Speed Reads


Photo of Bowe Bergdahl smiling with Taliban member sparks controversy

A previously unseen photograph depicts what appears to be Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl smiling next to a Taliban commander.

The photo was posted to a Twitter account associated with the Afghan Taliban. "Bowe #Bergdahl was really impressed when he saw the hospitality of #Taliban He first thought that he will be tortured But he was wrong," one of the tweets reads.

NBC News reports that the commander in the photo appears to be Badruddin Haqqani, whose family has been called the most powerful Taliban faction. Haqqani was killed in 2012 by a U.S. drone strike.

Some Twitter users are claiming that the photo is evidence the former Taliban prisoner was treated well during his captivity, rather than being tortured. However, Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesperson dismissed the photo as "100 percent propaganda," suggesting that Bergdahl was forced into the pose.

The U.S. military is currently investigating Bergdahl's disappearance from his post in Afghanistan in 2009. He was exchanged for five Taliban commanders in a controversial move by the U.S. on May 31. If Bergdahl is given desertion charges, he could be charged $200,000 for pay during his captivity. Take a look at the photo in question below. --Meghan DeMaria