Army Sgt. Bergdahl says he was tortured by Taliban captors in Afghanistan
PARIS — Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has told people treating him in an American military medical facility in Germany that he was tortured, beaten and held in a cage by his Taliban captors in Afghanistan because he tried to escape, a senior U.S. official said on Sunday.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss what Bergdahl has revealed about the conditions of his captivity. The New York Times first reported on the matter.
The official said it was difficult to verify the accounts Bergdahl has given since his release a week ago.
Bergdahl, now 28, was captured in June 2009 when he disappeared from his infantry unit. He was held for nearly five years by Taliban terrorists.
Taliban spokesmen could not immediately be reached for comment. On Friday, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Bergdahl was held under “good conditions.”
Military doctors at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center say Bergdahl is physically able to travel, but he's not emotionally prepared to be reunited with his family. He has not spoken to his family.
It's unclear when he might return home.
The Pentagon said in a statement that it would not comment on Bergdahl's discussions with those caring for him.
Typically, a returned captive would spend five days to three weeks in the phase of reintegration, which is where Bergdahl is, according to a Pentagon psychologist who is an expert in dealing with military members who have been released from captivity. The psychologist spoke to reporters on Thursday on condition of anonymity.
Once Bergdahl is considered ready to move to the next phase of his decompression, he is expected to be flown to an Army medical center in San Antonio, where he could be reunited with his family.
Bergdahl was returned to the military in exchange for the release of five Taliban terrorists from the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“It would have been offensive and incomprehensible to consciously leave an American behind, no matter what,” Secretary of State John Kerry said.
Qatar was a go-between during the negotiations and has an ongoing role in ensuring the released prisoners remain there for at least a year.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Nasal cells help paralyzed man make history by walking
- Rock of ages put on display in Israel
- U.S. losing drug war in Afghanistan despite $7.6B eradication effort, inspector general reports
- ‘Soldier’s soldier’ Army Gen. Austin leads war on ISIS terrorists
- Police use pepper spray in Hong Kong
- Kurdish militia regains ground in Kobani
- Marine accused in Philippine killing tests U.S. ties
- Iran acts to comply with interim nuclear deal with world powers, IAEA says
- Olympic athlete Pistorius given 5-year prison sentence
- NATO chases Russian aircraft