In a newly-released video, an American soldier who is being held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan says he’s “scared I won’t be able to go home.” Two U.S. defense officials confirmed that the man in the video posted Saturday on the Internet is the captured soldier, but the Defense Department has not released his name. Local Taliban commanders had previously threatened to kill the soldier. Asked by his interrogators to give a message to the American people, the captive soldier said:
“To my fellow Americans who have loved ones over here, who know what it’s like to miss them, you have the power to make our government bring them home,” he said. “Please, please bring us home so that we can be back where we belong and not over here, wasting our time and our lives and our precious life that we could be using back in our own country. Please bring us home. It is America and American people who have that power.”
A U.S. military spokeswoman in Afghanistan, Lt. Cmdr. Christine Sidenstricker, said the Taliban was using their captive for propaganda. “They are exploiting the soldier in violation of international law,” she said. U.S. military spokesman Colonel Greg Julian added, “We condemn the use of this video and the public humiliation of prisoners. It is against international law.”
The Defense Department said in a statement Sunday that the soldier is Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl, 23, of Ketchum, Idaho.