White House Invited Bergdahl’s Parents into Top-Level Video Conferences

The Obama administration allowed Bergdahl’s parents to join in a series of secure video conferences throughout the effort to retrieve their son, granting them a level of insider access that has been questioned by some former government officials. These video conferences included White House and State Department officials, senior commanders, and intelligence officials.

“There was a great effort to keep Mr. and Mrs. Bergdahl updated on developments,”Air Force Colonel Timothy Marsano, Idaho’s National Guard spokesman ​who has served as Bergdahl family’s spokesman, told the Washington Times. He explained that Mr. and Mrs. Bergdahl took part in as many as 20 video conferences throughout the five years of Bergdahl’s captivity. 

Former C.I.A. analyst Larry Johnson, who was involved with the response to the Lebanon hostage crisis of the 1980s, believes that the Obama administration was wrong in granting the parents such access. He told the Washington Times that he had never heard of allowing families into top-level discussions regarding the efforts to free their relatives. “The Bergdahls shouldn’t have been part of that for no other reason than on the off chance they may inadvertently divulge some tactic,” he said. 

“I mean, it’s one thing for government officials to interview the family, get insights from the family about what’s going on,” Johnson said. “But to put them in the middle of what is essentially a classified secure video conference is ridiculous.”

Marsano said he did not know of any instances in which the Bergdahls leaked out sensitive information.  

Read the Washington Times article here

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