Former Special Ops officer: Report issued within 24 hours after Bergdahl disappeared said he left a note

posted at 7:21 pm on June 5, 2014 by Allahpundit

I know I’ve been droning on about the note all day but I need to flag this, as it’s the first time someone’s gone on record on camera about it. Let me recap why this is important. Three days ago, the New York Times cited a “former senior military officer” for the claim that Bergdahl had left a note behind in his tent the night he disappeared saying “he had become disillusioned with the Army, did not support the American mission in Afghanistan and was leaving to start a new life.” Pretty strong evidence of desertion; in fact, it’s the only hard evidence of Bergdahl’s motives that allegedly exists. The same day, Fox News reported that two unnamed former members of Bergdahl’s unit also claim that he left a note, and that the note suggested not only desertion but an intent to renounce his citizenship. All of this came as a shock to Saxby Chambliss, the ranking GOP member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, who had read the classified file on Bergdahl and saw nothing in there about a note.

That’s when things started to get weird.

I asked Jake Tapper, who’s interviewed multiple members of Bergdahl’s unit, how many of them have mentioned a note. Answer:

The military’s classified 35-page report on Bergdahl’s disappearance also says nothing about a note. The Times was surprised by that and went back to its original source, the “former senior military officer,” to ask what gives. Here’s what he told them:

Asked about what appeared to be a disconnect, the retired officer insisted that he remembered reading a field report discussing the existence of such a letter in the early days of the search and was unable to explain why it is not mentioned in the final investigative report.

Did the letter mysteriously disappear or did it never exist at all? Before you answer, watch Newsmax’s interview with retired Special Ops Maj. Rusty Bradley, who helped search for Bergdahl, below; the key bit comes at around 5:45. Like the Times’s source, he claims that a report issued within 24 hours of Bergdahl’s disappearance mentioned a note. (Actually, Bradley fits the basic description of the Times’s source. Is he their source?) The fog of war could, I guess, explain an early factual error, but … how would that error have been made, exactly? I would think that when a soldier first goes missing, the men around him would give him every benefit of the doubt in assuming there’s an innocent reason for his disappearance. He could have been injured or collapsed somewhere on base; he could have been captured by jihadis. He could be in terrible danger. If there are suspicions that early in the process that he disappeared for malignant reasons, I’d guess there’s probably a good reason.

But then, where’s the note? And why is the White House telling Congress it doesn’t exist?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Mexicans are people too.

Bigbullets on June 5, 2014 at 7:23 PM

It doesn’t exist……. Now…

sandee on June 5, 2014 at 7:25 PM

And why is the White House telling Congress it doesn’t exist?

Because he’s somebody’s child?

Wethal on June 5, 2014 at 7:26 PM

The Bergdahl note was in Michael Hastings pocket.

portlandon on June 5, 2014 at 7:29 PM

The Bergdahl note was in Michael Hastings pocket.

portlandon on June 5, 2014 at 7:29 PM

I’m not a tin hatter but now his death even seems more suspicious…

sandee on June 5, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Well, at least they succeeded in pushing the VA scandal off the news cycle.

307wolverine on June 5, 2014 at 7:31 PM

Ok…somebody is going to have to search Sandy Berger’s pants, and it isn’t gonna be me.

Left Coast Right Mind on June 5, 2014 at 7:31 PM

But then, where’s the note? And why is the White House telling Congress it doesn’t exist?

These must be rhetorical questions because the answers are easy considering Obama’s consistent MO.

The note doesn’t fit the WH narrative. Obama has gotten away with so many lies (thank you MSM and Congress), that he feels no compunction at all now and says what he wants to say.

As to where the note is—at the moment MHO is that someone is hanging on to it on the off-chance that it is needed to salvage a narrative or career (including Obama’s).

INC on June 5, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Marie Harf
Spokesperson
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
June 5, 2014

AFGHANISTAN

Sergeant Bergdahl / Concerns about Health and Physical Security
Prisoner Exchange / Agreement with Qatari Government / Assurances / Mitigated Risk / Commitment to Close Guantanamo
Violence / U.S. Working Closely with Afghan Government / Importance of Good Relationships with Neighbors

TRANSCRIPT:

1:44 p.m. EDT
MS. HARF: It’s a full house. I have several things at the top.

QUESTION: Great, thanks. I’d like to start with Sergeant Bergdahl.

MS. HARF: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: As we understand it, the Administration has told members of Congress that Sergeant Bergdahl would have been killed by the Taliban had the details of the negotiations made public before the handoff happened. Is that your recollection of the situation as – or not your recollection, but your understanding of the situation as well?

