Sgt. Buetow: Radio Chatter Indicated Bergdahl Sought Meeting with Taliban
by John Sexton 3 Jun 2014, 2:28 PM PDT post a comment
Sgt. Evan Buetow was Bowe Bergdahl's team leader in Afghanistan. Buetow says radio chatter shortly after Bergdahl deserted indicated he was seeking someone in the Taliban who could speak English.
In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, Buetow says shortly after Bergdahl disappeared he encountered two Afghan children who claimed they'd seen a lone American soldier crawling through the reeds. Within a day of that moment, Buetow was standing by a radio where translators were listening to chatter. They heard someone saying that an American soldier was looking for an English speaker so he could talk with the Taliban.
Buetow also leveled two other serious charges at Bergdahl. First, he said that everything that happened for two months or more after Bergdahl's disappearance was an attempt to find him. While Buetow said he couldn't prove it definitively, he believed people who died on those missions paid the ultimate price for a deserter.
Secondly, Buetow said there was an alarming increase in the IED attacks after Bergdahl disappeared. "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," Buetow told Tapper. Buetow says it's possible the attacks were a coincidence but adds that "We were incredibly worried" that Bergdahl was giving information to the enemy, either willingly or under duress.
Here is the interview between Tapper and Buetow: