New questions surround the disappearance of an American soldier who was captured by the Taliban after an email that he sent to his parents hints that he was so disappointed with the American mission in Afghanistan that he may have defected.
Shortly before he disappeared three years ago, Bowe Bergdahl told his parents he was 'ashamed to even be American' and was disgusted with the Army, according to emails quoted in Rolling Stone magazine.
Bergdahl, a 26-year-old Army sergeant from Hailey, Idaho, was taken prisoner on June 30, 2009, in Afghanistan.
Captured: Bowe Bergdahl, 26, was an Army sergeant when he was taken prisoner on June 30, 2009, in Afghanistan
The military has never detailed circumstances of his disappearance or capture, and he is not classified as a deserter.
He was initially listed as 'duty status unknown' and is now considered 'missing-captured.'
He is the only U.S. prisoner of war from the Afghanistan conflict, and U.S. officials say they are actively trying to free him. The White House declined comment on the emails or Bergdahl's possible motivation for leaving his base in eastern Afghanistan in 2009.
The Rolling Stone article, to be published Friday, also quotes other soldiers and associates of Bergdahl's as saying that he had talked about walking to Pakistan if his deployment was 'lame' and that shortly before his disappearance he had asked whether he should take his weapon if he left the base.
Friends and other soldiers describe a survivalist mentality, and Bergdahl's father, Bob, told the magazine that his son was 'living in a novel.'
'The future is too good to waste on lies,' one email reads. 'And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong.
In custody: The Taliban released a video of Bergdahl after they captured him and a man holds up the soldier's dogtags to prove that it is in fact the 26-year-old
Classification: He was initially listed as 'duty status unknown' and is now considered 'missing-captured'
‘The US army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at. It is the army of liars, backstabbers, fools, and bullies.
‘The few good (sergeants) are getting out as soon as they can, and they are telling us privates to do the same.’
The emails were provided to the magazine by Bergdahl's family in Idaho, which has gone public with its own discontent with U.S. efforts to free their son. There is no way to authenticate the emails.
Some of Bergdahl's reported words read like a suicide note.
'I am sorry for everything,' he wrote. 'The horror that is America is disgusting.'
Questionable clues: Reports emerged in 2010 that a Taliban leader told British officials that Bergdahl was teaching Taliban members how to build and detonate bombs, but the U.S. denied it
He mailed home boxes containing his uniform and books.
In 2010, rumors circulated following allegations made by Taliban leader Haji Nadeem, who said that Bergdahl has been training and helping the Al Qaeda operatives how to make bombs.
Pentagon officials immediately denied the charges, saying that the stories told by Nadeem didn’t ‘hold much water from the get-go’ since he claimed that Bergdahl had weapons and arms on him when he was captured, which is not true.
Both official reports and the Rolling Stone article say that Bergdahl left the base with only a bottle of water and a compass.
The claims add an element of Hollywood storytelling to the situation, and not surprisingly so: the idea of an American soldier defecting to the Taliban before returning to the U.S. is the basis of Showtime’s hit Homeland.
Similar: The story of Bergdahl echoes that of the TV show Homeland, starring Damian Lewis as the soldier with a suspicious past and Claire Danes is the agent who is daring enough to question the returning war hero
Damian Lewis plays the soldier with a suspicious past while Claire Danes is the agent who is daring enough to question the returning war hero.
In spite of Pentagon denials, the emails that Bergdahl sent to his parents reveal that he was in a seemingly emotional state at the time of his disappearance, which may lend credence to the theories that he may have ulterior motives behind his imprisonment.
U.S. government officials continue to brush off claims of defection, and have continued plans to retrieve the soldier.
Bergdahl is the subject of a proposed prisoner swap in which he would be traded for five Taliban adherents imprisoned by the United States at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The Taliban have walked away from the deal and larger negotiations with the United States, but the Obama administration is still pushing a negotiated settlement between the Taliban and the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan.
Continued efforts: U.S. officials are trying to negotiate a prisoner exchange with the Taliban
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2156258/Bowe-Bergdahl-Soldier-walked-Afghan-desert-defected-Taliban.html#ixzz1xCNMVB2W
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