People of Northwest Public Radio
Thu July 17, 2014
Bergdahl's Attorney Expects Army Questioning To Begin Soon
The attorney for rescued POW Bowe Bergdahl expects the Army sergeant to be interviewed by military investigators within the coming weeks. The probe into how Bergdahl fell into Taliban hands while off-base in 2009 is already underway.
Bergdahl's attorney Eugene Fidell says it's hard to find other cases that serve as precedent for Bergdahl. Fidell teaches military justice at Yale Law School. He met with Bergdahl in San Antonio for the first time last week after Bergdahl asked Fidell to represent him.
“It's not every day that we have someone effectively restored to life,” Fidell said. “This is a person who was obviously in mortal danger for a sustained period by ruthless killers and has lived to tell the tale.”
And Bergdahl will soon tell his tale to investigators. Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl of Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma is leading the inquiry. Since meeting with Bergdahl, Fidell has been developing his strategy and putting together Bergdahl's defense team.
Fidell says Bergdahl told him he’s “deeply grateful to President Obama for saving his life.”
Bergdahl went missing at the end of June 2009 from his base in southeast Afghanistan. He was held by Taliban insurgents and their allies until May 31. The Obama administration exchanged five Guantanamo Bay detainees for Bergdahl's release.
Some former members of Bergdahl's unit have accused him of deserting and excerpts from Bergdahl’s emails home indicate he was disillusioned with his mission in Afghanistan.
Fidell says he's still waiting to see the classified report from an earlier investigation into Bergdahl's disappearance. It reportedly concluded that Bergdahl most likely walked away from his post, but didn't find evidence that he intended to desert.
Bergdahl is now back on regular duty at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. He has not been charged with anything.
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