Bergdahl improving, Pentagon officials say - New York News

Bergdahl improving, Pentagon officials say

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Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has still not spoken with his family five days after being released following nearly five years in Taliban captivity, Pentagon officials say.

Bergdahl, who remains in stable condition, has yet to speak with Bob and Jani Bergdahl since he was released Saturday in exchange for five high-profile Taliban fighters, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said Thursday.

“His health continues to improve daily,” Warren said. “He is conversing with medical staff and becoming more engaged in his treatment plan. He is resting better and showing signs of improvement.”

There’s no set timeline for the 28-year-old Bergdahl to make his first phone call to his parents in Hailey, Idaho, or to be transferred from a U.S. military hospital in Germany to an Army hospital in Texas. Warren said Bergdahl is conversing with staff at the Landstuhl medical center in Germany, but declined to reveal specifics about Bergdahl's medical condition or what he has said or done since regaining freedom.

Questions about Bergdahl’s freedom continue to swirl nearly a week after five high-level Taliban members were released from U.S. custody in Guatanamo Bay, Cuba, and sent to Qatar. The Obama administration has reportedly told senators it did not notify Congress of the pending swap because the Taliban threatened to kill him if the deal was made public.

The threat, which was transmitted to Qatar officials at the height of negotiations, drove the administration to quickly make the deal, three congressional officials said.

National Security Council officials, in a statement released Thursday, said Bergdahl's life was at risk every day he was held as prisoner and that he did not look well in a video taken in January.

"This led to an even greater sense of urgency in pursuing his recovery," the statement read. "We can't disclose classified comments from a closed congressional briefing. However, we are able to say that the Senators were told, separate and apart from Sgt. Bergdahl’s apparent deterioration in health, that we had both specific and general indications that Sgt. Bergdahl 's recovery — and potentially his life — could be jeopardized if the detainee exchange proceedings were disclosed or derailed.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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