Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s father tweeted pro-Taliban comments directed at terrorist website while son was a prisoner in Afghanistan

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s father tweeted pro-Taliban comments directed at terrorist website while son was a prisoner in Afghanistan

One of the tweets has been removed from the Twitter account that appeared to belong to Bob Bergdahl, whose son vanished in 2009 while serving in Afghanistan. Soldiers from his platoon called him a deserter who recklessly endangered Americans and disrupted counter-insurgency operations. At least six soldiers were reportedly killed in the aftermath of his disappearance.

BY Stephen Rex Brown


Published: Monday, June 2, 2014, 12:36 PM

Updated: Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 6:41 AM

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s father tweeted pro-Taliban comments directed at terrorist website while son was a prisoner in Afghanistan

New York Daily NewsBob Bergdahl, father of freed Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, has apparently tweeted pro-Taliban messages.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl wanted to talk to the Taliban — and after his capture his father apparently did just that.

The soldier whose disappearance led to the death of six of his fellow soldiers deserted his post in a harebrained attempt to communicate with the enemy, his team leader in Afghanistan told the Daily News Monday.

Sgt. Evan Buetow, 28, recalled he was among a small team including an interpreter who spied on radio and cell communications in the area of their base on the frontlines in eastern Afghanistan, listening for clues to the Bergdahl’s whereabouts following his disappearance on June 30, 2009.

He said he heard Afghans from a nearby village say: “There’s an American here looking for someone who speaks English so he can talk to the Taliban.”

HANDOUT/AFP/Getty ImagesSgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released Saturday after nearly five years in Taliban captivity.

The search for Bergdahl put troops in a vulnerable position. Attacks increased as U.S. movements became easier for the Taliban to predict, Bergdahl’s angry fellow soldiers said, speaking out for the first time now that he had been rescued.

After the bloodshed, the military opted to pursue negotiations instead of using boots on the ground.

The prisoner of war’s father, Bob Bergdahl, did what he could to ensure his son’s safety.

U.S. Army ….. Sgt. Michael Murphrey, 25, was killed in an IED blast on Sept. 5, 2009; Private First Class Morris Walker, 23, and Staff Sgt. Clayton Bowen, 29 were killed in an IED explosion on Aug. 18, 2009. They were looking for Bergdahl when they died. Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss, 27, died in a firefight on Aug. 26, 2009. Second Lt. Darryn Andrews, 34, and Private First class Matthew Michael Martinek, 20 died after a rocket-propelled grenade ambush on Sept. 4, 2009.

That included establishing an online dialogue with the Taliban — one that apparently continued until last week, only three days before his son’s rescue.

A Twitter account appearing to belong to Bob included a tweet Wednesday — since deleted — in which he said he was “working to free all Guantanmo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, ameen!”

The tweet was directed at a Twitter account that claims to be the “Voice of Jihad” and features regular updates and bodycounts from the Mujahideen’s operations against “American invaders,” “U.S. terrorists,” and their Afghan “puppets.”

Otto Kitsinger/AP Jani and Bob Bergdahl said Sunday they had to speak to their son, who is undergoing medical and psychological evaluations following years in captivity. Scott Olson/Getty Images Bergdahl’s hometown of Hailey, Idaho, eagerly awaits his return. MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA A White House spokesman dodged questions about whether officials were aware of Bob Bergdahl’s comments before inviting him to join President Obama in the Rose Garden. James Keivom/New York Daily News This is a studio photo of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (2nd from right) in a 2007 Sun Valley Ballet School production of ‘The Little Mermaid.’ James Keivom/New York Daily News This is an undated photo of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. James Keivom/New York Daily News Zaney’s River Street Coffee House owner Sue Martin kept a lamp lit at the coffee shop after Sgt. Bergdahl vanished in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009. Bergdahl worked at the coffee shop for several years before enlisting in the Army. Scott Olson/Getty Images Bob Bergdahl speaks about the release of his son during a press conference on Sunday in Boise, Idaho.

On Monday White House spokesman Jay Carney dodged questions about whether officials were aware of Bob Bergdahl’s comments before inviting him to join President Obama in the Rose Garden.

A senior administration official said the missive was irrelevant.

“Our sacred obligation to bring home our service members is rock solid. No tweet could ever affect that,” the official told the Daily News. Abdulqahar Balkhi is a Taliban website crowing about U.S. casualties in Afghanistan.

A 2010 Pentagon investigation found that Bergdahl walked away from his unit, and that his fellow soldiers thought he was a naive, “delusional” person who thought he could help the Afghan people by leaving his post, a senior defense official told the Associated Press.

But Buetow and others were less generous in their description of their brother in arms.

“He’s not a great person or great example of a solider,” said Buetow, who now is a sheriff’s deputy in Washington state.

Sgt. Evan Buetow said Bergdahl is ‘not a great person or great example of a soldier.’

“He deserted his men, put us in danger so he could find the Taliban. And several soldiers died looking for him in the weeks and months to follow.”

The initial search effort involved helicopters, military dogs, surveillance drones, anthropologists and Afghan sources, according to Nathan Bradley Bethea, who served in the same battalion as Bergdahl.

“The searches enraged the local civilian population and derailed the counter-insurgency operations taking place at the time. At every juncture I remember the soldiers involved asking why we were burning so much gasoline trying to find a guy who had abandoned his unit in the first place,” Bethea wrote in The Daily Beast.

The war was already absurd and quixotic, but the hunt for Bergdahl was even more infuriating because it was all the result of some kid doing something unnecessary by his own volition,” Bethea wrote.

Taliban fighters handed Bergdahl over to U.S. special forces Saturday in exchange for the release of five Afghan detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison.

Bergdahl was being treated Monday at a U.S. military hospital in Germany and listed in stable condition.

But soldiers weren’t celebrating his rescue.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, visiting troops in Afghanistan, was met with an awkward silence when he told a group of them in a Bagram Air Field hangar: “This is a happy day. We got one of our own back.”

On Facebook, a Bowe Bergdahl is NOT a Hero! had over 8,500 members. A petition on the White House website calling for Bergdahl to be punished for being AWOL had over 5,300 signatures.

“I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on,” former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl’s platoon, told CNN.

“Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”
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