Report: WH Let Bergdahl's Parents Participate in Secure Video Conferences
A new twist is emerging today in the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap controversy, with a report from the Washington Times stating that the White House allowed the Army sergeant's parents to participate in secure video conferences after their son went missing in 2009.
Bob and Jani Bergdahl were reportedly allowed to join the conferences remotely from the Idaho National Guard headquarters in Boise soon after their son was captured by the Taliban. A spokesman for the Idaho National Guard told the paper that the Bergdahls participated in up to 20 video conferences per year.
The conferences included military commanders and officials from the State Department and U.S. intelligence agencies.
Hume said right now he feels it's indicative of the White House's "sympathy" for the family, remarking "good for the administration." He added that he may change his mind if information comes out that the Bergdahls were improperly allowed access to classified information.
"You'd have to establish - and the evidence so far does not establish it - that the Bergdahls were using these opportunities to be kept up to date on the efforts to gain their son's release to lobby the military successfully to make make what a lot of people think was a badly unbalanced deal for his release. Until that evidence shows up, this is all speculation," said Hume, adding there is a "lot yet to be explained" about the prisoner swap in general.
Hume, along with others, has raised the question of whether cash was paid to the Haqqani network in order to secure Bergdahl's release.
"The Haqqani network recall is not principally known as a terrorist network, although it's a pretty rough crowd. This is more of a crime syndicate. And some have made the point that you're not gonna purchase somebody's release from the Haqqani network by releasing Taliban prisoners. That the Haqqani network is interested in money and that gives rise to the question, which the administration has yet to answer, as to ... whether some ransom was paid," said Hume.