WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jason Amerine, a Green Beret war hero, told lawmakers that the government retaliated against him, in part, because he told Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) that the Obama administration paid a ransom that ended up stolen for accused deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
The Pentagon has denied paying a ransom for Bergdahl.
Moreover, the decorated Special Forces soldier who worked on the Pentagon’s hostage policy revealed that he was close to reaching a deal where Haji Bashir Noorzai, a Taliban-linked warlord and drug trafficker known as the Pablo Escobar of Afghanistan, would have been liberated in exchange for seven Westerners.
The Westerners– which included six civilians and Bergdahl, then-considered a prisoner of war– were being held hostage by terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The colonel has refused to identify the seventh hostage.
Once the Taliban got involved in the negotiations, the Obama administration decided that trading five Taliban leaders in exchange for Bergdahl was the “only viable option,” said Col. Amerine.
The Department of Defense (DoD) and the FBI were behind the ransom deal, he noted.
He went on to say that after he told Rep. Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, that the FBI was involved in the ransom, the federal law enforcement agency complained to the Army, accusing him of providing classified information to the California Republican.
The FBI also threatened the father of one of the civilian victims, saying that if he maintained contact with Rep. Hunter, he would no longer receive assistance from the federal law enforcement agency, also said the colonel.
“I mean, just atrocious treatment of family,” he added.
Col. Amerine made those comments during a Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing entitled, “Blowing the Whistle on Retaliation: Accounts of Current and Former Federal Agency Whistleblowers.”
The hearing featured federal employees who have claimed retaliation from the government for shedding light on illicit activities.
Amerine told lawmakers that the federal government retaliated against him because he reached out to Rep. Hunter in his efforts to liberate Bergdahl, American Warren Weinstein, who was accidentally killed in a U.S. drone strike, Colin Rutherford from Canada, and a family of three including Canadian Joshua Boyle, his American wife Caitlin Coleman, and their child who was born in captivity.
Most of them are still being held hostage in Pakistan.
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Disclaimer: This article was not written by Lorra B.