Today brings a rare piece of good news from Afghanistan. CNN reports that Sergeant Bowe Bergdah, the U.S. soldier who was held captive by the Taliban for nearly five years, was released today. In return, Afghanistan will receive five prisoners being held at Guantanamo. Special Forces met 18 armed Taliban members at a secret “pick-up point” in the eastern part of the the country to retrieve Bergdah, then whisked him away on a helicopter.
“We’ve been looking for you for a long time,” one of the rescuers told the prisoner of war (POW), and Bergdah promptly burst into tears. The photo above is screen captured from one of a series of videos sent by the Taliban, and CNN ran a report on the videos earlier this year. In one heart-breaking clip, Bergdah said he felt scared that he would never come home. His parents happily told reporters:
[box type=”shadow”]”We were so joyful and relieved when President Obama called us today to give us the news that Bowe is finally coming home! We cannot wait to wrap our arms around our only son. We want to thank Bowe’s many supporters in Idaho, around the nation and around the world. We thank the Amir of Qatar for his efforts. And of course, we want to take this opportunity to thank all those in the many U.S. Government agencies who never gave up. Today, we are ecstatic!”[/box]
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel adds:
[box type=”shadow”]”Sgt. Bergdahl is now under the care of the U.S. military after being handed over by his captors in Afghanistan,” Hagel said. “We will give him all the support he needs to help him recover from this ordeal, and we are grateful that he will soon be reunited with his family.”[/box]
US Soldier Bowe Bergdahl freed after 5 years.
It’s amazing that back in January, there was little hope of Bergdah ever coming home. Here’s the video with the report from CNN and live footage of Bergdah from the Taliban.
h/t Crooks and Liars.