MS. HARF: Uh-huh. A couple points on that. As you know, there was the classified briefing last night. I’m not going to be able to go into all the details of what we told Congress. But in terms of concerns about his physical security, just a few points: Of course, partly because of the video, there were concerns about his health, but separate from that is physical security, right. But in terms of health, we’ve made our concerns very well known that there were a number of reasons in that video to believe that his health was declining.

But further, in terms of physical security, we – once we had in place the agreement with the – through the Qataris about how this could proceed, there were real concerns that if this were made public first, his physical security could be in danger more by either the Taliban walking away or about an individual Taliban member who perhaps was guarding him – again, I’m speaking generally, not in reference to any specific piece of information – but someone guarding him that possibly wouldn’t agree and could take harmful action against him. So as we needed to move quickly, all of these factors played into that.

QUESTION: Do you have any sense – when we’re talking about the conditions under which he was held, do you have any sense of how many people were guarding him?

MS. HARF: I can – I don’t have that in front of me.

QUESTION: Okay. Any kind of details on –

MS. HARF: We know that the conditions weren’t great, obviously. For five years, he was held by the Taliban. We know that the conditions, obviously, were not particularly good. I’m happy if there’s – to see if there’s more detail to share.

QUESTION: It’s been noted that he came out kind of squinting and shying away from the light, raising questions of whether he was kept underground or in some kind of very dark area for a while.

MS. HARF: I don’t have more details. I’m happy to see if there are more to share.

QUESTION: Can we go back to the original question? Because the way it was phrased talked about “would have been killed.” My understanding of what the Administration’s representations have been to Congress is not that he would have been killed, but he could have been killed.

MS. HARF: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Is that your understanding?

MS. HARF: I’m not going to get into all of the specifics about –

QUESTION: No, no. No, no. Yeah –

MS. HARF: — exactly what we told Congress or what we knew about his physical security. Obviously, some of that is based on information we can’t share.

QUESTION: Right.

MS. HARF: So I think I just laid out the reasons we were concerned about it and the possibility that harm could come to him, particularly if, once we concluded the agreement, it was made public.

QUESTION: No, no, I get it. I just –

MS. HARF: So – and I’m not just going to go into any more details about what we did or didn’t tell Congress.

QUESTION: No, that’s fine. But the point I’m trying to get across is that what you – your concern was about a possibility that he might come to harm, not a certainty, correct?

MS. HARF: Well, I don’t think we can ever be certain of anything, but I think we were gravely enough concerned by information we had, both from the video about his health and other information about his physical security, that we needed to move very quickly.

QUESTION: Yes, got it.

QUESTION: Do you think it’s accurate to say that there was a threat against his physical security?

MS. HARF: I think it is absolutely accurate to say that. I think there was – there’s – I mean, you’re being held by – captive by the Taliban; I think that should go without saying. But there were reasons, particularly recently, where we were increasingly concerned and we believed time was of the essence.

QUESTION: Marie, just to follow up on the proof of life video. If you were so concerned about Bergdahl’s health, why did you wait six months to rescue him?

MS. HARF: Well obviously, as folks know – and we talked about this a little bit yesterday – there have been talks about how we could possibly get him home for years now. So we’ve been concerned for some time; we’ve been in talks for some time. Nobody was waiting for anything. These are complicated negotiations.

To Arshad’s question yesterday – he asked if we’d ever directly talked about the Taliban with this – we had. Those talks ended in early 2012. These were part of the broader talks, but we had talked directly about this with the Taliban. So no one was waiting. We knew time was of the essence. Again, recently – we believe new information came to light that meant it was even more of the essence, and we were able to move forward.

QUESTION: But the impetus of the deal – and many would argue it’s a bad deal – is because his health was deteriorating; you had to act. What took so long?

MS. HARF: I first take notion with the issue that – or take issue with the notion that many would argue it was a bad deal. I haven’t seen a lot of polling on it. I think many people would argue that it was important to get him home.

Second, there were health concerns, but there were also the concerns about physical security, as we’ve said. And look, this is the one American POW we had in Afghanistan. This – as General Dempsey said, our best and probably last opportunity for a variety of reasons to get him home, and I think I’ll defer to the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on that assessment.

QUESTION: But the fact that it took six months, when you say “last opportunity” –

MS. HARF: What do you mean by six months?

QUESTION: Well, the proof of life video was released in December.

MS. HARF: Mm-hmm. And we’ve had several proofs of life for him throughout his time in captivity, and we’ve been negotiating through that time.

QUESTION: Has there been videos released since December?

MS. HARF: Since – proof of life videos? No, not to my knowledge. Maybe I’m missing something here.

QUESTION: So that’s the question. His health was in such grave danger in December when the video was released and government officials saw it. What took so long?

