Tags: Bowe Bergdahl Freed | bergdahl | investigation | platoon | mates

Bergdahl Platoon Mates: Investigators Aren't Talking to Us

Sunday, 06 Jul 2014 09:21 AM

By Elliot Jager

Two soldiers who served with Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan and are on record as maintaining that he was a deserter said they are waiting to hear from Pentagon investigators, Fox News reported.

"There's only a handful of us who were actually there and we haven't been contacted yet," said former Army Sgt. Evan Buetow. "I don't really know how in-depth they're trying to get here. I thought we'd be some of the people they'd call. I think they have their mind made up already on what they want people to know," according to Fox News.

Matt Vierkant, another former Army Sgt., from Bergdahl’s unit said, "The most important factor isn't necessarily why he did it or what made him do it. The most important factor is that he did do it —  for whatever reason," he said. "That's enough in my mind to do a court-martial, bring him up under several different charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice," Fox reported.

Bergdahl was exchanged for five senior Taliban figures on May 31. He was taken captive after he vanished from his unit on June 30, 2009. The Army has appointed Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl to head the team that is conducting the investigation into Bergdahl's behavior.

The Bergdahl inquiry will commence after the former captive has acclimated to his new situation. Among the questions to be answered was did he leave with the intention of coming back and thus should be considered AWOL when taken by the Taliban —  or did he desert.

Buetow has no doubts. "I think it's very clear he deserted his post. He thought about what he was doing, he mailed some things home, he walked away and we have witnesses who saw him walking away," he said.

"And if you're walking away in one of the worst, most dangerous areas of Afghanistan without your weapon and gear, I don't believe you're planning on coming back," he told Fox News.

Vierkant, who suspects Bergdahl might have intended to collaborate with the Taliban, said he has "confidence" the Army will "do what's right." Adding, "I just feel this should've happened a long time ago and it should've been public."

Buetow described Bergdahl as a "good soldier" if strange. "He was always on time, always had the gear he had to have and he studied more than any other soldier I've ever had. He was odd though." Bergdahl was "very quiet, didn't watch TV, studied about four languages, and didn't want to go out with the guys. He kind of isolated himself, but not in a way that would be concerning. And no one pushed him away," Buetow told Fox News.

An Army spokeswoman said "the investigation is ongoing," and that the list of witnesses will be determined as the plan for the inquiry proceeds. Colleagues have described Dahl as well-suited to head the Bergdahl inquiry, NBC News reported.

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