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U.S. Launches Investigation Into Disappearance Of Bergdahl

The U.S. Army has launched an investigation into the "facts and circumstances" surrounding both how Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl disappeared in Afghanistan and his capture by the Taliban.

In a statement, the Army said it had appointed Maj. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl as its investigating officer. The statement continues:

"The primary function of this investigation, as in any other investigation, is to ascertain facts and report them to the appointing authority. These types of investigations are not uncommon and serve to establish the facts on the ground following an incident. The investigating officer will have access to previously gathered documentary evidence, including the 2009 investigation."The Army's top priority remains Sgt. Bergdahl's health and reintegration. We ask that everyone respect the time and privacy necessary to accomplish the objectives of the last phase of reintegration. The investigating officer will not interview Sgt. Bergdahl until the reintegration team clears such interaction, so no timeline for completion of the investigation has been set."

If you remember, Bergdahl was released at the end of May, after being held for almost five years. The United States released five Guantánamo prisoners in exchange, and the swap has unleashed a torrent of criticism.

Republicans charge that the Obama administration is endangering Americans by releasing the Taliban prisoners. They also criticized Bergdahl's service record, saying he left his post willingly.

As we've reported, the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl's disappearance are murky, but an account in Rolling Stone back in 2012 said Bergdahl was "ashamed to even be American" and was defecting when he was captured.

Bergdahl is currently at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where experts are trying to reintegrate him into regular life.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/

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