Bowe Bergdahl, the Army soldier who just pleaded guilty to deserting his post in 2009, now complains the treatment he is receiving in the United States is worse than that of the Taliban soldiers who held him captive.
Daily Mail reports Bergdahl suggests he would rather go back to his captivity:
‘At least the Taliban were honest enough to say, “I’m the guy who’s gonna cut your throat”,’ the 31-year-old Army sergeant told the The Sunday Times of London in an interview released on Sunday.
‘Here, it could be the guy I pass in the corridor who’s going to sign the paper that sends me away for life,’ the Army deserter griped in the interview, which was recorded last year and is his first video interview since returning to the US.
‘We may as well go back to kangaroo courts and lynch mobs.’
After Bergdahl deserted his post in Afghanistan in 2009, he was captured by Taliban soldiers. They held him under their control until former President Barack Obama received the 31-year-old in a prisoner swap.
Bergdahl’s attorney’s argued this week that President Donald Trump’s criticism of him has tainted the case and prevented him from receiving a fair sentence.
Lawyers for Bergdahl cited a news conference this week in which Trump indicated he stands by his campaign-trail criticism of Bergdahl. They asked to have the case dismissed.
While running for president, Trump called Bergdahl a ‘dirty, rotten traitor’ and suggested harsh punishments.
‘President Trump stands at the pinnacle of an unbroken chain of command that includes key participants in the remaining critical steps of the case,’ the defense wrote.
Although Bergdahl admitted to desertion, at the time of the interview he maintained his innocence and said he was insulted by the title of “traitor”:
In the interview, which was filmed last year by British filmmaker Sean Langan, Bergdahl said it was ‘insulting’ that he’s been portrayed as a traitor.
‘You know, it’s just insulting frankly,’ Bergdahl said. ‘It’s very insulting, the idea that they would think I did that.’
In the same interview, Bergdahl described how the Taliban treated him:
Bergdahl went into detail about his five years in captivity, many of which were spent in a cage.
‘It was getting so bad that I was literally looking at myself, you know, looking at joints, looking my ribs and just going, “I’m gonna die here from sickness, or I can die escaping,”‘ Bergdahl said. ‘You know, it didn’t really matter.’
When Bergdahl allegedly tried to escape, his treatment worsened:
‘When they recaptured him and brought him back, the next day they spread-eagled and secured him to a metal bed frame,’ Terrence Russell, a military official who debriefs former U.S. captives, told Langan in another video.
‘They took a plastic pipe … and they started beating his feet and his legs repeatedly with this plastic pipe. … The idea was to just beat him and injure his legs and his feet so that he could not walk away again.’
He’s complaining the treatment he’s receiving now is worse than that? Yeah right.