Missing G.I.’s Dad Launches White House Petition To Free Prisoner Son

Jan 18, 2014 1:40pm

The father of a soldier who fell into Taliban hands four years ago in Afghanistan launched a White House petition drive on Friday to get his son freed.

Robert Bergdahl, whose son Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, 27, of Ketchum, Idaho, vanished from a remote U.S. fire base near Pakistan in June 2009 and is officially considered “missing-captured,” tweeted links to the petition which had collected 141 signatures by Saturday morning.

“Please Sign The White House Petition to free Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Prisoner of War,” Robert Bergdahl tweeted late Friday.

His petition, on the heels of a reported new video of the missing G.I., is a general call to “take action to secure the release, or rescue, of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, using all means available, including force.”

The White House and Robert Bergdahl didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday.

White House policy is to officially respond to petitions that collect 100,000 signatures within 30 days.

Last week the Defense Department confirmed that the Afghan Taliban had circulated a new video showing imagery of Bergdahl.

“We believe it was shot recently,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters last week. “I’m told that he does look frail and probably not in the best health he’s ever known.”

Bergdahl disappeared in Paktika province while serving in Afghanistan as a trooper with 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 25th Infantry Division based at Fort Richardson, Alaska.

He is believed held by the Haqqani network, which heads the Afghan Taliban but is based is Miran Shah, Pakistan in the lawless North Waziristan tribal belt.

ABC News’ Pentagon producer Luis Martinez contributed to this report.

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