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Bergdahl's Writings Provide A Window Into His Thoughts

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl stands with a Taliban fighter in eastern Afghanistan. This image was taken from a video that showed Bergdahl being transferred to the U.S.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's writings reveal the mind of a soldier who struggled with his presence in Afghanistan.

The writings were obtained by The Washington Post,which also reported, citing Bergdahl's friends, that he had previously been discharged by the Coast Guard for psychological reasons.

Bergdahl was freed by the Taliban this month in exchange for five of the group's members at Guantanamo Bay.

"Trying to keep my self togeather," he wrote in his journal. "I'm so tired of the blackness, but what will happen to me without it. Bloody hell why do I keep thinking of this over and over."

And two weeks before he ended up with the Taliban, he wrote to a friend in a coded email: "l1nes n0 t g00 d h3rE. tell u when 1 ha ve a si coure 1ine about pl/-s."

As we've previously told you, "There have been questions about just how Bergdahl was captured in 2009. He's said that he lagged behind while on patrol. U.S. officials have said he walked off the base with three Afghans; there have been reports that he was captured during an attack on his post; and the Taliban have said they captured a 'drunken American soldier.' Many service members say they believe Bergdahl is a deserter."

The Post obtained Bergdahl's journal and his computer files from Kim Harrison, a close friend of his whom he designated as the person who should receive his remains. She told the newspaper that she decided to share Bergdahl's thoughts because, in the words of The Post, "he has become concerned about the portrayal of Bergdahl as a calculating deserter, which she contends is at odds with her understanding of him as a sensitive, vulnerable young man."

The entire story is fascinating, and we encourage you to head over to The Post to read the rest of it.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.
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