News / USA

    Bergdahl’s Disappearance Probed on Capitol Hill

    FILE - Members of Congress descend to a secure area at the Capitol to meet with national security officials for an intelligence briefing about the decision to swap captive Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five detainees at Guantanamo Bay, in Washington, June 9, 2014.
    FILE - Members of Congress descend to a secure area at the Capitol to meet with national security officials for an intelligence briefing about the decision to swap captive Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five detainees at Guantanamo Bay, in Washington, June 9, 2014.
    Michael Bowman
    The service record of a U.S. Army sergeant freed by the Taliban has come under congressional scrutiny. Many Republican lawmakers, and some Democrats, continue to object to the prisoner exchange that freed five Taliban militants. A House panel heard emotionally charged testimony about Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl’s alleged desertion of his unit in Afghanistan, as well as a life reportedly lost searching for him.

    One day after Bergdahl’s release from five years of captivity, President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, went on U.S. television proclaiming that the sergeant had served “with honor and distinction.” A fellow soldier in Bergdahl’s unit, retired Specialist Cody Full, took issue with Rice, saying the sergeant intentionally left his post and appeared to have actually sought out the Taliban.

    “The only thing you can count on in combat is the commitment of your fellow American. Knowing that someone you needed to trust deserted you in war and did so of his own free will is the ultimate betrayal,” said Full.

    Full’s firsthand account has yet to be independently verified. The committee also heard from Andy Andrews, the father of a U.S. officer, Darryn Andrews, who was reported killed in a clash with militants while searching for Bergdahl.

    “Bergdahl walked away, was not captured. And Darryn was killed while searching for him,” said Andrews.

    Focus on service record

    Obama has said that all U.S. service members deserve to be rescued, regardless of the circumstances of their capture.

    During the hearing, no House members said Bergdahl was unworthy of freedom from the Taliban. Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said she would not have made the prisoner exchange, though, that Obama first mentioned as a possibility to lawmakers in 2011.

    “I opposed the swap, not because I did not want to bring Bowe home," she said. "I opposed the swap because the proposal would have resulted in a huge coup for the Taliban, would have benefited them, jeopardized the security of our brave men and women in uniform, and compromised our national security.”

    Those comments provoked a vigorous response from Democratic Congressman Ted Deutch, who accused Republicans of hypocrisy.

    “We can have a debate over whether the price for Sergeant Bergdahl was too high," he said. "But we should also be reminded of the 532 Guantanamo Bay detainees who were transferred before this president came to office [under President George W. Bush]. Where was the outrage then?”

    Deutch also criticized what he sees as a rush to judge Bergdahl’s service record before an exhaustive review promised by the Pentagon is conducted.

    You May Like

    UN Observes International Day of Peacekeepers

    The U.N. honors 3,400 peacekeepers killed since first mission in 1948

    Video Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora