Congressman: Military Paid Ransom for Bergdahl's Release, Money Stolen

Photo Credit:  Reuters

Photo Credit: Reuters

A member of the House Armed Services Committee is charging the U.S. military unsuccessfully attempted to secure the release of a captured American soldier by making a cash payment earlier this year.

In a letter to the Pentagon released Wednesday, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R., Calif.) said a payment was made to an Afghan intermediary early this year to help secure the May 31 release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held for nearly five years by the Haqqani Network in Pakistan, which is classified as a terrorist organization.

Pentagon officials have denied paying cash to secure the release of Sgt. Bergdahl, who was captured in Afghanistan in 2009. A senior defense official reiterated that denial when asked about Mr. Hunter’s letter.

Sgt. Bergdahl was freed in a deal mediated by the government of Qatar, after the Obama administration released five Taliban prisoners from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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