>> US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl pleading guilty to desertion, at a military court martial Monday in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The charges stemming from Bergdahl's decision in 2009 to walk away from his combat outpost in Afghanistan. He was subsequently captured by the Taliban, and held hostage for almost five years.
Reuters editor Colleen Jenkins was in the courtroom.>> Sergeant Bowe Berghal told a military judge that he walkedoff his base in Afghanistan in June 2009, to report critical problems with his chain of command. He didn't get very far, he said he got lost after about 20 minutes, and was captured after 3 or 4 hours.
He spent the next five years in captivity.>> This morning I called Bob and Jani Bergdahl and told them that, after nearly five years in captivity, their son Bowe is coming home.>> Bergdahl was freed in a prisoner swap in 2014. US Republicans and some in the military quickly challenged the image of Bergdahl as a sympathetic captive, insisting instead he was a deserter, who endangered other soldier's lives.
>> We don't have victories with Sergeant Bergdahl, with this traitor, this dirty, rotten traitor. 25, 50 years ago, 30 years ago, what would they have done? Bing, right? Bergdahl said he never intended to call search and rescue missions by his decision to walk off his base. He said he didn't think troops would pull off of a critical mission to search for one guy.
On Monday in court, he said in retrospect he realizes that he did endanger fellow troops' lives with his decision, and realizes that his actions were very inexcusable.>> A military expert testified that while a hostage, Bergdahl endured torture, abuse, and neglect at the hands of Taliban forces. He pled guilty to charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, which carries a potential life sentence.
He's set to be sentenced next week.