Tags: Afghanistan | Bowe Bergdahl Freed | War on Terrorism | Duncan Hunter | investigate | ransom | Bowe Bergdahl

Rep. Hunter to DoD IG: Investigate Bergdahl Ransom Allegations

By    |   Monday, 01 Dec 2014 10:00 PM

A member of the House Armed Services Committee has asked the Department of Defense inspector general to investigate an alleged failed ransom payment in the Bowe Bergdahl case.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., sent a letter to the inspector general and asked that the matter be investigated, reports the Washington Free Beacon. Bergdahl, an Army soldier who was held by the Taliban for five years, was freed in a prisoner swap in May.

A report that surfaced last month said the U.S. government paid an unspecified amount of money for Bergdahl's release during his captivity, but the release was not granted after a con man made off with the money.

"The IG has an obligation to investigate this matter even more so now that the Defense Department is trying to sidestep the whole situation," Hunter told the Free Beacon.

"Either we didn't pay, and don't pay, which is the official Defense Department line, or we did pay, as others within the Defense Department continue to insist. This is worthy of an investigation, and my hope is the IG will move to sort out the facts."

In his letter to Inspector General Jon T. Rymer, Hunter wrote, "While I am aware that you previously declined to investigate this matter, I respectfully request once again that your office initiate a review to determine the order of events under which payments of any type were made."

Hunter also questioned whether any payment made violated federal laws that prohibit Americans from supporting terrorism, and he requested that five workers at the Joint Special Operations Command be interviewed.

"Further discussion with these five individuals is warranted since several of those who are listed are reported to have discussed and acknowledged the payment," Hunter wrote.

"An audit of Bergdahl recovery options determined that JSOC did in fact have two lines of effort under consideration: a kinetic rescue and a ransom payment.

"Therefore, any payments that might have been made — even under the guise of obtaining information — must be thoroughly scrutinized," Hunter wrote.

The Pentagon said it made a payment for information it hoped would lead to Bergdahl's location.

Bergdahl allegedly left his unit in the middle of the night in June 2009. Several attempts to locate him came up empty, but he was freed this year and returned to the U.S. under a cloud of controversy after being labeled a deserter and a traitor.

The military is conducting an investigation into his disappearance.

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A member of the House Armed Services Committee has asked the Department of Defense inspector general to investigate an alleged failed ransom payment in the Bowe Bergdahl case.
Duncan Hunter, investigate, ransom, Bowe Bergdahl
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2014-00-01
Monday, 01 Dec 2014 10:00 PM
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