U.S. soldier captured by Taliban: 'I'm afraid'

Feb 13, 2009
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(CNN) -- A United States soldier captured by the Taliban says in a video posted on the Internet he is "scared I won't be able to go home."

The soldier was identified Sunday by the Pentagon as Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl, 23, of Ketchum, Idaho. He was captured June 30 from Paktika province in southeastern Afghanistan.

The Taliban has threatened to kill Bergdahl if foreign troops continue targeting civilians in the name of search operations in Ghazni and Paktika province, Taliban commander Mulvi Sangeen said by telephone Friday after being contacted by CNN at an undisclosed location.

NATO-led forces in Afghanistan and the U.S. military have repeatedly denied targeting civilians.

In the 28-minute video, Bergdahl becomes emotional when he speaks of his family -- his parents, siblings, nieces and nephew -- and the girlfriend he hopes to marry.

"I have a very, very good family that I love back home in America, and I miss them every day that I'm gone," he says. "I miss them and I'm afraid I might never see them again and that I'll never be able to tell them I love them again. I'll never be able to hug them."

He adds that he is "scared. I'm scared I won't be able to go home. It is very unnerving to be a prisoner." However, he says his captors are treating him "like a guest."

In a statement released Sunday through the Idaho National Guard, Bergdahl's family said, "We hope and pray for our son's safe return to his comrades and then to our family, and we appreciate all the support and expressions of sympathy shown to us by our family members, our friends and others across the nation. Thank you, and please continue to keep Bowe in your thoughts and prayers."

Asked by his captors if he had any message for Americans, the soldier says, "To my fellow Americans who have loved ones over here, who know what it's like to miss them, you have the power to make our government bring them home. Please, please bring us home so we can be back where we belong and not over here."

The Taliban earlier claimed responsibility for Bergdahl's kidnapping, the military said. Last week, the U.S. military distributed pamphlets in eastern Afghanistan in an effort to locate him.

"As you can see, the American soldier is in good shape and good health, and he is being treated well based on the guidelines of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan regarding war prisoners," said a statement on Islamist Web sites accompanying the video. "Any decision regarding the American soldier will be the specialty of the high order of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, may God protect him."

The U.S. military said it believed Bergdahl may have been moved to various locations. In the video, Bergdahl's captor makes reference to his being moved from Paktika to Khandahar. He acknowledges it, saying the move was accomplished "very easily." The claim could not be independently verified. Asked the date by his captor, Bergdahl says it is July 14.

Two versions of the pamphlets were distributed in Afghanistan, written in the Pashto language. They were made available to CNN by U.S. Forces Afghanistan.

One shows the image of an American soldier shaking hands in a group of kids with the message, "One of our American guests is missing. Return the guest to his home. Call us at" -- and lists a phone number.

The other shows a U.S. soldier kicking down a door, and then an outstretched hand with the superimposed image of a soldier, his head and arms drooping, and the words, "If you do not release the U.S. soldier then ... you will be hunted," the pamphlet says.

Days after Bergdahl went missing, a senior U.S. military official said Bergdahl and the Afghan soldiers were captured by low-level militants and then quickly "sold" to the clan and network led by warlord Siraj Haqqani -- believed to be deeply involved in the action.

The Haqqani clan operates on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border and is well known to the U.S. military.

Bergdahl apparently left his small outpost on his own on June 30 with no apparent means of defending himself, the official said. Taliban commander Mulvi Sangeen said he visited a military post in the Yousaf Khel district in the Paktika province, got drunk, and was ambushed while returning to his car.

Sangeen said the soldier was taken to a safe place. CNN could not independently verify Sangeen's claims.

A source with the U.S. military denied the claim that Bergdahl was drunk. "The Taliban are known for lying and what they are claiming (is) not true," the source said.

In the video, Bergdahl says he was captured as he was lagging behind a patrol.

Ketchum Mayor Randy Hall told CNN Sunday, "Right now, the news is still breaking through town, and as the mayor, I can say this is a community situation."

But, he said, "I trust the leadership of this country, the wisdom of the people who are serving and the decisions that led up to the situation."