MS. HARF: Well, first – two points, Lucas. The first is when it was released we were negotiating. We were trying to get him home. So it’s not like we were sitting here doing nothing and the video came out and we thought, “Oh, we should try to get Sergeant Bergdahl home.” That’s absolutely not the case.

Secondly, health was a part of this, right, but the other concern recently was about his physical security. So as I think other folks have said, you can’t make definitive health judgments based on a video. It appeared that it was much worse. That’s why we believed it was important to move forward with this.

We wanted to make sure we got the assurances from the Qataris, and I have a little more on that today: that we demanded a complete travel ban; we demanded certain security measures be put in place to substantially mitigate the threat that these individuals may pose to the U.S. and our interests. Those demands were met prior to doing this. Those demands were important to us. We wanted to make sure we negotiated for them.

This isn’t to say – I think Elise asked yesterday about house arrest. Not under house arrest. It’s possible someone will see them on the streets of Qatar. But those types of activities don’t threaten our national security interests, and that’s the standard here about substantially mitigating the threat that they will pose. We’re confident in the Qataris that the restrictions agreed upon, and these individuals will be restricted from activities that pose a threat to our national security.

QUESTION: But yesterday you also said, quote, “I think people have confusion about – that eventually what was going to happen anyway.”

MS. HARF: Yep.

QUESTION: Can I –

QUESTION: So if these Guantanamo –

MS. HARF: Well, let me finish his, and then we’ll – yes, please.

QUESTION: If these detainees or prisoners of war, whatever you want to call them, were going to be released anyway, why was this such a great deal?

MS. HARF: Because we got the one American POW in Afghanistan home. And my point yesterday – and this is a broader conversation I think at some point we will all be having about Guantanamo Bay and how we eventually close it – is that the notion that these were the worst of the worst – and look, these were not good guys. I am in no way defending these men. But being mid- to high-level officials in a regime that’s grotesque and horrific also doesn’t mean they themselves directly pose a threat to the United States.

So I think when we were talking yesterday about eventually Guantanamo Bay will have to be closed, we’ve said that’s important. Even former President Bush said that was important. It was opened under his tenure. And we have identified the worst of the – I mean, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is the worst of the worst. These people that we’ve identified, about 30, will be tried, will be prosecuted. So we need to be very clear when we talk about this. And if you look at the recidivism rate under this Administration with the protocols we’ve put in place – with the standards we’ve put in place, it’s dropped dramatically from where it was in the previous administration. So I think we need to be very clear when we talk about this issue and the threat from here on out, Lucas.

QUESTION: Last one. Earlier today the President said that this was a – Sergeant Bergdahl’s release was a controversy whipped up in Washington. Do you – does the State Department believe that?

MS. HARF: Well, I do think it’s illustrative that the President and the Secretary overseas, working on Ukraine, working on Syria and other issues, and that people overseas haven’t really been focused on that. People in the rest of the world are focused on other issues and they’re focused on the future of Afghanistan. I think that there has been a lot of noise in Washington, much of it political, about this.

Look, this is a tough choice. This is an important issue. We should have debates about it. Nobody is saying that. The President wasn’t saying that. But I think it’s frustrating at times to see – look, none of this – none of this was new. There have been press reports publicly about the notion of a swap for Sergeant Bergdahl particularly with these guys for years. The questions about how he disappeared have been out there for years. And in that time period, many of the people now criticizing this said it was – said it could be a good idea. They said that they would pursue it.

So it just calls into question some of the criticism and the political nature of it. I’m not saying all of it is. I’m not saying it’s not right to have discussions about it.

QUESTION: Do you think Sergeant Bergdahl’s platoon mates from OP Mest, do you think they’re part of the controversy?

MS. HARF: I think – look, I think that the people who served with Sergeant Bergdahl, everyone who served in Afghanistan, has volunteered to go to a really tough place and wear the uniform of their country. Obviously we won’t know the full story about what happened to him without his side of it. We’ve been looking at this and we will look at this. The Army has committed to undertaking, based on all of the information – including his platoon mates, including his – to determine what happened. And if there was misconduct, he’ll be punished.

QUESTION: Because according to this controversy and these press reports you’re talking about, since June 2009 part of that narrative was Sergeant Bergdahl was left behind and his soldiers had to live with that for the last many years.

MS. HARF: What do you mean?

QUESTION: Since June 2009, you said there’s other press reports out there that said Sergeant Bergdahl was captured while on a patrol, and a lot of people assume that the Army had left him behind.

MS. HARF: I don’t think anyone – look, I think what I was referring to is there have been – this has been a very publicly discussed case, both what may or may not have happened when he went into captivity by the Taliban and the potential for a prisoner swap with some Guantanamo detainees. So I think what I was referring to is that now, even though all of this has been out in the public domain, now suddenly some people are trying to use this to score political points. Not everyone. It is a fair topic to debate. But I think that’s probably what you heard the President refer to. There are people overseas that some of us – some of them look at some of the things that are being said on Twitter right now, including about people like me, and are shocked by it. That’s not real discussion and debate at all.

