WASHINGTON (AP) -- From early in his captivity, there have been indications that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl walked away from his unit in Afghanistan.
That was the conclusion of a Pentagon investigation in 2010, and a former senior defense official says after an initial flurry of searching, the military decided not to exert extraordinary efforts to rescue the Idaho man.
Instead, the U.S. government decided to pursue negotiations to get him back over the five years of his captivity.
That track led to Bergdahl's release over the weekend, in exchange for five terror suspects who had been held at the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They're now in Qatar.
Meanwhile, an officer who served in Bergdahl's unit denies that Bergdahl had been on patrol the night he disappeared, as some reports have suggested. Nathan Bradley Bethea writes on the Daily Beast website that there was no patrol that night. Instead, he says Bergdahl was relieved from guard duty and fled the outpost on foot. In Bethea's words, "he deserted."
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said over the weekend those issues would be dealt with later.
Bergdahl remains in a military hospital in Germany.