Bowe Bergdahl went missing from his base in Afghanistan in 2009. As a result, he was captured and held hostage by the Taliban for five years.
On May 31, 2014, Bowe was released to a U.S. Special Operations team and taken back to his hometown of Hailey, Idaho. Instead of being greeted with an extravagant welcome home party, he was greeted with charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.
Serial – Season 2 came out in the winter of 2015 and covered Bowe’s supposed motives and walked its audience step by step through what happened.
Why Serial Matters
Ever since the beginning of the season, Bergdahl explained that his motivation to leave OP Mest was to expose the bad leadership in his battalion. However, when he was returned back to the United States, he must have realized the he never got a chance to explain himself to other soldiers, in and out of his battalion, as well as explain himself to the general public.
Talking to Mark Boal on Serial was the most public way he could tell his story. He was able able to write a statement and talk in court, but none of that matter in his mind if he was not able to speak for himself. Instead of having his lawyer speak on his behalf, he literally explained to the public from start to finish why he left camp.
The most interesting part during the podcast is hearing different soldiers who knew Bergdahl change their minds about him. Although almost none of them forgave him, hearing about his diagnosis and his motivation behind leaving OP Mest helped give them clarity.
Bias in Storytelling
Bowe Bergdahl was able to tell his story through and through. One thing that helped balance his fact from fiction was talking to fellow company members, former Taliban members, people at CENTCOM, as well as command sergeant majors and colonels.
Now that you know all of the facts: What do you think of Bergdahl?