Report: Bergdahl Tried Twice To Escape His Taliban Captors

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WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Military investigators are learning Bowe Bergdahl’s five years captivity in Afghanistan were worse than they had previously thought, reports CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin.

The Pentagon was aware that he tried to escape twice. His Taliban captors increased security around him after each failed attempt.

And as officials debrief Bergdahl, we are learning more about his time spent as a prisoner of the Taliban and about the days leading to his release.

A medical analysis of a proof-of-life video the United States received in January showed that Bergdahl had lost an alarming amount of weight, stuttered while speaking and held an arm as if it had been injured.

The medical experts worried he was in “declining health.”

While a Taliban-made video of his return to American forces showed him walking under his own power, he is still undergoing medical treatment at an American base in Germany.

The officer who investigated Bergdahl’s disappearance in 2009 interviewed many of the same soldiers who are now calling him a deserter. At the time, they described him as a model soldier who may have been “quirky” but was “not freaky.”

Some of his unit members expressed admiration that he had been able to sneak off his outpost once before and get away with it.

The investigating officer speculated that Bergdahl had gotten bored with the routine of standing guard, though could not say for certain what he was thinking.

The officer also found evidence that Bergdahl’s unit was not well run. There were problems keeping track of sensitive equipment and gaps in the outpost perimeter.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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