• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 13s

Military: Bergdahl had left his post at least once before Taliban capture

By Margaret Brennan / CBS News 4:40 PM June 4, 2014

Bowe Bergdahl remained in a U.S. military hospital in Germany Wednesday night.

In the meantime, we’ve learned more about his service record in Afghanistan, in the months before he was captured.

When he was captured, Bergdahl had less than a year of military service and his official performance record was without blemish.

But an internal military investigation conducted after his 2009 disappearance found that he had wandered off post without permission at least once before.

 

bergdahlcaptivesitting.jpg
Bowe Bergdahl had left his post without permission at least one other time before his capture

 

Yet his unit members failed to report it.

Fellow soldiers told investigators that Bergdahl had talked about wanting to explore Afghanistan, and exhibited behavior that some considered strange.

Then on the night of June 30, 2009, Bergdahl neatly stacked up his equipment, and walked off the outpost in eastern Afghanistan.

A retired army commander tells CBS News that in the weeks that followed, military and intelligence operations in the area ‘dramatically increased.’ Some of those patrols succeeded in eliminating many enemy combatants, but also led to the loss of some U.S. soldiers.

One of them was 20-year-old Private Matthew Martinek. He was killed three months later on patrol in the same province where Bergdahl disappeared.

“He loved his country, he loved his family,” his mother, Cheryl Brandis, said.

Brandis and Martinek’s stepfather, Ken Luccioni, said fellow soldiers told them their son died while searching for Bergdahl.

“I’m happy he’s home, I’m happy for his family that their son is not in harm’s way anymore, but now he needs to stand up as a man and be accountable for the actions that he did and what it caused,” Luccioni said.

On Wednesday Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he had not seen any evidence that soldiers had died because of Bergdahl’s disappearance.

If the military accuses him of misconduct, what might they charge him with?

We did learn today that Bergdahl’s unit established that he had been captured within 30 minutes of his disappearance. To be charged as adeserter, you need to have been voluntarily gone from your post for 30 days. So until we hear Bergdahl’s side of the story, it’s really unclear what charges he could face.

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Facebook bans white nationalist over hate speech

    by CBS News on Aug 16, 17:08

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Facebook (FB) has banned the Facebook and Instagram accounts of a white nationalist who attended the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that ended in deadly violence. Facebook spokeswoman Ruchika Budhraja tells The Associated Press that the profile pages of Christopher Cantwell have been removed as well as a page connected to his podcast. […]

  • News

    Governors of 2 pot states push back on Trump administration

    by Associated Press on Aug 16, 16:34

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Governors in at least two states that have legalized recreational marijuana are pushing back against the Trump administration and defending their efforts to regulate the industry. Alaska Gov. Bill Walker sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week, asking the Department of Justice to maintain the Obama administration’s […]

  • News

    Loss of sea ice leads walruses to early appearance in Alaska

    by Associated Press on Aug 16, 15:51

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says Pacific walruses have begun coming ashore along Alaska’s northwest coast, and it’s likely because sea ice in the Arctic Ocean already has receded beyond the outer continental shelf. Walruses by the thousands in recent years have come ashore in early fall. The agency says […]

  • News

    NY Times’ editorial page editor: No apology for Sarah Palin

    by Associated Press on Aug 16, 15:42

    NEW YORK (AP) – The editorial page editor of The New York Times has been grilled in federal court by a lawyer for Sarah Palin, who’s suing over an editorial that linked right-wing political rhetoric to the 2011 shooting of former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords. The newspaper published the editorial in June after a gunman […]

  • News

    Airport post office taking over Anchorage passport applications

    by Chris Klint on Aug 16, 15:09

    If you’re applying for a U.S. passport in Anchorage you’ll soon have to head for the airport, as the U.S. Postal Service puts all of its local passport-related operations under a single roof. A dedicated passport center will open five days a week, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Monday, at the main […]

  • Peter Pan Seafoods Port Moller plant devastated in overnight fire

    by Dave Bendinger / KDLG on Aug 16, 13:13

    The 100-year-old Peter Pan Seafoods processing plant in Port Moller has been devastated by a massive fire that burned through the night and into Wednesday morning. So far no one has been reported injured, but power, running water, and most phone and internet connections are down in the remote community. Chris Clemens skippers the fishing […]

  • Penn. man fined $9K over false residency claim in Alaska bear hunts

    by KTVA Web Staff on Aug 16, 12:52

    A man from Pennsylvania will pay a steep penalty over two illegal Alaska bear kills, after Alaska Wildlife Troopers say he falsely claimed to be an Alaska resident when he applied to hunt them near the Brooks Range. Brian Schoenly, 53, was ordered to pay $9,000 in fines plus $1,900 in restitution, troopers spokeswoman Megan […]

  • DayBreak

    Workforce Wednesday: Dental laboratory technician

    by Daybreak Staff on Aug 16, 11:36

    A Dental Laboratory Technician is a career in the medical field which directly impacts a person’s day-to-day life and requires attention to detail. Sean Siegal, owner of Castable Ceramics, says the goal is to take prescriptions from local dental offices and fill them. This would entail creating crowns, molars, and even dentures. These ceramics are not […]