April 8th, 2010
09:09 AM ET

After video release, military slams 'means of propaganda'

A video purportedly showing a U.S. soldier captured in Afghanistan last June was posted Wednesday on a radical Web site, and it prompted a denunciation from the U.S. military.

Pfc. Bowe Robert Bergdahl, 23, disappeared from his combat outpost in southeastern Paktika province sometime after he finished his guard duty shift on the night of June 29.

"The continuing use of Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl as a means of propaganda is a deplorable act and only fuels our efforts to find him and bring him home," U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Gregory Smith, spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force, said Thursday.

"The insurgents who hold Bowe are obviously using him as a means to ultimately cause pain to his family and friends. It continues to reflect the cruel tactics designed to deceive the Afghan people and the international community of their true intentions. We will continue our search for Bowe as well as our efforts to ensure the security of the Afghan people and our coalition partners," Smith said in a statement.

CNN could not independently verify the authenticity of the video.

In the video posted on TheUnjustMedia.com, a bearded young man wearing Army fatigues is first seen attempting to prove his identity - providing his name, rank and address, naming friends and family, and detailing his job in the Army - before pleading for his release.

The man says the loss of U.S. and Afghan lives in the war on terror isn't justified and calls for an end to the fighting.

He then performs a series of exercises to show his physical fitness.

In the past, freed hostages have indicated their statements during captivity were forced and made against their will.

Lt. Col. Tim Marsano, a spokesman for the Bergdahl family, told CNN affiliate KIVI in Boise, Idaho, that the family has been informed about the existence of the video.

"The family is dealing with a very, very difficult situation about as well as anybody could possibly expect them to," Marsano said, adding they are grateful for the support of the community.

The Taliban has previously released two other videos of Bergdahl, the last one in December.

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