The video of the Taliban handing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl over to the US military is one of the most fascinating pieces of footage the world has ever seen. But take another look. There’s a lot more to the tape than meets the eye, says retired Col. Steve Ganyard, a former Marine Corps pilot.
Guarded: Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl sits in a vehicle guarded by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan
Handover: The Taliban released the video of Bergdahl, who is pictured in the pickup truck
Waiting: As two Black Hawk helicopters draw closer, Bergdahl stands surrounded by armed men
In an interview with On the Radar, Ganyard explains everything you see has a purpose.
“I’m sure there’s a whole series of things that the Taliban and US went through to build enough confidence to say ‘I’m not going to let you trick me’.”
Patting down: Bergdahl can be seen being briefly frisked before he gets on the helicopter in the video
The handover was in a valley so the Taliban could be “up in the hills and be able to fire downward on those helicopters in case the US does something that they don’t like,” explained Ganyard, an ABC News consultant.
Trade: As one of the helicopters lands, Bergdahl is led to his rescuers by the two men. The video captures both sides quickly shaking hands (seen right) as Bergdahl looks on
But the U.S. had its own requirements, likely among them the white flag that the Taliban carried, and how the vehicles were parked.
Final check: He is briefly frisked again before climbing aboard the helicopter as he is led by the arm
“More than likely the US said ‘hey because we don’t want to be able to come in on parked cars that could be just anybody, we want you to raise the hood of your vehicle so it’s another signal that we have the right area’,” explained Ganyard.