The Obama administration gave the parents of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl extraordinary insider access to the military’s hunt for their son by having them take part in a series of secure video conferences with senior commanders as well as White House and State Department officials.
A former government official involved in American hostage issues said he had never heard of giving a family such access and questioned whether sensitive information could have been conveyed to Robert and Jani Bergdahl and somehow leaked out. A family spokesman said he knows of no such breach.
Soon after Sgt. Bergdahl went missing in Afghanistan in June 2009, the Obama administration approved an outreach program that involved the Bergdahls traveling from their home in Hailey, Idaho, to the state’s National Guard headquarters in Boise.
There they were hooked into secure video conferences that included representatives of U.S. Central Command, which runs the war in Afghanistan, as well as with White House, State Department and intelligence officials.
Robert Bergdahl has expressed concern for prisoners at the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. From that prison, the U.S. released five senior Taliban commanders May 31 in exchange for the 28-year-old Sgt. Bergdahl, who was held five years by the violent Haqqani Network, a Taliban ally.