As has been widely speculated, the episode deals with the travails of former U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, charged with deserting the Army in Afghanistan in June 2009.
“I had this fantastic idea that I was going to prove to the world that I was the real thing”, Bergdahl said.
“The president believes strongly in the principle of ensuring that anybody who puts on the military uniform of the United States is not somebody who is going to be left behind by the commander-in-chief”, Earnest said.
Second, disgusted by what he saw as a failure of leadership in the Army, Bergdahl said he wanted to cause a “DUSTWUN” – Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown – alert in order to draw attention to necessary reforms.
“What I was seeing from my first unit all the way up into Afghanistan, all I was seeing was leadership failure”, Bergdahl said. He was turned over to USA forces after five years in captivity.
“You’re standing in this blackened, dirt room that’s tiny and just on the other side of that flimsy wooden door that you could probably easily rip off the hinges is the entire world out there, it is everything that you’re missing”.
The podcast came out at the same time that the House Armed Services Committee released a year-long investigation of the Bergdahl case, concluding that the Obama administration broke the law on notifying Congress of the prisoner exchange. He faces up to life in prison, though an Army officer has recommended that Bergdahls case be moved to a special misdemeanor-level military court.
Koenig and the “Serial” team sent out an email Thursday morning, explaining the direction they were taking with this season of the podcast.
Bergdahl says, as a private first class, he would not have been taken seriously. After Episode 1, here’s the extent of what we know so far. In some sense he wanted to emulate someone like Jason Bourne, the espionage movie character Bergdahl added. What Bergdahl did made me wrestle with things I’d thought I more or less understood, but really didn’t: “what it means to be loyal, to be resilient, to be used, to be punished”.
The report was released in tandem with the second season of the hugely popular “Serial” podcast, which features hours of interviews with Bergdahl detailing his desertion, capture, and release.
It also features interviews directly with Bergdahl, who has avoided commenting publicly and in the press amid the furor about his return. He was exchanged for five Taliban prisoners.
He said the Taliban captured him after he got lost.
However, the report disproved an earlier accusation by a U.S. Green Beret who said the U.S. government had tried, and failed, to pay ransom to secure Bergdahl’s release.
“I’d wake up remembering not even what I was…”
In a significant departure from the Peabody Award-winning first season, which examined a little-known 1999 murder case, Bergdahl’s case has already garnered extensive coverage in the past few years-so good luck avoiding (or forgetting) spoilers for this one.