Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the former captive of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network in Afghanistan, was at a remote marijuana farm in Mendocino County when a local dope team raided the property on Tuesday. Sherriff Tom Allman told The Anderson Valley Advertiser, which first reported the story, that Bergdahl “was not involved” in the marijuana operation, and authorities later confirmed to NBC Bay Area that he was not arrested during the raid and is not facing any charges.
Held captive since 2009, Bergdahl was freed in May 2014 in a controversial prisoner swap in return for five Taliban commanders held at Guantanamo Bay. While still on active duty, Bergdahl is currently awaiting a military court martial for allegations of desertion. He was on authorized leave from his post at Texas’ Fort Sam Houston and was visiting old friends at the pot farm when the drug task force showed up. Sherriff Allman told the Advertiser that Bergdahl was “above politeness” and readily produced his military ID for officers at the raid as several people were taken into custody.
As Talking Points Memo highlighted this morning, the outspoken critics of the so-called “prisoner swap” that led to Bergdahl’s release at Fox News unsurprisingly harangued Bergdahl as the news of his association with the raid broke. “Do they give him a drug test when he returns?” asked “Fox and Friends” host Steve Doocy. “Shouldn’t they give him a drug test when he returns? He’s active duty. Remember, he’s protecting us right now.” And Andrea Tantaros, co-host of “Outnumbered,” had this to say:
According to the Advertiser, military authorities were notified, and once calls were made “all the way up to the Pentagon,” Bergdahl was escorted to Santa Rosa and later to his duty station at the Defense Department’s request.