Wednesday, January 15, 2014
The Department of Defense has obtained a "proof of life" video of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been held by the Taliban as a prisoner of war since 2009.
A U.S. military official told CNN the video has a reference to the date Dec. 14, 2013:
[T]he clip shows the Wood Valley, Idaho, native in diminished health from the effects of close to five years in captivity.
Bergdahl, 27, was discovered missing from his duty station in eastern Afghanistan on June 30, 2009. He was declared missing/captured three days later.
The U.S. government believes he is being held in Pakistan.
The Bergdahl family spokesman, Idaho National Guard Col. Tim Marsano, released a statement from the family to the Twin Valley Times-News:
“Today we learned that a new video of our son, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, has been distributed by his captors.
“Naturally, this is very important to us and our resolve to continue our efforts to bring Bowe home as soon as possible.
“As we have done so many times over the past 4 and a half years, we request his captors to release him safely so that our only son can be reunited with his mother and father.
“BOWE - If (you) see this, continue to remain strong through patience. Your endurance will carry you to the finish line. Breathe!”
Pentagon spokeswoman Cmdr. Elissa J. Smith said to Stars and Stripes she could not release details on the video, but said everyone is working for his release:
“Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been gone far too long, and we continue to call for and work toward his safe and immediate release. We cannot discuss all the details of our efforts, but there should be no doubt that on a daily basis — using our military, intelligence and diplomatic tools — we try to see Sgt. Bergdahl returned home safely. Our hearts are with the Bergdahl family.”
As Home Post reported this past summer, the Taliban indicated in June it would release Bergdahl if the U.S. freed five senior Taliban officials currently imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay.