SEAL's autobiography tells of failed attempt to rescue Idaho's Bergdahl
The evening after the Taliban released its first video of captured Idaho soldier Bowe Bergdahl, a former Navy SEAL says he and his team received a very credible tip on the imprisoned Hailey native’s whereabouts. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
The evening after the Taliban released its first video of captured Idaho soldier Bowe Bergdahl, a former Navy SEAL says he and his team received a very credible tip on the imprisoned Hailey native’s whereabouts.
“We don’t have much intel to go off of,” that SEAL recounts his troop commander saying, “but this is a priority.”
Written under the penname Mark Owen, No Easy Day dispels much of the criticism of the American government’s perceived lack of effort to rescue Bergdahl.
Owen recounts intelligence analysts tracking every and any lead in Bergdahl’s disappearance, including the one that led him and his team to an area south of Kabul after the release of that first video. Of that mission, Owen recalls a full moon and a level of visibility normally leading decision makers to scrap a night mission.
“We need to accept a little more risk because of who we’re going after,” Owen said his troop commander told him.
The SEAL team landed in helicopters, according to Owen, just outside the range of rocket-propelled grenades. Tracers streaked across the night sky. The SEALs began taking small arms fire as soon as they landed.
“We weren’t fighting second-graders,” Owen wrote. “The Taliban are good fighters and we already knew the operation had the potential to get squirrely.”
Owen said American snipers covered his advance – at one point igniting the propellant for one of those RPGs on an enemy fighter’s back.
“He looked like a giant sparkler,” Owen recalled. “There was no sign of Bergdahl, but we figured he had to be somewhere nearby: There were too many fighters here and they were well-armed. The fighters had morphine kits and grenades. They were professionals – not farmers who picked up AK-47s when the crops weren’t in season."
Owen’s team lost no men, killed every insurgent on site and suffered one injury that medics managed to patch up sufficiently to save the men’s life and leg.
They did not, however, find Bergdahl.
“But in my gut,” Owen wrote, “I think he was there at some point. We probably missed him by a few hours, or maybe in the fight they were able to escape."