Supporters of POW Urging White House to Use Force if Necessary to Rescue Sergeant
Supporters of an Idaho soldier taken prisoner of war in Afghanistan back in 2009 have launched a petition to get the White House to make an effort to rescue Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
The only American POW in Afghanistan, believed to be held by the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network, surfaced in a new video this month. The proof-of-life video, held close to the vest by the military, is the first received in three years.
"Without getting into too much detail, I mean, clearly, Bowe Bergdahl, having been in captivity for so long, I mean, I'm told that it -- that he does look frail and probably not in the best health he's ever known," Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said Thursday.
"Without getting into details, I can tell you, across the spectrum, diplomatically, militarily, even from an intelligence perspective, we've never lost focus on Bowe Bergdahl and on trying to get him home," Kirby added.
White House press secretary Jay Carney hasn't mentioned Bergdahl's case publicly since a June briefing, after the Taliban offered to trade Bergdahl for five of its members held at Guantanamo Bay.
"We continue to call for and work toward his safe and immediate release. We cannot discuss all the details of our efforts, but there should be no doubt that on a daily basis we are continuing to pursue -- using our military, intelligence and diplomatic tools -- the effort to return him home safely," Carney said on June 21. "And our hearts are with the Bergdahl family."
Over the weekend, Bergdahl's father, Robert, was trying to rally support for the White House petition, including with tweets to Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrell and the actor who plays him in the film, Mark Wahlberg.
The petition asks the Obama administration to "take action to secure the release, or rescue, or Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, using all means available, including force."
It needs 100,000 signatures by Feb. 16 to prompt a White House response. As of this writing, more than 2,800 have signed the petition.
Add your name to the petition here.