Bergdahl is not a National Guardsman, according to the Idaho National Guard statement, but the organization said it was coordinating with the Department of Defense to provide public affairs duties and other assistance to the Bergdahl family. The family has requested privacy, the statement said.
 
Aug 27, 2002
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fuck you you smartass prick... I'm not going to tolerate the bashing of men and women who serve their country at great risk to themselves while some sniveling wimp like you criticizes them. You're outta here.
 
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trail

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& here's me thinking you could say anything you liked in the flame pit !
So I also understood it
I still remember we were told that when this board was put up.

I did not read prperly the first post (wasn't interested).

But then also I suppose some rules there have to even in a "flame pit". Only it would be fine if they were made clear to us. :bananawav
 

wanderer109

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Delboy as usual has delivered himself of a canned sneer. Typically insulting and also stupid
There is something odd about that story however. "left base unarmed" "not a national guardsman" raise some questions.
 

orlock

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Of course you can say whatever you want in the flame pit, but if everything a User post's comes off as being disingenuous, then they're doing nothing more than being a "Troll". As such they should be dealt accordingly as Mods see fit, whether it be something minor like deleting their incessantly ignorant post's, or the severe, banning them.
 
Aug 27, 2002
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There never has been an "anything is allowed" rule in the flame pit.

One thing John will not tolerate on here is people criticizing the men and women of the armed forces. You want to bash US policy? go ahead....criticize the President? be our guest. Call Americans a bunch of obese pigs? knock yourself out.

We tolerate a lot here but just as we don't allow someone to advocate physical violence towards someone like that one asshole who got banned for remarking how the 3000 people got what they deserved on 9/11, we don't tolerate utterly asshole remarks like the one above.
 
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Jul 11, 2002
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There never has been an "anything is allowed" rule in the flame pit.

One thing John will not tolerate on here is people criticizing the men and women of the armed forces. You want to bash US policy? go ahead....criticize the President? be our guest. Call Americans a bunch of obese pigs? knock yourself out.

We tolerate a lot here but just as we don't allow someone to advocate physical violence towards someone like that one asshole who got banned for remarking how the 3000 people got what they deserved on 9/11, we don't tolerate utterly asshole remarks like the one above.
the other thing is it is degrading not just to U.S. soldiers, but anyone who's ever served, and with little or no cause. my grandfather is in the hospital right now being treated for his third stroke, he spent 40 years of his life in the Royal Navy, both the canadian and british (15 british 25 canadian), and delboy's very first comment following the story DIRECTLY impugns him and i - with neither cause, nor rhyme. the one thing john demands of us in the pit is we AT LEAST respect the people who put their lives at risk for EVERYONE ELSE. even when a soldier does something stupid(hey, i've been pretty lippy with COs), they should at least be acknowledged for standing IN FRONT of the bullets instead of waiting for someone else to do the job.

gods, i hate it when people denigrate servicemen, just pisses me right the fuck off.
 
Aug 27, 2002
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I didn't meant to imply this only applied to US service people. If I gave that impression..my apologies.

AT LEAST respect the people who put their lives at risk for EVERYONE ELSE.

Exactly and well said.
 

orlock

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There never has been an "anything is allowed" rule in the flame pit.

One thing John will not tolerate on here is people criticizing the men and women of the armed forces. You want to bash US policy? go ahead....criticize the President? be our guest. Call Americans a bunch of obese pigs? knock yourself out.

We tolerate a lot here but just as we don't allow someone to advocate physical violence towards someone like that one asshole who got banned for remarking how the 3000 people got what they deserved on 9/11, we don't tolerate utterly asshole remarks like the one above.
Precise and to the point...
 
Aug 10, 2002
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And here is what a right wing guest on Fox News had to say about the soldier from Idaho

Ret Lt Col Ralph Peters:
“I was to stress first of all that we must wait until all of the facts are in until we make a final judgment,” Peters said, but quickly added, “He is an apparent deserter,” “he is collaborating with the enemy,” and “we know that this private is a liar.”
"Now look, Julie, I want to be clear. If, when the facts are in, we find out that through some convoluted chain of events, he really was captured by the Taliban, I'm with him. But, if he walked away from his post and his buddies at wartime... I don't care how hard it sounds, as far as I'm concerned, the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills."

