The parents of Bowe Bergdahl, the first American soldier captured in Afghanistan since the US-led war began in 2001, are urging the US government to swap him for Afghan prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, US media reported.
“Everybody is frustrated with how slowly the process has evolved,” Bob Bergdahl, the soldier’s father, told the Idaho Mountain Express.
“I’m pushing it hard. We started out by trying to encourage the Taliban to take care of our son. … Now, we’re worried that the government isn’t concerned enough to put him on the (negotiating) table,” the father stressed.
Within hours of that report, President Barack Obama’s administration had rare public words on the case, saying it was hard at work on locating and freeing the US soldier, using whatever that might take.
“I wouldn’t rule anything in or out,” said Colonel Dave Lapan, director of the Defense Department press office.
Bergdahl was captured in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009. He said in a video that he was captured when he fell behind his unit in Afghanistan.
The Taliban has released several videos showing him to be alive.
Efforts to secure his release have been sustained, the US reports said.
“Late last year, State Department negotiators put together a tentative deal in which five Taliban prisoners would be transferred from Cuba to house arrest in Qatar, where their families could join them. Bergdahl was to be released after the first two insurgents arrived,” The Washington Post reported.
“But the deal fell apart, and US-Taliban peace talks have been stalled since January,” it said.
“The Washington Post had withheld information on the Bergdahl aspect of the negotiations since last year at the request of White House officials, who said publicizing them could endanger his life,” the Post added, saying the prisoner was believed to be alive and fairly fit.
Meanwhile The New York Times spoke with the parents in Idaho this week.
The soldier’s father told the Times “he was frustrated by the lack of progress on the talks, which he believes are stalled because the Obama administration is reacting to pressure from Congress in an election year not to negotiate with terrorists.”
“We don’t have faith in the US government being able to reconcile this,” the father told The Times.
In extreme crises, conservatism can turn to fascism. Here’s how that might play out
5 movie "Back to the Future," Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) travels in a time machine from the 1980s to the 1950s. When he tells people of the '50s he is from the '80s, he is met with skepticism.
1950s person: Then tell me, future boy, who's President of the United States in 1985?
This article first appeared at Salon.com.Marty McFly: Ronald Reagan.
1950s person: Ronald Reagan? The actor? [chuckles in disbelief] Then who's vice president? Jerry Lewis [comedian]?
Who are the young people behind the Catalonia protest violence?
The violent protests that have swept Catalonia over the jailing of nine separatist leaders have involved veteran anarchists and youthful troublemakers as well as outraged separatists, some of whom became radicalised only recently.
"I am 24, have a masters and a job and I never imagined myself setting fire to a barricade with my face masked," said one protester who gave her name only as Aida.
She has joined in protests every day since they erupted in the region after Spain's Supreme Court on Monday sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to up to 13 years in jail for sedition over a failed 2017 independence bid.
Body language expert dissects the power dynamic at play in the iconic Nancy Pelosi photo
Last week, President Donald Trump met with Democrats at the White House to discuss the way both sides could work to fix the President's mistakes in Syria. Democrats left the White House saying that the President had another meltdown during the meeting, which prompted Trump to claim Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was the one who had a meltdown. He then posted photos of Pelosi sitting quietly and another photo of Pelosi standing and pointing at him.
Body language expert Dr. Jack Brown posted the photo and gave his own analysis of what he believed was happening in the photo.
"When a person has little or no empathy — and/or when they're far from their emotional baseline, their ability to interpret how others will view an event becomes dramatically distorted," Brown explained Sunday. "Rarely has this behavioral axiom been better exemplified than last Wednesday at the White House."