Sometime after midnight on June 30, 2009, Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl left behind a note in his tent saying he had become disillusioned with the Army, did not support the American mission in Afghanistan and was leaving to start a new life. He slipped off the remote military outpost in Paktika Province on the border with Pakistan and took with him a soft backpack, water, knives, a notebook and writing materials, but left behind his body armor and weapons -- startling, given the hostile environment around his outpost.
The Pentagon on several occasions had ground-level intelligence on where Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was being held captive at various times -- down to how many gunmen were guarding him -- but special operations commanders repeatedly shelved rescue missions because they didn't want to risk casualties for a man they believed to be a "deserter," sources familiar with the mission plans said.
Amid jubilation Saturday over the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from captivity by the Taliban, senior Republicans on Capitol Hill said they were troubled by the means by which it was accomplished, which was a deal to release five Afghan detainees from the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.