Friday, December 4, 2009

Army doctors receive e-mail about Bergdahl

Correspondence forwarded to State Department

Express Staff Writer

Bowe Bergdahl

A series of e-mails to a medical office in New Jersey may contain credible news that U.S. Army Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl is "alive and doing well" following his capture by Taliban militants in Afghanistan in July.

The e-mails, which apparently came from village leaders and local doctors in Afghanistan, have been forwarded to the U.S. State Department. However, case liaison Lt. Col. Tim Marsano, public affairs officer for the Idaho National Guard, said he has received no official response to the messages.

According to a story in the Nov. 30 issue of the New Jersey Star Ledger in Newark, Dr. Vince Moss and Dr. Vance Moss of Howell, N.J., identical twins who are majors in the Army Reserve, received the e-mails. Over the past three years, they provided medical services in Iraq and Afghanistan, including in eastern Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan.

The story reported that the Moss brothers earned the trust of Afghans because they concentrated on children, including the children of warlords and tribal chiefs.

The doctors reportedly received warnings of impending Taliban attacks in Afghanistan and a report that Bergdahl was "still alive and doing well."

When the sources accurately predicted a bombing in Mehtar Lam, a provincial capital in the country's east, the doctors decided to take the e-mails seriously and forward the information they received to the State Department.

The Mahtar Lam suicide bombing killed 21 people on Sept. 2, including the second-ranking official of the Afghan intelligence services, a close ally of the nation's president.

Bergdahl was raised in Blaine County, near Hailey. He is a member of the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, based at Fort Richardson, Alaska.

Bergdahl was abducted July 2 and is the only U.S. soldier being held captive in Afghanistan. A video of Bergdahl in captivity was posted by the Taliban on the Internet on July 14.

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