QUESTION: But if the Guantanamo detainees were going to be let out anyway, then we got something for nothing?

MS. HARF: No. Flip it, Lucas. If they were eventually likely going to be released, if we could get the one American POW we had back for something that was going to happen eventually, without firing a shot, without putting another American serviceman in harm’s way to get him back through some sort of riskier operation, I think many people, including many members of Congress, have spoken up throughout the years that they think that would be a deal they would take.

QUESTION: Are the suspects in Qatar at the moment going through any kind of reintegration process?

MS. HARF: I don’t have more details on that. Again, I had a little more additional details today about the restrictions. We’re confident in the assurances the Qatari Government has given us.

QUESTION: Sergeant Bergdahl is having his reacclimation process. I was just curious if they were going through one as well.

MS. HARF: I don’t want to equate them, Lucas. Thanks.

QUESTION: Marie, can I –

MS. HARF: Wait. Arshad had a question, and then Jo.

QUESTION: It goes back to the – did the Taliban threaten to kill Sergeant Bergdahl if the deal leaked?

MS. HARF: I’m not going to get into that kind of level of detail about what we may or may not know.

QUESTION: Do you believe that – to your knowledge, do you believe that to be correct?

MS. HARF: I’m not going to comment in any way on that.

QUESTION: Can I go – can I ask you about the buckets of people and the five Taliban who were in this bucket which was eligible for review?

MS. HARF: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: I’m just wondering: Is it not correct that also within this bucket there are people that the Administration doesn’t know what to do with because some of the evidence against them cannot be submitted into the courts because it’s too tainted because of the procedures under which it was taken?

MS. HARF: I don’t have all the details on that middle group of people. But what I do know – and I think some folks – some of – former, actually, prosecutors at Guantanamo and others have been out there talking about the process who know more about it than I do. But where we were able to get enough evidence to charge people there, we have said we’re going to, and that’s the first bucket of about 30 people. And it’s been how many years now – 13, 12 – since many of these guys have been there? We’ve had a lot of time to build cases. So for that middle group, as I said yesterday, it’s unlikely that they will be added to the group that’s going to be prosecuted.

QUESTION: But is that not because they’re not considered the worst of the worst? I believe there are some people who are considered very dangerous within that group.

MS. HARF: And that is accurate to say.

QUESTION: It’s more that you can’t get the evidence to prosecute them?

MS. HARF: Well, right. I’m not saying – I’m not speaking for that group broadly. I was speaking for those five when I would say these five aren’t the worst of the worst.

QUESTION: You stand by that: They’re not the worst of the worst?

MS. HARF: It doesn’t mean they’re good guys. I am in no way – it’s not my job to get up here and defend them. I think – and look, they were mid- to high-level officials in an incredibly repressive, violent regime, and it’s because – that’s why they were brought to Guantanamo, not because of their ties to al-Qaida – some of them may have had some – but because of their role in the Taliban very early on in the war.

QUESTION: So it’s not your –

MS. HARF: But that doesn’t mean they directly threaten the United States national security. We feel like we’ve sufficiently mitigated that.

QUESTION: So it’s not your contention then that they were among this group of hardened –

QUESTION: The Camp 7 guys.

QUESTION: — yeah, terrorists that could not be released, could not be approved for their release, but couldn’t be prosecuted?

MS. HARF: I’ll see if there’s more details for you on that. Again, these guys – we believe for these five what’s important now is that we believe we have sufficiently mitigated the risk, through our agreement with the Qatari Government that they will not be able to threaten the U.S. national security in the future.

QUESTION: For one year.

QUESTION: Can I just get back to the proof of life video that –

MS. HARF: Yeah.

QUESTION: — you mentioned earlier that was shown to the senators last night? Have you seen it yourself?

MS. HARF: I have not, no.

QUESTION: Is it anybody’s intention to release it generally to the public to see it?

MS. HARF: I can check.

QUESTION: Can you –

QUESTION: I wanted to ask just because there were some reports I was listening to on the radio this morning that said that it showed Sergeant Bergdahl looking dazed and that had the – presumably, if – when the President saw it, there would have been no doubt in his mind that this was a guy who was under severe – who was severely ill. Is that the –

MS. HARF: Well – in terms of the proof of life video?

QUESTION: Yes.

MS. HARF: Oh, okay.

QUESTION: The proof of life video.

MS. HARF: In general, what we can say about the video is that how he appeared in the video did raise very serious concerns with us about his health.

