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Parents of an American Taliban hostage blast the White House for forgetting their daughter

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Parents of an American Taliban hostage blast the White House for forgetting their daughter

WATCH  | James and Lynda Coleman speak out for the first time about the Obama administration's efforts to find their daughter. 

In July, Circa.com aired the Colemans' plea for mercy to the Taliban during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Their plea went unanswered.


Whole family in danger

Pennsylvania residents James and Lynda Coleman live every day wondering if they'll ever meet their two young grandsons or see their daughter Caitlan again.

In 2012, the 28-year-old Caitlan was abducted by the Taliban along with her husband, Joshua Boyle, while traveling in Afghanistan.  


Last month, they were further haunted by a video released by her captors:  their daughter and her two sons born in captivity, pleading for their lives.

Video plea for help

In that latest video, Caitlan warns that any further executions of Taliban prisoners by the Afghanistan government will lead to the death of the whole family -- her, her husband and her two young children. 

"And because of their fear they are willing to kill us, willing to kill women, willing to kill children to get these policies reversed or take revenge," she says on the tape, visibly frail and distraught.

We were told that the U.S. government will not exchange hostages-period. But they did.
James Coleman

The family wants answers

The Colemans have spent the past four years working with federal agents hoping the Obama Administration could secure their family's release. But as President Obama's term draws to an end, the fight for Caitlin's freedom has hit road block after road block, and the family's frustration has mounted.

Publicly criticizing Washington

While they appreciate help from the Obama administration, the Colemans want to know why Caitlin and her family weren't included in the 2014 Bowe Bergdahl release in exchange for five Taliban commanders being held at Guantanamo Bay.

And they cite mistakes made in other hostages recovery efforts -- like in in 2015, when the United States accidentally killed American aid worker Warren Weinstein, held hostage by al Qaeda. Weinstein. He was killed in when a drone hit the wrong target.

White House won't talk about Bergdahl deal 

White House National Security Council spokesman Carl Woog declined to comment on the Bergdahl trade, and if the other hostages were ever considered as part of the exchange with the Gitmo detainees. 

The White House further declined to comment on whether it was a presidential directive to trade only Bergdahl for the Taliban fighters.

We continue to use all of the tools at our disposal... to try to secure their release and return them to their loved ones.
Carl Woog

The White House updates the Coleman family on a regular basis. "While we cannot provide specific information about hostage cases, we continue to use all of the tools at our disposal -- diplomatic, intelligence, and military -- to try to secure their release and return them to their loved ones," said Woog. 

The Taliban did respond

A member of the Taliban, who has been verified by Circa to have known Bergdahl while in captivity, said in an internet exchange: "We wanted to trade him for our prisoners. The U.S. wanted to give us five million dollars but we got our five most senior leaders out and we achieved symbolic victory."

"We just wanted to break the strict rules of Americans -- that they don't negotiate with groups like us," the Taliban member said. "The U.S. wanted him, they several times contacted us."

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WATCH  | For the news you need, check out our 60 Second Circa.

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