L'affair Bergdahl managed to get uglier as Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl told military officials that he was beaten, tortured, and held in a cage by the Taliban. According to the FBI, Bergdahl's parents have been receiving threats as well.
Bergdahl reportedly told medical officials his side of the story this week while he remains at a military facility in Germany. Most salient among the claims was that Bergdahl had tried to escape and had been tortured by his Taliban captors during his five-year ordeal. The official, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity, added that it was difficult to verify the details of Bergdahl's story.
Naturally this development is not without its political implications, especially given how charged the issue has become over the course of just one week.
As more details emerge about Bergdahl, the attempted smear of him by the right looks more and more despicable— joshuafoust (@joshuafoust) June 8, 2014
Adding to the cauldron is an FBI report detailing how Bergdahl's parents continue to be harassed and threatened as they await their son's return to the United States. As conjecture swirls about the alleged deaths of American soldiers who went looking for Bergdahl continues (both Pentagon and Army representatives haven't found evidence to verify this yet), the FBI continues to monitor the threats against Bergdahl's family. As FBI Special Agent William Facer told CNN:
We are working jointly with our state and local partners and taking each threat seriously."
Providing yet more badly needed context, information is coming out about the platoon in which Bergdahl served. According to an internal Army investigation, Bergdahl's platoon—Second Platoon, Blackfoot Company in the First Battalion, 501st Regiment—had something of a reputation and were characterized as a platoon of misfits, with steady difficulties in maintaining both discipline and security.
The context of the larger war strategy produced its share of external problems as well.
The platoon was sent to a remote location with too few troops to seriously confront an increasingly aggressive insurgency, which controlled many villages in the region. The riverbeds they used as roads were often mined with improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.s; simply getting supplies or traveling back to their home operating base could be a nerve-racking ordeal."
As the Sunday shows get underway, we'll have to see if these new revelations manage to pierce the consciousness of the outrage-industrial complex.