Opinion

Report: Bowe Bergdahl's parents were allowed on dozens of secret video conferences with top government, military officials

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,National Security,Bowe Bergdahl,Spencer Brown

The parents of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl were allowed to sit in on "as many as 20" secret video conferences between top U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan, according to a report by the Washington Times.

These teleconferences included intelligence officials, White House and State Department staff, and the forces leading the war in Afghanistan. The Bergdahls, civilians without security clearances, were allowed to join these conversations at the Idaho National Guard headquarters in Boise, according to a spokesman.

Robert and Jani Bergdahl were a part of these secret meetings over the five years their son was captive in Afghanistan, traveling to participate in the teleconferences on a quarterly basis. Their unprecedented involvement is complicated by Robert Bergdahl's sympathy for detained terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, sentiments he tweeted out, but later deleted.



The exact content, length, and participants on each of the calls the Bergdahls joined remains classified, but such a classification suggests sensitive information or tactics were disclosed to the participants.

Quoted in the Times report, former State Department official Larry Johnson called the decision to include the Bergdahls in the secret meetings wrong.

"To put them in the middle of what is essentially a classified secure video conference is ridiculous," he said.

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