Army Completes Probe Into Bergdahl's Alleged Desertion--No Results Before Election

By Susan Jones | October 15, 2014 | 7:43am EDT

U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, right, stands with a Taliban member in eastern Afghanistan. On Wednesday, June 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Voice Of Jihad)

( - In mid-June, the U.S. Army began its investigation into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's capture by the Taliban after he apparently walked away from his unit in Afghanistan in 2009.

Four months later, the results are now in, but not for public consumption -- something that angers Bergdahl's former platoon leader, Sgt. Evan Buetow.

"He deserted his post all on his own," Buetow told Fox News's Sean Hannity on Tuesday night. "And we're now still sitting here waiting for answers."


An Army spokesman told the San Antonio Express-News last week that the investigation into Bergdahl's disappearance (or desertion) is finished, but is now being reviewed by commanders, a process that is expected to be "lengthy," the newspaper said.

Army Spokesman Wayne Hall told the newspaper, "the Army's priority is ensuring that our process is thorough, factually accurate, impartial, and legally correct."

Buetow told Fox News that he was interviewed by lead investigator Brig. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, and he told the general that the day after Bergdahl disappeared, "We did hear over the radio that there was an American looking for someone who spoke English so he could talk to the Taliban."

Buetow said there's not one person in his platoon who disagrees that Bergdahl deserted. "I know. I have a list of the people that the general spoke to during this investigation. It's everyone from the platoon, and I know exactly what they said. There's no way that they could conclude this investigation without the truth."

But Fox News analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters said the results of the investigation will be withheld until after the election, "because no matter which way the report goes, Obama loses."

President Obama appeared in the Rose Garden on May 31 to welcome Bergdahl home. As part of the deal to free Bergdahl, President Obama announced the United States had exchanged Bergdahl for five Islamic militants detained at Guantanamo Bay. The swap prompted outrage.


Two days later, amid outrage over the prisoner swap, National Security Adviser Susan Rice told ABC's "This Week" that "Sergeant Bergdahl wasn't simply a hostage; he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield."

And three days after the Rose Garden announcement, Obama compared his actions to those of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt: He said it doesn't matter how Bergdahl ended up with the Taliban -- "We still get an American soldier back if he's held in captivity."

Whatever the findings of the Army investigation, they won't help Obama, Peters told Hannity:

"If the White House was able to exert sufficient pressure on the chain of command in the Pentagon to whitewash Bergdahl's actions, then there's going to be this huge outcry from those serving in uniform, from veterans, from conservatives," Peters said on Tuesday.

"But if it turns out that the Army, you know, got some backbone and really looked at what Bergdahl did, listened to people like Sergeant Buetow and his platoon-mates, and finds that, yes, he should be charged with desertion, then the Rose Garden ceremony looks like an even greater debacle.

"So Obama has dug himself into a very, very deep hole."

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