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Taliban release video of prisoner handoff

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Zach McAuliffe
Zach McAuliffe is a University of Dayton alumni with degrees in journalism and English. He wants to present people with all the facts they need to make informed decisions on the world around them. He also enjoys Shakespeare and long walks on the beach with his puppy Lily.

A video released by the Taliban earlier shows the terrorist group and U.S. forces meeting for the handover of Sgt. Bergdahl in the Khost province in Afghanistan.

Video clip courtesy of Sky News via Youtube:

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A Black Hawk helicopter lands in the middle of a field, and upon landing, the emaciated Sgt. Bergdahl is led by Taliban forces, carrying a white flag, to a meeting spot between the chopper and a white pickup truck.  The forces leading Sgt. Bergdahl out are just his escorts as the video shows other Taliban members in the area with RPGs, AKs and other assault weapons.

Once the two sides met in the middle, handshakes are exchanged, an oddity almost never before seen given many Americans views that their government “doesn’t negotiate with terrorists.”

After an initial pat down of Sgt. Bergdahl, the Black Hawk crew seem satisfied, they wave to the Taliban forces, and escort Sgt. Bergdahl to the chopper without further instance.

Narration by the Taliban can be heard over the course of the video describing how the Mujahideen in the area were told, according to CNN, “not to attack them.”  The narrator even describes how both sides agreed to send three member parties to meet each other for the handoff.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby made a statement to ABC News saying, “We have no reason to doubt the videos authenticity, but we are reviewing it.”

The video comes as many soldiers and civilians in America are calling for Sgt. Bergdahl to be brought up on charges of desertion, and the Joint Chiefs have said they will hold an investigation to find if these claims are valid.

Soldiers and civilians have claimed for a few years that Sgt. Bergdahl had deserted his post in Afghanistan and his being held in captivity was an unforeseen consequence.  These same people who make the claims say the the six soldiers who were killed in search attempts for the sergeant the following days should be Sgt. Bergdahl’s fault.

One former soldier, Nathan Bradley Bethea, wrote an article for the Daily Beast stating outright, “Bergdahl was a deserter, and soldiers from his own unit died trying to track him down.”

Bethea writes how Sgt. Bergdahl failed to appear for roll call the morning of his disappearance.  His fellow soldiers found his “rifle, helmet, body armor and web gear,” but mysteriously his compass was missing.

Some soldiers in Sgt. Bergdahl’s squad told CNN they had signed nondisclosure agreements saying they would not talk about what had happened the night of Sgt. Bergdahl’s disappearance.

Many cite the mysterious circumstances surrounding his disappearance as well as his growing discontent with the military as reasons for their desertion claims against Sgt. Bergdahl.  The same article from CNN references a Rolling Stone article from 2012 where Sgt. Bergdahl’s fellow infantrymen claim Bergdahl “no longer supported the U.S. effort in Afghanistan.”

The Huffington Post reports chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, said the Army will pursue an investigation into Sgt. Bergdahl’s disappearance, where the outcome could lead to desertion or other more severe charges against the former POW.

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