Not a peep from the Fox News folks about that.
 
May 14, 2004
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OK. I heard the story, and figured there was a discussion going on here, so I decided to pop back in.

Props to UN1 for banning that faggot. I was about to go in on him, until I saw he was banned!

I'm stressed about this. I can not imagine how scared he must be. Not knowing if he'll ever see his family. The boy is 23 yrs old. He's a man, yes, because he is serving his country, but if you were to ask his Mom, he is her little boy.

I pray for his safe and speedy return.

Think about him right now. What is he doing? What is being done or said to him? What are his thoughts?

I can't imagine.
 

Cushnface

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I really find it hard to believe a trained serviceman in today's militia would walk away, or go AWOL, unarmed in hostile territory. My suspicions, and fears, are he may have been caught, and was forced to say the things he said under threat of being killed.

Goodbye, Delroy!

People have been banned before in the pit...one episode I remember was a discussion started over Americans taking the ideas of Norway inventors. Rennoch and I argued with a person known as leeholbrook who defended the Norway inventions, which were three! And one was the cheese slicer! WOW!

Leeholbrook treated Rennoch with respect initially because he thought Rennoch was a moderator. Once he found out Ren wasn't , the scum attacked Renn over and over with remarks beyond crude. Not only that, leeholbrook went on to attack Rennoch's parents.

Down Under banned leeholbrook, as well he should have. Not only was he banned, DU erased every comment he made in the thread.

As others have mentioned above, respect is key.
 
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bfrug

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Aug 7, 2002
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Of course you can say whatever you want in the flame pit, but if everything a User post's comes off as being disingenuous, then they're doing nothing more than being a "Troll". As such they should be dealt accordingly as Mods see fit, whether it be something minor like deleting their incessantly ignorant post's, or the severe, banning them.
Well, at least UN1 has verified what you can & can't say in the flame pit. IMHO the guidelines are fair & fine.

There are, of course some people who only inhabit this section (& maybe GD's) - you never see them elsewhere on the forum.
 
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If that is the case, then I would hope we give the same respect for the soldiers fighting for the Taliban. If we look at it from their point of view, they also believe they are fighting for everyone. And for that reason, we should then give equal respect to them and for the innocent citizens they are trying to protect. Sometimes it is hard for us to see both points of view. But i believe it is essential for eventually coming to a situation of peace. Although Condell really bashes certain cultures and religions, he doesn't criticize the soldiers on the other side.

In the end, we have a political and cultural clash veiled with religion, with both sides thinking they are fighting for everyone.

I lost an uncle in WWII, and about 6 milliion Jewish people were slaughtered, but it is incredible to me that so little is ever written or discussed about the whopping 25 million Russians, mostly citizens, that were killed in WWII. It could be our political differences blinds us to the massive tragedies that happened in Russia in WWII.

Although i really feel for this soldier, I really feel for the soldiers on the other side and the citizens of the countries we invade as well, and coalition countries that often suffer much much more than we suffer.
 

mcmerlin

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Jun 9, 2006
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& here's me thinking you could say anything you liked in the flame pit !
You shouldn't feel annoyed by this kind of self-censorship when it comes to US military personnel!
It is an American thingy,guess it swapped over the pond with a few thousand Hessians ;)

But I also hope we never get back into the current American model of society where anybody who says even a word against what "the troops" are doing is a traitorous dog who should be shot at dawn and buried in a grave of dogshit.
 
Aug 27, 2002
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But I also hope we never get back into the current American model of society where anybody who says even a word against what "the troops" are doing is a traitorous dog

Well your comment illustrates the point I am trying to make. Making slanderous remarks against the troops is being misguided in what you're really offended by.

Unless the actions of individual soldiers involve something similar to the Calley situation, your comments should be directed against administration policy. THEY'RE the ones making the ultimate decisions regarding the troops.

See, I didn't call you a traitorous dog...of course I have too much respect for dogs to do that ;)