Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had wandered away from assigned areas before, a classified military report says, according to people who were briefed on it and spoke to the New York Times.
The 35-page report was completed two months after he left his unit and cited members of his platoon to note that Bergdahl had snuck off designated areas during training in California and left his remote outpost in Afghanistan, the Times reported.
In this image taken from video obtained from Voice Of Jihad Website, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl sits in a vehicle guarded by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Voice Of Jihad Website via AP video)
Accounts from unit mates indicate that Bergdahl would leave the Army's National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California to catch the sunrise or sunset, or simply see how far he could go, according to the Times.
The report, thus, concluded that the soldier, recently released after spending years in Taliban custody, likely walked off base on his own, the Times reported. It stopped short of saying whether or not he had intended to permanently desert his unit.
Over the weekend, President Barack Obama announced that Bergdahl had been released, in exchange for five members of the Taliban that had been held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
Since his release, the media narrative has sharply changed, with several soldiers providing accounts that suggest Bergdahl was a deserter. Others have even blamed him for the deaths of soldiers involved in the subsequent search for him.
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