Transcript for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion charges at a court martial hearing today
Next tonight here to the interview. Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, pleading guilty today. We all remember that moment after years of captivity, held by the Taliban, squinting at the sight of the sun. Tonight, in an ABC news exclusive, Bergdahl, before the camera for the first time. Why he says he should not be called a traitor. Here's ABC's chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross tonight. Reporter: Appearing before a military judge today, sergeant Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desserting his platoon, walking off his fwhas after base in Afghanistan and into the hands of the Taliban. My name is Bowe Bergdahl. Reporter: Bergdahl was held by the Taliban for five years. Released in this dramatic moment, squinting into the sun after years as a prisoner. U.S. Special forces hustled him to a waiting helicopter to begin the journey home. In his first television interview, with British filmmaker Sean Langan, Bergdahl says he was held in a cage for most of his captivity as punishment for trying to escape. It's a cage that was welded together, probably seven-foot long, probably about six-foot wide. And how long were you in that cage for? Second, third, fourth and into the fifth year. Reporter: The U.S. Released five Taliban prisoners to gain his freedom, and the homecoming celebrate for Bergdahl was short lived. Bergdahl was attacked for risking the lives of fellow soldiers who went searching for him, two of them seriously wounded. He's a traitor a no-good traitor who should have been executed. Reporter: Bergdahl says a fair trial would have been impossible given the words of Donald Trump. We may as well go back to kangaroo courts and lynch mobs that got what they wanted. The people who are to the point of saying, yeah, just shoot him, you can never convince those people to change their minds. It hurts though? It does hurt. Reporter: In court today, Bergdahl acknowledged he broke the law by leaving the base, saying, "I understand I endangered the safety of my platoon." At a hearing next week, he could face up to life in prison. And Brian back with us again tonight. And Bowe Bergdahl insists, Brian, that he is not a day or the here. Reporter: He does, David. Scoffing at reports that he joined the Taliban and had it easy as their prisoner. He membership tans he walked off his base to report a commander for incompetence, a belief the military judge has already ruled, David, was unfounded.
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