Bowe Bergdahl in his own words

In a statement to Gen. Mark A. Milley, the commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl describes the conditions of his confinement by the Haqqani network, an insurgent group allied with the Taliban. Bowe Bergdahl, once-missing U.S. soldier, charged with desertion

In the beginning of my captivity, after my first two escape attempts, for about three months I was
chained to a bed spreadeagle and blindfolded. The blindfold was only taken off a few times a day to
allow me to eat and use the latrine. It was not an till after seeing I could barely walk from my body
going though muscle atrophy, that they unchained one of my hands from above my head and chained it
down by my side, allowing me to sit up in the bed. Because of the constant heat and sweat my body
where it was in contact with the bed would become sore and raw, burning from the sweat and pressure.
My eyelids from the continues pressure of the blindfold would become raw and being unable to wipe
the sweat out of my eyes and because the blindfold would n?t allow the sweat to dry, my eyes where
always burning and aching. Around my ankles where the chains where, I developed open wounds that
looked like the STAPH infection I had had earlier that year. The infection also appeared on my forehead
and side of head. It was also in the beginning of this that my body started a steady decline in constant
internal sickness that would last through the final year. In the first three months they fed me elbow
noodles or rice and very little of anything else, as well as two bottles of water a day. But because of the
growing internal sickness it became more and more of a problem to eat. During these months some of
the things they did was beat the bottoms of my feet and parts of my body with a copper cable. After the
first three months they moved me. Though they never fully chained me to a bed again, the first year I
spent in chains on both hands and feet, and more often then not, even in the locked room, they had my
feet chained to a solid unmovable abject either outside or inside the room. At this point, because of
sickness, weather, and little food and water, hunger, and worse, dehydration my body continued a
steady decline. In the beginning of the winter I was wearing summer clothing, and even though later
towards the end of winter I was given an army PT Windbreaker and a hat, because of the cold and the
conditions of the room, my body was never able to worm up, adding to my sickness. The lowest point
coming in the winter of the end of the first year. My body weight having dropped to the point that my
ribs and joints patruded clearly, my skin losing all signs of fat and my muscles, from atrophy, reducing to
thin tight cords or bumps that did barely to support me or keep my joints in place. After the first year
they put me inside a cage. In there my hands where always handcuffed in front of me, being taken off
only on the few times I would wash and change clothes, which came more often then in the first year
when I would go 3 or 4 months without washing or changing clothes. In the cage my feet where usually
chained to the cage at night, though they stopped doing this towards the middle of the second year,
because of the acute pain my feet and legs where in, it was here that the most sivier problems began
with my feet and legs and, roughly, for the next year and a half I would feel acute burning "cobwebs"
and have continues bad swelling in my feet and legs. When this past it was replaced with the freezing
numbness that continues to the present, as both feet have neuropathy. It was also during this time that
I had between 8 and 12 open wounds on each wrist under the hand shackles. Not healing I would have
to push the puss out of them daily. Then they moved the cage to another room over the top of
plumbing that they had built into the dirt floor. After this, since they no longer had to take me out of
the cage, they took all the chains off me. From this point for more or less, the conditions remained
somewhat the same. Antill going into the final two years, where things got better and my body was
able to heal and gain some weight, the internal sickness lessened to a more manageable state. I was
kept in constant isolation during the entire 5 years, with little to no understanding of time, through
periods of constant darkness, periods of constant light, and periods of completely random flickering of
light, and absolutely no understanding of anything that was happening beyond the door I was held

behind. I was continuously shown Taliban videos. Told I was going to executed. Told I was never going
back. Told I would leave the next day, and the next day told I would be there for 30 years. Told was
going to die there. Told to kill myself. Told I would have my ears and nose cutoff, as well as other parts
of my body. I was told anything they could think of, weather it was through sign language, broken
English, or fluent English. My first escape attempt was within the first few hours of being captured. The
Taliban stopped in a village. Pulling me off the back knees and
threw a blanket over my head (even though I was also blindfolded), a few moments later one of the guys
that had captured me pulled the blanket off and took the blind fold off. I saw that he had come back
with a younger guy and had squatted down, the older one in front and the younger one to my right.
From my peripheral vision I could see a few other young guys standing behind them. At this point the
older guy had pulled out his cell phone and the younger one began asking a question, and after evading
his questions he would hit me in the face. This was repeated, but I evaded answering his question and
after awhile they put the blindfold back on and threw the blanket over my head. Some moments after
that I believed I had a chance to run for it and did. I was brought down towards the edge of the village
by a large group of men, on the ground i felt many blows from fists, and one from the butt stalk of an
AK that broke it off the weapon. After that in all my efforts to escape I had made it twice in escaping
the buildings where I was held. The first being in the first week of being captured, and because of the
populated area and time that I had managed to do it, I had only managed to get a short distance before
being spotted, and because of the terrain I had no place to hide and no terrain to use to evade. This
escape lasted approximately 10-15 minutes and after recapturing me and putting chains back on they
took turns beating me with a length of thick robber hose. Afterwards they added more chain to my
hands and feet and seeing what I had been able to do they increased the guards and moved me to a
more heavily secured compound where i would spend roughly the next three months. The second one
where I had made it out of the buildings was around the end of the first year. Lasting close to 9 days
without food and only putrid water to drink, my body failed on top of a short mountain close to evening,
and some moments after I came to in the dying grey light of the evening, I was found by a large Taliban
searching group. After recapturing me again a few hit meland one tried to rip my beard and hair out,
but from what I could sense they where more worried about getting me out of that area as quickly as
they could. This is the time that my body reached the worst point of condition and for approximately
the next year and a half I would not recover from it, but instead have to deal with specific problems
getting more sivier. During the five years I unsuccessfully tried to escape approximately 12 times.