Michael's Dispatches

Taliban Sends Message about US Prisoner Bowe Bergdahl


29 March 2012

Several years ago, the Taliban captured a US Soldier named Bowe Bergdahl. Yesterday was Bergdahl’s third birthday in captivity.

I’ve asked the Taliban several times to see Bergdahl.  They have declined in the past citing security reasons.  I recently asked the Taliban again about Bergdahl’s condition.

A message came from key Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.  More accurately, the email came from his account.

There is strong reason to believe that messages from this account are coming from from Zabihullah Mujahid, or someone deep within the “Big T” Taliban.  (Upper leadership.)

In the past, this account has provided me with breaking information that could not have been derived from the news.  For instance, Zabihullah, or whoever uses the account, messaged me last year just as the big hotel attack in Kabul unfolded.  The account provided detailed information so early in the attack that the author must have had foreknowledge.

The actual messages might not be accurate, and they often exaggerate, but the account is real.  This message came on 29 March 2012 in response to my inquiry about Bowe Bergdahl:

“He is healthy and with Taliban , 
we were in tuch with amerian to talk about exchange the prisoner but they not ecept this . and just wast the time .
I personly issure u that he will be released , How , When , this is secret .”

I have requested again to visit Bowe Bergdahl.

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    David Quin · 8 years ago
    Just be careful Michael. We need to get that soldier out...but be careful.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dan · 8 years ago
    Tell that Taliban guy, that he can use Google translate. Saves him some trouble trying to, vride a anglesh lether! Also tell the guy that if he does not release the American, his beard will fall off. And you know what that means in the Taliban hierarchy! :lol:
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Linda · 8 years ago
      [quote name="Dan"]Tell that Taliban guy, that he can use Google translate. Saves him some trouble trying to, vride a anglesh lether! Also tell the guy that if he does not release the American, his beard will fall off. And you know what that means in the Taliban hierarchy! :lol:[/quote]

      That does not look like a translation problem but an intentional attempt to make it look like a communication/translation problem. The rest of the message is too well put together/translated. Be careful Mike might be an attempt to lure you in.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mike Barnett · 8 years ago
    I sure hope the Taliban will actually release Bowe. Something that might ease the minds of people is that if you explain to them how journalists and writers are actually able to contact the enemy, and why that does not always mean a violation of national security or any laws. The role of journalists (and now, in the 21st Century, writers, bloggers, and other forms of non-traditional reporters) is an important one in any combat theater, and knowing more about how you can interact with all the different elements in the field is fascinating, and helpful. Don't give away any secrets, but consider writing something about what you have to do and who you have to contact in order to complete an assignment.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Ryden · 8 years ago
      I don't think they'll let anyone interview him, for a number of reasons. They probably want to be in full control of all media related things about him that they can, they probably beat him up pretty badly after he apparently tried to escape, etc.
      And they're probably paranoid about him. I mean, he's worth his weight in gold to them, considering how he is currently the only American servicemember currently either unacounted for or held in captivity.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    karen · 8 years ago
    GOD bless you and your work.....hope it works out!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Neil · 8 years ago
    I hope and pray for Bowe's sake he is released soon. I can't imagine what his parents have gone through since he walked off his fob.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      MikeM · 8 years ago
      A whole lot of people looked long and hard and went through crazy things trying to get him in the hours following his capture... I think he owes an explanation to these people for his actions.

      I do however sincerely hope we can get him back through dialogue and deal making.
      • This commment is unpublished.
        ReneeR · 8 years ago
        What actions are you referring to? I have read a letter from the Dept. of Defense stating that Bowe Bergdhal was captured through no fault of his own and that rumors surrounding his capture are unfounded.
        • This commment is unpublished.
          Ryden · 8 years ago
          From what I've read about the case, there are some things worth mentioning here: Unspecified sources within the military claim that he was drunk when he was captured. Being anonymous, give them what credit you feel is appropriate. The second would be that he and an ANA soldier had wandered off so far to a distant market that their colleagues couldn't even hear the shots that killed the ANA soldier when he raised his weapon in defence after being confrontated by the Talibans who would go on to capture Bergdahl.
        • This commment is unpublished.
          MikeM · 8 years ago

          What you get open source very rarely is even the tip of the iceberg. I participated in the frantic search for him in the hours following the discovery of his missing.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Lallie · 8 years ago
    I have thought about and prayed for Bowe Bergdahl continuosly since his capture and am always looking for word about his situation. He is NOT forgotten. Thank you for the update and for persevering on his behalf.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Army Mom · 8 years ago
    My prayers are with Bowe Bergdahl and his family. I can only imagine what they are going through, and I pray the Taliban will release him well and unharmed.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Eric A. · 8 years ago
    Open lines of communication are always a plus. I hope that no more time is "wastd" in getting this soldier released. An exchange would seem to some as releasing dangerous terrorists back to kill more soldiers. I think the ANA is doing a better job of that than Taliban Mujahideen villagers. Thank you for your blog, writting the truth of matters, and expressing your valued opinion.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jim Karthaus · 8 years ago
    I applaud your effort and courage. But please be careful dealing with these people. You obviously have some trust in your contacts but I am very leery of trusting any of them. At this point our President has basically told them they will win in the end so they can afford to be benevolent at this point if it expedites our departure. I just get sick of all the lives and time wasted when once again the US enters a war and handcuffs the military. Our civilian leadership has learned nothing from Vietnam. Be safe and good luck!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Frank- · 8 years ago
    Great Job Mike!
    Glad to see someone keeping a look out for a fellow american. Our boys cant do it alone.

    Semper fi-
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Shelly C. · 8 years ago
    My 27 y/o daughter, who herself is handicap, has the most amazing heart for POW/MIA's. She is working to complete her Anthropology degree. Her goal is to work for JAPAC in Hawaii. (www.jpac.pacom.mil) (Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command) It is sad to say that most Americans are unaware that there are still more than 83,000 unaccounted for Americans from previous conflicts. JPAC retrieves and identifies the remains of people found and suspected to be American POW/MIA's. I just pray that JPAC can give these familys answer, and that our young people will stop being needlessly sent into harms way!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    flyonthewall · 8 years ago
    I can't wait until we are out there. NOTHING has been accomplished, except the furthering of upper Brass careers and huge contracts for the MIC. I hope you are able to secure this soldier's release. One day again, we might fight wars that have a purpose.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kimberly Moore Wrigh · 8 years ago
    From all of us at the FB Bowe's Army support group. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your efforts. Please feel free to come join us and feel the love that we have for you and for Bowe. Our prayers are with you both.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    ReneeR · 8 years ago
    Michael thank you so much for all that you do. You will never know just how much it means to all of us in Bowe's Army. May God be with you both and keep you safe.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kathleen Avouris · 8 years ago
    Michael, thank you for that much needed information, as a member of FB Bowe's Army I join Kimberly Moore Wright and the rest of us in saying please join us and we thatnk you for all your efforts and allthat you do. You are in our thoughts and prayers. God Bless you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dondi · 8 years ago
    Thank you Michael Thank you !!! Everyone SHOUT it : FREEDOM FOR BOWE !!!
    It's been way too long ! Praying for you and Bowe
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dondi · 8 years ago
    Thank you Thank You Michael!!!
    Bowe needs to be home NOW !!!
    Shout everyone : FREEDOM FOR BOWE !!!
    Praying for you Michael and always for America's Son Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

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