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There is so much swirling around this story, including the inevitable partisan spin, that an important aspect may have gotten lost in the melee. That was brought home to me in something I read this morning.

One element of the debate surrounds the last video of Bergdahl before the prisoner exchange took place. By all reports that video showed that his condition had deteriorated substantially. Even after the Senate briefing where that video was shown, there are still objections that his health wasn't so bad that the administration couldn't have delayed 30 days in order to consult Congress on the decision.

The Obama Administration showed the Senate a classified Taliban "proof of life" video of Sgt. Bergdahl, but some lawmakers remain skeptical that his health was as dire as the Administration has claimed

However, what I read today suggests that the concern was not over his medical health, or his mental health. It was far more serious than that. What did I read? It's on the other side of the orange itzl.

This is from a NYTimes article, reprinted in my local paper:

A video produced by his captors months earlier had shown him weak and dazed, and there was a growing fear that the Taliban, frustrated by the glacial pace of hostage negotiations, were beginning to rethink the value of continuing to hold an American prisoner.
Officials from Qatar, who had long been the middlemen in the deliberations for a deal that would free Bergdahl in exchange for five Taliban prisoners, were issuing warnings that the American prisoner’s days could be numbered, setting in motion a flurry of secret discussions on two continents about how to choreograph a battlefield exchange of prisoners.

As I read that I don't see that the primary issue is how much longer he can endure the physical hardships or psychological stresses. What I read there is the real possibility that he could soon be killed (or abandoned to die) by his captors.  They are getting impatient with the pace of negotiation, and are questioning the rationale for continuing the operational burden of his (admittedly minimal) care and feeding as he becomes weaker. They must move often to maintain security and they are dragging around a dead weight who is taxing their resources, while they are seeing little future pay off for the increasing effort.

To me that looks like worry about his "health" is a euphemism.

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