If Bergdahl is telling the truth, it is unlikely in the land of bacha bazi that these Taliban members were objecting to sleeping with men. They were asking if Obama was gay, i.e., did he sleep only with men — which exclusivity they would equate with weakness. Beyond lurid curiosity, they were most likely asking Bergdahl if the President was truly as weak as he appeared to be.
“Bergdahl: Taliban asked me if Obama is gay,” by Beckie Strum, New York Post, December 24, 2015 (thanks to all who sent this in):
Bowe Bergdahl compared his first year in Taliban captivity — starved, stinking and chained to a bed — to being tossed in a closet and forgotten.
“Picture someone taking a bag, throwing it into the closet, shutting the door and just forgetting about it. That was basically how they treated me,” he said.
In the third episode of the popular podcast “Serial,” which is focused on Bergdahl’s alleged desertion from the Army in 2009 and subsequent five-year captivity by the Taliban, he details the misery of his first year held hostage — ending in a dramatic escape attempt that lasted 8½ days.
The interview was conducted by filmmaker Mark Boal (“The Hurt Locker,” “Zero Dark Thirty”) as part of a project on Bergdahl’s life. He lent the recordings to “Serial,” which is hosted by Sarah Koenig.
Bergdahl said he saw his first chance at escape soon after his abduction in Afghanistan’s eastern Paktika province, when a water delivery temporarily distracted his captors. He managed to slip off the chains binding his hands and feet and unlatched the flimsy wire holding the door to his cell closed.
He was free for only 15 minutes, running barefoot over rocks and climbing onto a roof and covering himself in mud to hide, he said in audio used by the podcast. He was caught in moments and hauled back into his cell, where men beat him with a rubber hose. They then blindfolded him and moved him to a new home, in what he now believes was North Waziristan in Pakistan, he said.
His new living arrangements were filthy and painful.
“In the new place, they put me on an Afghan bed and they chained my feet to the ends of the bed and chained my hands to the tops of the bed so that basically I was spread-eagle on the bed and blindfolded. And that’s how I spent the majority of the next three months,” he said.
He was allowed to use the bathroom twice a day and could shower around once a month. He developed bedsores and chronic diarrhea as a result.
“The time deprivation, too much light or too much darkness and too much randomness, it just wears away at you and drives your nerves into the ground. The constant worry ‘Am I going to die today?’ or is something worse going to happen,” he said.
Although watching over Bergdahl was a high honor, the guards were often bored and would pass the time by making videos of him, interrogating him with ridiculous questions or shaving his beard into shapes they found amusing, he said.
“They ask you, is Obama gay and sleeps with men?” he recalled. His young guards were also curious about where US military bases got their prostitutes, alcohol and drugs, and were obsessed with American soft drinks, he added.
“They love Mountain Dew. If you want to piss people off in that country, all you do is cut off their sugar supply,” he said….