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Taliban release video of Bowe Bergdahl handover

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Taliban release video of Bowe Bergdahl handover

By Joyce Lupiani. CREATED Jun 4, 2014

Video has been released by the Taliban of the recent handover of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to U.S. troops, and a spokesman for the Pentagon says there is no reason to doubt its authenticity.

The video shows Bergdahl sitting in a truck, waiting for the United States military to arrive.

He is surrounded by a number of heavily-armed fighters near the truck and on a nearby hillside, including one with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

A U.S. military aircraft can be seen overhead, watching the scene. The Black Hawk helicopter then lands and U.S. Special Forces get out.

The U.S. soldiers take Bergdahl into their custody and pat him down before helping him board the helicopter.

The 17-minute video also shows the Taliban members shaking hands with the U.S. soldiers. Members of the Taliban can also be heard chanting on the video and telling Bergdahl not to come back before turning him over.

The video is the first time that Bergdahl has been seen in three years by the general public, since the last proof-of-life video. He appears to be clean shaven, including a shaved head, in the video.

The soldier's release has ignited a political firestorm, not only because of the five Guantanamo Bay prisoners who were released in exchange for his freedom, but for the reason that he was captured by the enemy in the first place.

President Obama has defended the operation, saying that the United States does not leave a man or woman in uniform behind.

The military has announced that it will be looking into potential misconduct by Bergdahl related to his disappearance and capture as soon as he is well enough to talk.

A senior defense official told ABC News that there is evidence that Bergdahl willingly walked away from his post. That same official says Bergdahl wrote a note before disappearing, saying that he was disillusioned with the mission.

Fellow soldiers say that Bergdahl was about to go AWOL.

The Army still needs to hear Bergdahl's side of the story. Doctors in Germany say they are concerned about his mental and physical health and they are not even letting his family see him yet.
 

Joyce Lupiani

Joyce Lupiani

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Joyce Lupiani, who is based in Las Vegas at KTNV-TV Channel 13, is a contributor to NowTrending.com.