According to an unnamed US official, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl told military officials that he was held in a cage, beaten, and tortured by his Taliban captors in Afghanistan after he attempted to escape.
Washington Post said the official spoke in anonymity since he is not authorized to disclose any information Bergdahl discussed with authorities. Bergdahl is still being treated at a US military medical facility in Germany where he was brought after his release. The anonymous official also stated that it is quite hard to verify Bergdahl’s statements about his captivity.
Bergdahl’s statements are a stark contrast to what the Taliban said after his release. They stated that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was treated well during his captivity, and they even allowed him to play soccer with the men holding him captive. They also said that Bergdahl enjoyed playing soccer and reading books about Islam.
Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman for the Taliban, said that they kept Bergdahl in good conditions and they fed him fresh fruits. “You can ask him in America about his life. He will not complain,” Mujahid said.
With the Taliban’s statements and new information from Bergdahl, people do not know what to believe.
Bowe Bergdahl, 28, spent nearly 5 years with his Taliban captors before he was released last week. Doctors at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany report that Bergdahl is already physically fit for travel, but he lacks the emotional stability to go back home to his family. He has not communicated with them since his release.
Bergdahl was freed in exchange for the release of five Taliban leaders held at Gitmo. President Obama agreed to the deal without consulting the Congress, and the President’s decision is now causing a political firestorm that is not showing signs of stopping.
People are wondering whether Bergdahl should be given a hero’s welcome or if he should be punished for deserting his post in Afghanistan. Soldiers who served with Bergdahl went on the record recently to say he walked away from his post deliberately while on guard duty and the rest of the unit was sleeping.
Bergdahl is also facing backlash from parents and family members of soldiers who died trying to look for him. While the US Military has not released the names of anyone killed specifically searching for Bergdahl, soldiers in the units involved claim as many as six Americans died trying to find the missing soldier.
On Wednesday, Bergdahl’s hometown of Hailey, Idaho cancelled their homecoming celebration due to security concerns. Bowe Bergdahl’s parents have received several death threats since their son’s release, and the FBI is now investigating where the death threats came from.
To this day, it remains unclear if Bergdahl voluntarily walked away from his post in Afghanistan or if he was captured by the Taliban. If the men in his own unit are to be believed, Bergdhal is, at the very least, a deserter. Hopefully, the American people will be told the truth after an open and honest investigation.
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