Wire: Taliban Video Shows Captive US Soldier
Off the Wire:
WASHINGTON, July 18, 2009 -- Newswire services this evening reported that the American soldier who went missing June 30 from his base in eastern Afghanistan, and was later confirmed captured, appeared on a video posted Saturday to a web site by the Taliban, two U.S. defense officials said.
The soldier is shown in the 28-minute video with his head shaved and the start of a beard. He is sitting and dressed in a nondescript gray outfit. Early in the video one of his captors holds the soldier's dogtag up to the camera. His name and Social Security number are clearly visible. He is shown eating at one point and sitting on a bed, according to an Associate Press report.
The soldier, whose identity has not yet been released by the Pentagon pending notification of members of Congress and the soldier's family, says his name, age and hometown on the video, which was released Saturday on a Web site pointed out by the Taliban. Two U.S. defense officials confirmed to The Associated Press that the man in the video is the captured soldier.
AP noted the following details:
The soldier said the date is July 14. He says he was captured when he lagged behind on a patrol.On July 2, the U.S. military said an American soldier had disappeared after walking off his base in eastern Afghanistan and was believed to have been taken prisoner. No further details were released.
He is interviewed in English by his captors, and he is asked his views on the war (extremely hard), Islam ( wants to learn more it) and the morale of American soldiers (which he said was low.)
Asked how he was doing, the soldier said:
"Well I'm scared, scared I won't be able to go home," he said on the video. "It is very unnerving to be a prisoner."
It is unclear from the video whether the July 14 date is authentic. The soldier says that he heard that a Chinook helicopter carrying 37 NATO troops had been shot down over Helmand. A helicopter was shot down in southern Afghanistan on July 14, but it was carrying civilians on a reported humanitarian mission for NATO forces.
Below is a transcript of a two-minute portion of the video which appeared on the Internet video sharing website YouTube, the video will not be posted on THE TENSION:
U.S. soldier: "Well I am scared. I'm scared I won't be able to go home. It is very unnerving to be a prisoner."This is a developing story.
"I have my girlfriend who is hoping to marry. I have my grandma and grandpas. I have a very, very good family that I love back home in America."
Voice off camera: "Miss them."
Soldier: "And I miss them every day that I'm gone. I miss them and I'm afraid that I might never see them again and that I'll never be able to tell them that I love them again. I'll never be able to hug them."
Voice off camera: "Any message to your people?"
"Yes. To my fellow Americans who have loved ones over here, who know what it's like to miss them: you have the power to make our government bring them home."
"Please, please bring us home so that we can be back where we belong and not over here wasting our time and our lives and our precious life that we could be using back in our own country."
"Please bring us home. It is America and the American people that have that power."
(Report from newswire sources.)
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