taliban needed to signal from the ground to the helicopter that it was, in fact, that group of Taliban that had him. So the Americans had initially requested that they shine a green light in the air,” he continued. “The Taliban went back and said, ‘Well, we don’t have a green light, how about a white flag?’ The Americans said fine, this is all according to a Taliban spokesman. And you can see in the video they are carrying a white flag on a stick. The exchange is quite quick, it takes place on the ground in about a minute and then the American helicopter takes off with Bergdahl inside. The Taliban had reportedly told the Americans that they would have backup in the area and they claim that they had about 20 different fighters positioned in the area. The Americans also had extra assets on hand should this exchange go badly or had it been a trap.”
(h/t RCP Video)
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