Bowe Bergdahl said he is being treated worse now that he is back home in the United States than he was during his years in captivity by the Taliban. The 31-year-old Army sergeant claims at least the Taliban was "honest."
Bergdahl's comments during an interview with the Sunday Times of London ignited a firestorm of backlash on social media. The interview was recorded last year and has been the first video interview with the soldier released since his return to America. The sergeant went on to declare that is it "insulting" that he has been treated like a traitor.
"We may as well go back to kangaroo courts and lynch mobs," Bowe Bergdahl also said in the same interview. "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 soldier's attorneys complained earlier this week that criticism of Bowe Bergdahl by President Donald Trump is preventing him from getting a fair sentence and has tainted the desertion trial. During the 2016 presidential campaign Trump referred to the accused deserted as a "dirty, rotten traitor" and called for stringent punishment for the crime.
In their bid to get the desertion charges against Bowe Bergdahl dismissed, his legal team cited recent remarks by President Trump doubling down on his campaign trail comments about the soldier.
Bowe Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban shortly after he left his forward operating base observation post and was held in captivity for five years. In 2014, then President Barack Obama brokered a deal to trade five Taliban prisoners being held in Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl's release.
Bowe Bergdahl trashes US Army as he awaits sentence: 'At least the Taliban were honest...' https://t.co/YxiTZlozSnBowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty to abandoning his Army post in Afghanistan during court testimony on Monday. Exactly why the soldier walked away from his duties remains largely unclear. Previously Bergdahl claimed an "unfit" platoon commander caused him to flee his post, according to a Daily Mail report.
— William (@bwtanker) October 22, 2017
According to court documents, Bergdahl tried to escape from the Taliban twice and was recaptured and intensely punished both times. He was reportedly spread-eagle and tied to a metal bed and beaten severely.
Bergdahl's attorneys claim President Donald Trump is at the top of an "unbroken chain of command" that involves "key participants" who are in a position of power in the final and "critical" steps of the soldier's desertion trial.A plea deal with the prosecutors was not entered into by Bergdahl, leaving him open to spending the rest of his days behind bars, Bloomberg notes. Judge, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance, reportedly asked for latitude during the sentencing phase.
The prosecutors in the Bowe Bergdahl desertion case are expected to introduce testimony about a Navy SEAL who was wounded seriously during a fire fight in one of the search missions ordered to find Bergdahl.
A statement from the White House that did not mention Bowe Bergdahl by name, said all military justice cases will be decided and resolved based on their own merits and facts presented at trial.
[Featured Image by Ted Richardson/AP Images, File]