QUESTION: Can you tell us how he appeared? What was his condition? We haven’t –

MS. HARF: I can see if there’s more – I haven’t seen it, so I’m happy to see if there’s more detail I can share. I can say that – like I said yesterday, none of us can imagine what would happen to us after four and a half years in Taliban captivity. I think you saw it from the video yesterday of him boarding the helo. So –

QUESTION: Marie –

MS. HARF: — I’ll see if there’s more detail I can share.

QUESTION: Marie, if his health was such a great concern, what took so long to act?

MS. HARF: You’re asking the same question over and over again, Lucas. We’ve been negotiating for his release for years now, and we needed to make sure we had the assurances. We’ve been in active negotiations through the Qataris on this, particularly on this last round. And as soon as we were able to get in place the agreement for the transfer to Qatar, as soon as we were able to operationalize it, right – so first we made the agreement with Qatar, and then we had to operationalize it. As soon as we could get him on that helo, we did. Believe me, the United States military acts as quickly as it can.

QUESTION: Can you go back to something you said a minute ago? I believe you said that there had been direct negotiations or talks with Taliban about Sergeant Bergdahl.

MS. HARF: Including about Sergeant Bergdahl. We’ve had them on – broadly speaking, as we know, on the reconciliation issue. Those ended in early 2012.

QUESTION: Do you know how long they went on?

MS. HARF: I can check and see when they started.

QUESTION: Do you know why they broke down?

MS. HARF: We talked about it a little bit at the time. If you remember, the opening of the office came much later. But we talked about it a little bit at the time. I’m happy to go check the historical record.

QUESTION: Okay.

MS. HARF: I obviously was not here.

QUESTION: Thanks. And maybe if they had been receptive to it at that time.

MS. HARF: Well, we do – I mean, look, we have had talks ongoing with them, and we have had – I don’t want to use the word “opportunities,” but we were talking with them because we believed there was a way we could maybe move forward and get him home. For a variety of reasons they broke down in the past several times, and thankfully we were able to get him home this time. I will see if there’s more historical detail. A lot of this is before our time here.

QUESTION: One more question on Guantanamo?

MS. HARF: Uh-huh.

QUESTION: I’m trying to understand the status of the detainees currently held at Guantanamo. So you said the Administration has plans to put 30 of the entire population –

MS. HARF: It’s about 30. I don’t have the exact number.

QUESTION: — on trial. So I’m assuming –

MS. HARF: Prosecution.

QUESTION: — yeah – the rest should be released, right?

MS. HARF: So 78 of the rest are – have already been approved through the review process for transfer.

QUESTION: Okay.

MS. HARF: And there are a handful remaining that we’re still determining what to do.

QUESTION: Okay.

MS. HARF: We’ve been very clear that we will transfer those we can. Part of that involves finding third countries almost always – sometimes the home country, but third countries to send them to.

QUESTION: So it’s mainly finding a country? It’s not making a decision to release them?

MS. HARF: Well, on the 78 that have already been a decision made, that is – the challenge there is finding countries, either their home countries – some cases they don’t want to go back or the home country doesn’t want them, so we look for third countries. We’ve talked about that a lot in here. For the prosecution side, that’s obviously a prosecution process which is a little difficult but we’ll move forward with as we can. And then there are still decisions to be made about that bucket in the middle, which is not – which is a smaller number.

QUESTION: How is that decision being made?

MS. HARF: Well, it’s –

QUESTION: I mean, what’s the process?

MS. HARF: It’s an interagency process that takes into account a variety of factors. If we have enough evidence to charge people, you’ve seen we will do so. If we don’t and we believe people can be slated for transfer, then there’s a whole process in terms of threat mitigation that we go through through the periodic review board, interagency process, and we’ll go through that with all of them.

QUESTION: And how were you able to determine that these five Taliban leaders do not pose any threat, but you’re still going through the cases of the rest of those people?

MS. HARF: Yeah. Well, it takes a while to go through these. Obviously, we have a commitment to close Guantanamo Bay, and so obviously that’s a process we’re going through right now.

So the entire interagency national security team – including of course the Secretary of Defense, because Guantanamo Bay falls under the Defense Department – undertook the threat assessment, did a risk assessment of how we could best mitigate it, what assurances we could get from the Government of Qatar; that while these are not good guys and are, in many cases, pretty bad guys, they could not – we’ve sufficiently – substantially, I think, is the word I’m supposed to use – mitigated the risk that they will return to the fight against American national security interests.

Look, the future of Afghanistan is up to the Afghan people and the next Afghan Government to decide. What – we’ve said that eventually there needs to be a political settlement there, a solution that involves Afghans talking to Afghans, reconciliation, what they will do with the Taliban going forward. That needs to be decided between them.

QUESTION: Do you think this swap deal will encourage Taliban to try to capture more American soldiers? Because it seems it was successful in releasing some of the detainees.

