New video of Bowe Bergdahl reportedly shows him in 'diminished health'

January 15, 2014 

Afghanistan Taliban Talks

U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is shown in 2010 in an undated video released by the Taliban. Mullah Sangeen Zadran, who died in September 2013 during a drone attack and who was involved in Bergdahl's capture, is pictured at right.

PROVIDED BY INTELCENTER VIA THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

In a statement on the video distributed through Col. Tim Marsano with the Idaho National Guard, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's family again pleaded Wednesday for his release.

"Today we learned that a new video of our son, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, has been distributed by his captors," the family's statement reads. "Naturally, this is very important to us and our resolve to continue our efforts to bring Bowe home as soon as possible.

"As we have done so many times over the past 4 and a half years, we request his captors to release him safely so that our only son can be reunited with his mother and father.

"BOWE - If (you) see this, continue to remain strong through patience. Your endurance will carry you to the finish line. Breathe!"

Bergdahl, of Hailey, is the only U.S. soldier taken prisoner in the war in Afghanistan. Captured on June 30, 2009, he is believed still held by the Haqqani network, though a senior Haqqani official denied in December 2012 that the group had Bergdahl.

CNN reported Wednesday morning that the U.S. military had obtained the new video of Bergdahl.

The video came to light several days ago, one senior defense official told The Associated Press. Another official said that Bergdahl, who is believed to be held somewhere in Pakistan, appeared in poorer health than previous videos, showing the signs of his nearly five years in captivity.

"We've read the comments that say he doesn't look as good as in past videos," said Judd Deere, press secretary for Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho. "But without seeing this video, it's hard to say whether that is accurate."

Crapo, Deere said, continues to be involved in efforts to free Bergdahl.

"We continue to pray every day for his safe return," Deere said.

The Taliban have said they would free him in exchange for several of their most senior operatives who are being detained at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The officials were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

CNN said the video contains a "proof of life" reference and was reportedly filmed on Dec. 14.

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