Two officials who debriefed Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after he was rescued from five years of captivity in Afghanistan said his personal experiences as a Taliban prisoner are critical to understanding insurgents as well as training troops on survival and evasion techniques.
Bergdahl, 31, who has already pleaded guilty to charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, gave unsworn testimony on Monday to apologize to everyone involved in searching for him. He spoke for about two hours, describing the torture and constant beatings he endured in captivity.
The testimony follows the prosecutor’s case that included powerful statements from soldiers who were injured on missions searching for Bergdahl.
The military judge, Col. Jeffery Nance, will consider the testimony as he determines if Bergdahl should spend the rest of his life in prison.
Amber Dach, a lead intelligence analyst, debriefed Bergdahl for about 70 hours when he arrived at Landstuhl, Germany, in June 2014. She said Bergdahl was eager to help.
“It was a gold mine,” she said. “It really reshaped the way we do intelligence collection in the area.”
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