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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

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

Posted by on Jul. 19, 2009 at 8:32 PM
  • 58 Replies

Story Highlights

  • Soldier from Idaho says he's frightened he won't be able to see family again
  • U.S. military: Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl, 23, was captured June 30 from Paktika province
  • Taliban commander: Taliban will kill him if foreign troops keep targeting civilians
  • He was taken by members of the Taliban, the military says


(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."

Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl shown here in a video made by his captors, members of the Taliban. Bowe Bergdahl, from Ketchum, Idaho, is seen in photo provided by his family.
Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl shown here in a video made by his captors, members of the Taliban.


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."

It was not clear whether some or all of Bergdahl's remarks were scripted by his captors. 

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.


 





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by on Jul. 19, 2009 at 8:32 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Newbieonthblock
by on Jul. 20, 2009 at 1:32 AM

This is such a blatant violation of International Law.  I feel so bad for that soldier.  You know he's being forced to say things he doesn't want to.  Disgusting!

Newbieonthblock
by on Jul. 20, 2009 at 1:42 AM

I fear for him too.  We all know how barbaric the taliban is.  I am praying fervrently for his safety and release.  I don't want to have to see the filming of his beheading.  I hope our government sends a loud, strong message to these people that we're not going to tolerate their bullying.

blondekosmic15
by on Jul. 20, 2009 at 2:18 AM

I am very much afraid for him. I will continue to pray for this young soldier & ask God to help him. Sadly too many of our courageous soldiers which have been captured do not have a positive ending. My 23 y/o son reminds me of this soldier. In a situation such as this...you tend to think of your own children. God bless him~+

                   praying

Randi02
by Bronze Member on Jul. 20, 2009 at 2:32 AM

I hope he is returned safely.

Unfortunately though, he knew what he was possibly getting himself into when he went over there. This is war... I don't think it's any different than Americans capturing POWs. Those people have families and friends back home too.

I am a Canadian,breastfeeding (it IS best, there is nothing even close to that nutrition and bond), co sleeping, extended rear facing (if you don't rear face to the maximum of your seat, you're NOT doing all you can to protect your child), baby wearing, Non spanking (I want my kids to respect me, not fear me) ANTI- CIO, cloth diapering, organic (chemical free household!) recycling mama to TWO! My husband is my equal and best friend, not my master and I believe basic health care should be a human RIGHT, not a privilege.

Newbieonthblock
by on Jul. 20, 2009 at 2:35 AM


Quoting Randi02:

I hope he is returned safely.

Unfortunately though, he knew what he was possibly getting himself into when he went over there. This is war... I don't think it's any different than Americans capturing POWs. Those people have families and friends back home too.

Americans don't force their POWs to make false statements, and behead them.

Randi02
by Bronze Member on Jul. 20, 2009 at 2:44 AM


Quoting Newbieonthblock:


Quoting Randi02:

I hope he is returned safely.

Unfortunately though, he knew what he was possibly getting himself into when he went over there. This is war... I don't think it's any different than Americans capturing POWs. Those people have families and friends back home too.

Americans don't force their POWs to make false statements, and behead them.

Oh right, they have more "civilized" methods of torture.

I am a Canadian,breastfeeding (it IS best, there is nothing even close to that nutrition and bond), co sleeping, extended rear facing (if you don't rear face to the maximum of your seat, you're NOT doing all you can to protect your child), baby wearing, Non spanking (I want my kids to respect me, not fear me) ANTI- CIO, cloth diapering, organic (chemical free household!) recycling mama to TWO! My husband is my equal and best friend, not my master and I believe basic health care should be a human RIGHT, not a privilege.

llrey74
by Member on Jul. 20, 2009 at 2:47 AM

Yes actually it is VERY different!! Since when do we threaten to Kill them. As a sister to a Mighty Marine over there I fear daily.

Quoting Randi02:

I hope he is returned safely.

Unfortunately though, he knew what he was possibly getting himself into when he went over there. This is war... I don't think it's any different than Americans capturing POWs. Those people have families and friends back home too.


blondekosmic15
by on Jul. 20, 2009 at 2:49 AM

 

Quoting Newbieonthblock:

 

Quoting Randi02:

I hope he is returned safely.

Unfortunately though, he knew what he was possibly getting himself into when he went over there. This is war... I don't think it's any different than Americans capturing POWs. Those people have families and friends back home too.

I cannot believe you even said this Randi....

Americans don't force their POWs to make false statements, and behead them.


Exactly Newbie....               shake hand

llrey74
by Member on Jul. 20, 2009 at 2:51 AM

Don't listen...she's canadian. When crap pops off they can call their Mounties.   After all we know how laxed they are, that's where the majority of the terrorist who  came in came from 911.  When you have us guarding their ass I guess you can pretty much say what you want...nes pa?

Quoting Randi02:


Quoting Newbieonthblock:

 

Quoting Randi02:

I hope he is returned safely.

Unfortunately though, he knew what he was possibly getting himself into when he went over there. This is war... I don't think it's any different than Americans capturing POWs. Those people have families and friends back home too.

Americans don't force their POWs to make false statements, and behead them.

Oh right, they have more "civilized" methods of torture.


Randi02
by Bronze Member on Jul. 20, 2009 at 2:56 AM

Guarding us? The only reason we have ANY target on our back is that we are so closely tied with the 'Mericans... The most hated country in the world.

LOL @ the mountie comment. Ignorance at its finest.

Quoting llrey74:

Don't listen...she's canadian. When crap pops off they can call their Mounties.   After all we know how laxed they are, that's where the majority of the terrorist who  came in came from 911.  When you have us guarding their ass I guess you can pretty much say what you want...nes pa?

Quoting Randi02:


Quoting Newbieonthblock:


Quoting Randi02:

I hope he is returned safely.

Unfortunately though, he knew what he was possibly getting himself into when he went over there. This is war... I don't think it's any different than Americans capturing POWs. Those people have families and friends back home too.

Americans don't force their POWs to make false statements, and behead them.

Oh right, they have more "civilized" methods of torture.



I am a Canadian,breastfeeding (it IS best, there is nothing even close to that nutrition and bond), co sleeping, extended rear facing (if you don't rear face to the maximum of your seat, you're NOT doing all you can to protect your child), baby wearing, Non spanking (I want my kids to respect me, not fear me) ANTI- CIO, cloth diapering, organic (chemical free household!) recycling mama to TWO! My husband is my equal and best friend, not my master and I believe basic health care should be a human RIGHT, not a privilege.

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