MS. HARF: I think I’m – I am getting a lot of the same questions for the past two days, and I’m happy to keep answering them. Look, I think the United States military has been crystal clear that they will take action against the Taliban when it threatens our interests. I don’t think the Taliban is in any way confused about the power of the United States military to go after them or the willingness of them to do so.

QUESTION: One more on Gitmo.

QUESTION: Can we talk –

MS. HARF: Yeah.

QUESTION: Last one –

MS. HARF: Guys. Wait. Shh. Let’s do, like, three more on this, and then I’m going to move on. So Lucas gets one more, you get one more, and then we’re going to move on.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MS. HARF: You’re welcome.

QUESTION: Do detainees at Guantanamo Bay, when they leave, have to sign any kind of pledge not to reenter the battlefield, take up arms against the United States or our allies?

MS. HARF: I’m not going to go into more details about the specifics of the agreement with the Government of Qatar. Again, suffice to say we are confident that the details –

QUESTION: I just meant in general.

MS. HARF: I’m – in general, I’m not going to go in to specifics about what they have to do when they get out.

QUESTION: But wouldn’t it make sense (inaudible) – can you say that they did not sign a pledge?

MS. HARF: I’m not commenting on a pledge one way or the other, Lucas. What I’m saying is that the processes we put in place and the mitigation that we put in place to ensure they can’t return to the battlefield, we are confident in. Our recidivism rate has dropped substantially since the previous administration because of these processes, so we’re confident in that going forward.

Yes.

QUESTION: The first question regarding the buckets that you used to – for the Guantanamo Bay prisoners or whatever we can call them – you mentioned 78 and then 30. But this doesn’t add up to 146 or 149.

MS. HARF: Yeah, 149. So there’s that middle group that we have not made a determination one way or the other about what will happen to them. As I said, it’s unlikely that most of them, if any, will be put into the category of prosecution, but we’re still looking at their cases.

QUESTION: So the rest are – we don’t know what’s happened –

MS. HARF: We’re not – yeah. We don’t know yet.

QUESTION: The question regarding the terms of with Qatar, it is – those terms are valid for one year or more?

MS. HARF: Yeah. So as we’ve talked about in here, it’s one year, certainly. And again, the – we are confident they will enforce the restrictions. We are confident that we will be able to have that in place.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.) And my last question is what Lara asked yesterday. Did they – did Taliban pick those five people? Or how it was then this swap?

MS. HARF: I didn’t get any clarity on that. I’m happy to check on that.

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2014/06/227174.htm
=====================================================

Daily Press Briefing- June 5, 2014

June 5, 2014: U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing by Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf in Washington, DC.

http://video.state.gov/en/video/3608088971001

canopfor on June 5, 2014 at 7:37 PM

“Jake, how many of the troops did you ask about the note?”

“zero”

VegasRick on June 5, 2014 at 7:37 PM

That which has been seen will remain seen.

Bmore on June 5, 2014 at 7:37 PM

But then, where’s the note?

With Barky’s birth certificate, selective service registration, passport info and standardized test scores.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 5, 2014 at 7:38 PM

And why is the White House telling Congress it doesn’t exist?

You trust ‘em, dontcha?

AUINSC on June 5, 2014 at 7:41 PM

I predict Bergdahl will end up dead in the hospital from “the severe health condition” he was in just like Obama claimed. If I were him, I would have food tasters for everything given him to eat or drink. His life means nothing to providing cover for our Imperial president. This man is walking dead…I assure you.

trs on June 5, 2014 at 7:43 PM

If there was a note then there isn’t one now.

The special ops guy is just another one of the psycho military guys or something.

Mark Boabaca on June 5, 2014 at 7:43 PM

78????

MS. HARF: Well, on the 78 that have already been a decision made, that is – the challenge there is finding countries,

either their home countries – some cases they don’t want to go back or the home country doesn’t want them,

so we look for third countries.

We’ve talked about that a lot in here. For the prosecution side, that’s obviously a prosecution process which is a little difficult but we’ll move forward with as we can. And then there are still decisions to be made about that bucket in the middle, which is not – which is a smaller number.

QUESTION: How is that decision being made?

MS. HARF: Well, it’s –

QUESTION: I mean, what’s the process?

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2014/06/227174.htm

canopfor on June 5, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Speaking of State Briefings:

Matt Lee @APDiploWriter · 2h

Tweeps: Rumor about Jen Psaki leaving her job as @statedeptspox is FALSE. No need for the #SavePsaki campaign.

https://twitter.com/hashtag/SavePsaki?src=hash

canopfor on June 5, 2014 at 7:47 PM

I want to say how much I respect Special Ops Maj. Rusty Bradley and all the platoon members who have gone on public record and spoken truth to power. It’s about time someone did.

