The Army says it has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding how and why Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl disappeared from his base in Afghanistan in 2009.
Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, an Army officer with Afghanistan combat experience, will lead the effort — but the Army says that will not include formal questioning of Bergdahl himself, at least not right away.
“The investigating officer will not interview Sgt. Bergdahl until the reintegration team clears such interaction, so no timeline for completion of the investigation has been set,” the Army statement offers.
Bergdahl, 28, went missing on June 30, 2009, in Afghanistan’s Paktika province, where his battalion was deployed. He spent five years in captivity until his release on May 31, in a controversial exchange by the Obama administration for five Taliban prisoners transferred from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The administration says that concerns about Bergdahl’s deteriorating health played a role in its thinking.
Bergdahl was transported from a military hospital last Friday and taken to an Army medical facility in San Antonio, Texas. In a statement released Monday announcing the investigation, the Army did not make any mention of earlier preliminary fact-finding efforts that indicated Berdahl had left his post deliberately.
But the statement does say that Dahl and his investigative team “will have access to previously gathered documentary evidence, including the 2009 investigation.”
“The primary function of this investigation, as in any other investigation, is to ascertain facts and report them to the appointing authority,” the statement adds. But it says, “The Army’s top priority remains Sgt. Bergdahl’s health and reintegration. We ask that everyone respect the time and privacy necessary to accomplish the objectives of the last phase of reintegration.”
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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."