The Powerful, Controversial Final Email From America’s Last Prisoner Of War

Private Bowe Bergdahl walked off his base in Afghanistan three years ago. In the final email he sent to his parents, he explains why: He was sick of the war, “ashamed to even be american.”

Rolling Stone today published an in-depth account of the story of Bowe Bergdahl, America’s last prisoner of war currently being held by the Taliban. Written Michael Hastings (a Rolling Stone contributing editor and now a BuzzFeed campaign correspondent), the piece details includes an email Bergdahl sent on June 27, a few days before he went missing.

“mom, dad,” he wrote:

The future is too good to waste on lies… And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their ideas and I am ashamed to even be american. The horror of the self-righteous arrogance that they thrive in. It is all revolting.

The e-mail, Hastings reports, listed complaints about his superiors and about the military:

“In the US army you are cut down for being honest… but if you are a conceited brown nosing shit bag you will be allowed to do what ever you want, and you will be handed your higher rank… The system is wrong. I am ashamed to be an american. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools….

The US army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at. It is the army of liars, backstabbers, fools, and bullies. The few good SGTs are getting out as soon as they can, and they are telling us privates to do the same….

I am sorry for everything here… These [Afghan] people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid, that they have no idea how to live…. We don’t even care when we hear each other talk about running their children down in the dirt streets with our armored trucks… We make fun of them in front of their faces, and laugh at them for not understanding we are insulting them.”

Bowe ended his e-mail, Hastings writes “with what, in another context, might read as a suicide note.”: “I am sorry for everything… The horror that is america is disgusting.”

Berghdahl walked off his base, and was captured by the Taliban. He’s now at the center of sensitive prisoner exchange talks.

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