I’m not surprised that members of the military were the ones to do this. The feckless members of Congress, Pentagon brass, and federal civil employees have let Obama take his pen and his phone and act as a de facto dictator.

INC on June 5, 2014 at 7:49 PM

I want to say how much I respect Special Ops Maj. Rusty Bradley and all the platoon members who have gone on public record and spoken truth to power. It’s about time someone did.

I’m not surprised that members of the military were the ones to do this. The feckless members of Congress, Pentagon brass, and federal civil employees have let Obama take his pen and his phone and act as a de facto dictator.

INC on June 5, 2014 at 7:49 PM

I’m proud of them too.

VegasRick on June 5, 2014 at 7:58 PM

Benghazi, Bergdahl…so many things in common. Americans killed by jihadis, Americans helping jihadis, Obama lying to the people, Rice lying to the press, stonewalling on Who Knew What and When, indefensible policies defended, laws brazenly violated, the country held up to shame once again, GOP weasels posturing. Maybe somebody can start squealing “What difference does it make?” sometime soon.

Wonder how long before Bergdahl’s book comes out and he declares himself gay.

spiritof61 on June 5, 2014 at 7:59 PM

Sorry to go off topic..but I got a SchadenBoner™ just because Jake responded directly to Allah on the Twitter….

BigWyo on June 5, 2014 at 8:00 PM

“Jake, how many of the troops did you ask about the note?”

“zero”

VegasRick

Interesting how that follow up wasn’t asked, isn’t it? It’s almost like there’s an agenda or something.

xblade on June 5, 2014 at 8:01 PM

Sorry to go off topic..but I got a SchadenBoner™ just because Jake responded directly to Allah on the Twitter….

BigWyo on June 5, 2014 at 8:00 PM

That’s nice……………

VegasRick on June 5, 2014 at 8:02 PM

Pvt Eddie Slovik also ‘wrote a note’. It’s what got him SHOT! My guess is that the ‘newer, kinder Army’ doesn’t keep notes anymore.

GarandFan on June 5, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Interesting how that follow up wasn’t asked, isn’t it? It’s almost like there’s an agenda or something.

xblade on June 5, 2014 at 8:01 PM

I hope bergdahl comes back to the US and becomes a spokesman for the talibon. Poster boy for what liars the press and this administration is.

VegasRick on June 5, 2014 at 8:04 PM

Whew! Step away from the computer for a few hours these days and…

The thick plottens.

de rigueur on June 5, 2014 at 8:05 PM

He could have been injured or collapsed somewhere on base; he could have been captured by jihadis. He could be in terrible danger. If there are suspicions that early in the process that he disappeared for malignant reasons, I’d guess there’s probably a good reason.

I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that Bergdahl walked away twice before. Ah yes, here it is. Perhaps that contributed to their suspicion that he went AWOL rather than that he collapsed somewhere on base, no?

rcpjr on June 5, 2014 at 8:05 PM

Marine: Bowe Bergdahl Haunted Us All

‘He’s back and my friends are still dead.’

When I fought in Afghanistan there were many stories about how Bowe Bergdahl was captured. In one video released by the Taliban, Bergdahl said he had lagged behind on a patrol and been taken. For years, it stood as a kind of accusation against his comrades in Blackfoot Company: They had left him behind. But, on the day Bergdahl disappeared, June 30, 2009, there was in fact no patrol, according to other soldiers who were there. On that night, instead of patrolling, they slept in the earthen bunkers of OP Mest, an outpost scraped from a hillside in Afghanistan’s rugged and remote Paktika Province. Life at OP Mest had been miserable: weeklong rotations in the scorching heat, no showers, no food except for Meals Ready-To-Eat.

The next morning, Sergeant First Class Larry Hein took muster. Then the misery really began. Bergdahl was gone. At 9:00 a.m., Hein called over the radio to report a missing soldier. Bergdahl was then classified DUSTWUN—Duty Status: Whereabouts Unknown. A little before 5:00 p.m. that afternoon, the senior officer responsible for Paktika ordered that “all operations will cease until the missing soldier is found. All assets will be focused on the DUSTWUN situation and sustainment operations.” Drones and intelligence aircraft were diverted; recovering Bowe Bergdahl became Blackfoot Company’s central mission.

Beginning that August, Bergdahl’s battalion lost six soldiers in a three-week period—all of these fatalities occurred on a mission that was related to, or influenced by, the effort to find Bergdahl. In this remote part of an increasingly remote war, suffering and loss—the senselessness of Afghanistan—often played out in Bergdahl’s name. By March of 2010, Bergdahl’s infantry battalion had returned home without him. Before they left, the Army mandated they sign non-disclosure agreements. Bergdahl’s story wouldn’t be theirs to tell.

