Tags: Afghanistan | War on Terrorism | Bowe Bergdahl | Judicial Watch | FOIA | deserter

Judicial Watch Files 5th Lawsuit Seeking Bergdahl Report

By    |   Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 09:38 PM

Judicial Watch said Wednesday that it had filed its fifth Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Obama administration seeking information that the group's president said would prove the Defense Department knew early on that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had deserted his post in Afghanistan before he was captured by the Taliban in 2009.

"The Pentagon has a lot to answer for as to why this wasn't done sooner and did politics play any role in the untoward delay of this decision," said Tom Fitton, the watchdog group's president. "It's further confirmation of the scandalous nature of the trade.

"Given what he actually did — and I guarantee they knew this at the time — they didn't notify Congress at the time because they knew him to be a deserter and that he would be charged," he said.

The Army charged Bergdahl, 28,
with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. He faces life in prison if convicted of the most serious count, a spokesman said. He was captured on June 30, 2009, and held by Taliban extremists.

Bergdahl was released last May in exchange for five top Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They have since been transferred to Qatar, where they were required to remain for a year.

The exchange was immediately attacked by legislators from both parties because the White House had not given Congress 30 days' notice of the release of any Guantanamo prisoners, as required by law.

President Barack Obama said he did not give notice
because Bergdahl's health was rapidly deteriorating and because of "the fragile nature of these negotiations" with Taliban leaders. The talks were brokered by Qatar.

"Their decision to not notify Congress was based on something other than" those reasons, Fitton said.

The latest Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit was filed on Feb. 11. It was brought against the Defense Department and seeks all documents and correspondence in the Bergdahl investigation by the Army. The data span from Sept. 1 to Oct. 28 of last year.

Neither federal agency has responded to Judicial Watch's FOIA lawsuits.

"They're ignoring our requests," he said. "We shouldn't have to sue to get an answer."

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Judicial Watch said Wednesday that it had filed its fifth Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Obama administration seeking information that the group's president said would prove the Defense Department knew early on that . . .
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Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 09:38 PM
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