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Sunday, Aug 31st

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U.S. deaths in Afghanistan may have only tenuous link to Bergdahl

bergdahl The frantic search for Bowe Bergdahl began the moment his comrades discovered he was no longer inside the fragile outpost in a rock-strewn valley in one of the most hostile corners of Afghanistan.

Exactly why Bergdahl left is subject to intense scrutiny. But accounts by two Taliban sources as well as several U.S. officials and fellow soldiers raise doubt over media reports that he had sought to join the Taliban, and over suggestions that the deaths later that year of six soldiers in his battalion were related to the search for him.

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Military court probes ‘Dark Horse’ militia; may be intense, but it’s not ‘extremist’

Fort Bliss militiaSoldiers based at Fort Bliss in Texas joined a secretive group called ‘Dark Horse,’ which one member explained “was to support and defend the Constitution, and was designed to fight alongside the military if need be, if the government ‘goes corrupt.’”

Sounds intense, but is it criminally extreme? The answer, it turns out, is no.

As first reported Monday by CAAFlog, the military law blog, the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals last month confronted several related cases arising from the Dark Horse organization. Two enlisted men had been convicted of, among other charges, violating an Army order by belonging to an “extremist” organization.

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Death threats target Bergdahl family

death threats for Bergdahl familyThe FBI and other authorities are investigating threats against the family of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier released nine days ago in a deal that also freed five detainees from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

William Facer, FBI spokesman in Salt Lake City, said in a statement that the agency is "working jointly with our state and local partners and taking each threat seriously."

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Bergdahl may have walked off base more than once

BergdahlAn internal military investigation found that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl intentionally sneaked away from his forward operating base in Afghanistan just before he disappeared in 2009 — and that may not have been the first time he left the post without permission, according to officials familiar with the probe.

“We have no indication that he intended to leave permanently,” one government official familiar with the investigation told Military Times. However, the official noted, the investigation did not have potentially critical input from Sgt. Bergdahl himself.

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General In Charge When Bergdahl Was Captured: 'We Don't Leave Americans Behind'

Gen stan McChrystalThe top American general who was in command of forces in Afghanistan at the time Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was captured says we shouldn't judge the soldier just yet, telling Yahoo News unequivocally that we do not leave Americans behind.

“We did a huge number of operations to try to stop the Taliban from being able to move him across the border into Pakistan,” said Gen. Stanley McChrystal in a Yahoo News interview. “And we made a great effort and put a lot of people at risk in doing that, but that’s what you should do. That’s what soldiers do for each other.”

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Taliban posts propaganda video of Bergdahl's release to U.S. special forces

bergdahlThe Taliban has released a video showing the handoff of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to U.S. Special Operations Forces with the farewell message, "Don't come back to Afghanistan."

The video, originally posted on the Taliban's website, shows Bergdahl sitting in a white pickup truck in an open field, located in the remote Khost province. He looks confused and is blinking a lot as he gets out of the truck wearing white Afghan clothing. In the video, he looks thin, bald, and does not have eyebrows.

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New research links Iraq dust to ill soldiers

Iraq dustTitanium and other metals found in dust at a base in Iraq have been linked to the dust found in six sick soldiers' lungs, according to a study set to be released Monday.

"We biopsied several patients and found titanium in every single one of them," said Anthony Szema, an assistant professor at Stony Brook School of Medicine who specializes in pulmonology and allergies. "It matched dust that we have collected from Camp Victory" in Iraq.

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