Bowe Bergdahl

Taliban Propaganda Video Screengrab

A Pentagon psychologist says returned captives typically take anywhere from five days to three weeks to go throw the process of reintegration in which Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl now finds himself.

A senior U.S. official says Bergdahl has told people treating him at a U.S. military medical facility in Germany that he was tortured, beaten and held in a cage after he tried to escape from his Taliban captors in Afghanistan.

The New York Times and the Associated Press are reporting details about how Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was treated by his Taliban captors.

While White House officials are keeping a brave face, President Obama and his top aides obviously have a political firestorm on their hands, owing not only to the particular details of the prisoner exchange involving Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and five senior Taliban officials but how they informed Congress and the public.

Not that the president is yet willing to admit that publicly.

Dept. of Defense

This post was updated Thurs. June 5 at 10:30 a.m. 

A Pentagon spokesman says former military captive Bowe Bergdahl's health is improving daily, and he is resting more comfortably and becoming more involved in a treatment plan designed to ease his return to the U.S.

The spokesman, Army Col. Steve Warren, said there is no date set for Bergdahl to make his first phone call to his family in Idaho or to be transferred from a U.S. military hospital in Germany to an Army hospital in Texas.

Hailey, Idaho Cancels Bergdahl Event Citing Safety Concerns

Jun 4, 2014
Bergdahl, Hailey
Drew Nash / Times-News

The town of Hailey, Idaho has canceled its June 28 event to celebrate the return of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl who was released from Taliban captivity nearly five years after he was reported missing in Afghanistan.

The Idaho Statesman posted this news release from organizers saying the the event is canceled "in the interest of public safety." 

The response to Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release from the Taliban on Saturday was jubilant at first. Then the story took a dramatically different turn. 

A Black Hawk helicopter swoops in to pick up Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in a valley in Afghanistan, in a video of the handover of the American prisoner of war that was posted online early Wednesday. The Pentagon says it's reviewing the video; a spokesman says there's no reason to question its authenticity.

Hailey, Bergdahl
Drew Nash / Times-News

People in Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's hometown in Idaho say they're “shocked” by how quickly the captive soldier's homecoming has turned into a national controversy. Bergdahl was released Saturday after nearly five years in Taliban captivity. Since then, some fellow soldiers have accused him of being a deserter.

President Obama today [Tuesday] defended the deal under which Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was freed in exchange for high-level Taliban prisoners, saying his administration had consulted with Congress over a possible trade. And, he dismissed questions about how Bergdahl was captured by Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan in June 2009.

The mayor of the hometown of a recently released U.S. soldier is urging Americans not to judge Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl until all the facts are in.

Hailey, Idaho, Mayor Fritz Haemmerle released a written statement Monday saying the city has been inundated with phone calls and emails. They're from people on opposite sides of a national debate about whether Bergdahl should be hailed as a hero or tried in court as a deserter, or worse.

The release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five senior members of the Taliban has been both welcomed as well as criticized.

Here's a look at why the release of a prisoner of war, usually a cause for unalloyed celebration, is proving so divisive.

Who is Bowe Bergdahl?

After five years in captivity, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is finally free. The American POW is now receiving medical aid at a U.S. military hospital in Germany.

The town of Hailey, Idaho, has waited five years to hear news of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's return. In 2009, Bergdahl was captured and held by the Taliban — first in Afghanistan and later, it's believed, in Pakistan.

On Saturday, he was released in a swap for five Guantanamo Bay detainees. Now Hailey, Bergdahl's hometown, is preparing for the next chapter.

A day after Taliban officials handed him over to a group of American Special Forces, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is now receiving a medical evaluation at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

That's according to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, who spoke to reporters during a pre-scheduled trip to Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan.

(This post was last updated Sunday at 5:50 a.m. ET. on Sunday)

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the final remaining captured American soldier from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been released by the Afghan Taliban after almost five years of being held captive, the White House said on Saturday.

In exchange for Bergdahl's release, the U.S. will transfer five detainees at the Guantánamo Bay prison to Qatar.

Pages