‘No one’s serious about a rescue mission. It’d be too risky. Maybe if Bergdahl had actually been captured they’d do something, but he deserted.’

I served in the Marines, in Iraq and in Afghanistan, and later, in special operations in Afghanistan’s rugged Paktika Province, for a good part of 2010 and 2011, working out of a remote firebase a few kilometers from the Pakistani border. At night my colleagues and I would climb on our bunkered roof, a tumbler of scotch or a cigar in hand, and watch the drone strikes against al-Qaeda and Taliban leadership in South Waziristan. During those days, Bergdahl’s case loomed ever-present. The irony that an iconic figure in a war that had largely been deserted by the American people was probably a deserter himself was never lost on us. It seemed just our luck.

Continue…

Resist We Much on June 5, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Abdullah Bergdahl’s note didn’t fit The Narrative. It had to go.

ROCnPhilly on June 5, 2014 at 8:07 PM

I’d really hate to be some one that actually saw/read this note right about now….

BigWyo on June 5, 2014 at 8:07 PM

The Bergdahl note was in Michael Hastings pocket.

portlandon on June 5, 2014 at 7:29 PM

and McCrystal knew that Hastings had it .
No wonder Hastings is dead and McCrystal has started jumping up and down around his lord .

burrata on June 5, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Smells fishy…

workingclass artist on June 5, 2014 at 8:14 PM

…see!…now that’s a beard!

KOOLAID2 on June 5, 2014 at 8:14 PM

How bad does the Obama regime have to be where decent and civilized people believe the tollybahn over the president?

Not as bad as it is going to get.

jukin3 on June 5, 2014 at 8:16 PM

Maybe somebody can start squealing “What difference does it make?” sometime soon.

spiritof61 on June 5, 2014 at 7:59 PM

Asked why he claimed to be the only member of Congress to receive a legally-required briefing on the Taliban trade for Bergdahl, Harry Reid said that already.

de rigueur on June 5, 2014 at 8:16 PM

Michael Hastings said he was working on a big story. He thought he was being followed and his car tampered with just… before his tragic, totally coincidental, fatal car accident. Too bad he’s not around to comment on this story he knew better than anyone…

Luckily, the Obama administration has assured us that no one really knows what happened except Abdullah Bengdahl, himself. I’m sure he’ll tell us the real story as soon as he’s told what it is.

ROCnPhilly on June 5, 2014 at 8:18 PM

But then, where’s the note?

Bo ate it.
He thought it was Malia’s homework.

burrata on June 5, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Has anyone else noticed that Bergdahl’s deal closed not long after HHS said Manning’s sex-change operation had to be covered by some fed agency?

Given that Obama was going to give away the store, was the HHS ruling for Manning the only thing holding up Bergdahl’s deal? I wonder if Bergdahl is eyeing Hillary for a name change.

BuckeyeSam on June 5, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Obama certainly has a penchant for documents just “disappearing.” Just try and find them.

There isn’t much about Obama and associated with him that doesn’t suggest falsehood.

Lourdes on June 5, 2014 at 8:24 PM

For those who’ve forgotten the details, Michael Hastings’ death was generating a lot of speculation when it happened almost a year ago. The car crash in which he died was certainly… odd.

de rigueur on June 5, 2014 at 8:26 PM

What difference does it make?

right2bright on June 5, 2014 at 8:32 PM

But then, where’s the note? And why is the White House telling Congress it doesn’t exist?

Sandy Berger went on a special mission?

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 5, 2014 at 9:36 PM

This is slightly off-topic but I feel that the constant use of the term “tin hatter” with a derogatory connotation is a direct slap at the memory of that great American, Tom Terrific!

IndieDogg on June 5, 2014 at 11:38 PM

Notice how everyone but the administration is involved in wild speculation? Pay no mind to his squad mates that Bergdahl deserted, only Bowe personally knows what happened. But then again they say pay no mind to his squad mates that soldiers died conducting search and rescue operations even though they were personally there. Me so smart. You so dumb.

I trust Major Bradley. I’ve read his book, Lions of Kandahar, about some of his fighting experiences in Afghanistan. I’m sure many at Hot Air would find it a good read.

Gymistokles on June 6, 2014 at 5:05 AM

As time passes it is not difficult to tell who the liars are. In fact it is a no brainer. Where is the note? Trust but verify. I am afraid that no one will ever find it, because it most probably has been destroyed. Too many people knew about it. Too many knew they were looking for a deserter and some gave their lives for that thankless job. Obama has created such a sick and twisted version of America and our elected officials just let it happen. How much longer are we citizens going to put up with this?

BetseyRoss on June 6, 2014 at 8:45 AM