Colonel David Hunt told Bill O'Reilly tonight that Bowe Bergdahl was a deserter.
"Bowe Bergdahl was a deserter. Bergdahl on June 20, 2009 crawled underneath a wire at his fire base with water, food, a change of clothes, a knife and a cell phone. He called his unit the day after he deserted to tell his unit he deserted… Bill, we lost 14 soldiers, killed, searching for a deserter. He left his unit in combat. It's non-arguable… We don't know yet if he joined the Taliban or not. But, there's no question he deserted.
Despite the earlier claims of 6 soldiers killed in the search for Bergdahl the number continues to rise, and one must wonder if the 14 number is truly accurate because there is belief that Bergdahl may have been working for the Taliban.
CNN's Jake Tapper interviewed team leader Sgt. Evan Buetow and Buetow reports of suspicion that Bergdahl began working with the Taliban after his disappearance:
Former Army Sgt. Evan Buetow was the team leader with Bowe Bergdahl the night Bergdahl disappeared.
"Bergdahl is a deserter, and he's not a hero," says Buetow. "He needs to answer for what he did."
Within days of his disappearance, says Buetow, teams monitoring radio chatter and cell phone communications intercepted an alarming message: The American is in Yahya Khel (a village two miles away). He's looking for someone who speaks English so he can talk to the Taliban.
"I heard it straight from the interpreter's lips as he heard it over the radio," said Buetow. "There's a lot more to this story than a soldier walking away."
Many soldiers in Bergdahl's platoon said attacks seemed to increase against the United States in Paktika province in the days and weeks following his disappearance.
"Following his disappearance, IEDs started going off directly under the trucks. They were getting perfect hits every time. Their ambushes were very calculated, very methodical," said Buetow.
It was "very suspicious," says Buetow, noting that Bergdahl knew sensitive information about the movement of U.S. trucks, the weaponry on those trucks, and how soldiers would react to attacks.
"We were incredibly worried" that Bergdahl was giving up information, either under torture, or otherwise, says Buetow.
President Barack Obama said Tuesday that no matter what the circumstances of an American soldier's capture, the United States has a duty to get him or her back.
So up to 14 men may have died in the direct search for Bergdahl, but how many may have died from intelligence he provided to the Taliban?
As for Obama's statements, I don't think many question that Bergdahl needed to be returned. If nothing else, he needs to be prosecuted.
This was not just poorly negotiated, it wasn't negotiated at all. The Taliban told us what they wanted and we gave it to them. Barack Obama and his administration had no intention of getting anything close to a fair deal. Don't forget, they previously released 5 other Taliban members and asked for nothing in return. It was a "good will gesture."
Come on Obama. No one who thinks for themselves is buying your story.
To read Jake Tapper's entire piece with Sgt. Evan Buetow, click here.Facebook, Google Plus, & Twitter. You can also get Freedom Outpost delivered to your Amazon Kindle device here.