Bergdahl says he's insulted to be called a traitor

17 October, 2017, 00:24 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Bowe Bergdahl is seen above in his first video interview since being released by the Taliban in 2014

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy for leaving his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

His lawyer says the prosecution and defense have not agreed to a stipulation of facts in the case, which is an indication that they did not reach a deal to limit his punishment.

He was captured by the Taliban hours after walking off his remote observation post in June 2009 in a move which he said was aimed at drawing attention to what he saw as problems with his unit.

He told the judge that he now understands that what he did caused others to search for him. He was captured and held by the Taliban for nearly five years until his release was negotiated in 2014 by the Obama administration as part of a prisoner exchange. The guilty pleas bring the highly politicized saga closer to an end eight years after his disappearance in Afghanistan set off search missions by scores of his fellow service members.

Bergdahl, who remains on active duty in a clerical job at a base in San Antonio, said he tried to escape his captors up to 15 times.

The five years Sergeant Bergdahl spent in captivity is likely to be borne in mind in sentencing by the judge, who has accepted his plea.


While campaigning for president, the businessman repeatedly called Bergdahl a "dirty, rotten traitor" who deserved to be executed by firing squad or thrown out of a plane without a parachute.

A judge said Bergdhal's maximum possible punishment would be life in prison, but he has not been sentenced yet. In August, Bergdahl made a decision to face trial in front of a judge alone, rather than a jury. The judge ruled that a Navy SEAL and an Army National Guard sergeant wouldn't have wound up in separate firefights that left them wounded if they hadn't been searching for Bergdahl.

Defense lawyers have said those injuries can not be directly tied to Sergeant Bergdahl.

In an interview recorded a year ago and obtained by ABC News, Bergdahl explained that because of Trump's statements, he did not believe he would be able to receive a fair trial.

Bergdahl, 31, is accused of endangering his comrades by abandoning his post without authorization.

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