Bergdahl ‘healthier than expected’: No intelligence supported bad health, says senator

Bowe Bergdahl
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The only thing missing seems to be the “period.”

Early on, the explanation the Obama administration gave for foregoing the legal obligation to notify Congress of the deal to free U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was they had to act quickly because the captured soldier was in bad health and near death.

An explanation that began to wobble as soon as the Taliban released a video that showed an apparently healthy looking Bergdahl being handed over to U.S. forces.

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That excuse is no longer wavering, it just toppled over.

The New York Times, of all sources, reported Saturday initial briefings indicate that Bergdahl “seems healthier than expected.”

Sergeant Bergdahl in some ways seems healthier than expected. He suffers from skin and gum disorders typical of poor hygiene and exposure, but otherwise is physically sound, one official said. He weighs about 160 pounds on a 5-foot-9 frame, and is sleeping about seven hours a night.

The Times also reported that “military doctors say he now is physically able to travel,” but warn that he “is not yet emotionally ready” to reunite with family — the New York Post reported that Bergdahl turned down a chance to talk to his family over the phone.

“Physically, he could be put on a plane to the U.S. tomorrow, but there are still a couple of mental criteria to address: the family unification piece and the media exposure piece,” an official told the Times.

In an appearance Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said “no intelligence supported” the administration’s initial excuse that Bergdahl’s health prompted their quick action — they have since said the Taliban threatened his life if word of the deal got out.

“And now, they come back and, because he is in decent health, considering where he’s been, they’ve changed their story,” Chambliss said. “The whole scenario surrounding this is very, very strange.”

Bergdahl is now wearing his Army uniform again, but is only interacting with those providing care, meaning he is probably not aware of the controversy swirling around the deal to secure his release.

Tom Tillison


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