A two-star general has been appointed to investigate Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and reports that he walked away from his post in Afghanistan prior to his capture by Taliban-aligned insurgents, multiple media outlets were reporting Sunday.
CNN and NBC news were among outlets reporting the appointment, citing senior defense officials. Sources for both outlets, however, declined to name the general until the Pentagon formally announces the information.
CNN said the general could begin his work as soon as this week.
Bergdahl, 28, was freed May 31 after being held captive five years by the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network. He spent two weeks in a U.S. military hospital in Germany before returning to the U.S. early Friday. He is now continuing to undergo treatment at an Army medical facility in San Antonio.
Five Taliban leaders held at the Guantanamo Bay military prison were freed in the deal to release him, and the Obama administration has faced criticism for arranging the swap. Some fellow soldiers and others have described Bergdahl as a deserter who became disillusioned by the war and walked away from his post before his capture, adding to the controversy.
The Pentagon has repeatedly said that it will investigate the murky situation surrounding Bergdahl, but that the first priority is his health. Bergdahl wrote letters to his family while being held captive in which he urged that no one judge him too quickly for his disappearance before his capture, The Daily Beastreported Thursday.
"Leadership was lacking, if not non-existent" at the Afghanistan post where he was assigned, Bergdahl wote in a letter dated March 23, 2013. "The conditions were bad and looked to be getting worse for the men that where actuly (sic) the ones risking thier (sic) lives from attack."
He urged his family and the U.S. government to wait for all the evidence before judging him.
"The cercomstance (sic) showed signs of going from bad into a nightmare for the men in the field," he wrote. "Unexeptable (sic) conditions for the men working and risking life every moment outside the wire."
Bergdahl's behavior has not been the only point of contention. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, have argued that the men who were released are terrorists and a threat to Americans. They added that the deal could set a bad precedent and encourage enemies of the U.S. to kidnap Americans.
The Obama administration has dismissed the criticism, saying there was concern for Bergdahl's declining health. And POW swaps are standard practice as wars wind down, Obama has said.