Army extends Bergdahl probe

The Army has extended the investigation into former Afghanistan prisoner of war Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for at least three more weeks, according to various reports.

ADVERTISEMENT
The Army is in the final stages of an investigation into whether Bergdahl deserted his post in Afghanistan in 2009. After he had left his post, he was captured by the Taliban and released in May after the Obama administration swapped five Taliban detainees at the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay for him.

The investigation was due to wrap up Friday, 60 days after the Army's chief investigator, Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, was appointed on June 16. But that timeline has been extended, according to Time Warner Cable News.

Bergdahl's attorney, Eugene Fidell, who said he read about the extension in the news, told The Hill on Sunday, "It doesn't surprise me, [the Army's] got a lot of work to do."

When completed, the report will undergo a legal review before heading to Army leadership, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Dahl questioned Bergdahl for the first time two weeks ago for two days. Fidell said Bergdahl had cooperated with the questioning.

Although the investigation is administrative and not criminal, if Bergdahl is found to have deserted or have been absent without leave, he could be charged with violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

An Army spokesman told the Post “it is possible" that Dahl will have to follow up on outstanding issues.

Some of Bergdahl's former platoon mates have alleged that he deserted his post, and are shopping book and movie proposals to publishers and studios.

Fidell said he could not predict what effect that could have on the Army's investigation, but said, "It's a free country...we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."