A 2009 NCIS investigation into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s activities while in Afghanistan reveal that there is clear evidence Bergdahl was “going over to the other side with a deliberate plan,” Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer said on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" Monday night.
Shaffer, a former military intelligence officer and Fox News contributor, said two senior sources told him that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigation included a forensic review of his computer, which show Bergdahl’s apparent intent to travel to Uzbekistan.
“He was going to go off to Uzbekistan,” Shaffer told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. “He had made contact with local Afghans and wanted to be moved to Uzbekistan and then made contact with the Russians because he wanted to talk to Russian organized crime ...
“Clearly he was not all there relating to what he was doing,” Shaffer told O'Reilly. “I think we’re going to see more and more, as this report is made public that there were a number of disconcerting things within Bergdahl.”
A military source also told Fox News there was strong intelligence after Bergdahl's 2009 disappearance indicating he was handed over to the Taliban about 10 days after he left his base, and that the group wanted him. The source, who is familiar with the investigation and efforts to recover Bergdahl, said there was an effort to pick up Bergdahl -- and potentially block his crossing into Pakistan -- but the intelligence was either bad or old and the effort was not successful.
According to sources, data collection at the time indicated Bergdahl made contact with an Afghan -- who spoke limited English and was part of a local construction project -- in what appeared to be an effort to lay the groundwork for Bergdahl's departure.
“He had Afghan contacts and he was actually trying to offer himself up with the Taliban. Both are very severe,” Shaffer added.
A leaked military assessment of the immediate search also reported communications traffic, or LLVI (low-level voice intercepts such as cellphone or walkie talkie), that "an American soldier with a camera is looking for someone who speaks English." It is not publicly known if that was connected to the Bergdahl situation.
Shaffer said that the NCIS investigation, which included interviews with squad mates as well as Afghans working outside the wire, resulted in Bergdahl being charged with misbehavior toward the enemy.
Officials say Bergdahl, who was charged with desertion in March, walked away from his post in Afghanistan and was captured by the Taliban. He was then released from Taliban control in a prisoner exchange last May for five Taliban commanders.
Fox News reached out to Bergdahl’s lawyer Eugene Fidell but he declined to comment.
Fox News’ Catherine Herridge and the Associated Press contributed to this report