Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. Army sergeant who pleaded guilty Monday to deserting his post in Afghanistan in 2009, says his Taliban captors were more “honest” with him than the Army has been since his release three years ago.
“At least the Taliban were honest enough to say, ‘I’m the guy who’s gonna cut your throat,’ ” Bergdahl tells British TV journalist Sean Langan in an interview with the Sunday Times Magazine of London headlined “The Homecoming from Hell.”
Langan, too, is a former Taliban hostage.
Bergdahl, 31, from Hailey, Idaho, 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 Monday in a military courtroom in Fort Bragg, N.C., after pleading guilty to desertion and misbehaviour before the enemy.
He could face life in prison.
Bergdahl was freed from the Taliban in May 2014 in a highly criticized deal in which the Obama administration agreed that the U.S. would release five Taliban terrorists in exchange.
President Donald Trump harshly criticized Bergdahl during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance is the judge who will decide Bergdahl’s fate. Factors expected to weigh into the sentence are Bergdahl’s years spent as a hostage, and the serious wounds that some U.S. service members suffered while searching for Bergdahl.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.