Chambliss: 'Shocked' That Army Investigators Didn't Mention Bergdahl's Note
(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), ranking member of the intelligence committee, told Fox News on Tuesday that he looked at Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's classified file, and there was no mention of the incriminating note Bergdahl reportedly wrote:
"And I can tell you the article in The New York Times today shocked me. This note that he supposedly left that indicated that he was sympathetic to the Taliban and unsympathetic to the American interest in this conflict was not included in that file. And I'm very surprised by that because normally those classified files are pretty informative."
According to The New York Times, "Sometime after midnight on June 30, 2009, Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl left behind a note in his tent saying he had become disillusioned with the Army, did not support the American mission in Afghanistan and was leaving to start a new life." The newspaper identified its source as "a former senior military officer briefed on the investigation into the private’s disappearance."
Chambliss says the Army investigated Bergdahl after he apparently walked away from his base in Afghanistan: "And when we on the intelligence committee were first apprised by the administration that there may be a potential swap of prisoners for Sergeant Bergdahl, I asked for a copy of his file and I reviewed his file."
Not even the senator's staff was allowed to see what that file contained.
Chambliss told Fox News's Megyn Kelly he doesn't know if information was deliberately withheld from him.
"I have I have no explanation for it," he said. "But like I say, I was shocked today. But what I do know is that the army doesn't know really what happened and they haven't apparently gotten detailed statements from his fellow platoon members who had been very vocal over the last couple of days. There was nothing in that file, regarding statements, from any of those individuals as to what they saw that night.
Several of Bergdahl's platoon mates have described him as a deserter who deserves to be court-martialed.
Chambliss said there are "a lot of unanswered questions" for the Army.
Both Chambliss and Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) have questioned President Obama's decision to release five Taliban terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, against their advice.
"[T]hese are five of the most dangerous folks in the world," Chambliss told Fox News. "This is Mullah Omar's board of directors, it's his fab five team. It's individuals who have been involved in high-level positions in the Taliban, individuals who have been directly connected to Osama bin Laden from a financial standpoint as well as from an intelligence standpoint.
"So these guys are dangerous, they are more hardened than ever now, and I have no -- it's totally irrational to me as to what the president could have been thinking when he made the decision to release these five individuals."
Chambliss said he's sending a letter to President Obama, asking him to declassify each of the files on the five freed terrorists, so the American people can learn why each one was being held at Guantanamo.
Chambliss said he's "happy" that Bergdahl is going to be reunited with his family. "But this was a bad deal and it's a deal that, unfortunately, impacts the national security interests of every single American."