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Thursday, June 5, 2014

WikiLeaks Has Bergdahl File

UPDATE:   NYT with new piece on military probe that notes Bergdahl had history of wandering off post briefly, for fun or to see how far he could go--putting into question claims that he simply "deserted."  May have just been fooling around and got snatched.

Earlier: WikiLeaks retrieves and they've posted online--from the zillions of leaked docs via Private Manning.  Here's just the opening night on his capture/defecting.  Full report shows massive deployment of copters and drones and troops (and a dog search)  and notes receiving reports of soldier wandering around with camera and asking if anyone speaks English.
At 0430Z, TF 1 Geronimo reported a B Co missing soldier after he did not show up for the 0900L morning roll call at Mest OP, grid 42SVB 59236 47877 Yahya Khail District, Paktika. A full search was ordered. At 0535Z, TF 1 Geronimo initiated DUSTWUN procedures for the missing soldier. At 0645Z, all remaining units had reported in 100% accountability. Geronimo TOC ordered blocking positions set in and around Mest OP. At 0707Z, Predator (VooDoo) was on station in support. At 0940Z, a Pathfinder and tracking dog team arrived at Mest OP in support.
At 0945Z, Predator (Pfingston) arrived on station in support. At 1012Z, LLVI receives traffic that an American Soldier with a camera is looking for someone who speaks English. At 1303Z, Graphic 33(2x F-18) arrived on station in support. At 1309Z, FF receive intelligence that a U.S. soldier has been captured. At 1351Z, VooDoo and Pfingston RIP with Predator (Sijan). At 1520Z, Sijan RIPs with Predator (Kisling) and DUDE-21 (2x F-15) arrives on station to support. Between 1725Z and 1800Z, B Co conducted 2 breaches of suspected enemy locations with NSTR. Additional forces were moving into the area to place blocking positions and conduct searches based on all of the aerial and ground based intelligence sources available throughout the day and through the night.
A monitored chat between two Taliban suggests he was using the toilet when captured (would undermine claim that he defected):
1- LOL THEY KNOW WHERE HE IS BUT THEY KEEP GOING TO WRONG AREA. 2- OK SET UP THE WORK FOR THEM. 1- YES WE HAVE A LOT OF IED ON THE ROAD. 2- GOD WILLING WE WILL DO IT. 1- WE WERE ATTACKING THE POST HE WAS SITTING TAKING EXPLETIVE HE HAD NO GUN WITH HIM. HE WAS TAKING EXPLETIVE, HE HAS NOT CLEANED HIS BUTT YET. 2- WHAT SHEAM FOR THEM. 1- I DONT THINK HE W 2-YES LOOK THEY HAVE ALL AMERICANS, ANA HELICOPTERS THE PLANES ARE LOOKING FOR HIM. 1- I THINK HE IS BIG SHOT THAT WHY THEY ARE LOOKING FOR HIM. 3-CAN YOU GUYS MAKE A VIDEO OF HIM AND ANNOUNCE IT ALL OVER AFGHANISTAN THAT WE HAVE ONE OF THE AMERICANS. 1- WE ALREADY HAVE A VIDEO OF HIM.
 And later:  Taliban might have traded prisoner for 15 of their own.
THE ELDERS WERE ASKED BY THE TALIBAN TO A TRADE BETWEEN THE U.S. AND TALIBAN. THE TALIBAN TREMS ARE 15 OF THEIR TALIBAN BROTHERS IN U.S. JAIL AND SOME MONEY IN EXCHANGE FOR PVT BERGDAHL. THE ELDERS ASSURED ME THAT PVT BERGDAHL IS ALIVE AND THAT HE IN NOT BEING HARMED.
THE ELDERS ARE GOING TO TO HAVE ANOTHER MEETING WITH THEMSELVES TO DISCUSS HELPING US THIS AFTERNOON. THEY REQUESTED TO HAVE ANOTHER MEETING WITH ME THE SAME TIME TOMORROW. THE MEST ANP COMMANDER IS ALSO WILLING TO HELP IN EVERY WAY HE CAN; EVEN TO THE EXTENT OF REQUESTING ASSESTS/MONEY FROM DAWLAT KHAN TO AID THE MEST ELDERS TO HAVE RESOURCES (CAR, FUEL, ARM TO DEFEND THEMSELVES) FACILITATING MEETING WITH THE TALIBAN. THE ELDERS ALSO ASSURE THAT THEY WILL DO EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO TAKE POSSESSION OF PVT BERGDAHL. THEY SAID THAT THEY WILL APPEAL TO THE TALIBAN BY SAYING THAT THEY ARE WHITE BEARDED MEN AS ELDERS. DURING OUR MEETING, THEY WANTED FOR ME TO TALK TO PVT BERGDAHL VIA ICOM TO ENSURE THAT HE IS DOING OKAY. TRIED TO GET COMMS WITH NO LUCK. 
 Later, amid frantic search from air:
UPDATE: 1248z SPOT REPORT MISSING US SOLDIER WAS LAST SEEN IN A VILLAGE AT GRID LOCATION VB 611 818; A BAG WAS COVERING HIS HEAD AND HE WAS WEARING DARK KHAKI APPAREL. HE WAS BEING TRANSPORTED IN A BLACK TOYOTA CORROLLA WHICH IN ADDITION WAS BEING ESCORTED BY 3-5 MOTORCYCLES.
The report on this day also peppered with unrelated incidents involving (seemingly) drone targeting  or other attacks on SUVs or tents, and injuries to a woman and her 15-month-old child.  

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