Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl told The Sunday Times of London that he finds it worse to be returned home to the United States compared to being held captive by the Taliban because he deserted his fellow soldiers at a remote post in Afghanistan.
Bergdahl pled guilty last week to “misbehavior before the enemy” and to desertion. He told the Times that when he was in Afghanistan he understood what can expect from those who held him captive. However, when he came back to the US he felt like he was ambushed by the people who don’t understand his logic for leaving his unit.
“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 didn’t strike a deal with prosecutors, so he is in the process of waiting for an unknown sentence.
His claims involve him walking off base in 2009 because he was seeking other U.S. soldiers to whom he wanted to report wrongdoing within his unit.
However, Bergdahl was instantly kidnapped by the Taliban sho held him for several years until former President Barack Obama arranged for him to come back home in a prisoner swap.
Bergdahl alleges that he was tortured and held in a small metal cage.
“The cage was suspended off the ground and the bars cut into my feet,” Bergdahl said for 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 choice was questionable, especially considering that numerous other soldiers were injured when they went out to try to locate Bergdahl as part of a search party.
In addition to being “misunderstood,” Bergdahl also claims he’s been hurt by the President’s strong statement; 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 questioned if he was “hurt” by the words, Bergdahl answered, “yes.”