Was Bowe Bergdahl High on Hash When He Defected?

Bergdahl wrote in 2009: "I am ashamed to be an American. The U.S. Army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at."

The Army soldier exchanged for Taliban prisoners, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who disappeared from his base in Afghanistan in 2009, may had been stoned before he was captured.

He's been described by locals in Mest Malak in Paktika Province in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border as "walking through the village in a haze" and that "he probably was high after smoking hashish." Another report portrays him as a "drunken American soldier (who) had come out of his garrison."

Bowe Bergdahl at home in Idaho before joining the Army.

Most accounts agree that Bergdahl "walked off his own base in a violent region of Afghanistan. Doing so, unarmed and without backup from fellow soldiers… There was little doubt that (he) left on his own."

Bergdahl wandered around the area until he was seized on July 1 and subsequently imprisoned (and allegdly tortured) by the Taliban for the next five years.

In another account, Bergdahl was viewed by fellow soldiers as "standoffish or eccentric, smoking a pipe instead of spitting tobacco." (And what was in that pipe?) It appears the he was a stoner and hence less inclined to play by the rules. "For the vast majority of the time, he was disillusioned when we had to be boots-on-the-ground infantrymen,” company medic Josh Cornelison says about Bergdahl.

In an email sent to his parents in Ketchum, Idaho three days before leaving the base, Bergdahl wrote: "I am ashamed to be an American. And the title of U.S. soldier is just the lie of fools… The U.S. 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 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… I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting."

What do you think of Bowe Bergdahl? Is he a hero, a rebel or a coward?

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.