Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was tortured by the Taliban and threatened with execution, but he lived to be part of a swap last year for five Taliban commanders held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Other Americans held by the Islamic State and hostages from other countries haven’t been as fortunate. They were beheaded with their gruesome online deaths seen around the world.
Bergdahl said he was beaten with a copper cable, rubber hose, fists and the butt of an AK-47, so hard that the rifle’s stock broke off, The Associated Press reports. He was chained and held in a cage.
Though he lived, Bergdahl now faces Army charges, accusing him of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy for leaving his post in Afghanistan in June 2009. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a sentence on a desertion conviction could come with up to five years in prison, forfeiture of pay and dishonorable discharge.
No doubt Bergdahl and his lawyers will fight the charges. But in the long run, he’s better off than the Islamic State hostages.