April 24, 2014 —
TAMPA, Fla. – An Associated Press article posted April 24, 2014, included comments by an anonymous U.S. defense official alleging that when Secretary of Defense Hagel's office and U.S. Central Command separately learned about a proof of life video of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in December 2013, there was confusion about who should tell the family. Additionally, this official also alleges in the article that USCENTCOM was "angered" because the Secretary's office ended up informing the family and that neither office was communicating with the other about the video notification.
Both allegations are completely false and mischaracterize the ongoing close coordination and teamwork between U.S. Central Command, the Department of Defense and other U.S. government agencies. Sgt. Bergdahl has been gone far too long and there should be no doubt that we work hard every day using all the military, intelligence and diplomatic tools at our disposal to see Sgt. Bergdahl returned home safely.
It is also important to underscore that the reason Sgt. Bergdahl remains a captive is because he is being held by a terrorist organization, not because of a lack of effort or coordination by the U.S. government, as National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden makes clear in the AP's article.