Ex-Platoon Members: Bergdahl Letters More Evidence He Deserted

Thursday, 12 Jun 2014 10:48 PM

By Greg Richter

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Two former members of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's platoon in Afghanistan say recently released letters he sent home bolster the case that he deserted his post.

The Daily Beast released portions of the letters Thursday, reporting that their authenticity was confirmed by U.S. and western officials. The letters, written in 2012 and 2013, were obtained by people in contact with the Taliban.

The spelling in the letters is often poor, and the handwriting differs between the two, The Daily Beast reported, but said family members confirmed to U.S. officials that they believed both to be genuine.

"Leadership was lacking, if not non-existent," Bergdahl wrote in a letter dated March 23, 2013. "The conditions were bad and looked to be getting worse for the men that where actuly the ones risking thier lives from attack.

"If this letter makes it to the U.S.A., tell those involved in the investigation that there are more sides to the cittuwation," he wrote. "Please tell D.C. to wait for all evadince to come in."

Bergdahl's misspelled missive continued: "The cercomstance from the begaining of my time in Afghanistan from immedet top to bottom, where bad for troopers espeshly in my PLT [platoon]. Orders showed a high disconcer for safty of troopers in the field, and lacking clear minded, logical and commonsense thinking and understanding from the topsides.

"The cercomstance showed signs of going from bad into a nightmare for the men in the field. Unexeptable conditions for the men working and risking life every moment outside the wire," Bergdahl wrote.

Story continues below video.



Cody Full, one of Bergdhal's former platoon members told Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File" on Thursday that the letters show Bergdahl deserted, just as he and other vocal members of his platoon have asserted since Bergdahl's release on May 31.

Bergdahl "just admitted in these letters that he deserted," Full said. Conditions were rough on everybody in the field, Full said, but the rest chose to uphold their oath and not walk away.

Bergdahl was captured and held by members of the Haqqani network in 2009 after reportedly walking off base without a weapon and was held captive for five years.

Evan Buetow, Bergdahl's former team leader, said Bergdahl's problem with leadership were no more serious than any worker has with a boss.

"I had problems with leadership and with my superiors and things that they said," Buetow said. As for the bad conditions, Buetow added, "We were sleeping on the ground. We were sleeping in holes.

"We were a little low on personnel, but that's the life of an infantryman," he told Fox News.

Still, he said, that was no excuse for walking off base.

"These letters just prove that he did desert, and that everything that we have said is true," Buetow said.

Critics, including some inside the White House, have accused Buetow, Full, and others of having a political agenda aligned with Republicans for making their statements.

Full also added that if the government knew of the letters before Bergdahl was traded for five high-level Taliban leaders, he wonders why the deal was made.

"If they knew he was a deserter it's kind of questionable why they would do this," Full said.

Related Stories:

Bergdahl Leaves Germany en Route to Texas
Bergdahl's Platoon Mates: Six Died Looking for 'Deserter'





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