CC by: US Army Alaska
By now we have a pretty good sense of what Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's critics, including in his former unit, think of him. Eventually — if the media pays attention long enough — we'll get Bergdahl's side. Until then, we're starting to hear Bergdahl's story filtered through his doctors and mental health specialists as well as unidentified U.S. military and civilian officials.
One revelation is that Bergdahl says he was tortured, beaten, and held in a cage after trying to escape at least once. (The Daily Beast previously reported that he tried to escape twice, and was consequently moved around quite a bit.) "He's said that they kept him in a shark cage in total darkness for weeks, possibly months," one U.S. official tells The New York Times. It's a near certainty he was "held in hard conditions," a senior Pentagon official added. "These are Taliban, not wet nurses."
The second bit of information about Bergdahl is that he has started to wear his Army uniform again but hates it when hospital staff call him "sergeant," a rank he attained while captured. "He says, 'Don't call me that,'" one U.S. official tells The Times. "'I didn't go before the boards. I didn't earn it.'"