Video Shows U.S. Soldier Held Captive Since '09

Video Shows U.S. Soldier Held Captive Since '09
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A new “proof of life” video of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the sole American prisoner of war, has been found by the U.S. military, reported CNN. The video was determined to be recently recorded, as it has a reference to events of Dec. 14, 2013.

According to CNN, a U.S. military official said that the clip shows Bergdahl, who has been held since June 2009, in deteriorating health. Though captured in the Paktika province of Afghanistan, he is believed to be in the custody of the Haqqani network in Pakistan.

The United States has been negotiating for Bergdahl’s release, a sticking point in the drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

“We cannot discuss all the details of our efforts, but there should be no doubt that on a daily basis -- using our military, intelligence and diplomatic tools -- we work to see Sgt. Bergdahl returned home safely,” a Pentagon spokesman told CNN.

Members of Bergdahl’s family, who live in Hailey, Idaho, released a statement confirming the existence of the video:

“As we have done so many times over the past 4 and a half years, we request his captors to release him safely so that our only son can be reunited with his mother and father. BOWE - If see this, continue to remain strong through patience. Your endurance will carry you to the finish line. Breathe!”

The U.S. first acknowledged that it was negotiating with the Taliban for Bergdahl’s release in May 2012. Later that year, the White House announced it was open to sending five Taliban prisoners to Qatar to guarantee Bergdahl’s freedom. However, the negotiations have proven unsuccessful.

The exact circumstances of Bergdahl’s initial disappearance remain unclear, with some suggesting that he deserted his dysfunctional outpost. 

Adam O'Neal is a political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at aoneal@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealClearAdam.

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