US army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who last week pleaded guilty on Monday to deserting his post in Afghanistan in 2009, has said his captors were more “honest” with him than the army has been since his release three years ago, Fox News reported.
Bergdahl was held captive by the Afghan Taliban-allied Haqqani network in Afghanistan after deserting his post until May 2014 when his captors swapped him with five Taliban detainees in the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.
“At least the Taliban were honest enough to say, ‘I’m the guy who’s gonna cut your throat,’” Bergdahl, 31, tells British TV journalist Sean Langan in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Times Magazine titled ‘The Homecoming from Hell’.
Langan himself was taken hostage by the Taliban while filming in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region in 2008. Three months later, his family negotiated his release with his captors.
Bergdahl says he never quite knew where he stood with the army as he performed “administrative duties” while awaiting his desertion trial.
“Here, it could be the guy I pass in the corridor who’s going to sign the paper that sends me away for life,” he says. “We may as well go back to kangaroo courts and lynch mobs.”
Bergdahl is expected to appear for sentencing on Monday in a military courtroom after pleading guilty to desertion and misbehaviour before the enemy.
He could face life in prison.
The Obama administration was highly criticised for a deal that saw the United States exchanging five Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay with Bergdahl.
Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, heaped criticism on Bergdahl during the 2016 presidential campaign.