Soldiers: Joint Chiefs Chairman Said Bergdahl Deserted

Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 12:37 PM

By Andrea Billups

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Soldiers in Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's unit, including his roommate, say the then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told them that the military knew the missing private had deserted when he walked away near the Pakistan border with Afghanistan and was soon captured by the Taliban.

Cody Full, Bergdahl's infantry roommate, told The Daily Caller that Adm. Michael Mullen visited with their unit for Thanksgiving dinner and shared his concerns publicly. "He said, 'Yeah, he walked off, everybody knows he walked off. I don't know why they are trying to pretend that he didn't,'" Full said.

Full said the admiral seemed put off with why the military was expending so much energy in trying to rescue Bergdahl after he went missing in 2009, sending his platoon on multiple dangerous search missions for two months.

Another soldier in the platoon, Matt Vierkant, told the Daily Caller that it was quickly obvious that Bergdahl had deserted, describing the information they gleaned in the days after his disappearance.

"For us, we knew right away we were looking for him on our outpost, up to battalion level, knew he had walked off," Vierkant said, calling the search a distraction from real duties in the region. "We knew he wasn't taken… Some children said he was crawling through the reeds."

Bergdahl, now 28, remains on active desk duty after his release in May. He will face questioning Wednesday by Army investigators in San Antonio, Texas, who will decide his future, NBC News reported.

President Barack Obama was criticized after he released five Taliban terror combatants from prison in Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Bergdahl, including one described as a "psychopath" by Army Col. Mark Mitchell, director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council, The Washington Times reported.

Mitchell led efforts to capture Mullah Mohammad Fazl in the early days of the Afghanistan war and said Afghans have right to fear him if he returns to his previous life of terror. "Stripped of his power and authority, he was poetic and contemptible, " Mitchell told the Times. "I have no doubt that he remains a psychopath, and he's probably a danger to fellow Afghans."

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