Taliban video shows Bergdahl release


by William Cummings, USA TODAY


Posted on June 4, 2014 at 4:40 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 4 at 11:22 AM

The Taliban released a video Wednesday it says shows the handover of former prisoner Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl by the Taliban to U.S. forces.

The 17-minute video shows Bergdahl dressed in white robes being led from a white pickup truck as what appears to be a Black Hawk helicopter lands.

READ: Army may still pursue charges against Bergdahl

Taliban fighters waving a white flag are seen shaking hands with men dressed in Western civilian clothes as Bergdahl is handed over and then taken aboard the helicopter.

"Don't come back to Afghanistan," one man tells Bergdahl, according to a translation by the Associated Press. "You won't make it out alive next time," the man adds as some of the others laugh.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said the the video was being reviewed and added that there was no reason to doubt its authenticity.

"Regardless, we know the transfer was peaceful and successful, and our focus remains on getting Sgt. Bergdahl the care he needs," Kirby said Wednesday.

READ: Bergdahl chided as 'deserter,' not hero

Bergdahl, 28, was released in exchange for five Taliban commanders who were being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Bergdahl is currently in stable condition at a military hospital in Germany.

READ: Bowe Bergdahl's parents: "I will see you soon my beloved son"

The Army has said it plans to investigate the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl's capture amid accusations that he had deserted his post.

Contributing: The Associated Press