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Bergdahl’s family receives death threats as he recalls Taliban torturers

Published time: June 08, 2014 16:27
Edited time: June 08, 2014 18:47
This still image provided on December 7, 2010 by IntelCenter shows the Taliban associated video production group Manba al-Jihad December 7, 2010 release of someone that appears to be US soldier Bowe Bergdahl (L), who has been held hostage by the Taliban since his disappearance from his unit on June 30, 2009. (AFP Photo)

This still image provided on December 7, 2010 by IntelCenter shows the Taliban associated video production group Manba al-Jihad December 7, 2010 release of someone that appears to be US soldier Bowe Bergdahl (L), who has been held hostage by the Taliban since his disappearance from his unit on June 30, 2009. (AFP Photo)

Sgt. Bowe Bergdhal’s family have been receiving death threats since his controversial release in a prisoner swap with the Taliban a week ago. Unable to reunite with his family, the US Army soldier has started speaking of his difficulties in captivity.

Although Bergdahl is now physically able to travel back to the US, according to a New York Times report on Sunday, he is not yet ready to be reunited with his family and has declined to meet with them. His father, Bob Bergdahl, has also been emailed death threats.

“There were four specific emails with death threats given to the FBI and they are looking into it,” Reuters reported Idaho police chief Jeff Gunter as saying.

The first of the messages was sent last Wednesday.

Following the news of Bergdahl’s release, a rally to mark his liberation was scheduled for June 28. Since then, there has been a surge in angry messages directed at city officials and family friends, to the irritation of the local community.

Some 15,000 people were expected to descend on his hometown, Hailey, leading to concern that the small mountain town’s resources would be overwhelmed. City officials said that both public safety and property could be in danger.

Gunter said that the backlash had caused some upset.

“We’ve always come together in tragedy or crisis, whether it be fire or one of our own being a prisoner of war. Whatever the problem is, the community will be there to help the people experiencing it,” he said.

Further news about Bergdahl’s treatment at the hands of his captors emerged Sunday. During his five-year captivity, the sergeant was tortured and beaten by the Taliban in Afghanistan after attempting to escape, a US official told AP. He additionally has skin and gum problems - unsurprising given the length of his captivity.

However, Bergdahl’s accounts are difficult to verify, and the US official spoke to the agency on conditions of anonymity as he was not permitted to discuss Bergdahl’s revelations.

The soldier is currently being treated in a US medical facility, the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. He disappeared from his unit serving in Afghanistan in June 2009 and was only a private when he was captured; he reportedly has expressed resistance towards being referred to as sergeant.

Republican and Democratic legislators have also had to face challenges about whether Bergdahl deserted his post since his release.

The deal to release the sergeant was negotiated without Congressional input. Five Taliban militants were released from the Guantanamo Bay prison facility in Cuba, sparking controversy among US politicians and society.

US Secretary of State John Kerry defended the choice on CNN's 'State of the Union' on Sunday.

"To leave an American behind, in the hands of people that torture him, cut off his head, do any number of things, and we would consciously choose to do that? That's the other side of this equation," Kerry stated.

Comments (16)

 

julian 10.06.2014 12:08

b.cooper 09.06.2014 21:11

Another brave man standing up for what is right. Americans should be looking very hard at themselves in trying to justify their governments treatment of other countries. To be the most hated nation in the world cant be a great feeling. It seems if the US cant control the world they intend to wipe out humanity including themselves. "the land of the greed and the home of the slaves"

  



Correct ,And consider the next stage .Americans fighting in Europe against the Russians ,while at home there is a civil war .Demoralised troops never win wars

 

Political Hypocrisy 10.06.2014 09:32

Islam is and old world religion. it has NO place in the 21st century. (not the fundamental Shari Law side of it anyway) im from Londonistan in the UK. (my country is a flaming joke)

 

Dolly Herron 09.06.2014 22:04

America is not the land of greed and we certainly are not slaves. The people of America are the most kind and helpful and always willing to come to the aid of any country when there is a tragedy. We have done more then any nation to help lift the world out of poverty. You need to look to your own governments and check the record of what your country has done to you and for you and how they are using you to stir up hatred. We can not stop people from killing each other if that is the path they choose. At what point do you take responsibility for your own actions?

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