Skip to main content

No lawyer yet for Bergdahl even though probe underway

By Laura Koran, CNN
updated 6:52 PM EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is being reintegrated into normal life at a base in Texas
  • Army investigators haven't yet begun to question him
  • Some members of his old unit said he deserted before being captured in Afghanistan

(CNN) -- Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl does not yet have a lawyer or been informed of his legal rights even though the Army has begun its investigation of circumstances surrounding his 2009 disappearance in Afghanistan.

Senior military officials said Wednesday investigators have not begun questioning Bergdahl, who was captured and held for five years before militants released him last month in exchange for five Taliban commanders held by the United States.

He is undergoing reintegration at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston in Texas. That process is designed to gradually reintroduce him to normal life.

While the Army's investigation into Bergdahl's disappearance only covers the events leading up to his capture, the reintegration debriefings focus on the days and years that follow.

"We have no reason to believe that he engaged in any misconduct during that period of time," said one of the officials, referring to his time in captivity. "That's why he hasn't been read his rights."

But, the officials added that if Bergdahl says something incriminating during his debriefings, the process would be halted so he could be informed of his rights.

One confirmed that he does not yet have a lawyer, but has not been interviewed by investigators either. Though, anything he says during the reintegration process could be used against him in future disciplinary proceedings.

Several former members of Bergdahl's unit allege he deserted his post before being captured, endangering his comrades.

Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl is leading the formal Berghdal probe by the Army, which began on June 16. It must be completed within 60 days.

Dahl will review the findings of a previous investigation conducted just after Bergdahl went missing from his post. The two-star general can also ask to re-interview anyone he believes can shine light on the case.

Interviewing Bergdahl, said one official, would likely be the last step in the investigation.

Separately, Bergdahl has received his military salary since he was returned from captivity, and will continue to do so as long as he remains in the Army.

He is also entitled to the pay that accrued during his years in captivity as long as there is no finding that he deserted or gone absent without leave.

Neither official would say how much Bergdahl is earning, other than to say it's consistent with his rank and years of service.

According to the Army's website, an E-5 classified Sergeant with six years of service would receive $32,814 in basic pay, though he could be eligible for additional compensation.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl released
updated 8:36 AM EDT, Fri June 13, 2014
It was perhaps the most contentious moment during a House Armed Services Committee hearing filled with them.
updated 9:21 PM EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
Could former U.S. State Department contractor Alan Gross be part of a new prisoner swap?
updated 2:31 PM EDT, Mon June 9, 2014
What happened to six of Bergdahl's platoonmates in the months after he disappeared? Some are blaming their deaths on Bergdahl.
updated 7:43 PM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
The deaths of six U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan are being tied, directly or indirectly, to the search for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
CNN's Jake Tapper's in-depth, three-part documentary, reporting on Bergdahl's time in captivity, life before the Army and what happened the night he disappeared in Afghanistan.
updated 7:49 AM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release from Taliban captivity was largely celebrated at first.
updated 1:43 PM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
Alisa Weinstein was thrilled when she heard about Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release. She hopes her father will be next.
updated 4:10 PM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
The recent release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has refocused attention on some of the other Americans held captive in that region.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Wed June 4, 2014
Bob Bergdahl was startling to see and hear at first: the father had seemingly morphed into an Afghan tribesman, wearing a long beard and even speaking Pashto.
updated 9:43 PM EDT, Fri June 6, 2014
Marcus Luttrell, a fomer Navy SEAL and the author of "Lone Survivor," talks about being trapped behind enemy lines.
updated 5:00 AM EDT, Tue June 3, 2014
Could the exchange of five Taliban prisoners for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl set a precedent for swaps involving other countries holding U.S. military or diplomatic personnel?
updated 7:19 AM EDT, Tue June 3, 2014
President Obama defends his decision to swap imprisoned terrorists for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
updated 8:13 PM EDT, Wed June 4, 2014
Veterans and soldiers call him a deserter whose "selfish act" ended up costing the lives of better men.
updated 7:14 PM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
People who know Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl have described him as a well-rounded, well-grounded and hardworking young man.
updated 7:55 PM EDT, Sat May 31, 2014
Together with the news that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released came word that five detainees at Guantanamo Bay were being transferred to Qatar.
updated 4:48 PM EDT, Wed June 4, 2014
Guantanamo Bay detainees have long been considered America's most dangerous enemies.
updated 6:52 PM EDT, Sat May 31, 2014
The parents of U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl joined President Obama as they await their son's return.
ADVERTISEMENT