According to government documents released on Wednesday, deserter Bowe Bergdahl stated that he left his post in Afghanistan as an act of “self-sacrifice.”
"So, the idea was to — it was— literally, it was a sacrificial — it was a self-sacrifice thing,” he explained.
Apparently, Army Sgt. Bergdahl didn’t like the way things were being handled by his commanders, so he decided to take matters in his own hands. “Bergdahl told a general who investigated the case that he hoped to cause an alarm by leaving his post, then walk to a larger base in Afghanistan so he could have an audience with a top commander,” reports Business Insider.
Bergdahl's attorney, Eugene Fidell, decided to release the documents to fight negative press and gain favor with the public, adds Business Insider. He failed to recognize that the trope of the sacrificial lamb appears to only work with biblical figures.
Bergdahl faces life in prison if convicted of all the charges filed against him. Specifically, the desertion charge carries a penalty of five years, maximum.
Bergdahl left his post in 2009. He was released in May 2014 by the Taliban after spending five years in captivity. President Obama negotiated his release after a highly-contentious prisoner swap for five senior Taliban commanders imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay.
After Bergdahl voluntarily deserted his unit, six American soldiers died searching for him. According to TIME Magazine, “The diversion of these men and their units to the hunt for Bergdahl thinned the ranks of U.S. troops elsewhere in the region, contributing to several more American KIAs, U.S. soldiers who were there at the time believe.”
According to another released document dated July 2015, the Army Sanity Board Evaluation diagnosed Bergdahl with a psychiatric disorder, specifically schizotypal personality disorder.