Dept. of Defense: No Bergdahl prisoner swap yet

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey address efforts to find and rescue Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Print
Email
|

by KTVB.COM

KTVB.COM

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 10 at 4:08 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The parents of captive U.S. Army Soldier Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl have publicly questioned the United States' highest ranking military officials over measures taken to secure their son.

Now, some of those officials are offering a response.

In a recent issue of the Idaho Mountain Express, Bob and Jani Bergdahl told reporters they believe the US Dept. of Defense has the ability -- but so far hasn't been willing to negotiate with Taliban leaders for a so-called 'prisoner swap' that could possibly release Sgt. Bergdahl.

The Bergdhals say the prisoner swap in question could free several Taliban detainees held in detention in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for their son. Both also said they believe the trade would improve the military's troubled relationship with the government of Afghanistan.

On Thursday, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta along with General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, offered up several responses on the issue to NBC reporters.

When asked about the possibility of a trade, along his policy on negotiating with the Taliban, Defense Secretary Panetta said that his department would "only take those steps in accordance with law, [and] this stage, frankly there are no decisions made with regards to that."

However, early in the conversation, Panetta said that he was doing everything in his power to secure Bergdahl's release.

"First and foremost my heart goes out to Bergdahl family, we certainly understand their concerns and share their concerns about Bergdahl and importance of getting him returned," Panetta said.

General Dempsey also told reporters the U.S. Military was "doing everything in our power, using our intelligence resoursces across the government, to try to find, locate him," adding that he'd personally met with the Bergdahls several times in his office.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff also added that he keeps a powerful reminder of Bergdahl's captive status at the Headquarters of US. Central Command in Afghanistan.

"There is a 4x6 foot poster of Bowe Bergdahl sitting in front of podium, to remind them and therefore us, everyday, that he remains missing in action," Dempsey said.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is believed to have been captured by Taliban forces on June 30, 2009, while on patrol in Paktika province, in eastern Afghanistan.

Print
Email
|