Bergdahl gets opportunity to tell his side of story

(USA TODAY)- More than two months after he was released in a prisoner swap with the Taliban, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was scheduled to tell his side of the story Wednesday during a meeting with an Army general assigned to investigate the mysterious circumstances of his capture five years ago.

Bergdahl was to begin speaking with Army Gen. Kenneth Dahl on Wednesday morning, said Lt. Col. Alayne Conway, an Army spokeswoman.

Army officials debriefed Bergdahl for intelligence and other purposes, but Wednesday's interview, conducted at a base in San Antonio, would be the first opportunity for the Army to question him fully about the circumstances of how he was captured.

Some fellow soldiers have accused Bergdahl of walking off his post in Afghanistan without authorization. The Army is trying to determine whether he merely wandered too far from the base or should be charged with desertion.

The deal with the Taliban to release him prompted critics such as Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to accuse the Obama administration of negotiating with terrorists. Bergdahl was released in exchange for five Taliban prisoners held at the U.S. military detention center at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Navy base. The Taliban fighters were turned over to the government of Qatar, where they must remain for a year under supervision, according to the terms of the exchange agreement.

Dahl was given a deadline of two months when he was assigned the investigation on June 16. However, Conway said he could be given an extension if the interview with Bergdahl yields leads that need to be followed up.

Bergdahl's attorney, Eugene Fidell, had earlier said Bergdahl has been fully cooperative with the Army.

The Army had said it did not want to question Bergdahl about the circumstances of his capture until he had time to recover from his five-year ordeal. He returned to regular duty last month.


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