Tags: Bowe Bergdahl Freed | Bowe Bergdahl | release | cash | paid | ransom

Rep. Duncan Hunter Charges Payoff Made for Bergdahl Release

By    |   Wednesday, 05 Nov 2014 09:29 PM

Rep. Duncan Hunter charges the military made an unsuccessful cash payment to help win the release of Sgt. Bowe Berdahl from a Pakistani terrorist group, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In a letter to the Pentagon
published by The Journal, the California Republican, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, alleges the payoff went to an Afghan intermediary early this year to get the captured soldier sprung from the Haqqani network, which was designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department in 2012 and claims allegiance to the Afghan Taliban.

Hunter claims the intermediary took the money and ran, never following through on securing Bergdahl's release. Hunter didn't say how much money changed hands, or who were his sources of information.

Pentagon officials have denied any cash deal was involved in Bergdahl's release, and officials repeated the denial to the Journal after the Hunter letter, the newspaper reports.

But Hunter wants Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to press the Joint Special Operations Command about whether there was any money exchange in the release. Bergdahl, who was captured in 2009, was set free in May in a controversial swap for five Taliban prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center. Republican lawmakers were skeptical of the deal and terms.

The government is prohibited from paying ransom to terror groups, The Journal notes, adding it isn't clear if a payment to an intermediary would also be illegal.

The House Armed Services Committee has been investigating the prisoner swap, and is expected to wrap up the inquiry early next month, The Journal reports.

The Army is conducting its own probe.

Since his release, Bergdahl has been assigned to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. Military officials say he has a desk job and won't be shipped overseas, The Journal reports.

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Rep. Duncan Hunter charges the military made an unsuccessful cash payment to help win the release of Sgt. Bowe Berdahl from a Pakistani terrorist group, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Bowe Bergdahl, release, cash, paid, ransom
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2014-29-05
Wednesday, 05 Nov 2014 09:29 PM
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