Bowe Bergdahl sentencing: Witnesses describe his mental state


The witnesses on the sentencing listening to painted an image of Bergdahl’s life earlier than he enlisted and emphasised his contributions since he was returned in a prisoner swap.

Bergdahl pleaded responsible October 16 to desertion and misbehavior earlier than the enemy. He faces as much as life in jail for his desertion.

Hours after he abandoned his outpost in Afghanistan in 2009, he was captured by the Taliban. After 5 years in captivity, Bergdahl was launched in a controversial prisoner swap in alternate for 5 Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Dr. Charles Morgan, a forensic psychiatrist and professor on the University of New Haven and Yale University, testified Wednesday that Bergdahl suffers from quite a few psychological diseases, together with schizotypal character dysfunction and post-traumatic stress dysfunction, in addition to social anxiousness/phobia and cognitive deficits.

Symptoms of schizotypal character dysfunction embody transient psychotic episodes that “are not as frequent, prolonged or intense as in schizophrenia,” based on the Mayo Clinic.

Morgan mentioned he interviewed Bergdahl’s family and friends and did intensive testing on Bergdahl, together with psychiatric evaluations, stress exams and neurological psychological testing. Based on the outcomes, Morgan mentioned Bergdahl was affected by schizotypal character dysfunction and PTSD earlier than he enlisted within the armed forces, including he “falls clearly into the profile” of somebody who had schizotypal character dysfunction by the point he enlisted.

Bowe Bergdahl Fast Facts

The social anxiousness/phobia and cognitive deficits have been additionally current earlier than he enlisted, Morgan mentioned.

As a toddler, Bergdahl confronted a tense and typically scary family, Morgan mentioned, declaring that he hid from his father, who punched holes within the wall. He added that Bergdahl felt “dumb, inferior, worthless (and like a) failure in eyes of his father.”

Bergdahl was “someone who had a number of factors that pointed to stress vulnerability before enlistment,” Morgan mentioned. He labeled Bergdahl’s PTSD as “severe,” saying his signs have been “completely consistent” with the cluster of signs seen in folks affected by the dysfunction.

For folks affected by PTSD, “their war experience can make them clinically sicker,” Morgan mentioned. He added that “people who have been exposed to trauma” don’t badume the identical manner that those that have not would badume.

Analyst says Bergdahl debriefs ‘have been a gold mine’

Terrence Russell, an official with the Pentagon’s Joint Personnel Recovery Agency who debriefs former captives and makes coaching manuals primarily based on the debriefs, testified Tuesday that Bergdahl was “an extremely cooperative participant” and supplied plenty of data for survival, evasion, resistance and escape coaching.

“He (Bergdahl) understood it was important to give information so we could utilize it to help others,” Russell mentioned. “I can use this data to badist prepare forces sooner or later.

“I would like him now. I wanted him three years in the past when he returned. The data he can present to us is important to serving to the combating pressure.”

Amber Dach, a authorities intelligence badyst, mentioned he “was keen to badist” and the debriefings have been helpful.

“The debriefings from Sgt. Bergdahl have been a gold mine,” she said. “We have been capable of positively determine what a holding location would seem like.”

‘I made a horrible mistake’

During his Monday testimony, Bergdahl teared up, apologizing to service members who looked for him after he abandoned. Several of the searchers have been injured, together with one who suffered everlasting mind harm.

“My phrases cannot take away what folks have been by way of,” Bergdahl, 31, told an audience at his court-martial that spilled into an overflow room. “I’m admitting I made a horrible mistake.”

His prolonged testimony started after the presiding decide rejected his attorneys’ request to dismiss the case over President Trump’s criticism of him throughout his marketing campaign for the White House.

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