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Taliban Releases Video of Bergdahl Prisoner Swap

09-08-2014
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The Taliban has released a video showing the moment Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was handed over to U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan in exchange for five Taliban fighters.

The footage shows a clean shaven Bergdahl, dressed in Afghan clothes, sitting in the back of a pick-up truck. Moments later, a Black Hawk helicopter lands and he's handed over to the U.S. military.

The swap is made as dozens of Taliban fighters, armed with AK-47s and rocket propelled grenades, watch on a nearby hillside.

Bergdahl's release has drawn outrage from his former soldiers, who are accusing him of deserting and putting American lives at risk.

"I feel like he deserted us. He knew what he did when he deserted us; it was premeditated. It was thought out," former Army Spc. Cody Full said.

Fellow soldiers say the 24-year-old started complaining about America's role in Afghanistan early on. Just months into his deployment, he disappeared from his base, leaving his body armor, weapon, and helmet behind.

The U.S. launched a massive search for Bergdahl that resulted in the deaths of several America soldiers.

"People calling him a hero or calling him this great soldier? It's a spit in the face to the soldiers who died as a direct result to him leaving," Sgt. Evan Buetow, Bergdahl's former team leader, told reporters.

The Army said they will review Bergdahl's case to see if any misconduct occurred.

Meanwhile, his release has also backfired on the White House. Republicans want to hold hearings on whether the president broke the law by not consulting Congress on the deal to swap a U.S. soldier for five senior Taliban leaders.

"It's ill-founded, a mistake and it puts the lives of American servicemen and women at risk," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said.

The president apparently told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., the exchange was imminent but didn't tell any Republican leaders.

"It must have been either the day before or the day of. I don't remember for sure," Reid told Politico.

Still, some Democrats are upset about how the swap was handled.

"I strongly believe we should have been consulted," Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., said.

Bergdahl was held by the Taliban for five years. He's now in a military hospital in Germany and is expected to return to the United States later this week.

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