The top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee said the classified file he was given about Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s case did not include information included in a New York Times report this week — that the soldier left a note in his tent saying goodbye.
According to the NYT, Bergdahl “left behind a note in his tent saying he had become disillusioned with the Army, did not support the American mission in Afghanistan and was leaving to start a new life.”
“He slipped off the remote military outpost in Paktika Province on the border with Pakistan and took with him a soft backpack, water, knives, a notebook and writing materials, but left behind his body armor and weapons — startling, given the hostile environment around his outpost,” continued the account given to the NYT by a former senior military officer briefed on the investigation.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) told Fox that when the idea of a prisoner swap was first floated months ago, he asked for a copy of Bergdahl’s file.
He said the NYT article “shocked me.”
“This note that he supposedly left that indicated that he was sympathetic to the Taliban and unsympathetic to the American interest in this conflict was not included in that file. And I’m very surprised by that because normally those classified files are pretty informative,” Chambliss said.
The senator said he had “no explanation” for the exclusion and didn’t know if it was intentional.
“What I do know is that the army doesn’t know really what happened and they haven’t apparently gotten detailed statements from his fellow platoon members who had been very vocal over the last couple of days. There was nothing in that file from, regarding statements from any of those individuals as to what they saw that night,” he said.
Chambliss also warned that the five Taliban swapped for Bergdahl’s release are “more hardened than ever.”
“They are more dangerous today than ever. The longer they stayed in Guantanamo, the more radical they’ve become,” he said. “But, if you leave them in Guantanamo as the president’s own review commission recommended in 2009, then you don’t have to worry about them and that’s fine. But the fact of the matter is that these are five of the most dangerous folks in the world. This is Mullah Omar’s board of directors, it’s his fab five team. It’s individuals who have been involved in high-level positions in the Taliban, individuals who have been directly connected to Osama bin Laden from a financial standpoint as well as from an intelligence standpoint.”
“…It’s totally irrational to me as to what the president could have been thinking when he made the decision to release these five individuals and albeit, you know, you’re a parent, I’m a parent, I’m happy this young man is going to be reunited with his parents in Idaho, but this was a bad deal and it’s a deal that, unfortunately, impacts the national security interests of every single American and it’s truly a bad idea.”