Convicted Army Sergeant says returning home has been “difficult” as his case has “become political.”
Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl told The Sunday Times of London that the only thing worse than being held captive by the Taliban after deserting his fellow soldiers at a remote post in Afghanistan, was returning home to the United States.
Bergdahl, who pled guilty last week to desertion and “misbehavior before the enemy,” told the Times that in Afghanistan he knew what to expect from his captors, but felt ambushed by those who didn’t understand his rationale for leaving his unit, once he returned to the United States.
“At least the Taliban were honest enough to say, ‘I’m the guy who’s gonna cut your throat,’” Bergdahl said. “Here, it could be the guy I pass in the corridor who’s going to sign the paper that sends me away for life.”
Bergdahl did not strike a deal with prosecutors, so he awaits an unknown sentence. He claims that he walked off base in 2009 because he wanted to seek out other U.S. soldiers and report wrongdoing within his unit. But Bergdahl was quickly kidnapped by Taliban soldiers and held for several years until then-President Barack Obama brought him home in a prisoner swap.
Bergdahl claims he was tortured and kept in a tiny metal cage.
“The cage was suspended off the ground and the bars cut into my feet,” Bergdahl told the Times “That’s why I ended up having permanent nerve damage. After the first winter in the cage, I lost the feeling in my feet.”
Obama’s decision was controversial, particularly since several other soldiers were wounded when they went out to try to locate Bergdahl as part of a search party.
In addition to being “misunderstood,” Bergdahl also says he’s been hurt by the President’s tough words; while on the campaign trail, then Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Bergdahl was a “dirty rotten traitor” with “psychological problems” who should be executed by firing squad.
“He’s a politician,” Bergdahl said in his interview, “but I know I can’t convince the people who say, ‘Just string him up and shoot him.’ So you just move on.”
When asked if he was “hurt” by the statements, Bergdahl replied, “yes.”
(First reported by the Daily Wire) http://www.dailywire.com/news/22589/bowe-bergdahl-says-taliban-more-honest-us-military-emily-zanotti (October 22, 2017)
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