- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 17, 2016

Investigators have concluded Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had a psychiatric disorder when he walked away from his post in Afghanistan in 2009, according to documents made public late Wednesday.

An Army Sanity Board Evaluation determined that Sgt. Bergdahl suffered from schizotypal personality disorder when he abandoned his post, a July 2015 document shows, Fox News reported.

According to the Mayo Clinic, people who suffer from the disorder have trouble interpreting social cues and can develop significant distrust of others.

Sgt. Bergdahl currently faces a court martial on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy and could be handed a life sentence.

Attorneys for Sgt. Bergdahl acknowledged releasing the documents in the hope of counteracting negative press the case has received.

“The more Americans know about this case, the better,” attorney Eugene Fidell said in an email to The Associated Press. There was no immediate comment from the Army about the newly released documents.

Sgt. Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban after he walked off an Afghanistan base in 2009. He was held captive for five years, sparking a widespread and costly manhunt.

He was released in May 2014 as part of a prisoner exchange involving five Guantanamo Bay detainees, prompting swift backlash from some in Congress who said the move threatened national security.

In an interview with film director Mark Boal, which was aired on the popular podcast “Serial,” Sgt. Bergdahl explained that he hoped to cause alarm by leaving his post to draw attention to mismanagement within his unit.

He planned to walk to a larger base in Afghanistan so he could have an audience with a top commander there.

Sgt. Bergdahl’s military trial had been tentatively scheduled to begin over the summer, but it has been delayed by disagreements over access to classified materials.

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