U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl told those treating him in Germany at a United States military medical center that he had been beaten, tortured and put into a cage in Afghanistan by his captors from the Taliban after he had attempted to escape, said a senior official from the U.S. on Sunday.
The official would only speak on condition of complete anonymity since he had not been authorized to speak about what had been revealed by Bergdahl about how he was treated and the conditions he lived under during his captivity.
The official spoke about how difficult it was to verify Bergdahl’s accounts since he was released last week.
Bergdahl, who is 28, was captured during June of 2009, when he disappeared from his unit. The Taliban militants held the sergeant for close to five years.
A leading national newspaper reported on Sunday that Landstuhl Regional Medical Center military doctors in Germany said that while the just released Bergdahl was physically fit to travel to the U.S., he is far from being emotionally prepared for his reunion with his family. Doctors have yet to allow Bergdahl to speak with any family members.
Bergdahl was released to the U.S. after authorities negotiated a deal to swap prisoners. In return for Bergdahl’s freedom, the U.S. released five militants from the Taliban that were being held in a Guantanamo Bay military prison in the Caribbean nation of Cuba.
The swap was brokered by the White House administration without any consulting with Congress, which ignited a political fury on Capitol Hill that to date shows not signing of letting up.
Lawmakers for both the Democrats and Republicans initially had praised the release of Bergdahl, but quickly reversed their opinions amidst question of whether the Army Sgt. had been a deserter who had walked away from his duties.
Some fellow soldiers of Bergdahl’s maintain that military service personnel were killed during their efforts to find and rescue him.
The FBI announced on Saturday that Bergdahl’s family received threats that local, state and federal authorities were investigating.